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C. Demetriou; «We explain that we are not the lazy people of Europe…»

Greeks in Germany have the most difficult role.

Born in Germany to immigrant parents, from Filiates, Thesprotia, the 45 year old lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Costas Demetriou, resides in the country which may be holding the largest share of Greece’s fortunes in its hands. In the country where over 415.000 citizens of Greek origin reside, 300.000 of them having Greek citizenship.

“It’s not always easy for someone to experience two realities in such difficult circumstances. Nonetheless, we are Greeks in Germany and we must exploit our dual capacity, in order to mediate between the two countries. And mainly, impose pressure towards Berlin, to abandon its policy until now, and save the Euro. Because what is at stake is not the fate of Greece, but Europe, and possibly the international financial system…” mentions Mr. Demetriou, as president of the Federation of Greek Communities in Germany.

“We may not experience in person the daily occurrence of the crisis, but our bonds with our land are so strong, that we share the pain of Greeks. And here, we become receivers of the reflection and critique on the shortcomings of our homeland. We seek to have a say, we respond with our letters to article writers, in order to reverse this unpleasant climate, which is a difficult task.

Nevertheless, we believe it is a given to explain to the local community and Media, that Greeks are not the lazy and mindless people of Europe. They are – we say – victims of bad political management and errors committed not only by Greece’s political elites, but also European institutions and of course, speculators.”

Already, Mr. Demetriou, confirms in practice a tendency for new Greek arrivals for permanent settlement; “There is undoubtedly a new wave towards Germany. We receive dozens of phone-calls on a daily basis, from people who wish to work here. They are unemployed scientists, freelancers, who were forced to close their offices and stores down, many of them being young. For certain scientist groups, who speak German, for example doctors and mechanics, things are much easier. One can find a job here, relatively easily, in gastronomy and the retail sector. But in general, despite the economic boom, the labor market is also problematic here”.

In any case, he is confident that in the near future, Angela Merkel will prove to be more conciliatory; “We expect that the German government will help Greece eventually, we are working toward this end. I believe the Chancellor has determined where her hesitant policy ended up and will eventually do the right thing. We will make it!”.

“Personally, I think that I am tremendously bothered by the image of modern Greece, constantly begging and whining to borrow like a spoilt child. Unfortunately, I think this crisis is not only economic, but mainly a social one”, finds, 40 year old Apostolos Kaliampos from Pieria, executive for Strategic Supplies Management in a telecommunications company, having settled in Germany for 11 and a half years.

“I am handling this profile my homeland projects abroad with sorrow. Especially since the debate in Greece is limited to “why did you spoil our dream?”. Meaning that we don’t care for the essence, how we will create primary surpluses as a state and evade the endless borrowing, but only on how our country will receive extra loans”, he states.

Even though from an emotional aspect he wishes to be repatriated, he does not consider it, under the present circumstances. “Greeks abroad would love to return to Greece and make progress. To help our country at the same time, through our acquired know-how, either through investments, or being employed. This however presupposes the presence of clean operational structures, a framework based on implementation and accordance with laws. We cannot be seen as a “milking cow”” he clarifies.

Source: TA NEA

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