The Reason Why I Have Returned to the Homeland

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Greeks Living Abroad, Antonis H. Diamataris. Photo by Eurokinissi/Giorgos Kontarinis.

After having spent nearly five decades in New York, where I studied, made a career, and created a family, I decided to return to my mother country, at the invitation of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to undertake the responsibility of Greece’s relations with Greeks Living Abroad.

I came to this admittedly difficult decision for two main reasons: First, because I profoundly believe in Kyriakos Mitsotakis, both as a politician and as a person. Second, because I consider this to be a rare opportunity to work, as I have done from the position of Publisher-Editor of The National Herald for forty years, with the goal of strengthening the troubled relations between the mother country and Greeks abroad.

To be specific: For decades the mother country treated Greeks living abroad in a haphazard fashion, unwilling to take advantage of the opportunities offered by them. Instead of trying hard to maintain close relationships with them, the country did exactly the opposite, contrary to its own direct interests.

The bitter truth is that the country did not show any concern, as it should have, for Greeks living abroad. The majority of the Greek politicians were content to extend flatteries and empty promises to us. For example, some people in Athens are frustrated because of the reduced influence of the Greek lobby in the USA, without analyzing the causes.

They express their irritation because only certain Greek-Americans they call “opportunists” try to make contact with them, without wondering why. Greek officials demand sacrifices from us “in the interest of the mother country,” without considering what kind of an example they set for the rest of us.

However, Greeks living abroad do not give up, despite the fact they are left to their own devices. Many fight tooth and nail to pass on language, religion, history, culture and traditions to their children.

Many Greeks living abroad are struggling, against the trends of our times to preserve the sacred values of our people, because he/she is deeply aware of their importance first hand. To treat the expatriates as if they were alien to the developments in Greece, as ‘Americanakia’, is not simply misguided, but also a sign of inadmissible ignorance and arrogance with negative repercussions for the Greek nation.

At this point, I would like to make a strong appeal to all political parties of Greece. The issue of the relations between Greece and Greeks living abroad is not a partisan one. It is purely a national issue. Therefore, all political parties should place the interest of the nation above and beyond petty politics and rise to the occasion.

A case in point is the issue of granting Greeks abroad the right to vote in the countries where they live. It is a shame for Greece, in the year 2019, to be the only EU country which denies its citizens that right. Let us put petty politics behind us once and for all and serve the national interest.

I hope the reasons why I have returned have become clear. In short, I have returned to contribute to the strengthening of the fraternal relations between our Mother Country and the Greeks Living Abroad. Let us all embrace each other, Greeks in Greece and abroad, and work together to build the best possible Greece and to preserve our Greek communities abroad.

My brothers and sisters, Greeks living abroad greeted my appointment as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Greeks Living Abroad enthusiastically and consider it a gesture of genuine concern for them on the part of the Prime Minister. Thank you. I promise that I will work very hard not to disappoint them.

Antonis H. Diamataris is Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Greeks Living Abroad

13 Comments

  1. Congratulations Mr. Diamatari! Good luck to you. I sincerely want you to do well.

    Please try to make it inviting for Greeks abroad to come and invest there. Greece wants and needs jobs! Who wants to take a chance to invest there knowing that it is a very high probability that he will loose his investment. Red tape and graft ( political corruption ) everywhere! I once wrote a letter to a politician ( MP ) from Crete on a subject that I thought was wrongly handled. His reply : ” we do not want advice from American dishwashers.” I replied to him ruthlessly. I would like to advice all those politicians who have that same mentality to CHANGE and to inform them all! The “dishwashers” became very successful!

    1. We know why Diamataris returned home, to do what he has done for 40 years ..sell the right wing Neo Con progaganda policies of the” Glory to America” Greek Secret society of Ahepa Masons who would support Adolph Hitler…if he happened to be the ruling party of the mythical democracy of America!
      Diamataris who with his Greek Aristocratic Elitist billionaires Oligarks ranted over the New York Times calling Mistotakis a “ REAL, REAL RIGHT WING ruler of Greece, but fell far short of what Mistotakis really is .. a mob boss of the organized crime family of Al Capone Trump and Bugsy Segal Netanyahue,or Nazi’s
      .

