In a climate of mutual understanding and cooperation, the meeting between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Spyros Kouvelis, and SAE USA Region Coordinagtor, Theodoros Spyropoulos, took place in the offices of the organisation in Chicago, last Thursday.
The main topic of discussion was the contribution of the Greek state in the initiatives of the Diaspora towards the issue which will soon arise from the lack of qualified educators in the United States for the teaching of the Greek language, history and culture in schools and American educational institutions with a Greek curriculum.
The meeting was also attended by the coordinator of Education at the Consulate of Chicago, Mr. Nikolidakis, who informed the Deputy Minister on the issue of detached educators and the capacity to train certified Educators from Illinois State University. He also mentioned the existence of a Memorandum of Cooperation with the University, according to which, Greek students of the Diaspora and other graduates, with an accredited degree in Modern Greek, will be able to be trained and obtain a Certificate in teaching the Greek Language, as a second or foreign language.
Furthermore, written proposals were provided for the creation of incentives to support Greek Language learning programmes in the USA. The Deputy FM, expressed his interest and promised that he will work on these issues shortly, along with the political leadership of the Ministry of Education.
In addition, other issues of discussion include, the need to upgrade the institution of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, in order to make it more functional and responsive to the needs of the modern Diaspora by Region, the need to attempt a census of Greeks Abroad and the need for substantial discussion and regular communication among Greeks abroad and representatives of the Greek state.
Mr Kouvelis, on his part, stressed the need for Greeks abroad to inform American citizens on prospects opened up in Greece, in many areas of the financial and social life, with the measures which are currently being taken by the government and to maintain their optimism.
Mr. Spyropoulos informed the Deputy FM on the initiatives of the SAE USA Region and resubmitted his proposals on upgrading the institution and the utilisation of the forces of Hellenism abroad from the Greek State.
Mr. Kouvelis spoke to Greeks in the wider region of Illinois for the current financial situation in Greece and the efforts of the government for development and change of the political culture of the country, in an event organized by the SAE USA Region in Chateau Ritz last Wednesday.
“The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kouvelis left positive impressions through his visit” stated Mr. Spyropoulos. “He spoke honestly and realistically and it is clear that he expresses a fresh mentality in the area of politics, without using a “made up” language, great words or vague promises. He outlined the current situation in Greece, clearly and is well aware of the weaknesses in the operation of SAE and the fact that Hellenes abroad have not been fully exploited by Greece.
However, we all know that the issues of Greeks abroad cannot be form a priority of the Greek government, regarding the current conditions. Us, Greeks abroad must contribute in any way we can to our birthplace, for the recovery and development of the country and take responsibility for the issues that concern us. “