ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday had a video conference with the president of The Hellenic Initiative, Andrew N. Liveris, and the president of The Hellenic Initiative of Australia, Nicholas Pappas, noting the strong ties that connect the Greeks living in Australia with Greece and ways to strengthen this cooperation. The video conference was watched online by hundreds of members of the Greek community in Australia.
The prime minister warmly greeted those who attended the conference and promised to visit them: "I tried to come to Australia but, unfortunately, because of Covid-19, we had to reschedule our trips, so I hope that in either 2021 or 2022 I will be able to come to get to know this extremely dynamic and vibrant Greek community," he said.
Speaking about 2021 and the 200th anniversary since the start of Greece's struggle for independence in 1821, the prime minister stressed that it was also an opportunity "to re-establish Greece in the world as a modern and dynamic country, which does not rely only on its glorious past but embraces the challenges of the future."
Mitsotakis underlined the importance of the right to vote for Greeks abroad: "We managed to solve a problem that had remained outstanding, one that the members of the Greek Diaspora always spoke to me about whenever I traveled abroad. From now on, especially the younger generation, those who left Greece in the last decade, will have the right to vote from their place of residence, without having to return to Greece," he said.
"I have approved the relevant platform, we have three years until the next elections to make sure that everything works perfectly and it will be the first elections in which polls will be set up around the world, especially where there are large Greek communities, and in fact you will be the first to vote due to the time difference," Mitsotakis added.
The participants conveyed their satisfaction with the very positive image that Greece has abroad while dealing with the first and second wave of the pandemic but also thanks to positive news, such as the announcement of a big investment by Microsoft.
The Prime Minister stressed that investments such as that of Microsoft show confidence in the long-term prospects of the country and noted: "Investments in Greece are no longer just about tourism, they are about digital and "green" transformation, they are about skills, and that is why as a government, we have a very broad investment orientation and we have secured European resources for this transition."