Dear Fellows, dear guests and dear friends,
It is a distinct privilege and honor for me to be invited to serve as President of the ICD-European Section for the year 2018-2019 and to have the pleasure to host the 64th Annual Meeting of the European Section in my hometown, Thessaloniki Greece.


Thessaloniki, which is also called the “nymph of Thermaic Gulf”, is the second largest city and port in Greece with about one million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, located in central Northern Greece at the northwestern corner of the Aegean Sea and in the vicinity of the beautiful resort area Chalkidiki. Thessaloniki is also Greece’s second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre; it is a major transportation
hub for Greece and southeastern Europe, notably through its port.


Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander (Kassandros) and was named after his wife, a half-sister of Alexander the Great, Thessalonike. The city is counting nowadays 2333 years of history. It was an important metropolis during the Roman Empire period and the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, and passed from the Ottoman Empire to Greece on November 8, 1912.


The city is renowned for its festivals, events, good food and vibrant cultural life in general and is considered to be Greece’s cultural capital. International events such as the “Thessaloniki International Trade Fair” and the “Thessaloniki International Film Festival” are held annually. Thessaloniki is also home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures. The city’s main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans, where more than 70,000 students are studying in its 11 faculties and 40 schools.


Hoping that I will be worthy of your trust, I am delighted to invite all of you to come in Thessaloniki and spend several days here during the Meeting of the European Section of the ICD and besides it, have the opportunity to stroll on the waterfront of the Thermaic Gulf, visit the monuments, look at the spectacular sunsets and stare at mount Olympus, the mountain-home of the ancient gods, just across the sea.


Argirios Pissiotis
President ICD-European Section