The difference between people is sometimes so striking that comparison is inevitable.
I remember those years when we felt pain and anguish and tried to justify the unjustifiable as a result of the presence of the Greek prime ministers at the United Nations General Assembly. Greece projected a third-world presence – not comparable to other important actors and actions of the international community at the time – with contacts and meetings similar to those of leaders from insignificant countries.
In contrast, rarely has a Greek leader received the international recognition and acclaim that Kyriakos Mitsotakis enjoys. This is evident these days when nearly 200 heads of state and government have gathered in New York, from his meetings, contacts, and interviews.
It is evident from the way he carries himself, as an equal among equals, or even better, but also from how other leaders treat him. Here is an example: he met by chance the Chancellor of Germany and the Prime Minister of Canada at the UN, who were talking amongst themselves, and as soon as they saw the Greek Prime Minister, they stood up and rushed to greet him. And not just to greet him, of course – without the need for an interpreter – but to greet him in the warmest way possible. And this didn’t happen just once, but in many instances.
Of course, due to the limits of his schedule, because his stay in New York was cut short as a result of the tragic floods in Greece, his appointments were limited. Nevertheless, his meetings were of substance. They were significant for Greece, such as the meeting with the President of South Korea, as the country needs more serious investments, and quickly.
He also did not neglect the Greek diaspora. This is evident in the most striking way through the historic granting of voting rights to the Diaspora in the first four years of his tenure – and there were significant improvements made to the law at the beginning of the second term.
Of course, he is not responsible for the invitations that went out to members of the Diaspora for his meetings. Unfortunately, the responsibility lies with members of the Diaspora who are driven by personal agendas.
The pressure of his schedule during the two days he spent in New York also did not allow him to visit the Archbishop at his headquarters
Let us hope that the Prime Minister will undertake a trip to America in the near future, one that will not be limited to New York but will also include visits to other parts of the Greek-American community. It will be for the greater good.