      Diamataris ..in representing Greek,.beyond promoting and endorsing Mistotakis, h also endorsed Ahepa Robert Menendez, ..who is an indicted corrupt pay to play politician who called taking millions of embezzled money from the Medicare funds of Greek Americans..just Gifts from his “Best Friend” Jewish doctor now serving 20 year in a Federal Penitentiary!

      Other Gifts credited included the pleasure of Under aged Teenage prostitutes in the Caribbean….from probably,Jeffrey Epstein! But like Epstein, the girls testimony mysteriously disappeared!

      Diamataris has put my name on these crimes of his …

      It official, Mistotakis is nothing more to Greece, than Mussolini was to Italy in 1944,simply, a right wing Neo Con Nazi ally of America’s lunatic Nazi parties now running America drags Greece into their undeclared wars against the entire world!

  2. Na the “Dishwasher” term is very applicable to the way “Greeks” see American Greeks as not greek at all, they think we are fake greeks don’t know the language, or culture etc.. But as we have seen the Real Greeks can’t run a nation or a dishwashing machine, they embarrass the diaspora daily, yearly and since independence, the (Crisis is all their fault) no one to blame but real greeks…The extent of in fighting for political, economic or just plain ego gain is insane..The diaspora must not be just tourists or holders of a faith/culture in distant lands, but a daily contributor to Greece and her future…Not by lobby groups, or even the right to vote. But pure economic philanthropy, out of government hands, or special interest groups, but for the Greek people from the Greek people. And the amount is in the Billions yearly the Diaspora can and better give, America, Canada, Australia, UK, Europe have enough greeks to send $3,000.000.000 BILLION + Back every year. To supplement the Real-Lazy-Non•Taxpaying-Non-Business Creating-Do-Nothing REAL GREEKS. If you just use this job, title, etc to just be a feel good post and nothing comes out of it what good is it? The diaspora dishwashers are coming if the real greeks don’t like it then we will break the dishes not against the ground but against them!

    1. Cont from my previous post

      He and Mistotakis have made Greeks join the U.S iin waging hot wars, cold wars, economic wars, financial wars, trade wars, anti-social justice wars, anti-human rights wars, anti-democracy wars, propaganda wars, sanctions wars, tariffs wars, protest wars, homeland wars, and environmental wars on multiple fronts worldwide ordinary people everywhere the losers.

      New wars could erupt without warning. The threat of possible nuclear war is ominously real by accident or design.

      He and Mistotakis have so far have do what even the Traitor Tsipras would not do .. have Greece endorse a U.S fascist neo nazi policy of economic genocide of the people of Venezuela which breaks all international laws and considered by UN inspectors as crimes against Humanity, and confiscates 14 billion dollars of Venezuela Asset by Exxon Mobil and criminal banks.needed by the people of Venezuela to buy essential medical good and foods needed to live.until the surrender their elected leader, and install the leader chosen by Mistotakis and Diamataris!

      He and Mistotakis, have just indicted themselves and Greeks for violating all international laws of the UN. and of the Seas.in supporting U.S demands to comply with illegal and unrecognized sanctions b U.N. EU, and even UK on the country of Iran, in denying assistance and port for international navigation!

      Mr. Diamataris and Mistotakis do not represent the American Despora..they represent fascist !Despora

  3. I have a real problem with US citizens serving at a ministerial level in a foreign government. While current US law allows for dual citizenship (it wasn’t that way 40+ years ago), serving in ministerial capacities or in the armed services of a foreign country is suspect in its ethics, if not prohibited by law.

    If you want to serve in the Greek government, Tony, then go all in and surrender your US citizenship and then you can promo yourself all you want about what a Greek patriot you are.

    You want it both way- Greek good times and afternoon siestas and the US Embassy, FBI Hostage Rescue Team and US Army Delta Force rescuing you if things go South in paradise.

