- Sunday, 23rd November 2008 17.55 From Aegina Portal (translated)
An international conference whose style and content provide a glimpse of the importance of the island and its history was held in Aegina, with proceedings opening yesterday Saturday at the Hotel Danae. The international conference took place in the context of the celebration of the 180th anniversary of the swearing-in of Ioannis Capodistrias and forms part of the commemorative celebrations programmed for this year by the Municipality of Aegina. The promotion of the Capodistrias – Spinelli activities in relation to the European integration project began to be promoted approximately two years ago by Mr. Wayne Hall, both from within an informal group around the subject in question, and through the exchange of relevant correspondence and personal contacts with the Municipality of Aegina and other groups on the island with the potential for involvement.
Yesterday’s conference emerged from an initiative by Messrs. Alexis Krauss and Wayne Hall, implemented by the Association of Active Citizens under the auspices of the Municipality of Aegina. The potential of this international conference was obvious from the moment it was announced, i.e. that it could significantly strengthen promotion of the content of Ioannis Capodistrias’ politics, which – as became evident – two centuries ago foreshadowed Europe’s present aspirations. The outlines of the international conference in Aegina were defined by important personages from the European diplomatic and political firmament, such as the ambassadors of Switzerland, France, Russia, Slovenia, Italy, the deputy director of the European Parliament’s office in Greece Mr. G. Kokkalas and others. Unfortunately because of the weather, which necessitated a ban on shipping movements, these guests were unable to participate in the conference.
The international “Capodistrias-Spinelli-Europe” conference got under way a little after 9.30 on Saturday morning, unfortunately with a serious disadvantage, obliging the organizers to proceed to partial revision of the programme. Nevertheless, it subsequently turned out that the conference proceeded normally, focusing on its thematic central idea.
The conference proceedings opened with a welcoming speech from the Mayor of Aegina, Mr. Panagiotis Koukoulis, from Mr. Andreas Siopachas, deputy mayor of occupied Famagusta, from Mr. Pericles Pangratis, president of the Municipal Council of Corfu, from Father Emmanuel Giannoulis, presbyter of Aegina’s historic Cathedral, from Mr. Georgios Athanassiou, representative of the Municipality of Poros and Messrs. Stratos Pantavos and Wayne Hall of the Aegina Association of Active Citizens.
During the conference the following videos were screened: “Capodistsrias-Spinelli-Europe”, production of the Aegina Association of Active Citizens, “Altiero Spinelli”, production of the European Parliament, “Jean-Gabriel Eynard” production of Mme. Michelle Bouvier Brown and “Aegina” of Sofia Sfyroera.
The discussions were co-ordinated by Mr.Panagiotis Koukoulis, Mayor of Aegina, and the university professor Costas Gavroglou, president of Aegina’s Cultural Centre. A distinctive style was imparted to the conference proceedings by the contributions of young people such as the president of the local youth council Costas Vogiatzis, the representative of the Aegina Women’s Association Eleni Skrekou and the President of the Souvala Professional Association Petros Petritis.