Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens
Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, has been elected World Mayor 2005. In an annual international competition, which honours the world¹s most outstanding mayors. The Mayor of Athens was not only strongly and passionately supported by her own community but also by thousands of voters across Europe, North America and Australia.
Tann vom Hove, Editor of City Mayors, the organisers of the World Mayor competition, said Ms Bakoyannis had built on the successful staging of the 2004 Olympics to transform Athens into one of Europe¹s most dynamic capital cities. “As the first female Mayor of Athens, she has become a heroine of modern Greek politics,” Mr vom Hove added.
As a victim of terrorism, Dora Bakoyannis has made the fight against violence one of her priorities. Asked what advice she would give to other victims of terrorism, she replied: “Fight back! We always have a choice. We could give in to fear or fight back. Having personally suffered from the tragedy of terrorism, I chose the latter, entering politics and parliament and making the anti-terrorism struggle a banner at home and abroad. Fighting is by no means an easy thing to do but it is our only weapon against violence. “She emphasised: ³Resigning to terrorism is literally paving the way for it to grow. I have learnt the hard way that the fight against terror is never-ending. We must always be vigilant.”
The World Mayor title and award is given annually to the mayor who, in the opinion of an international audience, has served his or her community well and made contributions to the well being of cities nationally and internationally.
Between June and the end of October 2005, more than 87,000 people from around the world voted for and commented on their favourite mayors in the internet-based contest. (Origin of voters: North America 31%, Europe 29%, Asia 22%, Central & South America 11%, Africa 4%, RoW 3%).
The top 10 mayors of World Mayor 2005
1 Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, Greece
2 Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga, Canada
3 Alvaro Arzu, Mayor of Guatemala City, Guatemala
4 Oscar Samson Rodriguez, Mayor of San Fernando, Philippines
5 Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco, USA
6 Michael Haeupl, Mayor of Vienna, Austria
7 Christian Ude, Mayor of Munich, Germany
8 Fernando Damata Pimentel, Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
9 Shirley Franklin, Mayor of Atlanta, USA 10 John So, Mayor of Melbourne, Australia
One of the outstanding features of World Mayor 2005 has been the strong performance of women mayors. In addition to the three women mayors in the top ten, Dora Bakoyannis, Hazel McCallion and Shirley Franklin, Bärbel Dieckmann, Mayor of Bonn/Germany and Hilde Zach, Mayor of Innsbruck/Austria enjoyed considerable support.
Dora Bakoyannis will be presented with the 2005 World Mayor Award, which was designed by French artist Manuel Ferrari. Mr vom Hove said: ³We asked Manuel Ferrari to produce a design that shows what an inspirational mayor can achieve if he builds on strong foundations.” Before contemplating the design, Manuel Ferrari learned as much as possible about the front-runners.
³I wanted to know why these mayors could arouse such strong feelings,” he said, adding that all the mayors he studied had two characteristics in common ¬ courage and conviction.