Olga Sarantopoulou: “Greeks abroad want admirable cooperation, bilateral relations based on mutual respect and gratitude”

The need to develop a national strategy for the Greeks abroad for a decade ahead, “which will not change with a change of government,” was expressed by Dr. Olga Sarantopoulou, elected secretary of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE), defending the need for the existence of the SAE, since, in her words, “the Greek the diaspora was the official world representative body, enshrined in the Greek Constitution. “

On the air of the TV program “ΩΡΑ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ” by Akis Pavlopoulos and Dora Kutrokoi on the Greek channel OPEN TV, Olga Sarantopoulou, referring to the new law on the reconstruction of the StrAU, agreed that its work could be improved at all levels. She added that the previous experience may be useful, but noted that the new law was not discussed with the Greek diaspora, and the bill was put up for only a few days on the DIAVGEIA state portal (ed. The official website for posting information on the preparation of draft regulatory legal acts and the results of their public discussion) in August, when the Greeks abroad were “unavailable” due to vacations and vacations, and they were not informed about this earlier.

As for the shortcomings and mistakes that could be noticed during the work of the SAE, Ms. Saranthopoulou shared responsibility both with the Greek state, the relevant governments and political parties, and with the human mistakes of the SAE Presidium.

However, the Secretary General described the SAE as the first big attempt to unite Greeks around the world. She mentioned the creation of global networks of entrepreneurs, scientists, cultural representatives, women, youth and the media of compatriots abroad. Medical centers were founded in the countries of the Black Sea region during the presidency of A. Athens with the participation of SAE Europe, training programs were developed for ethnic Greek teachers in the former USSR, Panhellenic sports games were organized by the Periphery of Oceania and the Far East, which remains active to this day. developing cooperation at all levels, etc.

Regarding the merger of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad (ΓΓΑΕ) with the General Secretariat for Public Diplomacy, Dr. Saranthopoulou stressed that the Greek diaspora was awaiting renewal with the establishment of the Ministry for Greek Abroad Affairs, and instead ΓΓΑΕ was demoted in status.

With the establishment of the ministry, “Greece could make the most of the enormous economic, political, intellectual and social potential of a large number of compatriots around the world – Greeks abroad.”

When asked whether all Greeks living abroad are represented in the new, re-created SAE, the SAE secretary mentioned that the law only speaks of representatives of organizations, representation is limited to 50 delegates to the General Assembly, when France, with only 2 million expatriates, chooses, in the first In turn, 445 French people living abroad as consular advisers at diplomatic missions, of which 90 are elected by members of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad, and 12 of them are deputies to the French National Assembly and 11 to the Senate.

In conclusion, the SAE secretary stressed that what has been missing for years “is a long-term strategy for the Greeks abroad with specific goals and implementation processes, a stable strategy that will not change with governments. It will be stable in the coming decades. “

And she concluded with the words: “Since the Greeks abroad want admirable cooperation, bilateral relations based on mutual respect and gratitude, because only thanks to a common course, both sides will benefit, both the Greek diaspora and the homeland. Only their partnership will bring wonderful results for Greece and Greeks abroad, as well as for the future of our children. “

Mr. Kyriakos Iordanidis, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the SAE Periphery of the Former Soviet Union, was also invited to the telecast, who presented his view on the new law and noted the achievements of the periphery of the former USSR, which continues its activities and carries out work of exceptional significance.

Vienna, 1 April 2021

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