The Council of Greeks abroad and the Greek-American vote once again on the discussion table
By Dimitri G. Soultogiannis
Special to the Hellenic News of America
New York, NY
The Greek government’s policy on Greeks Abroad was one of the main issues discussed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Konstantinos Tsiaras during his visit in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York. In the last three Mr. Tsiaras accompanied the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Dimitri Avramopoulos.
During a Press Conference at the Greek consulate in New York, Mr. Tsiaras expressed how important it is to build a bridge of constant communication between Greek Abroad and Greece as well as rebuild the relationship between the Greek state and the various Greek-American organizations.
The Deputy Foreign Minister who is also in charge of issues related to Greek Abroad emphasized on the importance of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) and said that a chapter is now closed. According to Tsiaras SAE has many advantages as well as disadvantages. “We can utilize our experience and build a new council for Greeks Abroad, which will be more creative, more powerful and would concentrate on the real potential of Greeks abroad,” he said.
The Deputy Minister also mentioned that in late November the text on SAE guidelines would be finalized. This text will explain the Greek government’s vision for SAE and how it expects it to run. Greeks Abroad and organizations will have access to this text in order to be informed and also make sure that everyone’s needs are met.
The Hellenic News of America and Publisher Mr. Paul Kotrotsios asked Mr. Tsiaras about the Greek-American vote and the latest development on the issue. Tsiaras said the Greek-American vote is high up on the Greek governments agenda and that it is a very complicated issue since it is hard to define who would be eligible to vote. In his statements Mr. Kotrotsios explained that it is extremely important for the Greek-American community to express its voice through a future vote and through it own representatives, if this is allowed by our Government in USA. We do not wish to vote for the Greek parties but rather elect our own Greek American representatives as a link with Greece.
Mr. Tsiaras spoke about three important foundations for the new SAE: “self-organization, self-financing and representation not only through organizations but also people of all Greeks Abroad,”
Tsiras also said that now everyone needs to work hard in order for Greece to be saved and that when it comes to finances there will be a full report about how money was spent up until now as well as what is going to happen from now on. He also said that one of SAE’s greatest advantage was that it brought the Greek Youth together from different countries and different walks of life.
Mr. Tsiaras was presented by the Director of the Greek Press Office in New York Mr. Nikos Papakonstantinou. He also explained the importance of the Greek language and how this is the greatest tool to connect Greek worldwide.
The Deputy Foreign Minister accompanied the Foreign Minister in meeting with representatives of the Greek American Community in the Consulate General of Greece in New York. He also spoke at the Stathakeion Caltural Center in Astoria, where he had the chance to address the Greek-American Federations, on issues related to a better communication between the homeland and the Greek community in the USA.
When spoke about the financial crisis and the problems that Greece has to face he said “all of us in the Greek government are working hard in order to avoid mistakes that happened in the past so we can move forward, united, for our society, our economy and our country,”
Tsiaras also visited the Hellenic Classical Charter School in Brooklyn, NY. He praised the Greek-American community by saying that “it is a strong card for Greece, a card that we now desperately need more than ever. Ever Greek no matter where he or she is located can become a great ambassador for Greece,”