Mayor D. Mourtzis: What’s his name?
Wayne Hall: Juergen Link. He is a professor of literature.
Paschalis Melissaris: He took the initiative along with other university people to compose a text against the misrepresentation of Greeks in relation to what they have already….
W.H.: Essentially it is a protest against the stance of the mass media in Germany and how they reproduce enemy images
Mayor: So in the person of Mr. Link we have someone who is a friend and an ally who is interested in our history…
W.H.: He is a Philhellene and he started this movement before the elections…
P.M.: It isn’t starting now…
W.H.: Before the present government came in…. But there is a whole sequence of events after the appeal. An open letter to Mrs. Merkel and other messages to his supporters. For there are around 1,500-1,600 Germans and others supporting the initiative. But it is something that deserves an answer, a response, from Greece.
Mayor: Should we invite them to a meeting?
W.H.: As you can see…. This letter was written with support from three associations: the Aegina Association of Active Citizens, the Ioannis Capodistrias Cultural Association, the Aegina Women’s Association. Mr. Melissaris corrected the text.
Mayor: So to get to the point “a conference to highlight the lack of impartiality of the mainstream German mass media, holding a conference on our island of Aegina, which was the first capital of the modern Greek state under Ioannis Capodistrias, the great pan-European diplomat and statesman”. Yes.
W.H.: The point is also that the problem is not only the mass media of Germany. There is a more general problem. But we want to make some kind of move towards solving at least some of these problems.
P.M. : And Greeks should also respond to this letter and support it as much as they can. With the help of the polity, if that is possible.
W.H.: Mr. Mayor, the international social movements that support Greece are coming together in these days in Athens. The exact programme that they will follow depends on the progress of the so-called negotiations that are being held at this moment. We believe that the stance of citizens should not be dependent on moves at the governmental level. Even in the event that Greece is obliged to leave the euro, the goal should remain the same: Citizens’ Europe. It should remain unchanged. What is your view on that?
Mayor: I would like to thank you congratulate you for the initiative you have taken with collecting citizens’ signatures.
W.H.: Are you willing to add your signature?
Mayor: Very willingly. I have no objection. You can add my name. In any case a submission by the mayor is something more than a signature. And it can go to the council for approval by the council. My submission is that yes I agree with moves of this kind, which contribute greatly to what we believe, to what we call democracy, to what we call values, to what we describe as human, because all that together is itself democracy.
We are a united community. We are a community of Europe. And we have expected and still expect, whether we are in the euro or not, an understanding of the citizens and not condemnation to isolation of a historical community, such as Greece is, with a great culture, with a great history, with great natural beauty, with fine people, begging for something that is implicit in democracy.
So I congratulate you on this initiative, and I seek a response from the community, not the politicians. It is up to the community to respond: the community of nations in which we are all participants. That is my declaration and my statement.
W.H.: So we are in agreement.
Mayor: I would like to say, because I forgot to mention the professor who took the initiative, Mr. Link, I truly congratulate him, and I would like to make his acquaintance. He is an innovator. I agree completely with this initiative he has taken and his references to Greece which we all love because we are Greeks. I consider him a friend and I would us to get to know each other, at the level of the municipality and at the personal level, because I believe that contributions of this kind should be mentioned and recorded for history.
P.M.: Here at least in Aegina you are the first to activate people, but there is an Australian who lives here permanently and struggles for Greek interests and that is very important.
P.M.: Rather than some local Greek patriot, the Australian comes, and moves things forward.
W.H.: Do you know what Australia’s national day is? What the date is? 26th January.
Mayor: The same day. So we’ll have to celebrate it together. One year in Australia and one year in Aegina.