The Panorama Hall of the WESTIN Hotel was the setting for the official opening ceremony of Christmas in Europe on December 2nd at 17.00. The ceremony was attended by a number of VIPs and all the delegations, many of whom were wearing their regional costumes, together with a number of teachers and students from the Zagreb Hotel School.
Welcoming the delegations, Marija Razan-Krisanac, the School Director, said how happy she was to have had the chance to organise this Christmas in Europe event, and took the opportunity to greet the assembled participants and to express her thanks for the various subsidies which she had obtained, including the support of the EU’s ’Youth in Action’ agency. She also thanked the VIPs for honouring us with their presence: Mr Klaus Enengl, AEHT President, Mr Yvan Sutalo from the Agency for Education, Ms Vera Sutalo, Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, as well as Mr Ivica Lovric from the Municipal Office for Education, Culture and Sport. Not forgetting the presence of the AEHT’s dynamic General Secretary Nadine Schintgen.
Klaus Enengl spoke of his great pleasure to be in Zagreb, thanks to the determination of Marija Razan-Krisanac who had taken up the challenge despite the short time-scale. He also emphasised the considerable financial aid provided by the EU’s ‘Youth in Action’ programme. He asked those present to observe a minute’s silence in memory of two stalwarts of Christmas in Europe who had died in 2011 – namely Otto Kimmelmann, a teacher at the Semmering School in Austria, and Danuta Przybylak, a teacher a the Poznan School in Poland. Having thus declared the 20th Christmas in Europe officially open, the AEHT President invited the guests to deliver their official speeches.
The three VIPs took it in turn to emphasise the vital role played by Hotel Schools in Croatia, and the vital role of youth training in these domains which were so important for the country.
Then came the tour of the exhibition stands led by Marija Razan-Krisanac and Klaus Enengl, with tastings of all kinds of specialities and conversations with the students staffing the stands. It was a much appreciated moment of shared conviviality.