07-09/02/2022 Official visit of the President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović to the Republic of Greece

At the end of the two-day official visit of the President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović to the Republic of Greece, the Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Thessaloniki Vassili G. Apostolopoulos prepared a lunch as part of the President’s visit.

Address by the Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Thessaloniki Vasilis Apostolopoulos to the President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović:

It is my pleasure and honor to welcome you to visit Greece. I am especially pleased to be involved in the President’s first official visit to Greece, but I am also particularly pleased that the first time we met was in Montenegro in 1996. I was a boy then and it was my first visit to Montenegro. I was accompanied by my father, who is a famous businessman, and then we traveled to Montenegro to identify some business opportunities. The reception and welcome we had then was wonderful and I was completely impressed with Montenegro as a country, so it was love at first sight. When I realized that you needed an honorary consul for Greece, I offered myself as a candidate. I am very proud to be the Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Thessaloniki, and I am very interested in working hard with Ambassador Vukadinovic to strengthen ties between Greece and Montenegro, especially business interests because I am also the President of the Greek Association of Entrepreneurs, but also in every way I will have the opportunity to support Montenegro’s European perspectives.

I would like to convey to Your Excellency that I am committed and available for any issues and any interests that I would promote to the Greek Government.

When I met you I was impressed with two things; Your age and height, because it was so unique to see someone so young at the head of the government, and then it became a trend that several countries started to follow. So you set that trend. It is also equally important, since I have already mentioned your height, to use the metaphor that you managed to stay high through all the difficulties that Montenegro has gone through these years. So you are very committed to your country and that is why I admire you.

Address by the President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović to the Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Thessaloniki Vassili Apostolopoulos:

First of all, thank you for these words of welcome. I remember very fondly when we established the first communication and I am glad that our relations are still friendly and will be so in the future.

In the meantime, you became the honorary consul of Montenegro and that made me very happy. I am sure that with all your capacities, and they are not small, you will help the good promotion of Montenegro in this country and wherever you are in that capacity on behalf of Montenegro. I know a lot about your family and your company. In addition to our meeting in Montenegro, I had the pleasure to see part of your work on one occasion, which is something that impressed me and at the same time intrigued how we can transfer part of your positive experience to Montenegro. I know that it was also in the interest of your father, who was the head of the company at the time. Due to various circumstances, this did not happen, but as you can see it is never too late for good initiatives and fortunately in the meantime we have, as I said, preserved and I believe further strengthened mutual trust and friendship so I am sure that in all three of your qualities use your good emotions towards Montenegro, both as the Honorary Consul of Montenegro, and as the man who is now responsible for the company and as the President of the Entrepreneur of Greece.

I think that with this visit yesterday and today, we really only confirmed one strong friendship between our two countries. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and I said that it was time for one of his visits to Montenegro and that it could be a visit accompanied by Greek entrepreneurs who would express a desire to get acquainted with the investment potential of Montenegro. I am sure that this will happen in the foreseeable future, I know that you know the investment potential of Montenegro. I also know that you know that many Greeks already work in Montenegro, but Montenegro is really a very dynamic and potent economy and I am sure that there are still many chances for the development of good business. Experience teaches us that business is more successful than ever in partnership, in this case in partnership with EU countries of which we want to be an integral part. When we add Montenegrin-Greek friendship to that, then it is completely clear that the door is open for investors and businessmen from Greece.

I will look forward to every opportunity when you visit Montenegro to continue our dialogue.

This is a small gift, it is the coat of arms of the Crnojevic dynasty, one of the dynasties that have ruled Montenegro throughout history.