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PM welcomes Greek President to NZ

6 June 2002 Media Statement

PM welcomes Greek President to NZ

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that the President of Greece, Constantinos Stephanopoulos, will arrive in New Zealand on Sunday for a three day visit.

Mr Stephanopoulos is scheduled to arrive in Wellington at 4 pm on Sunday and will be in New Zealand until Tuesday.

His activities include laying a wreath at the National War Memorial and the Hellenic War Memorial, meeting with members of the Greek community in Wellington, and attending a state luncheon in his honour at Parliament Buildings.

“New Zealand and Greece have a special relationship forged during World War Two when New Zealanders fought alongside the Greeks in Greece and Crete," Helen Clark said.

“New Zealand troops also left for Gallipoli from the nearby Greek island of Lemnos.

“The depth of Greek feeling for New Zealand was very evident last year when our delegation went to Athens and then to Crete for the sixtieth anniversary of the Battle of Crete. During that visit I invited the Greek President to come to New Zealand.”

Helen Clark will host the state luncheon at the Beehive for Mr Stephanopoulos before meeting him for talks.

“New Zealand and Greece are currently discussing the establishment of a working holiday scheme to enable young New Zealanders and Greeks to work while holidaying in our respective countries.

“Next year Greece will take its turn as President of the European Union, and New Zealand will have increased contact with the Greek government at the time,” Helen Clark said.


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