Hellenic American Leadership Council
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Chicago, Illinois 60602
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Greek Orthodox families around the world have spent Holy Week reflecting and getting ready for Easter Sunday. This weekend, as families gather to celebrate the Resurrection, there’s sure to be talk about the political and social situation in Greece. Here are five talking points to help you navigate the discussion.
1. Greece will get through this crisis stronger than ever
The economic situation in Greece isn’t going to get better overnight, but it will get better and Greece has a rare opportunity to build a new Greece. What will it look like? We already know from non-partisan data that Greeks work the most hours in Europe (so much for that “lazy” Greek lie). Over the next several years, we’ll see what happens when you pair that work ethic with a rekindled entrepreneurial spirit. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting on the latest startup trends in Greece. With unemployment among youth at over 50%, many young Greeks are choosing to start their own business. If anything can help Greece out of this crisis, it’s that spark of entrepreneurship that the diaspora knows so well.
2. This is a new era of engagement for Greeks worldwide
There’s a silver lining to Greece’s trials and tribulations, hard as it may be to believe. For the first time in decades, activism among Greeks worldwide is on the rise. Dozens of new groups from non-profits to think tanks are reaching out to engage the diaspora like never before. HALC is seeing this phenomenon firsthand. Since launching HALC less than 90 days ago, we’ve recruited tens of thousands who want to join the fight for change.
On Facebook alone, HALC has over 13,500 supporters. Thousands of you have written letters to the editor, contacted Congress, or signed one of our petitions. We’ve built an unprecedented network of citizen activists who will make real progress on the issues that matter most to our community. Imagine what we’ll be able to accomplish over the next 90 days!
3. It’s crunch time on Cyprus
Speaking about the next 90 days, on July 1, Cyprus assumes the rotating presidency of the European Union. Cyprus is one of the most highly militarized areas on the planet, with some 40,000 Turkish troops occupying the northern part of the island after an illegal invasion in 1974. The international community has called on Turkey to withdraw its occupying forces for decades now to no avail, but with the July 1st date around the corner, pressure to solve the Cyprus problem is greater than ever. Join the call to free Cyprus by signing our petition: hellenicleaders.com/FreeCyprus
4. We must fight to reopen Halki Seminary
Most Greeks in the diaspora don’t know that Turkey has held a key part of the Greek Orthodox faith hostage for over 40 years. Halki Seminary in Turkey, where priests are trained and where the Ecumenical Patriarch is educated, was closed by Turkey in 1971. You can help keep the pressure on Turkey to honor human rights and religious freedom by signing on to our letter to reopen Halki Seminary here: hellenicleaders.com/OpenHalki
5. Together, we can restore brilliance to the “Greek brand”
The Greek brand has taken quite a hit over the last year, and myths and misperceptions about Greece and Greeks in general dominate news coverage and dinner table conversations. But we can rebuild a positive perception of Greece by fighting smears with facts. Many don’t know that Greeks work the most hours in Europe, or that petty bribes (“fakelakia”) have decreased significantly according to Transparency International, or that Greece has embarked on a structural reform program of historic proportions. We can fight myth with facts by transforming the diaspora into a well-informed army of factcheckers and ambassadors of the Greek brand. You can stay up to date on the latest news relating to Greece by joining us on Facebook or signing up for our email updates.
Greeks and those of Greek descent across the world have entered a new era that will define what it means to be “Greek” for generations to come. We’re in a time of action, a moment in history when the acts we take today will have a real and substantial effect on shaping the world of tomorrow. Greeks across generations have a rare opportunity to rally together for Hellenism and our heritage. Let’s make the most of it, together.
From all of us at HALC, Καλή Ανάσταση & Καλό Πάσχα!Back to top