The speech of the 44th US president on Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center was discounted as historical. And it was. A hymn to the Democracy, an indirect response to what is evolving in his country and the world after the election of Trump.
People say that the 44th US president had given great emphasis to his speech, as he wanted to deliver it at the Pnyx with the Acropolis as background, but for safety reasons he did it in the secure environment of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. He had written, had erased and rewritten his speech many times by himself without any help from his logographers, some said. And he proved it.
On Wednesday, November 16th we witnessed a historic speech. Identical to those of the great leaders of the previous century.
He began his speech by borrowing a verse from the "Axion Esti" poem of Odysseus Elytis: "This small, great world." Thereby he wished to express the gratitude of the Western world in the birthplace of the ideals of the Democracy.
"As many of you know, this is my final trip overseas as President of the United States, and I was determined, on my last trip, to come to Greece -- partly because I’ve heard about the legendary hospitality of the Greek people -- your philoxenia. Partly because I had to see the Acropolis and the Parthenon. But also because I came here with gratitude for all that Greece has given to humanity through the ages."
President Obama didn't confuse his words, and he was very accurate. At the end of his eight-year tenure, he chose the birthplace of democracy to give his last speech of his political career. Obama talked about his beliefs that compose him as a politician; he spoke of the legacy he tried to leave and for the world as he imagines it. He talked about the municipality, talked about the state, concepts such as how citizens became communities and how they lost and still lose their true meaning. Obama taught us democracy, not because he likes it as a word, but because he truly believes in it.
"Long live Greece!" ("Zito i Hellas!") With these three words -in Greek! - he concluded his speech on Wednesday afternoon at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. There were more Greek words in the speech of the 44th US president. He completed his visit to Athens after a little while when he departed with the Air Force One for his visit to Berlin.σ