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. Dr.Olga Sarantopoulos

Bonds Clip' The Confidence of the Expatriates Greece has now come to an intense run-up period in the shadow of the deep crisis that impoverishes the middle class, smothers any chance of growth and within a political system that tries to convince its reliability. The Greek Diaspora around the world monitors developments and once again witnesses an unbelievable tragedy whose victims are all Greek citizens and even include the expatriates themselves. Those who trusted the Greek government and invested their savings by buying bonds, are now in dire straits since after the decision to cut public debt, the Greek government bonds they owned, consequently suffered losses in the hundreds of thousands of euros. The Motherland once again hurts her children because its not just an economic loss. But even more important is the fact that one more time the Greek States appears insolvent to its citizens, and to the Greeks abroad that trust her. The emotional bond that unites the Diaspora to the homeland is always strong and indestructible, but Greece needs to convince us that she can reverse the conditions that led to the crisis. She needs to convince us of her sincere intentions to make the necessary changes, to make reforms that will provide the recipe for growth and therefore out of the crisis. She still needs to reverse the negative image created abroad and requests the assistance of the Diaspora. But without being able to guarantee the obvious to its members: that Greece could change and could provide a reliable environment for entrepreneurship to flourish, creating opportunities for growth. The Greeks abroad, the first generation of immigrants will always return to their homeland, the problem is that the second, third, fourth and fifth generation that are now in the U.S., Australia, South Africa, Canada, need to gain the confidence that the Motherland gives when they invest in cultivating relationships with long-term goals. Greece and her political system always based their relations with the Diaspora with audacious criteria. Whenever there was a need, the expatriates were asked to provide. No plan or policy that would promote and further cultivate their relations with Greece occurred. In contrast, the mechanisms created to serve these objectives, were manipulated by partisan interests and finally, under the pretext of the crisis abandoned to their fate. This story is repeated with the bonds of the Diaspora, many of them invested life savings to buy them, believing that they were offering assistance to the Motherland. The new government will emerge from the elections on 17th June and it should seriously consider the request of bondholders who claim the ultimate return of their monies in the purchase price. It is a matter of honor more than anything else in Greece.

Vienna, May 17, 2012