Tuesday, September 7, 2010
A Bonus for the Omogeneia: Greek Australian Demetris Dollis is Greece's New Deputy Foreign Minister.
Greek Australian Demetris Dollis, former Australian MP and ALP Deputy Leader for Victoria, has been appointed one of Greece's two Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet reshuffle announced early this morning.
Born in Kastoria in Northern Greece in 1956, Demetris Dollis moved to Australia with his parents at the age of 15, in 1971.
After 28 years of living in Australia, Mr Dollis' accomplishments attracted the attention of then Foreign Minister, PM George Papandreou and he was appointed General Secretary for Greeks Abroad, a post with particular symbolism and significance for a repatriated son of the diaspora...
His extensive and in-depth involvement in Australian politics, both at local and state level (from city councillor to shadow-minister of Ethnic Affairs) in Melbourne which is often called the 2nd largest Greek City of the world, made him an ideal candidate for this role which he kept until 2003.
One of George Papandreou's staunch supporters and close advisors over the years, Demetris Dollis was earlier this year sent as the Greek PM's Special Envoy to Afghanistan to negotiate the release of teacher Athanassios Lerounis who was captured by the Taliban, during the course of his duties as curator of a heritage museum, linking the Kalash tribe's culture with Greece. (See note at end of post)
We at Global Greek World are very pleased with the appointment of one of our Global Greeks to the post of Deputy Foreign Minister. We consider that PM Papandreou is doing this to send out a signal of his confidence in Greeks Abroad. He has many close advisors from the Omogeneia but this is the first time that one of it's representatives has been given such a pivotal post.
We believe that there is a lot that Demetris Dollis can contribute to a government which is having to undertake some of the toughest austerity measures in Greece's history.
If he is given the responsibility for Greeks Abroad, as we believe he will be, then there is a great deal that can be done to consolidate the relationship between Greece's formidable omogeneia and the metropolis on all levels, but especially on the level of credibility, to ensure that each and every one of our Global Greeks is also a 'Goodwill Ambassador' for our homeland at this very crucial time.
In an interview with Neos Kosmos of Australia, he said that it was a great honour and a challenge for him personally to be given this post, but an even greater honour for it to go to someone from the omogeneia, and that he would do everything he could for Greeks Abroad.
We wish Deputy Minister Dollis all the very best in his new undertaking. We will be waiting!
To read Demetri Dollis' biography, Click Here
Athanassios Lerounis was abducted while based in the northern district of Chitral, where he worked as the curator of a heritage museum in the Kalash valley, pursuing his interest in the Kalash tribe, an ancient "lost tribe" whose people have European features and still practise a pagan religion resembling that of ancient Greece.
They are said to be descendants of Greek soldiers from the army of Alexander the Great, who passed through the region nearly 2,000 years ago.
Sponsored by the Greek government, Mr Lerounis managed a museum which highlighted the tribe's culture and Greek connections.