Today, the two-day proceedings of the 7th Meeting of the SAE Board of Directors were concluded with a joint meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Greeks Abroad, Mr. Demetris Dollis.
Welcoming Mr. Dollis, the President and Members of the SAE Board of Directors expressed their pleasure on the fact that a Greek of the Diaspora, who is well aware of the issues regarding Hellenes abroad, has been appointed as Deputy FM for the Greek Diaspora.
During the first meeting with the newly appointed Deputy FM, an open comprehensive discussion was held, whereby ideas and proposals were exchanged for a better operation of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, taking into account the particular traits of each SAE Region. The members of the Board of Directors presented to Mr. Dollis a structured report of actions and work carried out, while pointing out the weaknesses of the institution.
A common finding is that SAE must present significant work, overcoming at the same time any functional issues that may have hindered its course until present. To this end, it was agreed to redefine the organization’s goals, so as to respond to the current circumstances and meet the needs of the Greek Diaspora, which vary by continent and country, placing emphasis on the younger generation.
The close cooperation between SAE, PSEKA and POMAK was also emphasized during the meeting, which must be strengthened in the future for the promotion of Greek national issues on an international basis.
Postponement of SAE World Congress
A coincidence of views was asserted on the need to promote changes which will allow the constitutionally established institution, 15 years after its establishment, to respond to the real needs of the Greek Diaspora, with the least possible operational cost.
“These are issues which we are discussing with the SAE Board of Directors. So far we have agreed on the future steps to be taken. Given the economic situation and changes in the structure and nature of SAE, which we are promoting, the World Congress and Regional Congresses, which were initially planned to take place by the end of the current year, have been postponed”, stated the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Demetris Dollis.
New Strategic Plan for the Greek Diaspora
The strengthening of the Cultural Identity of the Greek Diaspora, the Certificate of Attainment in Greek and Hospitality Programs, are only a few of the immediate priorities set by the Greek State. In this context, as Mr. Dollis stated, the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad will be upgraded, as an executive body. Furthermore, he mentioned the need to make good use of the Greek Diaspora, especially in light of the present circumstances in our country.
The development of a new strategic plan for the Hellenes abroad is underway and as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs stated, this strategy will be drawn through constructive dialogue with the Greek Diaspora.
“We are talking about a new era, not in words but in tangible actions, emphasizing on the younger generation and in this course the Hellenism of the Diaspora must have a say in the formation of the new policy we will follow”, emphasized Mr. Dollis, adding that “it will be based in mutual respect of decisions both from the State and the Greek Diaspora”, with the utmost goal being, the “strengthening of the presence of Hellenism in every corner of the world”.
On the issuing of Diaspora Bonds, he mentioned that it is currently in the stage of elaboration.
“We will work properly and announce it at the right time, so that it will meet all necessary conditions for success. It is not simply a Diaspora Bond. This is a bond of the Greek State which must be successful”, stressed Mr. Dollis.
Greek Diaspora Vote
On the issue of the new bill regarding the vote of Greeks abroad, to be promoted, Mr. Dollis stated that the key objective is to provide Greeks abroad the convenience to vote from their places of residence, even through postal vote.
The SAE Board of Directors also had a meeting today with MPs, Members of the Greek Parliament Committee for the Greek Diaspora, Mr. Emannouil Betenionis, Mr. Ioannis Ziogas and Mr. Angelos Kolokotronis.
The 7th Metting of the SAE Board of Directors, chaired by the President of SAE, Mr. Stefanos P. Tamvakis was attended by SAE Secretary Ms. Olga Sarantopoulos, SAE Treasurer, Mr. Costas Demetriou and SAE Region Coordinators; Mr. Theodore Spyropoulos, U.S.A. Region, Mr. George Angelopoulos, Oceania and Far East Region, Mr. George Amarantides, Europe Region, Mr. Costas Menegakis, Canada Region, Mr. Nikiforos Nicolaides, Latin America Region, Mr. Harris Gouvelis, Africa – Near/Middle East Region. The Coordinator of former USSR countries and POMAK-PSEKA, were represented by Mr. Kyriakos Iordanidis and Mr. Costas Stamataris, respectively.