    I’m not buying it. Not for the Greeks, the Irish, the Mexicans, or Israelis, either.

    Either you’re a red blooded American or you’re not. You want to die for your country, die for this one.

  4. Hmm not sure how being in a foreign government, or military, makes you Un•American, as for Greece Papandreou the son, was born in America a U.S. citizen that became PM of Greece? I don’t care if Mr Diamataris is serving abroad in greece, just that in his position hes taken has to be more than figure head and more doing as in fundraising like stated before… If it’s 100% American, with no cultural ties, in anyway, then why be on a Greek American Site And Newspaper? This is not the National Corn Fed News, It’s not Un•American either to be greek, or want better for a country yes that second and third generations are more removed from than ever..
    Most American◆Greeks love both nations and would die for both. This is about an appointment to a specific post concerning greeks abroad, this position should always go to a member of the diaspora, and not an Athina Elite, or an Athina Cafe Professional Protester, but a real person, from America, Australia, etc that has and is living the disconnect between greece and the greater greek world. We are not to be treated lightly, taken for granted, used as a voting block, or lobbyists, lied to or used in anyway. Ellas straighten up or we will come back and push you all aside and show you how to run a country. All the best greeks left greece.
    And left it to a bunch of idiots

    1. This is not as simple a topic as you portray. Papandreou probably should have had his US citizenship lifted, but I suspect that the US always wanted the leverage of subjecting him to US laws and penalties here, so it was better to keep him inside the tent.

      From the Immigration and Naturalization Act 1952.

      “A U.S. citizen may lose his or her dual citizenship by obtaining naturalization in a foreign state, by taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or political subdivision thereof, by serving in the armed forces of a foreign state, or by performing certain other acts, but only if the act was performed “voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality”.

  5. I am a second generation American-born 100% Greek. Although all four of my grandparents came from Greece, I consider the USA as my mother country, not Greece. I don’t consider myself a Greek expatriate, as part of the Greek diaspora, or part of the omogenia. I do not need Antonis Diamataris representing me to the government of Greece. I am sure many other American-born Greeks feel the same way. Also, no Mr. Serritas, I would not be willing to die for Greece, but I did risk my life for the USA in Vietnam.

    1. While I agree with most of what you state..I am puzzled by your comment that you would not die for Greece, Like Pavlo!

      Hmm..then you agree, that no American should die for South Korea, Yemen, Syria, libya, Iraq, and now Iran and Venezuela but where American Soldiers currently occupy their territories, in violation of all international laws!

      Today, American troops are part of economic, political , and military warfare against the country of Syria ..including economic and naval blockades of oil and gas of Syria ..while allegedly fighting terrorist in Syria., and now attempting to salvage their lost war on Syria , by annexing territory of Syria with Turkey to establish a puppet republic! Who are they fighting for?

      Viet Vet..like you .I know a little about foreign wars, and say that unlike Pavlo,.you would never die for Greece..when Americans have been dying for 60 years fighting against the enemies of foreign countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE , Qatar in the Middle East!

      Viet Vet..did you not fight for Vietnam one of the poorest countries in the world, who represented no threat to America!

      As i said, you and Pablo are right..no one listens to journalist anymore and media stooges who send brave Americans to their deaths, for their sponsors!

      Pablo..I choose not to a support a fascist Greece and Cyprus in anything, until the sewer of degenerate rulers are removed from Greece…like Mistotakis, Diamataris and,.U.S, Nato, and EU.

  6. All you guys are making a fuss about nothing. This man has been invited, whether because of his expertise or connections or political acumen, to go and help our motherland. I am sure it is not the money that he is after. Where is the wrong? If any one of you were to see a starving child, would you not help? You guys try to read unprinted gossip between the lines. Paranoias everywhere.

    If you guys are that good in your assessments, why not apply for a position at the U S State Department?
    Give the man a chance! Greece needs help. Greece needs investments to get jobs. A lot of talent is moving out of the country as there are no positions for employment especially for college grads. You ever heard of brain drain in Greece? Where would the country be one or two generations from now if it continues on the present track?

