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Bringing Greeks abroad closer to home

Government sources have revealed that the Foreign Ministry is drafting legislation to further strengthen relations of diaspora Greeks with the homeland. According to reports, it is only a matter of time before it is put to public consultation and then submitted to Parliament for a vote.

Addressing Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to “a very well-worked four-year plan for Greeks abroad.”

Government sources stressed that the purpose is to introduce, “for the first time, a unified, coherent and constantly updated strategy with specific priorities and objectives for Greeks living abroad,” in the wake of the initiatives for the lifting of restrictions on the vote of Greeks abroad and the postal vote. 

The moves entail the upgrading of the services provided to Greeks abroad with the development of networks and structures for expats, as well the further strengthening and promotion of Greek learning with an emphasis on the Greek language. It also seeks the maintenance and strengthening of links with the ecclesiastical institutions of the Greek Orthodox Church, as well as attracting new expatriates to Greek universities.

Foreign Minister Mr. George Gerapetritis referred to the “fight against the brain drain,” while the responsible deputy minister, Mr. Giorgos Kotsiras, said that the main axis of this plan is “the improvement of the daily life of Greeks abroad through digitalisation.” This includes, among other things, “the register of expatriate Greeks” and “an emergency notification system.”

“Greeks abroad will be able to register in it, in order to be informed about actions of our diplomatic authorities in their place of residence, as well as about current affairs in Greece,” Kotsiras said.

The messaging alert system will apply to Greek citizens abroad who have voluntarily declared that they wish to be notified by the system. They will receive an email or text message with information and instructions for their personal safety in times of crisis, natural or non-natural disasters and dangerous situations.