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Wed, Oct 18, 2017
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Greek Blogyssey – Foreign Office Blogs

A unique insight into UK foreign policy
  1. Conflict, Poetry and Remembrance
    Conflict within and between societies is, it seems, a regrettable, tragic constant in human existence. During the twentieth century, conflict reached a previously unimaginable scale. Through two worlds, and many other murderous animosities, the idea of human civilisation flickered and paled. In the First World War, the total military war dead alone reached some nine […]
  2. 400 years since the death of Shakespeare
    It was one of those arguments you get yourself into as an undergraduate. “Imagine you wake up one morning and almost all literary culture has been destroyed; if one play alone remained, what would you want it to be?” Although I was studying classics, my answer was clear: “I would be praying for the survival […]
  3. Magna Carta tour at the British schools
    Throughout 2015, British embassies across the world celebrated the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede. This is the foundation document of the rule of law in England – including the important principle that the Crown itself is subject to the law. In our Embassy at Athens, we made the Magna […]
  4. Gennadius, the Koraes Chair and the state of Modern Greek in Britain
    Last week, I had the pleasure of giving the annual lecture in memory of John Gennadius to the Association of Friends of the Gennadius Library. Gennadius was the representative of Greece to the United Kingdom for over forty years (1875-1918), a tireless advocate of Greek interests, a friend of Britain, an intellectual, man of letters, […]
  5. In Praise of the Benaki Museum
    Queen Sophia Avenue leads from Constitution Square to Kostas Varotsos’ glass-sculpted “Runner” at the Hilton. It is a broad street, lined with trees (now being heavily pruned for the winter) and bearing, for much of the day, heavy traffic. The neighbourhood combines something of London’s North and South Kensington. Here are the neo-classical buildings of […]
  6. Tea with the UK Crete Veterans and Friends Society
    Greece is known for the warm welcome it offers its visitors, and its ancient tradition of hospitality or filoxenia. This is the spirit in which the veterans of the Battle of Crete and their families have always been received on Crete, and to the members of the Crete Veterans and Friends Society there is a corner […]
  7. From Mystras to Kardamyli: A hike in honour of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor
    “On the map, the southern part of the Peloponnese looks like a misshapen tooth fresh torn from its gum with three peninsulas jutting southward in jagged and carious roots. The central prong is formed by the Taygetus mountains…” This morning, thanks to the Benaki Museum, I was standing in the study of the great man […]
  8. Guest blog: Four months in Athens
    I’m pleased to invite Hinesh Rajani to write a guest blog about his time in Greece. Hinesh joined the Embassy team in early February, and has spent four months on a temporary posting as First Secretary Political/Economic. His observations are below. After January’s election, a new Government promised a rather different approach to Greece’s challenges. Given […]
  9. International Holocaust Remembrance Day
    It’s my pleasure to welcome as guests to this blog, Robert W. Peck, Ambassador of Canada (the last country chairing IHRA), and Eszter Sandorfi, Ambassador of Hungary (the next chair). They both share their thoughts on what the International Holocaust Remembrance Day means for them personally.  I’m grateful to them for contributing in this way. […]
  10. Looking back at 2014
    Here, the year ended with high drama. In the last few days of December, the car ferry Norman Atlantic blazed on the Adriatic, with tragic loss of life, and the attempt to elect a new President of the Republic failed. If nothing else, 2014 will be remembered because, at its fag end, the country was […]

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