Athens Open 2014

doorBionda Merckens

Athens Open 2014

Going back to where it all began. Athens Open as the most competitive tournament in Greece during summer. Although only 12 of the 100 registered teams in the end were present and took part, it was a great weekend of sun, food and well a bit of debating in between. Under you can find a short report including the motions and break announcement. The tab can be found here.

Friday August 29

There are only few tournament that start their event with only a social. Athens Open is one of them. After having dropped off our stuff in the dorms of the residence, we take back the bus downtown for a nice stroll around Athens. With the sun just setting, the ligth on the Akorpolis is amazing. We are told that we took a road seen by hardly any of the Greece, though some people wearing high heeled shoes might have seen no more than the stones and holes in the road. The evening ends with a nice traditional Greek meal with unlimited wine and live music. Let’s see what the results of those large amounts of alcohol will be tomorrow.

Saturday August 30

Coffee makes everything better, the blazing sun and clear blue sky may as well. Upon registration we all get a name tag and goodie bag. After only a slight delay only three rooms start their journey to eternal honour on the following motions:

R1: THW grant amnesties to the participants of the Ferguson riots.

R2: THBT countries should create semi-autonomoes states within their borders which only women and children can choose to live in or visit.

Then, having been served a delicious lunch, everyone went to the dorms to change into summery clothes. A Greek hour later we’re off to the beach where few try if they remember their swimming lessons while other rather talk -what else if debater- or enjoy the sunset. Those who after the burgers, beers (both in number and kind numerous) and volleybal still survived the bus trip back, dare to run off to another bar. The rest retires and tries to get at least some sleep and power up for the next three rounds tomorrow.

Sunday August 31

Oh joyful relaxing Athens. Registration is no earlies than 10:30 and about an hour later all are awake and recharged by coffee able to start on the rounds.

R3: THBT centre right and centre left parties should agree not to compete or negatively campaign against each other in situations where there is a high risk of Golden Dawn getting a seat in parliament.

And when after lunch the delay is minimalized to 10 minutes, the final two (closed) rounds start.

R4: THBT atheist organizations should publicly support Pope Francis’ attempts to modernize and moderate the Catholic Church.

R5: THBT established black actors should refuse roles shich portay balck people in a stereotypical manner even as a form of satire.

And then it is ouzo time, in the sun and near the theater on the DEREE campus where the finals will take place. The CA’s were very fond of traditions and therefore persuaded the organizing committee to the greatest break announcement in Greek history. After each breaking team was announced and chose their position by finishing a cup of ouzo, plates were broken by the (you already guessed) CAs and organizing committee.


1st – My Big Fat Greek Ceilidh (Scott Ralston and Nick Efstathiou, 12 points): draw CG

2nd – NCH/Non Comparative Hellenics (John Tsopanis and Nick Zervodis, 11 points): draw CO

3rd – The Eastern Bloc (Karolina Partyga and Stratos Baloutsos, 10 points): draw OG

4th – Common People (Manos Moschopoulos and Georgi Velkovski, 9 points): draw OO

The motion for the final reads (not in exact wording): THBT WLD’s should create Leadership Academies whose students would be handpicked by the state and whose graduates would be the only citizens eligible to run for political office.

When the stomachs are filled with cheese and spinach pie, the results are announced. Scott Ralston takes the prize for best speaker and together with Nick Efstathiou takes also the eternal fame that comes with winning the Athens Open 2014.

And then it is time for drinks – just down the street this time – where the discussions again go about things that other people might call heavy stuff. But with beer, there is nothing to complain about.

So a final word of thanks to the organising committee, Eleni and Vassilis, the volunteers that almost always managed to keep all together and get them to the right place and of course the CA team Michael and Christine for the challenging motions.

ευχαριστώ and till next year!

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Bionda Merckens contributor