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Greece and Athina Onassis do not have future together

09 May 2013 / 21:05:26  GRReporter
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She has inherited this and the lack of sentimentality when it comes to money from her grandfather. With the sale of Skorpios, where the graves of her mother, her grandfather and other family members are, Athina has demonstrated that she is only interested in money not in the relationship with her deceased relatives, the island, the country. I attended her last visit to the island in 1998. We were together with her father, Thierry Roussel, and we went there for the commemoration of her mother Christina. She was small then and wept all night while her father was telling her things about her mother. This was her last outburst of emotions that I saw.

Actually, you describe this in your book "Athina Onassis. In the eye of the storm"

Yes, I had predicted how she would develop. The journalists were calling her "a frightened girl who is always after her father," because she did not want to be photographed and was hiding from them in general.

You should know that she is not scared at all. When we were on the island of Skorpios, I talked with Thierry Roussel and let a photo reporter come and take photographs of this historic ceremony with Athina at the commemoration of her mother. I had warned her to stay at a distance of 20 metres from the church, in which Athina and her father were. The photo reporter did not listen to me and approached the church. She stood by the door and started taking photographs of Athina, who was at Christina’s grave. Athina was irritated by the clicking, reacted sharply, became angry at her father and stopped talking to him. He even asked me to try to help in order for her to start talking to him again. I went to see her and told her that I had invited the photo reporter and that it was not her father's fault. She smiled at me, she was not angry at me, but it was impossible for me to convince her to change her attitude towards her father. I realized then how difficult the temper of this girl was. This became apparent when she was 18 years old. A week before she turned eighteen, she left her home, school and everything to follow her beloved Doda.


Athina with the second wife of her father and their children

Has Athina established any connections with Greece in recent years?

No, she has not, although she worked hard to establish them. The first negative development was the particularly high penalty the Greek court had imposed on her father as regards a virtually “in-house” dispute with the Onassis Foundation. He was sentenced to five years in prison for defamation, Athina was crying, it was a very unpleasant story. Then, the punishment was reduced to three years and Thierry Roussel had the right to redeem them. The point is that this whole story has deeply affected Athina.

Athina with her mother Christina Onassis and father Thierry Roussel

Later, she made a very significant attempt. She filed an application at the municipality of Athens and took the family name of Onassis. Then, I think it was in 2005, she decided to organize an international equestrian competition in the base in Markopoulo. She invited lots of people, the event was successful. Immediately after that, her husband expressed his desire to compete for the Greek national team. We're talking about a man who had already participated in the Olympics. Doda had left Brazil to compete for Greece but it refused to give him even a Greek athlete status. Really, the decision of the Greek authorities cannot be explained in a logical way.

Athina had invested money to organize a big sporting event, she had changed her last name and the local authorities did not accept her husband even as a member of the national team in order for him to participate in the Olympic Games in Beijing. All this had hurt her and she was absolutely right to feel this way.

Then, she began organizing this event in Brazil. In Greece, it was called the Christina Onassis Horse Show and in Brazil - the Athina Onassis Horse Show. This is one of the three most important sporting events in the Latin American country.

The international version of this race is organized by Athina and Doda again and it is called Global Champions Tour. Today, it is the most important event for equestrian sports after the Olympic Games and it takes place in a different location every month: Dubai, Singapore, London. So, Athina has left Greece behind. It was just a matter of time for her to decide not to return.

Has Athina Onassis acquired Greek citizenship?

Yes, she has; her mother Christina registered her in the municipality of Athens under the name Athena Helene Roussel immediately after her birth. She still has her Greek citizenship. It is worth noting here that she is competing for Greece today. This means something and I think that this is the only thing she has left from Greece. Athina shows respect for the country that did not show the best possible attitude towards her.

At present, the only ones who keep the memory of Aristotle Onassis alive are the people from the Alexandros Onassis Foundation. How would you evaluate their work?

Tags: PersonsAthina OnassisSkorpiosAlexis MantheakisHorse racesThierry RousselChristina OnassisDoda
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