Greek Embassy’s Official Independence Day Celebration Held in Houston

April 5, 2019
James Cargas

HOUSTON – Greek Ambassador to the United States Haris Lalacos declared, “this year, the annual reception for March 25th of the Embassy of Greece is not taking place in Washington, it’s taking place here,” in Houston.  

With that, Ambassador Lalacos opened the Greek Embassy’s official Independence Day celebration at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  

Lalacos and his wife, Anna Michalopoulou, were hosted by the Consul of Greece Ioannis Stamatekos and over 200 Houstonians in a joyous celebration.  

Mayor Sylvester Turner sent a representative to present a Resolution officially declaring March 25, 2019, Greek Independence Day in Houston. Numerous Consuls from other nations were also in attendance, as well as Robert Hopkins of the U.S. Department of State. 

“We all know that democracy was born in Athens, and we are very proud of it,” Lalacos said, “however, the first modern national state to be a democracy was the United States. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the teachings of the founding fathers of America were the inspiration for the founding fathers of Greece…for what would become modern Greece.”  

Lalacos continued, “Greece and the United States have been friends and allies since their foundation as modern states…they have never been on opposite sides of any war or any conflict.” 

Lalacos assumed the duties of Ambassador to the United States on June 27, 2016. His prior postings include Skopje, Alexandria, Ankara, and Sydney. From 2000 to 2004, he was the Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy of Greece in Washington. 

Prior to his service in the Hellenic Navy, he received his formal education in the United States, first earning a Bachelor’s degree in History magna cum laude from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and then a Masters in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at The John Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.  

While Greece’s founding fathers looked to America for democratic leadership 198 years ago, today, Ambassador Lalacos was in Houston seeking energy technology leadership as Greece emerges as an energy producer and energy transportation hub for the Eastern Mediterranean.  

Now that the seven-year long economic depression appears to be behind Greece, Lalacos noted, “the Greek outlook is positive, but we have many things to still do.” 

In order to address unemployment, “we need help from our friends,” Lalacos continued. 

“The help that we need is not grants, its investment; mutually advantageous, profitable investment,” the Ambassador said with passion. 

We cannot rely on growth based on consumption. We cannot rely on financing of growth with loans. Those days are over. What we need to have is investment.” 

Besides the opportunities for technologically savvy onshore and offshore energy infrastructure development, the Ambassador said, “when it comes to investment, the greatest asset [of Greece] is its well-educated workforce.”   

Looking around the room at the many Greeks now living in Houston and working in the energy industry and academia, Lalacos invited them to return and share their knowledge and experience with the equally well-educated, but unemployed, men and women who remain in Greece.  

March 25, 1821, marks the date modern Greece declared its independence. Actual political independence came almost ten years later. On March 25, 2019, Ambassador Lalacos challenged Houston and America to invest funds, technology, and knowhow, so that Greece will someday become energy independent.  


LONDON - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with Greeks of the diaspora while in London on Wednesday, during which he highlighted the options that Greeks living abroad now have to vote in Greek elections from their place of residence, as well as his government's emphasis on reforms.

Top Stories


BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.


NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.


STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.


SNF’s Health Initiative Will Support Child and Adolescent Mental Health

ATHENS - When we think about childhood injuries, we usually think of scratches, a few stitches, maybe even a broken bone.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.