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Onassis Award to Theodorakis II

The Greek President congratulates Theodorakis
President delivers Alexander Onassis Foundation awards

President Kostis Stephanopoulos delivered the international Alexander S. Onassis Foundation's awards for 1999 to former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis and professor John W. Doran at a ceremony held at the Athens concert Hall on Tuesday evening. D'Estaing was given the award for international understanding and social contribution, Theodorakis for his contribution to culture and professor Doran, a soil scientist at the US Agriculture Ministry's Agricultural Research Service, for his contribution to the environment.

Accepting the honor, D'Estaing said he felt pleased over the award for his "vision", namely "the establishment of international understanding and the achievement of social and political development." Referring to Greece, he said it found its position in the new European Union structure, adding that Greece deserved this position since "its participation promoted the quintessence of our culture." D'Estaing stressed the need for honors to be given to the quality of Greek thinking "because the way with which we meditate comes directly from the Greek thinkers and philosophers", while the entire structure of the western cultural system is enriched by Greek thinking which is based on Plato and Aristotle.

Theodorakis said freedom and democracy on the one hand and fascism on the other contrast the civilized with the uncivilized. He said that totalitarian regimes led to World War II, with the dominant factor being the conflict between totalitarianism and freedom and between dictatorship and democracy. Theodorakis went on to say that the axis accompanying and leading man to a bright future is the axis of art, culture and civilization and for this reason policies should be developed to support it.

Doran was given his award for his prolonged and incessant scientific research and the practical applications he devised in his effort to achieve protection of the soil and the handling of soil in a way, which is appropriate, rational and friendly for the environment. He referred to the need for natural resources to be salvaged for future generations and announced that the award will be provided for the creation of a social foundation to give grants to students and professional scientific researchers in sectors dealing with issues such as worldwide starvation, social justice, environmental conscience and sustainable development.

The ceremony was attended, among others, by Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, Coalition of the Left and Progress party leader Nikos Constantopoulos, ND Honorary President Constantine Mitsotakis and his wife, Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Labor and Social Insurances Minister Tassos Yiannitsis, Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, Parliamentary deputies and personalities from the world of art.

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-11-08 [01]

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