On Monday, July 8 Antonis Diamataris called me from Athens to inform me that Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the winner of the recent Greek elections, asked him to assume the position of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Responsible for Hellenes Abroad. He asked for my opinion, as he has during all these forty years of our friendship and cooperation.
Although he caught me by surprise and before I had a chance to even think about it, I replied spontaneously and without constraint that he should accept, and that Kyriakos should be congratulated because he could not have made a better choice.
Usually when we talk, Antonis and I exchange ideas and opinions about serious issues, but often I tell him to give me some time to think about it and that I will tell him my views later or the next day. In this case I admit that for some unexplained reason I didn’t operate that way, but I immediately told him to accept and I assured him by telling him that “I will be at your disposal anything you need.”
I certainly thought about the operation of the newspaper, but I know it is well organized and built in all of its areas, and all the employees are serious, competent, and responsible persons. Each one of us knows his or her job and the newspaper operates smoothly. I owe you an explanation here as to why I urged Antonis to accept the position, for two very basic reasons: First, because Antonis loves the Greek-American Community and all Hellenes everywhere in the world, something which has been conspicuous all those forty years that he is at the helm of The National Herald, and second, because I know his competence which is the guarantee of his success. God forbid, let not this commentary of mine be considered as some type of compliment because something like that is against my ethos and character and Antonis is the first one who knows it.
I am saying all these things because the desire of my heart is for our Greek-American Community to be helped, along with Hellenism Abroad as a whole, in an essential and practical way because the reality is that Hellenism Abroad is the great unutilized asset of our Nation and Antonis has the seriousness, the knowledge, the abilities, and the determination to produce substantial work and results. Let me say this as well: the new Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has lived for many years here in America as a student in Boston and knows the soul of our Greek-American Community very well, as well as the general spirit of Hellenism Abroad. He loves and respects Hellenism and now that the Greek People gave him a strong victory in the elections he has the opportunity to turn his promises and good intentions into practice. And the appointment of Antonis Diamataris signifies exactly that.
From the moment his appointment was officially announced the phone has been ringing continuously. Messages have come from everywhere, from all over the United States, his birthplace – the island of Limnos, Greece – Australia, Constantinople, England, Germany, and even from Mount Athos.
Let me say one more thing, that the last two-and-one-half months were months of revitalization, hope, and bright prospects for Orthodoxy and Hellenism and here is why: His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew recommended to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate that it elect unanimously three high-level and charismatic hierarchs for his three great Archdioceses, Elpidophoros of America, Makarios of Australia, and Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain.
The Greek People elected the sincere, capable, and determined Kyriakos Mitsotakis as Prime Minister who in turn chose for overseeing our issues in the Diaspora one of our own, Antonis Diamataris, who has succeeded in everything he has ever undertaken, and he will definitely will also succeed in his new position and mission.
Antonis, for the millions of Hellenes Abroad in the World, will be the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, but for me, for forty years, he is a friend and a brother.