“We never forget that we are Greeks and we are proud for this, no matter what happens in Greece, always promoting our national issues in American Politics” underlined the third generation Greek American, Alekos Charalambides, President of the American Hellenic Institute of the well known Greek American lobby, to the members of the Special Permanent Committee for the Greek Diaspora.
AHI promotes Greek – American ties, whilst it led the mobilization of the Greek Diaspora and the briefing of Washington authority centers after the Turkish invasion in Cyprus in 1974, which led to an embargo on arms sales to Ankara.
A difficult yet very important work, as explained by the Executive Director, Mr. Nick Laryngakis, for a lobby such as AHI, which strives with fewer resources, in comparison to other stronger and larger lobbies to create all these years, through stable relations and persistent provision of information, a positive impact on behalf of American Officials for national issues of critical importance for Greece.
AHI presents substantial work and especially an immediate source of information to the 50 American States, as it was stated by the Coordinator of the World Council for Hellenes Abroad (SAE) of the USA Region and member of the Board of Directors of AHI, Mr. Theodoros Spyropoulos, whilst it cooperates closely with Hellenic Caucus, a committee where 135 US members of the house of representatives are participating, supporting Greek national issues.
“We are and will be on your side in this financial crisis too” stated Mr. Spyropoulos, stressing the need for a more regular briefing of the Greek Diaspora and support of the Greek Language, which is an issue of great importance for our country.
In the context of this sever financial crisis in Greece, the Board of AHI stated their intention to contribute so that US investments are promoted in our country. This was also the main topic of discussion with the Greek Prime Minister, as Mr. Laryngakis stated, which will also be discussed with the Minister of Financial Affairs, Competitiveness and Shipping, Ms. Louka Katselis.
It is worth noting that during the last 35 years, as stated by Mr. Laryngakis, there hasn’t been any U.S. investment in Greece.
From 1995 up until today, stated Mr. Spyropoulos, any efforts AHI made fell on deaf ears due to the obstacles created by the great Greek bureaucracy. However, now, he added, the government is moving towards the right direction. The following October a symposium of the Institute will be held on the issue of investments which could open the first window.
Source: ANA – MPA