Brussels, 13 November 2013
Androulla Vassiliou thanks public for 'fantastic support' at Cyprus Unplugged event
European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has thanked the public for their "fantastic support'" at the Cyprus Unplugged benefit concert which took place at the Palais des Beaux Arts (Bozar) in Brussels on 9 November. Almost 1 000 people attended the event, which featured Cypriot music legend Anna Vissi with Constantinos Christoforou and Despina Olympiou. Organised under the patronage of Commissioner Vassiliou, the concert raised around €12 000 for charities on the island supporting disadvantaged children and families.
"I felt immensely proud and moved to be part of this unforgettable event. I am very grateful for the fantastic support we received from the public – and from the artists of course. As well as being treated to some wonderful performances, I think everyone present felt a real sense of unity and solidarity with the people of Cyprus and Greece who have suffered during the crisis. The message from everyone present was clear: we are with you," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
The Commissioner opened the event with Kornelios Korneliou, Cyprus Ambassador to the European Union. Other VIPs present included Cyprus MEPs Takis Hatzigeorgiou and Eleni Theoharous, His Eminence Bishop Porphyrios of Neapolis, Director of the Office of the Church of Cyprus to the European Institutions, and Jimmy Jamar, head of the European Commission's Representation in Belgium.
Mr Jamar commented afterwards: "The success of the evening proved how important initiatives like this can be when it comes to changing people’s attitudes and fighting stereotypes. I believe that Bozar has rarely seen such a buoyant atmosphere!"
Limassol-born Despina Olympiou, who represented Cyprus in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, opened the concert with a four-piece group. She was later joined for several duets by Constantinos Christoforou, who also performed a lively, crowd-pleasing solo set.
There was no mistake on the main star of the evening, as Anna Vissi took the stage to roars of approval from the audience, who accompanied her every note in noisy unison. "It may have said unplugged on the posters, but the atmosphere was electric," said one audience member after the concert.
Commissioner Vassiliou and Ambassador Korneliou joined Anna Vissi on stage at what should have been the close of the show due to the Bozar's time constraints. But, with the crowd demanding more, Vissi continued for nearly another hour – at one point leaving the stage to perform among the audience.
As well as the ticket proceeds, many individual donations were collected during the event, including a generous €3 000 contribution from Yiannis Christodoulou, an ex-pat living in Monaco.
The following charities will benefit from the concert:
Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU