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General News

Dramatic Letter by Georgopoulos Seeks to End NY Federation Crisis

NEW YORK – In an open letter to the Greek-American community published April 26 George Georgopoulos, the president of the ‘exiled’ Administrative Council of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, said that the organization is undergoing a crisis of institutions, values, and transparency.

Georgopoulos, who also repeated his earlier criticisms of the proceedings that took place at the Stathakion Cultural Center last week that were initiated by the Federation’s Executive Committee of Former Presidents, including the elections that were held on Saturday of Lazarus, April 27.

“These three years have been among the most painful and tragic, as they came to prove that the crisis facing the Federation is a crisis of institutions, values, and ultimately a crisis of transparency. The two-day conference convened by the so-called Executive Committee of Former Presidents came to prove that the rubber stamps are all-powerful and can provide the opportunity for anyone with aspirations for the presidential throne to fulfill them, like Don Quixote his dream,” Georgopoulos said.

He was elected the president of the Administrative Council on September 19, 2021, and he reflected on events since then. Georgopoulos reminded that the Executive Committee of Former Presidents, in which he initially participated when they took over in the winter of 2021, had committed to holding elections the next summer, a process that, as he mentions, the majority of the Committee withdrew from, resulting in the division that led to a legal dispute.

“About three years have passed since the occupation of the Stathakion Cultural Center and the humiliation of the Federation in the courts of New York. As a former president, I tried to comply with the mandate of the General Assembly of February 2021 to prepare the organization for holding elections by June 2021. The Executive Committee of Former Presidents not only failed to prove worthy of the trust of the General Assembly and, by extension, of the Community, but also caused the humiliation and division,” Georgopoulos stressed. He reiterated his position that both he and the other members at the time who are still alive (Demetrius Kalamaras, Demos Siokis, Nikos Diamantidis, Elias Tsekeridis, and Apostolos Tomopoulos) should be held accountable when a commonly accepted normality is restored in the Federation.

“Taking advantage of the opportunity, I want to reiterate that the former presidents of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, without exception, are accountable and must – including myself, who abstained from the administrative councils for two decades – voluntarily refer ourselves to the disciplinary board and subsequently to the judgement of the General Assembly,” Georgopoulos declared.

Georgopoulos again said that the Administrative Council under him – which is operating as an administration body outside the Stathakion, the Federation’s headquarters – has announced elections for June 2, calling on everyone to provide the identification details of the the societies they represent to the Transparency Committee chaired by George Kitsios.

The dramatic development is that Georgopoulos publicly stated that he does not intend to run again, and called on the other former presidents to do the same.

“I personally do not intend to run in the upcoming elections and I call on and challenge all former presidents to resign immediately, and I assure them that if we resign, the Federation will find its way at the same time. It will be relieved of the official seals [of the societies] and the ghosts of the past, and in June it will elect a leadership free from the sins of the past two decades,” Georgopoulos said.

It is reminded that elections organized by the Executive Committee of Former Presidents took place April 27 at Stathakion, despite interventions and resignations of candidates in the 24 hours before the polls. In any case, figures from the opposing side insist they will not recognize the process, expressing the view that there will be other developments in the near future.

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