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Editorial

Ideas for Building on the Success of Mitsotakis’ Visit

Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit to Washington, although it lasted only two-and-a-half days, changed the impressions of Greece for decades.

In this short period of time, he was able, as the historian of the future will note, to transmit the image of a Greece of the future, to gain the trust of its allies and to make the Greek-American community and the other Greeks abroad proud.

All of the above are important points. All these are the links of a chain on where one complements and strengthens the other.

However, I want to focus on the last point, the pride that Greek-Americans feel today for Greece, because I consider that it is really very important.

For decades, the children of our Community have witnessed a pathetic Greece from afar and unimpressive representatives nearby, hence, they had low expectations for the country.

And when they do not find positive feedback from their family environment to counter their poor initial impressions, they become disappointed, which keeps them away from their roots and consequently from Greece.

I have been arguing for years that making our children proud of their country of origin is a necessary element for the future of Hellenism abroad. So, with this visit of the Greek Prime Minister to America, a very big, positive step was taken in this direction.

But we must not be left with just fond memories of the visit. It must be followed up. And it must be followed up with on a regular basis.

Here are just a few ideas to start with, since we have limited space available in this column:
The visit of the Prime Minister proved, once again, the importance of Greece’s representation abroad. For example, the ambassador of Greece to America, Mrs. Alexandra Papadopoulou is recognized for her ability, her intelligence, her work ethic, and for having direct access to her superiors in Athens.

She is the main one who was responsible for the visit of the Prime Minister and who, despite the unexpected organizational weaknesses of the relevant White House officials, distinguished herself with how well she performed her duties

The writer of this column has worked with a few other great ambassadors. There were…a few.
The participation of the Greek-American community, from one end of America to the other, and of Hellenes from outside the United States, in the events for the Prime Minister, confirms the need for the establishment of assemblies of representatives of the Community and its distinguished members in various cities of the country and elsewhere.

I suggest assemblies twice a year – one time in a city in America or other parts of the world with a strong Hellenic presence, and one time in Greece, rotating among Athens, Thessaloniki, and other large provincial cities.

Naturally, the personal expenses should be paid by those who will participate .
It is difficult to describe the benefits, for the nation and for the participants, of such an endeavor, but they would be tremendous.

It should also be noted that as the Archdiocese’s involvement and influence in political affairs wanes, as was clear during the Prime Minister’s visit, the need for strong lay leadership in the Community becomes even more urgent. But that is something that can be achieved through the process described here, from which a new leadership of the Greek-American community may emerge.

The awarding of medals to Hellenes abroad – and in general the recognition in some way of their services and sacrifices – firstly in the local communities abroad and, secondly, in Greece, must become a tradition. Actually, it must be systematized.

Greek political leaders, from all parties, but only those who are knowledgeable and well prepared, should visit the communities abroad on a regular basis. The same should be done by the top religious, musical, and athletic leaders of Greece.

But the same must be done from the side of Hellenes abroad – they must undertake more – and more substantial – trips to Greece. Let us ride the momentum of the Prime Minister’s success. Let the opportunity not be missed. Let us act immediately.

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