The last section of the conference “METACIVILIZATION: 50 Years Later”which is co-organized by “Daily”, the Educational Foundation of the National Bank (MIET), the Delphi Economic Forum and the Greek Observatory of the London School of Economics at the National Gallery, was a discussion between the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulouthe Executive Director at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies of Harvard University, Eleni Papoulia and the Journalist of “Kathimerini” MichaliTsintsini.

Mrs. Sakellaropoulou characterized Greece as a State of Law with established democratic institutions. “It would be dangerous to erase the achievements of 50 years” from the fall of the dictatorship until today, he explained, while pointing out that generalizations are always dangerous. “Democracy is a continuous claim”, he said characteristically.

The President of the Republic was also placed on the recent bill concerning the marriage of same-sex couples, in the context of a question put to her by Mr. Tsintsini about the reactions from a part of Greek society, which claims to feel that an elite wants to impose its values. “I have not hidden my sensitivity for rights,” said Mrs. Sakellaropoulou, pointing out that a Republic must ensure the universality of such rights. As he emphasized, no one isolates the dissenters, “if some people are offended because another group enjoys the same rights as them, something is wrong.” Education and contact with abroad through travel, according to the President, will gradually contribute to softening such perceptions.

Ms. Poppies raised the question, whether expanding the conditions for granting citizenship to people who are born in Greece or participate in Greek education, will have a positive sign for Greek society. “Of course, but there is a special provision in the Constitution, I hope it will be resolved with time” answered Mrs. Sakellaropoulou.

Regarding gender equality in Greece, Mrs. Sakellaropoulou recalled the steps that have been taken in our country since 1952, when women gained the right to vote. She herself, while she was in the CoE, did not feel uncomfortable as a woman, however she shares the inequalities and stereotypes that dominate Greek society. “When a man shouts, he is dynamic, when a woman shouts, she is hysterical,” he said indicatively. “Now the judiciary is dominated by women,” he said, noting that the need for a quota to restore the balanced representation of both sexes in the sector has now been highlighted. “Equilibrium always comes slowly.”

To Mr. Tsintsini’s question, if she felt at some point during her tenure that she was “narrowed” by the constitutional margins of her role, Ms. Sakellaropoulou replied that she was not. “I am trained as a judge in self-restraint,” noted the President, giving an answer to those who sometimes expect her to make statements that go beyond her institutional role. “History will judge us all,” said Ms. Sakellaropoulou.

In matters of social policy, Mrs. Sakellaropoulou emphasized that “if you believe in inclusion, you must ensure that there are no invisible citizens”.

At the end of the discussion, Mrs. Papoulia conveyed to the President of the Republic one of the many questions raised by the students attending the conference, regarding the relationship between Greece and Europe. Europe, the President emphasized, may be facing huge problems, “but it is our home”.