Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited a Greek school in New York’s Astoria district on Thursday and talked to the students, telling them that they have to be proud of Greece not just for its past but also for its present. In its current handling of the refugee and migrant crisis, Tsipras noted, Greece was showing the humane face of Europe.
Addressing the children, he said that they are the ones to continue an old tradition where every Greek family has one desire, for its children to study and become better than their parents. Tsipras thanked the children and their teachers for the warm welcome and said he was moved to see the young generation maintain their origins.
“I also want to say that it is very touching to see that second, third and fourth generation of Greeks keep Greece deep inside their soul, care for it perhaps even more than us who stay in Greece,” he added.
The prime minister’s speech was briefly interrupted when one of the children in the school choir fainted and had to be given first aid. The young girl came to and got up to extended applause, with the prime minister reassuring her that “these things happen” and wishing her a speedy recovery.