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Posted on: 20/Jul/2009 - In 1995, the Greeks abroad joined forces for the first time forming “Greece of the World”. A presidential decree instituted World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) to consult and advise the Greek State on issues concerning the Greeks abroad. A firm demand and vision expressed by World Hellenism finally materialized enjoying broad political consent.

The Founding Assembly of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad convened on November 29 through December 8, 1995 in Thessaloniki and elected the dynamic Andrew A. Athens from Chicago, USA, to the presidency (1995-2006).

SAE initially comprised of four geographic Regions managed by an 11-member Presiding Board, while Thessaloniki became established as SAE’s permanent headquarters and “capital city” of World Hellenism

Maturity and solid experience acquired over the years consolidated the belief that SAE can evolve into an organization with a great future. The implementation of Law No. 3480/2006 gave SAE new impetus guaranteeing its consultative, advisory, assertive and supportive role to the Greek State.Pursuant to the new Law the number of Regions increased from four to seven.

The 6th World Convention in December 2006 elects Stefanos P. Tamvakis to the president’s office.

The biggest challenge and SAE’s main goal is to establish cooperation, offer support and unite World Hellenism making it even stronger.

SAE’s main goal is to bring together the Greeks of the Diaspora creating a global Network aimed at planning and materializing programmes for the benefit of the Omogeneia to be subsequently conveyed to the Greek State thus fulfilling its role as an advisory and consultative body.

World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Stefanos Tamvakis accompanied by SAE Secretary Olga Sarantopoulos attended the opening of the proceedings of the 10th World Conference of Pan-Macedonian Associations and the 63rd Conference of the Pan-Macedonian Association, Inc. USA held on the premises of Alexander the Great Monument International Foundation in Litochoro, Pieria Prefecture.

Addressing the delegates, SAE President Tamvakis pointed out:

“…For decades you pass on the love for Macedonia – the only one, Greek, and historical Macedonia – to your children, grandchildren and to your fellow townsmen in America, Canada, Australia, Africa and elsewhere,

You convey knowledge in cooperation with academics without cries and endless sentimentalism, but always with a sense of national duty and interest, knowing the historical reality, both the long gone one and the contemporary.

World Council of Hellenes Abroad and I personally are not bystanders but we work actively with you in your efforts.

What’s imperative to do is always to firmly stand by the Greek State and the homeland, and steadily and in consultation to make the steps that are necessary.

I want to thank the active Supreme President Nina Gatzoulis, all the Supreme Presidents and the boards of Pan-Macedonian Associations in different countries for their tireless effort in difficult conditions and for the spirit of cooperation formed between the Pan-Macedonian Associations and many institutions of the Omogeneia and Greece…”

At the end of the event, SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis and SAE Secretary Olga Sarantopoulos accepted an honorary distinction on behalf of SAE USA Regional Coordinator Theo Spyropoulos presented by Supreme President of the Pan-Macedonian Association Inc, USA Nina Gatzoulis in recognition of his actions and support to the struggle of the Pan-Macedonian Associations for Macedonia.

Other relevant news:

SAE Europe Regional Convention, Frankfurt 2009

The need for more effective organizing of the Diaspora Greeks and concern over the consequences of the international financial crisis on the Greeks living abroad dominated in the SAE Europe Regional Convention held in Frankfurt in 2009.

Federation of Greek Communities and Associations in Sweden President Komninos Haideftos stressed that the Greek expatriates are terrified by the crisis considering that their majority belong to the working class.

SAE Treasurer and Federation of Greek Communities of Germany (OEK) President Costas Dimitriou focused on these issues as well and referred to the OEK activities. The OEK Germany board met two weeks ago with the German President and briefed him on the problems faced by the Greek immigrants while requesting that the Greek children in Germany be given equal opportunities with the German children. The meeting OEK Germany will have in ten days with Chancellor Merkel will also focus on that issue.

The improved organizing of the Greek associations, communities and federations in Europe was also discussed and specific proposals were tabled.

  • Speaking on behalf of the Federation of Greek Communities of Holland, Pavlos Karasavopoulos proposed that all Greek expatriates in Europe be registered.
  • Panagiotis Oulis from Sweden pointed out that the expatriate organizations should have better planning.
  • Dimitra Papadopoulou, speaking on behalf of the Federation of Pontian Associations of Europe, thanked the Greek State for its unreserved interest in the Greek expatriates and stressed that the Greeks living abroad have a duty to seek Greek expatriate organizations in their regions and join them.
  • Grigoris Thomaidis from the Association of Greek Scientists in Frankfurt underlined that partisanship and feuding are among the reasons that disable the communities.
  • Angelos Aslanidis from the Foundation for the Assistance and Study of Pontian Hellenism in Cyprus suggested the opening of General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad offices in all regions of the world with large Greek communities and called for economic assistance to Greek expatriate organizations to be tripled in size.
  • Kosmas Mikropoulos of OEK Germany underlined the limited representation of Greek expatriates in the political parties of their countries of residence.
  • Wiesbaden-Germany Community President Giorgos Harisopoulos, referring to the same issue, stressed that the young expatriates will have to become more involved to ensure that the Greek expatriate organizations will have a future.
  • Panagiotis Topaloudis, president of the Association of Greeks in Bulgaria (DOME-Democratic Organization of Education-Culture) referred to the activities of the association.

Addressing the convention delegates, SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis referred to the activities and goals of SAE underlining the efforts that need to be made as regards the youth while stressing that this will be the organization’s priority for the next two years.

SAE Europe Regional Coordinator Giorgos Amarantidis referred to the constant improvement of services provided by SAE to its organizations, the initiatives undertaken concerning the two-way briefing and cooperation between the Region and Greek expatriate institutions, participation in various events, the new offices of SAE Europe in Frankfurt, the SAE Europe website, the distribution of printed material, education and Greek-learning initiatives, etc.

Source: ANA MPA

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