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Editorial

The Need to Register the Diaspora

I have never seen – as I wrote in a tweet a couple of days ago (@AHDiamataris) – "So many top Greek scientists/directors of renowned pharmaceutical companies will participate in a joint teleconference with the Prime Minister. They offer a valuable opportunity for something specific in Greece."

The ‘Who’s Who’ of the pharmaceutical world was present at this teleconference. These individuals are not just the ‘National Team’ of Greece in the pharmaceutical sector, but the ‘National’ Team of the World.

From Albert Bourla of Pfizer, Sir Menelaos Pangalos, Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca, Stelios Papadopoulos, Chairman of the Board of Biogen to Dr. George Yancopoulos of Regeneron. Like I said, a true, international Who’s Who.

Most of them were born in Greece, an important, revealing element, indicative of the potential of Greeks. But, they had to emigrate to become distinguished.

Undoubtedly, these people will want to contribute as much as possible to the further development of their industry in Greece. Under the right conditions, of course. Something in which Kyriakos Mitsotakis, due to his knowledge and experience, can play a decisive role.

They had an extremely interesting discussion.

However, for well-known reasons, I am particularly interested in the following statement by the Prime Minister:

"When the COVID pandemic broke out, and we started doing research to find out who could help us manage the unprecedented health crisis, I was extremely impressed by how many Greeks, how many people of Greek descent, or people who have some kind of a relationship with Greece, we managed to find and communicate with.”

Kyriakos described exactly one of the country's problems, its relations with Hellenes Abroad.

It is a problem that has preoccupied me since the first days of my term as Deputy Minister with Responsibility for Hellenes Abroad, because it is an important matter, which entails well-known issues like the registration of all Hellenes Abroad.

It makes no sense that Greece does not know the talent, and, in general, the people who constitute its Diaspora – in the scientific field and elsewhere. From people who are the world’s top scientists, businessmen, clergy, academics, and journalists to those who are the presidents of unions, medical societies, bar associations, etc.

From Diaspora Hellenes who are elected to office in the cities and states of a country, to those who have elected or appointed positions in the central governments of the countries in which they live. (There are many more than those we have identified).

And, of course, it is unbelievable for Greece not to know about Greek media outlets abroad and what their reach is, and which Greeks are leading lobbyists and how we and they can encourage others to do the same.

The ‘system’ that exists now is not working. But we can fix it.

By using the Diaspora’s media outlets, Greece can get in touch with our Community to inform them, to consult with them.

Some can be honored; others can be invited to Greece. The possibilities are endless.

It is impossible not to try to resolve this issue.

And for the record, I would like to note that I did not notice any officials from the Office of the Deputy Minister with Responsibility for Hellenes Abroad among the associates of the Prime Minister who attended the teleconference. Maybe they were just not visible to us. But if that is not the case, it was a mistake not to include them. 

 

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