The Rupture in Tsipras-Diaspora Relations

Maybe this news has only appeared in fine print. But it is serious. Very serious – and probably unprecedented.

As if it were a spontaneous mass decision, mystically expressing the general will of the Hellenic Diaspora, Greeks from America to Australia have signaled that any representatives of the Greek government will be considered personas non grata at events and parades celebrating March 25, 1821.

We have seen this in all the parades that have been held so far and we will see it at the premier parade in the Diaspora, the one that will take place this Sunday on 5th Avenue, in New York.

How common is this phenomenon?

How significant is it?

It is not common. And it is not insignificant news that the representatives of a Greek government are not welcome at events of the Omogeneia.

It is the culmination and the tangible proof of the breach that has opened up in relations between the Hellenism abroad and the Tsipras government.

And this is an extremely worrisome event.

This has not always been the case in the relations between Greeks living abroad and Greek governments. The opposite has traditionally been the case, and to a degree, did damage to both sides.

Traditionally, Diaspora Greeks have supported the governments in Athens. For example, a significant part of the Community accepted the military junta simply because it was the government of the country.

Also, a part of the Community supported Andreas Papandreou, even though he was anti-American, using it as a clever piece of political marketing that brought him to power and kept him there for years, but caused considerable damage to the people and the country.

In both cases, as well as in other less important matters, the Hellenes Abroad tend to automatically support the positions of official Greece.

But it would be more helpful, for the Community, and for Greece, for us to adopt more critical positions to question whether certain Greek government positions serve national or personal interests.

These days, we have crossed to the opposite bank – the interruption of relations between the organized Diaspora and the government of Athens. A genuine schism.

Banning members of the Greek government in taking part in a parade, is an extreme position, no doubt. Nevertheless, these actions are indicative of the deep disappointment of the Omogeneia, on a number of issues, with the Prespes Agreement over Skopje being merely the one at the top of the list.

It is no coincidence that the Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Abroad is staying away from the United States these days the way “the devil avoids incense.”


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