ATHENS | With Deputy Foreign Minister responsible for the Greeks Abroad, Mr. Kyriakos Gerontopoulos in his office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, met Dr.Olga Sarantopoulos, Secretary of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).
The topics of the discussion, which took place in a friendly atmosphere, were some of the important issues of the Diaspora, such as the taxation of the Greeks living abroad and the stagnation in the reorganization of SAE.
Dr.Sarantopoulos pointed out that the SAE as Organization of World Hellenism should be continued and any reform should take place during operation, based on the new situation, and on the accumulated experiences acquired over the years. She stressed that there is a need for radical changes in the way of operating of SAE, and the strategy of the institution should be reconsidered and hacked again.
The Secretary of SAE also raised the issue of the new law and stressed the need to proceed to elections for new officers. She underlined that the World Council of Hellenes Abroad is an institution established in the Constitution of Greece and can not show vacuum of operation and existence. She pointed out that, in any case, the elections could be held with the existing law.
Also, Dr.Sarantopoulos reported of the Reviewing and Organizing Committee, whose members are the present SAE Board, academics and government officials and institutional members of Greece and the Diaspora, and suggested that the Committe should be reactivated soon.
Dr.Sarantopoulos raised the critical issue of the housing of SAE offices in its base in Thessaloniki and the months-long stop in salaries and social security contributions for the employees of the Foundation for Greeks Abroad .
From his part, Mr. Gerontopoulos reiterated the keen interest of the Government for Hellenes Abroad and its strong commitment to exploiting the potential. Regarding SAE he stressed the need of reconstruction of the organization after consultations he also had with the Diaspora.
Finally, he referred to the forthcoming meeting of the Parliament’s Special Permanent Committee on Greeks of the Diaspora, under its new President, MP of ND Thessaloniki, Mr. Savvas Anastasiadis, in order to determine the next steps for the redevelopment of the SAE, the adoption of the new law and the elections for the new Board of SAE.