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Initiatives for the Greek expatriates in Europe

The need for more effective organizing of the Diaspora Greeks and concern over the consequences of the international financial crisis on the Greeks living abroad dominated in the SAE Europe Regional Convention held in Frankfurt during the weekend.

Federation of Greek Communities and Associations in Sweden President Komninos Haideftos stressed that the Greek expatriates are terrified by the crisis considering that their majority belong to the working class.

SAE Treasurer and Federation of Greek Communities of Germany (OEK) President Costas Dimitriou focused on these issues as well and referred to the OEK activities. The OEK Germany board met two weeks ago with the German President and briefed him on the problems faced by the Greek immigrants while requesting that the Greek children in Germany be given equal opportunities with the German children. The meeting OEK Germany will have in ten days with Chancellor Merkel will also focus on that issue.

The improved organizing of the Greek associations, communities and federations in Europe was also discussed and specific proposals were tabled.

- Speaking on behalf of the Federation of Greek Communities of Holland, Pavlos Karasavopoulos proposed that all Greek expatriates in Europe be registered.

- Panagiotis Oulis from Sweden pointed out that the expatriate organizations should have better planning.

- Dimitra Papadopoulou, speaking on behalf of the Federation of Pontian Associations of Europe, thanked the Greek State for its unreserved interest in the Greek expatriates and stressed that the Greeks living abroad have a duty to seek Greek expatriate organizations in their regions and join them.

- Grigoris Thomaidis from the Association of Greek Scientists in Frankfurt underlined that partisanship and feuding are among the reasons that disable the communities.

- Angelos Aslanidis from the Foundation for the Assistance and Study of Pontian Hellenism in Cyprus suggested the opening of General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad offices in all regions of the world with large Greek communities and called for economic assistance to Greek expatriate organizations to be tripled in size.

- Kosmas Mikropoulos of OEK Germany underlined the limited representation of Greek expatriates in the political parties of their countries of residence.

- Wiesbaden-Germany Community President Giorgos Harisopoulos, referring to the same issue, stressed that the young expatriates will have to become more involved to ensure that the Greek expatriate organizations will have a future.

- Panagiotis Topaloudis, president of the Association of Greeks in Bulgaria (DOME-Democratic Organization of Education-Culture) referred to the activities of the association.

Addressing the convention delegates, SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis referred to the activities and goals of SAE underlining the efforts that need to be made as regards the youth while stressing that this will be the organization’s priority for the next two years.

SAE Europe Regional Coordinator Giorgos Amarantidis referred to the constant improvement of services provided by SAE to its organizations, the initiatives undertaken concerning the two-way briefing and cooperation between the Region and Greek expatriate institutions, participation in various events, the new offices of SAE Europe in Frankfurt, the SAE Europe website, the distribution of printed material, education and Greek-learning initiatives, etc.

Source: ANA MPA

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