Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The integration of Diaspora Greeks into Greek national life part 2

Diplomatic Periscope has recently posted an article by Mr. Ioannis Touloumakou, Professor of the Faculty of Philosophy at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The article is an attempt to trigger a discussion on the role of the Greek Diaspora (or more accurately the Omogeneia) on Greek and Cypriot national life and Hellenism more broadly. Antipodes posted some of the proposals put forward by Touloumakou yesterday which can be found here.

To repeat, Touloumakou believes it is critical that the Greek Diaspora, despite its heterogeneity, should, and can be, a critical factor in the national strategy; particularly, today as the nation confronts a plethora of internal and external problems.

Touloumakou provides several proposals for the reform of Greek political life and requisite revision of the Constitution which will concern Greeks living abroad. They include the election of representatives of Greeks living abroad (Greek citizens) to the Greek parliament in a proportion determined by certain factors and for the President of the Republic to prepare and speak at the end of each year at the Parliament House; following the budget debate, “On the state of the Nation”, which will include comprehensive references on all the issues facing Greeks living abroad.

Touloumakou provides an interesting set of proposals (some have been largely incorporated) that focus just as much on the Diaspora's rights as their obligations. The Greek Diaspora often conveniently forgets that along with representational rights also come obligations to Greece.

Furthermore, it will be difficult to get broad agreement from Greek society and the Diaspora but at least his article does demonstrate that there are people who are thinking about utilising such a valuable resource as the Diaspora for the renewal of Hellenism. Like almost everything Greeks do, they construct the most wonderful ideas - such as Plato's Republic or the Byzantine cosmosystem (Contogiorgios) - but its in the implementation in which we fall down. The recent bickering in the Greek parliament, on how the Greek Diaspora will be represented, shows the Greeks have a long way to go.

Source: Diplomatic Periscope (Ioannis Touloumakou), Antipodes

No comments:

Post a Comment