ATHENS – New York State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, whose district includes parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, has been elected to the board of the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (WHIA), an international organization of elected officials of Greek heritage with representatives from Australia, Canada, South Africa, United States, Zimbabwe, and across Europe.
The WHIA’s mission is to bring together members, of Greek descent, of legislatures from around the world to strengthen the relationship between Greece and their respective countries and serve as a think tank. Malliotakis is currently in Athens for the organization’s 10th General Assembly in which a variety of issues were discussed and debated, predominantly Greece’s Debt Crisis and its current and potential impact on the world. The legislators exchanged views with and offered suggestions to members of Greece’s Parliament, its President and Foreign Minister among other leaders.
“I am proud of my heritage and honored to be the first American woman elected to the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association. The relationship between Greece and the United States is a strong and important one. The United States has a naval facility in Souda Bay, Crete which has a close proximity to Middle East and Greece’s economic survival is important to the entire world economy. It is in our national security and economic interests that we see Greece succeed. During our General Assembly, we met with Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Parliament Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and other cabinet and parliament members to express our concerns and ideas to help resolve the Greek economic crisis,” said Assemblywoman Malliotakis.
The legislators also met with representatives from the United States Embassy in Athens and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce regarding commercial, financial, and diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Assemblywoman Malliotakis is one of three American legislators elected to the WHIA board, along with State Senator Leonidas Raptakis of Rhode Island and State Representative Thomas Katsiantonis of New Hampshire.