The insignia of Knight of the Legion of Honor was conferred upon the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris by the ambassador of France in Greece, Christophe Chantepy, in the name of the President of the French Republic.
The event took place at the French Institute of Thessaloniki tonight in the presence of the Consul General of France in Thessaloniki, Philippe Ray, as well as other foreign dignitaries.
“Allow me to express my admiration for what you are and what you do. And let me tell you that most share in my admiration,” said Christophe Chantepy, decorating the mayor with the insignia of Knight of the Legion of Honor.
The ambassador of France spoke of the Mayor’s public life and accomplishments as well as his personal attributes, focusing mostly on his professional initiatives, as well as on his contributions in viticulture, which brought him into contact even more with France’s civilization and culture.
The Ambassador added that the creation of the first incubator for the startup of innovative enterprises (OK! THESS), as well as the support of Thessaloniki’s candidacy for European Youth Capital 2014, showed the extent of Mr. Boutaris’s interest in and commitment to the new generation, noting that the French Embassy shares the same conviction that “youth who innovate deserve our full attention, and our future is built on it.”
“The city of Thessaloniki has historical ties with France,” said Yiannis Boutari during the ceremony, thanking the Ambassador for the honor to his person, and mentioning the many French institutions, places and names in the city that serve as reminders of their enduring bonds. He also referred to the enormous influence of French education and culture on his city, as well as the “almost family ties” that link it wth France, but also the historical relations between Thessaloniki and France.
Among other things, Boutaris spoke of the migration during the first two decades of the 20th century, the Jewish community in Thessaloniki, as well as the agreement signed this year with institutions and organizations, among them the French “Memorial de la Shoah,” for providing its expertise in the creation of the Thessaloniki Holocaust Museum. “In this ceremony, today, we are able to consolidate this historical relationship and to confirm the mutual respect that has bound us for many years,” said Yiannis Boutaris.