First state visit for the King and Queen since the pandemic: here is where they will go on Monday

Steph Deschamps / April 30, 2022

King Philip and Queen Mathilde will fly to Greece on Monday for a three-day state visit, the first officially held since the coronavirus pandemic began in Belgium in mid-March 2020.
 
The sovereigns will be accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Civil Service, Public Enterprises, Telecommunications and the Post Office, Petra De Sutter, as well as the Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo, the Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, the Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon and the German Minister-President Oliver Paasch, an academic delegation and business leaders.
 
The trip, at the invitation of Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, will take them to Athens and its surroundings, where the delegation will meet the highest authorities of the Hellenic Republic. The royal couple will also participate in academic and economic activities. Finally, they will focus on the integration of refugees and the fight against child poverty.
 
The last Belgian state visit took place in Luxembourg in October 2019. This is now the second official visit of Belgium to Greece, the first being in 2001. Our country hosted a Greek delegation in 1981 and 2005. This visit should strengthen the ties between the two nations.
 
In recent years, Greece has gone through several crises: financial, migration and health, while suffering the consequences of climate change. The country is now seeing growth again and wants to ensure an open economy enhanced by a sustainable digital and energy transition. This transformation represents an opportunity for Belgian companies.

 
Greece and Belgium share several common points, including an independence acquired following the revolutionary currents of the 19th century and an equivalent number of inhabitants. The Flat Country is also rich of a strong Greek community. A few thousand Belgians are in turn established in the Hellenic Republic, which also attracts many Belgian tourists (half a million before the pandemic).

 

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