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Visit of SAE President, Stefanos P. Tamvakis to Rustov in Russia. Cooperation with the Coordinator of SAE Region of Former USSR Countries and Deputy to the State Duma, Mr. Ivan Savvidi and Diaspora representatives

The President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), Mr. Stefanos p. Tamvakis, visited the Hellenism of Rustov. During his stay in the city from the 6th till the 9th of February, Mr. Tamvakis had constructive meetings with the Coordinator of SAE Region of former USSR Countries and Deputy to the State Duma, Mr. Ivan Savvidi and representatives of the Diaspora end especially the Youth of the Region.

The President of SAE and Mr. Savvidi had the opportunity to discuss issues dealing with the realization of the programmes of SAE, coordination of activities for the solution of many problems which are faced by members of our Diaspora in former USSR countries for the acquisition of Greek Citizenship, in the framework of the discussion of a relevant legislative bill in the Parliament, and also the submission of proposals for EU Programmes for the benefit of the Hellenes of the Region.

The possibility to organize a Worldwide Forum of Greek Entrepreneurs Abroad in 2010 was also discussed as a measure for contributing to the amelioration of the unfortunate financial situation in Greece. Nonetheless, this was the dominant subject in all meetings and concerns Hellenes abroad who are following the developments and are informed on a daily basis for the situation in their historic homeland.

As they stated to Mr. Tamvakis, they believe in the Greek state and government and they are certain that Greece will manage to surpass these difficulties and offered to help in order to remedy the negative climate and the image of Greece which is being presented in the foreign media with regards to the negative financial developments.

On Saturday, February 6th, the President of SAE was present in the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Hellenic Youth of Rustov “Tanais”. He then answered many questions which were posed by young members of the Hellenic Diaspora regarding the politics of the Greek state for the Diaspora, hospitality programmes and the facilitation of attestation of admission in the Greek state for the youths who participated, as well as the solution to the issues of citizenships and the way they are handled by the consulate authorities of our country there.

The Youths asked for timely and accurate provision of information from the respective Greek state authorities on educational and learning programmes as well as scholarships, so that they do not miss the deadlines. They also discussed the possibility of Youths of the Greek Diaspora taking part in voluntary programmes for the environment and the restoration of Hellenic cultural and religious monuments not only in Greece but in other countries too.

Mr. Tamvakis was impressed by the way our youths organize their activities and congratulated them on the teleconference of the Youth of the Region in which he also participated. Youth representatives from many cities of Russia, Ukraine and Georgia discussed common issues of interest. Among others, the potential to organize a week dedicated to Greek cinema was also discussed, whilst they asked for the dispatch of books and educational material.

During his stay in Rustov, the President of SAE was present in the cutting of the traditional New Year’s cake (Vassilopita) of the organisation “Greek Women of Don”. Mr. Tamvakis discussed with the representatives of the organizations issues concerning the creation and organisation of programmes for the exchange of students from all countries of the Region with students from Greek schools and more, as well as the reformation of hospitality programmes of senior citizens in Greece etc. Furthermore, the issue of education of young doctors on the provision of first aid and diagnosis was also under the focus of their discussion, so that the doctors can return to their cities and offer their services for free to pensioners of the Greek Diaspora.

Next, Mr. Tamvakis had a meeting with Father Oleg, who informed him on programmes and common events which are being organized by the Church in cooperation with SAE Youth for the promotion of our culture and customs and especially the History of the Pontic Hellenism.

On Sunday, 7th of February, the President of SAE met the Director of the Greek School of Stavropol, Ms. Irene Alepova and discussed educational issues which the Diaspora is currently facing in Russia and other countries of the Region. The problems are mainly detected in the activation of the law 2413/96 for the appointment of teachers of the Diaspora and the amendment of some of its provisions. As they mentioned, there are still financial issues which remain unresolved from previous years (2007-2008) as no financial aid has been provided to the eligible teachers of the Diaspora.

In addition, the issue of signing a contract with the Kuban State University, Modern Greek Department for the academic year 2010-2010, so that Greek youths can complete their studies for 3 years on a long-distance basis and obtain Diplomas of Proficiency in Greek so that they can teach the Greek Language. Lastly, the issue of a more effective cooperation of teachers (detached from Greece and teachers of the Diaspora of the region) with the responsible Educational Coordinator and Diaspora Bodies for the sake of Greek Students and the Hellenism of the Region.

On February the 9th of February, Mr. Tamvakis had another meeting with Mr. Savvidis, whist he visited the Museum Eliseyskie Polia, whereby a photographic exhibition is being presented, entitled “Pilgrimage in Holy Mountain” (Agion Oros).

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SAE Former USSR Countries