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Press Office

Athens, 11 October 2022

Maximos Charakopoulos at Clergy-Laity Assembly of Uruguay: "A second Greece outside the Greek borders"

"I would like to assure you that in Greece it is gradually becoming understood that outside its borders there is a second Greece. A Greece of expatriates who keep intact their Greekness, love their country and can offer it their best services. Especially in these very difficult circumstances, where along with the global turmoil, we are facing the Turkish provocations and direct threats against our sovereignty, the expatriate community can and does perform an outstanding job in informing the international public opinion and the governments of the countries where they reside." The above was stressed by the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), Member of the Greek Parliament, Dr Maximos Charakopoulos, in his speech at the end of the Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Cathedral of Buenos Aires and South America, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Maximos Charakopoulos was in the capital of Uruguay after being invited by the Αrchbishop of Buenos Aires Iosif, while the Assembly was also attended by the Deputy Minister for Diaspora Greeks Andreas Katsaniotis, the MPs Stathis Konstantinidis, Maria Kefala and Dimitris Vagionas, the Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, John Chrysoulakis, as well as, the Prime Minister's adviser on Latin American issues, Iason Pipinis.

The Head of the IAO, addressing the Αrchbishop of Buenos Aires, expressed his joy because "the change of baton in the throne of the diocese marks a dynamic restart for the Orthodoxy and at the same time for Hellenism in Latin America".

The Church and the Greek language                                                                 

The Greek MP stressed that "history teaches that Orthodoxy and Hellenism are two concepts inextricably linked. And it is not a coincidence that the Greeks in the diaspora rally mainly around their parishes. The Church is the basic institution that brings together the expatriates and strengthens the ties between them and with the homeland. The Sunday service, the major holidays, the baptisms, the weddings, are the major events that keep the community together. The more capable the hierarchs and the clergy are, Your Reverence, the more essential work is being done, as the Clergy Assembly here proves, held after many years. I would like however at this point to stress on the learning of the Greek language, now that there is the possibility of using the platform of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. And I do insist because language is not only a code of communication, It is a carrier of ideas, concepts, traditions, emotions and history. Language is at the same time, a whole world. That is why, when we return to Greece, what we, ourselves and our colleagues, should be committed to do, is to exert more pressure in order for more teachers to be posted to Latin America and to reactivate the programmes for young expatriates to visit Greece".  

“Your children should get involved in politics”

Maximos Charakopoulos concluded by urging the expatriates “your children should get educated and you should encourage them to get involved in politics, not only in the expatriate community, but also in the countries where you live. Therefore, they will be even more useful for the place you have chosen to be your second home, but also for the expatriate community and for the 'homeland of your heart', Greece. The expatriates in the United States of America have succeeded in doing that, and I am certain you can do that as well. Greek sagacity is everywhere. As long as we dare to do something, we will succeed.”

The politician from Thessaly, along with the cordial greetings of the President of the Parliament Costantine Tassoulas to the expatriate community of Latin America, offered to Archbishop Iosif, the silver medals, with fighters of the Greek Revolution, of the Hellenic Parliament for the 200 years since the beginning of the Struggle for Independence.

Finally, in recognition of his interest in the Hellenism of Latin America, on behalf of the Hellenic Community of Uruguay, its Vice President Pavlos Avgoustis, presented an honorary plaque to Maximos Charakopoulos.




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