“It is an honor for us that American Literature is honored this year at the Thessaloniki International Book Fair,” said US Ambassador George Tsounis, who visited the American booth, where he was welcomed by the president of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Nikos A. Koukis, the vice president of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Vassilis Kafatos and the general manager Ilias Spirtounias.
“Books allow the mind to travel around the world. You don’t even have to leave your couch. They open your horizons. It is enlightenment. Education is very important for Greeks; it has been the cornerstone for a better life. The materials of education are books and reading. It is an honor for us to participate in this year’s International Book Fair”, emphasized Mr. Tsounis.
The US Ambassador was guided to the stand of the honored American Literature, where 600 book titles were displayed. The president of the HFC, Mr. Koukis, presented Mr. Tsounis with Tony Spawforth’s book “What the Greeks did for us”, which he described as his favorite as it demonstrates the rich contribution of the Greeks to the world. “Greece has given a lot: mathematics, philosophy, theater. I am very honored to be Greek. My father told me: “You owe your life to your mother but your spiritual life to teachers and books”.
Mr. Tsounis especially thanked Mr. Koukis for the exceptional honor that the HFC reserved for American Literature this year and called the American stand, the responsibility of which was under the supervision of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, “first class”. The work that has been done “is indicative of everything the Chamber does,” he noted, and congratulated everyone who worked to bring the United States and Greece even closer. “I can’t think of a more efficient organization. The work done by the Chamber is very important and is being done extremely well,” he said, pointing out that all this is reflected in the relations between the two countries, which today are better than ever.
Afterwards, Mr. Tsounis toured other stands, expressing his admiration for the wealth of book production hosted at this year’s TIBF, the largest in the institution’s history.