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Power speaks Greek on five continents

01 March 2009 / 12:03:24  GRReporter
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From Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Congo to Tatarstan, Argentina, Brazil, and Australia, more than 220 politicians with Greek origin have been chosen in local parliaments or senates and many of them have managed to reach high positions and are holding minister positions. The US politicians with Greek origin are the largest in number – 56 out of 126 from all over the world. 94 lost their positions in the elections, which took place not too long ago.

The first try to count the Greek Diaspora started in 2004, after which the World Hellenic Inter - Parliamentary Association was created. At least once a year all politicians with Greek origin come back to their “home country,” as they call Greece. “On the last world congress in Athens we discussed problems, which are connected to Hellenism, the Macedonian and Cyprian topics, the genocide and the guardianship over the Patriarchy in Istanbul,” says the chairman of the Union Mr. Dimitris Yanaros, who is a senator and a deputy chairman of the local parliament in Connecticut.

Usually, on those meetings immigrated politicians are trying to help Greece with the creation of trade and economic ties with their countries. But as a result, when they face the monster called “Greek bureaucracy,” every good intention turns into the next unsuccessful talk, which renews on the next meeting.

In every Australian State, there is at least one representative of the Greek community and some have even reached “minister” positions. In the countries from the former communist bloc, there are many Greek politicians, mostly in Georgia and Russia, where the Diaspora has big presence. Peculiar are the cases with Ukraine and Rumania, where politicians with high ranks disclose their Greek origin and connect themselves with the World Hellenic Inter - Parliamentary Association.

Kostas Vatzkalis is a rare case, because he managed to climb up to his position of deputy minister of Australia. He arrives there as an immigrant in 1982, when he was 27 years old. He says: “What’s important are the man’s abilities and not the origin and connections.” The fact that his origin did not stand in his way to make a political career is also noted by the Justice Minister and Industrial Relations of Australia John Hadzisterios, and the Industry Minister of Canada Tony Clement.

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