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Eurobank supports the "Empress Theophano" European Prize awarded this year to the internationally acknowledged Pianist and Conductor, Mr. Daniel Barenboim. The award ceremony took place in the emblematic Rotunda Monument at Thessaloniki, on Tuesday October 11, 2022, in the presence of Her Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic, Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and distinguished guests from across Europe.

Mr. Daniel Barenboim, a living legend of classical music was honored for his long-standing contribution to the international music scene and his rich action linked to pioneering projects for peace and education. A leading initiative in his career is the creation of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a classical music orchestra that consists of Israelis and Palestinians. This year’s prize focuses on peace and understanding between people and was awarded at a special ceremony, sponsored by Eurobank for a third consecutive year.

Her Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou addressed the event, underlined Mr. Daniel Barenboim’s significant contribution to Culture worldwide and praised his valuable work.

Mr. Stavros Andreadis and Mr. Herman Count Van Rompuy, who chair the Theophano Foundation Governing Council and the Advisory Council respectively, also addressed the Ceremony. Michael Barenboim, Daniel Barenboim’s son, received the prize and spoke on behalf of his father who attended the ceremony remotely.

The ceremony was honored with the presence of leading personalities from across Europe, Greek officials and representatives of the country’s business and cultural communities among them, Mrs. Lina Mendoni, Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr. Stavros Kalafatis, Deputy Minister of Interior in charge of Macedonia – Thrace, Mr. Konstantinos Zervas, Μayor of Thessaloniki. Ms. Rita Süssmuth, former President of the German Parliament, Sir Ivan Rogers, former UK Ambassador to the European Union and Mrs. Maria Luisa Poncela former Secretary of State in Spain honoured the event. The Bank was represented by Mr. Fokion Karavias, Chief Executive Officer, accompanied by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Konstantinos Vassiliou and Mr. Andreas Chasapis, General Manager Commercial Banking at Eurobank. The presentation was coordinated by the journalist, Director of Kathimerini newspaper, Mr. Alexis Papachelas.

Eurobank's CEO, Mr. Fokion Karavias, said: “This year the Empress Theophano Prize honours a prominent ambassador for global peace, an Art visionary who showed how the power of music can unite and encourage the peaceful coexistence among people. As the grave social and financial impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is felt globally, it is imperative to keep our faith in the principles of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. Eurobank supports initiatives that, as the Empress Theophano Prize, aim to promote common good. Working together and pursuing inclusive prosperity are at the heart of our business strategy as well as our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.”.

Following the awarding of the prize to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for the ERASMUS student exchange programme (2020), and the pair of scientists who developed the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Dr Uğur Şahin and Dr Özlem Türeci (2021), this year’s prize to Mr. Daniel Barenboim aims to highlight the role of Art in intercultural dialogue. The eight members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra were present at the Ceremony. Mr. Daniel Barenboim has received the title of Messenger of Peace from the United Nations for the creation of this orchestra, in which both Israelis and Palestinians participate sending a strong message for peace through Art.

Since its establishment and continuing its course into a third year, the Empress Theophano Prize aims to highlight the contribution of organizations and individuals to understanding and strengthening of the European Ideal, to social prosperity and improvement of living standards for all as well as to the role of Art in the intercultural dialogue.