Speech by President Donald Tusk at the Athens Democracy Forum 2019

www.consilium.europa.eu | 10/9/2019 | Staff
trainman (Posted by) Level 3
There are three reasons why I am grateful for the invitation to Athens. I will begin with the most banal one, which is very obvious and personal at the same time. The history of Greece has always been my passion. Before I was ten I read Homer's Iliad in Polish. No sooner had I finished, than I started reading it again, and so it went for several months. Almost learnt it by heart. 'Sing, o goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans'. Homer had given my life a meaning, because children also look for a meaning and a purpose in life. I decided to become an archaeologist, to discover the ruins of Troy, and read everything there was to read in Polish about ancient Greece: mythology, Plutarch, essays on Athenian architecture and the Peloponnesian War, philosophers and Herodotus. Imagine my despair when I read the biography of the famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. It turned out that Troy had been discovered long ago, and so I lost my sense of purpose for quite some time.

So the only thing I could do was to pursue a more modest dream: to become a historian and, sometime in the future, to see the Acropolis with my own eyes. The first dream came true after ten years, the second – after forty years. When, as a fully grown man, I first arrived in Athens, having climbed the Acropolis and put my arms around one of the columns of the Erechtheion, I was moved to tears just like when I first read about the deadly arrow of Paris hitting the heel of Achilles.

History - Bit - Tragedy - Philosophy - Word

Immersed in Greek history, and a bit later also in Greek tragedy and philosophy, I had to, sooner or later, come across that cursed word: politics....
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Why do democrats never have to face the reality of what's on the ground, like 2000 years of marriage.
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