    Have any one of you “Greeks” been to Greece lately to see the conditions there?

    Please SUPPORT OUR GREEK ROOTS! Give this man the opportunity to be of help. Congratulate him!

    I know that I have made some of you unhappy, however, I will not respond to any vitriolic attack.

  7. Teddy..neither you or I ..need to apply for a state department position ..that is already filled by war criminal, counter terrorist operative and terrorist state sponsor of terrorism business associate of Qatar and Saudi Arabia…Diamataris and TNH own.. Patrick Theros , Ahepan Robert Menendez, Endy Zemenides, and the Supreme Commander and Chief of the State Departments funded Greek Secret Society of Glory to America and Israel ..right wing Neo Nazi supporters…the Honorable Ahepan Dictator …Georgi Horaitis!

    Today, this group of State Department despora. advised Greece, they would be considered “STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM ” subject to economic sanctions, if they assist an Iranian Oil Tanker by opening its ports and waters which by International laws of the seas and UN charter ..they are obligated to do !

    Only white supremacist Aristocrats ..could publically blackmail a country to wage war against their enemies , not of the world or the EU!

    Only a Totalitarian fascist regime by Donald Trump, can force other countries to join them in the breaking of international laws to wage economic,political , and military war on a Sovereign Nation of the world ..who has not broken any international laws of the UN or even the EU who has rejected the U.S demands.to provoke another criminal war!

    Only Fascist regimes run by Mistotakis and Diamataris. would comply with these demands!

    Diamataris will promote ..Neo Nazi Oligarks, and fascist despora!.

  8. cont…
    Greece does not need, fake news Journalist ..who only 12 % of the U.S population trust anymore!

    Greece .needs is a professional Marketing company to sell what makes Greece,what it is, and can be again,a home for the mentally abused of America society .. to remind the citizens of the world,of what was once good in the world, a honest passion for life and love ..which is why they come to Greece!

    The despora need to fund a Professional Marketing company, not a State Department degenerate, to assess the strategies needed to renovate the product called Greece..to replicate what uniquely makes Greece ..the envy of the world! It is all there!

    And what would a Marketing company recommend?..

    Eliminate the control of her.by removing the U.S , Nato and EU from Greece, with their cultural agenda!

    The only solution that could have rescued Greece (and still could) – exiting the euro zone; return to their local currency and start rebuilding Greece with a local economy, built on local currency with local public banking and with a sovereign Greek central bank deciding the monetary policy that best suits Greece, and especially Greece’s recovery program.and supported by Peter Koenig,.renowned economist!

    Why has Diamataris never talked about this obvious solution? Would they be censured in Greece, because the Diamataris..and Greek oligarchy controls the media – as oligarchs do around the globe

    This is what Greek should die for, not fascist foreign rulers!

    1. I am a Greek citizen by birth of grandparents not my own, My Greek born grandfather fought in WWI, for America, my father born here fought for America in WWII, etc Don’t kid yourself thinking letting hundreds of thousands of people in America in the turn of the century was out of love and compassion, it was greed and servitude, America needed new blood to slave in factories and mines, etc… people in foreign lands came here out of desperation and need, from everywhere, they worked hard and tried their best, I remember thinking why did my grandfather leave, then finally after so much research the answer was simple, all the best greeks left, at the time it was run by idiots, and the country was left to idiots.
      And still is, my return here was to help family I never even knew, still don’t relate to all of them, but try my best..(crisis mode), being American and of Greek ancestry gives you 2 homes, yes here [Greece] they don’t care for us much, feeling is mutual on my part anyway…I didn’t come to be a quiet village greek mouse, came here to say you all have No Idea how to do anything, pissed them off made them mad, but turned around the family businesses, from nothing to something…I am not an expat, or refugee, or whatever I am an American and have Greek blood in me, and other, I will fight and die for both, at this time greece or family need me more than America, I pay taxes in both, and live in both..giving back to greece what greece gave to America my family and…

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