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Deputy Mayor Of Thessaloniki And Accompanying Greek Delegation Honored At AHI Hellenic House Reception
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
May 02, 2001 No. 24/01 (202) 785-8430

Deputy Mayor Of Thessaloniki And Accompanying Greek Delegation Honored At AHI Hellenic House Reception

WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, May 1, 2001, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and Hermes Expo International held a special reception at the Hellenic House in honor of the Deputy Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr. Evangelos Dimitriou, and an accompanying delegation visiting the U.S. from Greece. The delegation included Mr. Panagiotis Giannopoulos, the prefect of Arcadia, Mr. Dimitris Stamatis, the prefect of Aitoloakarnania, and a group of Greek business leaders. The delegation, along with AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis, arrived at the Hellenic House following an afternoon meeting on Capitol Hill with Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ) where they discussed various points of interest and mutual concern regarding the U.S., Greece and Cyprus.

The delegation was brought to the U.S. through the work of Hermes Expo International and Paul Kotrotsios, Expo founder and president as well as long-time member and supporter of the AHI. This year's trade show seminars focus on trade in the U.S., Greece, Cyprus and Eastern Europe with an emphasis on upcoming opportunities to be tapped surrounding the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. During the past decade, Hermes Expo International has been responsible for convening leading Greek and American businessmen and government officials to promote trade between the U.S. and Greece. The Expo promotes products and services from Greece, Cyprus, Eastern European countries and the Mediterranean, bringing together businesses and representatives from a wide range of industries to the U.S. market. The growing success of the trade show not only provides a forum for these businesses to present their products, but also includes networking opportunities as well as entertainment, special offers and awards. The AHI reception provided one such venue for cooperation and networking.

In his remarks at the Hellenic House reception, Deputy Mayor Dimitriou stressed the importance of the relationship between Thessaloniki and Greece with the U.S. and the Greek American community. He stated, "Because the U.S. is a critical actor which balances the forces in the Balkans, and because you [Greek Americans] live here in the U.S., we look to you for representation and assistance." Furthermore, the Deputy Mayor asserted that Thessaloniki can play a key role in the Balkans as it is a force of democratic and economic stability. To underscore the importance of the work being conducted by AHI, Deputy Mayor Dimitriou pledged the support of the Mayoral Office of Thessaloniki for the organization.

During the event, Mr. Larigakis also recognized several distinguished guests present for the reception who are instrumental and active in promoting the relationship between the U.S. and Greece. These guests included: the Hon. Alexander Philon, Greece's Ambassador to the U.S.; Ambassador Thomas G. Weston, Special Coordinator for Cyprus at the U.S. Department of State; Eugene T. Rossides, founder of AHI; Ambassador Patrick Theros; Ioannis Plotas, Counselor at the Greek Embassy; Alec Mally, Greek Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of State; James Marketos, AHI Chairman; Nick Karambelas, AHI Legal Counsel and Advisory Committee member; Nicholas Gage, renowned writer; Aki Bayz, Legal Counsel of HANC; and Hermes Expo Founder Paul Kotrotsios.

Washington was the second stop in a five-city visit to the U.S. by the delegation. The group arrived in Washington after its first stop in Chicago to attend the kickoff of Hermes Expo at Chicago's Navy Pier on April 28-29, 2001. Additional cities to be visited by the delegation include Philadelphia and Atlantic City, with a final stop in New York to attend Hermes Expo at the Javits Center on May 5-6, 2001 before returning to Greece.

For additional information regarding the event or the AHI, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or email: [email protected] Information regarding AHI is also available on the AHI Web site at www.ahiworld.org.