Earlier this afternoon, Helena Paparizou returned back to Athens as the winner of the 50th Eurovision Song Contest. As expected, many people had gathered at Eleutherios Venizelos International Airport to greed the Greek delegation. They later headed for the official �Welcome Back� party, scheduled to take place at the courtyard of ERT�s central building.
Helena was first greeted by no other than the National Fire Brigade. It wasn�t due to a technical difficulty with the landing. The Brigade had their own way of greeting the singer; by creating a water-jet archway for her airplane, suggestively bearing the number 001, to pass through after it had landed.
The Greek delegation was officially greeted by Minister Theodoros Roussopoulos at the airport�s VIP A30-32 room. �You had belief in your effort and you carried it out with decency and professionalism. You proved that when someone really wants to achieve something, they succeed,� were Mr. Roussopoulos words to an evidently sentimental Helena. 'We still have not realised Greece is at No.1. Especially in music, which has the power to make all the people come together� I�m so touched,� was the singer�s reply.
Later on, the winning team had to leave for ERT�s especially organised party. The crowd�s reception was once more overwhelming. People were standing at each side of the road throwing rose petals along the route of the Greek delegation�s bus. Helena was met with deafening applause when she finally reached the Greek broadcaster�s central building. After disappearing for a few minutes, she emerged on stage dressed in the Greek flag and holding the treasured trophy. Needless to say how the crowd went mad upon hearing the first notes of the winning song My Number One.
Many members of the Greek government honoured Helena with their presence. Mr. Giorgos Chouliaras, ERT�s special advisor, said: �We did it! Now we should concentrate on how to (pleasantly) surpise next year�'
The Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Konstantinos Karamanlis, will also honour the Greek delegation with a special reception tomorrow.