The decision of newly-inaugurated President Katerina Sakellaropoulou to pay her first official visit to the defence ministry is packed with symbolism.

In so doing she expressed her solidarity with the members of the armed forces who have been encharged by the state with the difficult task of guarding the borders under extremely conditions adverse conditions.

Moreover, her visit underlined the fact that she shares the same concerns as all Greek citizens.

The visit also constituted a message to the Turkish leadership which has exploited refugees and has used unseemly language, which undermines the mores of international relations and any sense of diplomacy, in referring to Greece.

The visit signaled the country’s decisiveness and the unity of the Greek nation and its political class.

In her first statement as president Sakellaropoulou spoke of “the difficult but not unsolvable equation” of both guarding the borders and fulfilling one’s humanitarian duty defenceless and desperate people.

This is at once a message to Greece’s European Union partners.

Her words reminded them of the values that Greece has been serving and that Europe must not cease serving.

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