Athens mark the 40-year anniversary since Greece joined the EEC, President Sakellaropoulou: Greece's EU accession anniversary a great day for our country

Today we celebrate a great day for our country, said President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou at the dinner she hosted marking the 40 years since Greece's EU accession, at the Presidential Mansion's gardens on Thursday evening.

"Hellas could not be absent from this historic collective effort for the future of Europe," she said, quoting the late Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis, who was instrumental in the membership process. Sakellaropoulou then pointed out that Greece has changed quite substantially over the last 40 years, and she underlined that the decades following the fall of the country's military dictatorship in 1974 "was the most peaceful and progressive time in modern Greek history, and coincided with the golden age of European unification." She also noted that Greece's economy owes much to European resources.

"Europe is not turning back," she asserted. "Just as its forefathers envisioned and inspired an open society and a free market, its leaders today are called upon to place a similar emphasis on security and protection of its