GR US

An Open Letter from the Publisher-Editor of The National Herald

The National Herald Archive

Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Abroad, Antonis H. Diamataris. (Photo by TNH)

Dear brothers and sisters in the Greek-American Community,

The new Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has honored me by inviting me to serve Hellenes Abroad in a new capacity: as the deputy Foreign Minister Responsible for Hellenes Abroad.

"Few know these issues, like you," he told me.

My family and I then gathered to make an especially difficult decision.

After giving it great thought, I accepted the honor proposed by the Prime Minister, the first such proposal ever made to a member of the Hellenic Diaspora.

And I did it because I believe in the Prime Minister – whom I have known for a long time – and in his sincere interest in us, the Diaspora Greeks.

And because the offer constitutes perhaps a unique opportunity to serve you, my fellow Greek-Americans, and the Diaspora Greeks in general, from another post: to be your representative in the Greek Government.

In other words, I will move from the one station from which I have served the Hellenes in America, from the historic post of running The National Herald, to another, as a Deputy Foreign Minister in the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

And when I complete my new mission, I intend to return to The National Herald, to be with you again.

But let no one have any doubt that just as I have given my soul, working day and night, seven days a week for 40 years as Publisher-Editor of The National Herald, I will do the same in my new post.

I will exhaust every effort to extend the limits that our relationship can reach as Hellenes Abroad and Greece.

Fellow Greek Americans,

On September 14, 40 years will have passed since I, still very young, assumed the weighty responsibility of continuing the publication of The National Herald.

It was the great honor of my life.

I had never thought, not even for one minute, of stopping to do what I love, which my health has allowed me, and continues to allow me to do.

I had never thought of ceasing the struggle, despite the often very difficult circumstances, along with my loyal old and new associates, to inform you in the best way that we know and can: with courage, honesty and objectivity. With love. With a deep sense of indebtedness to you.

I am completely at peace with my conscience that I have fought the good fight, together with my colleagues, with all the strength of my body, mind, and soul to keep you well informed.

I fought with the passion that stems from the sense of a mission worthy of a lifetime.

I worked, along with my colleagues, for truth and justice, mainly on behalf of the humblest members of our Community.

I know full well that we were not infallible.

However, the mistakes we made were never intentional. Never.

In 1979, I took over a newspaper that was very different from the one that it is today.

From every point of view.

And we added – over 21 years ago – our English edition.

We have followed technological developments very closely and have achieved a dominant position with our websites.

We love the Community deeply, and sincerely. We marvel and admire it - its efforts and achievements. We believed in the Community and continue to believe in it. We know its greatness, its goodness, its generosity, its capabilities, individually and collectively.

And we know very well its struggle to remain true to itself, and to its Hellenic roots.

We are also well aware that the politicians of Athens so far have not really been interested in the Greek-American Community and Hellenes Abroad in general.

Now I have the opportunity to serve you from inside the Greek government. As Deputy Foreign Minister Responsible for Greeks Abroad.

For 40 years I have been watching from the outside, from the position of Publisher-Editor of this historic newspaper. Politicians visited us in order to flatter us with words but they forgot us by the time they boarded the planes that took them back.

I knew they could not solve all our problems. But their indifference, which reached the limits of mockery, exasperated me.

They did not care about us and they did not value us and what we were doing and could do for Greece because we did not vote – but be assured that I will do everything possible to change that situation.

I will do in my new position what I did as the Publisher-Editor of The National Herald: I will work day and night for you, for Hellenes Abroad, a part of which, of course, I am too.

Dear friends,

I believe, as I have written so many times, that Greece, without the support of the Hellenic Diaspora, will never be able to reach its full potential.

And I also believe that because Greece is our point of reference, the future of the Diaspora is linked with Greece.

Dear readers, my brother and sister Hellenes Abroad,

I will not sever my ties with you, my dear friends, the people I've lived with for a lifetime. I will not distance myself from you.

I'm just going to fight for you on another front.

In the meanwhile, I leave you my two children, Vanessa and Eraklis Diamataris, who have played a very important part in our publications for some time.

And I leave you to my sister, Veta, whom you know from the self-sacrifice and the love with which she serves you and the newspaper as Assistant to the Publisher, Advertising.

I leave you also my dear colleagues who will continue my work, until, at the right time, I return.

While I will be absent from the newspaper, I leave in place all my loyal, talented associates, men and women with whom we have shared family-like relationships, often lasting for decades, at our offices in New York, Boston, Athens, Tripoli and Nicosia, and who serve you according to the same principles and the same publishing philosophy I have followed these 40 years.

But I will visit you as often as my new position allows.

I will seek advice from you. And I will wait for you at my new office in Athens that will always be open to you.

I am not saying goodbye – I am just taking a break from The National Herald, where my heart will always be.

My service to you continues in another important post as your representative in the government of a man who knows us well, who really loves us, in the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

I will continue to serve you, as always, with self-denial, honesty, and love – buoyed by your good wishes and your prayers.