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Overview of PM Modi Visit to Greece: Modi Honoured with Grecee’s Grand Cross of the Order of Honour

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PM Modi arrives in Greece (August 25, 2023)Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi embarked on a one-day visit to Greece on 25th August 2023 at the invitation of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister (PM) of Greece.PM Modi’s visit to Greece marks the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Greece in 40 years.

Note: Indira Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to visit Greece. She travelled to Greece in September 1983.


i.Modi arrived at Athens, the Capital of Greece, on 25th August 2023 and he was received by Greek foreign minister George Gerapetritis.

ii.He paid tributes at the ‘Tomb of Unknown Soldier’, a war memorial dedicated to the Greek soldiers killed during various wars, in Athens, Greece.

iii.PM Modi and Katerina Sakellaroupoulou, President of Greece discussed various issues including ways to strengthen the India-Greece friendship and to increase sustainable development.

The Grand Cross of the Order of Honour:

Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of Greece honoured PM Narendra Modi with The Grand Cross of the Order of Honour. He became the first Indian PM to receive the honours.

  • He is also the 1st foreign head of government to be awarded the honour since 2017.
  • The Order of Honour, established in 1975, is the second-highest civilian honour in Greece.
  • The citation of the honour says “In the person of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an honour is bestowed upon the friendly people of India.”

About the Grand Cross of the Order of Honour:

i.The front side of the Star features the head of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft, with the inscription “ONLY THERIGHTEOUS SHOULD BE HONOURED”.

ii.The Grand Cross of the Order of Honour is conferred by the President of Greece to PMs and eminent personalities who by reason of their distinguished position, have contributed to enhancing the stature of Greece.

Target to Double Bilateral Trade between India and Greece by 2030:

During his visit to Greece, PM Modi highlighted India and Greece’s plan to double the bilateral trade between India and Greece by 2030 and announced an agreement in the field of agricultural production.

  • The bilateral trade stood at nearly USD 2 billion in 2022-23.

Points to be noted:

i.India’s top exports to Greece include aluminium, organic chemicals, fish and crustaceans and iron and steel while major exports of Greece to India include minerals fuels, mineral oils and products, sulphur and aluminium foil.

ii.Both India and Greece have also signed a migration and mobility agreement to improve the flow of people and talent between the two countries.

India & Greece Bilateral ties to “Strategic Partnership: 

India and Greece have decided to strengthen their bilateral relations into a strategic partnership for the benefit of the people of India and Greece.

  • PM Modi met with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, PM of Greece and discussed various dimensions of the bilateral partnership, including trade and investment, defence and security, technology, infrastructure, digital payments, shipping, pharma, agriculture, migration and mobility, tourism, skill development, culture, education and people to people ties.
  • Both Prime Ministers highlighted the significance of broadening and strengthening bilateral relations in key sectors like cyberspace and agriculture.
  • They acknowledged the signing of an MOU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture, which involves the creation of a Hellenic-Indian Joint Sub-committee on Agriculture. This sub-committee aims to facilitate sectoral collaboration for the mutual benefit of both parties.

PM Modi’s special gifts for Greek leaders:

i.PM Modi presented the offered Meghalaya shawls and Dokra art, crafted by artisans from Chattisgarh, to Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

  • Meghalaya shawls were initially woven for the Khasi and Jaintia royalty, who considered them a symbol of their power and status.
  • Dhokra is one of India’s prehistoric art forms. The dancing girl found in Mohenjo-Daro and Harappan excavations was one of the earliest expressions of the artefact.

ii.PM Modi presented the Bidri surahi (Bidri work Vase) Pair to the President of Greece, Katerina N Sakellaropoulou.

  • Bidri vase is an Indian innovation of a 500-year-old Persian exclusive to Karnataka’s Bidar.
  • It is cast with an alloy of Zink, Copper and other non-ferrous metals.

About Greece:
Prime Minister– Kyriakos Mitsotakis
President– Katerina N. Sakellaropoulou.
Capital– Athens
Currency– Euro