Greek Governor Katsaros Promises Office for Expatriate Larissans

Eleftheria, 8 February 2003


Larissa, Greece—A group of Greek-Americans, along with the president of the Greek-American Club, D. Billis, paid a congratulatory visit to the new governor, Mr. Loukas Katsaros. During this visit, the expatriate Greeks sought the establishment of an Office for Expatriate Larissans within the jurisdiction of one of the prefectural offices. Larissa, the metropolitan county seat of Thessaly, in contrast to Magnesia and Trikala, which are known for having already established offices for Greeks abroad and for organized councils of expatriates, lags behind.

The new governor listened attentively to the proposals of the expatriate Greeks which are summarized as follows:

  • To establish an office for expatriate Larissans at the capital.
  • To create a registry of the expatriates with a census of Larissans living abroad and of noted Larissans.
  • To make progress in setting up the First Worldwide Council of Larissans.
  • To combine the offices of Tourism and Culture, according to a much-publicized pre-electoral promise of the new prefectural government.
  • That Larissa claim the title of capital of Olympic Aid 2004. As it is known, Olympic Aid constitutes the philanthropic arm of the International Olympic Committee, active in 2002 for the winter Olympics, and with the initiative of the Greek-American Club, Ms. Fani Petralia was appointed president for Olympic Aid 2004.
  • That the governor, Mr. Katsaros, and the lieutenant-governor of Tourism and Culture head up a worldwide publicity campaign for Larissa. An opportunity will arise for Larissa in 2004 when an expected 15 million travelers inundate Greece for the Olympics and the prefecture of Attica will be unable to meet all of their needs. Coastal areas of the Larissan prefecture will have a unique opportunity then to strengthen the position of Larissa as a central prefect of culture and tourism.
  • With the plethora of cultural events that have been organized by the municipalities, that the prefecture coordinate all these events so that, with the help of the expatriate Larissans, suitable and equivalent events can be highlighted internationally.

Both Governor Katsaros and Lieutenant-Governor Papademopoulos welcomed the proposals and promised that, with the new creative energy which infused the Prefect, all of the expectations of the expatriate Larissans would materialize, expectations, moreover, which had been pre-electoral announcements from the Gubernatorial Office.

This evening Lieutenant-Governor D. Papademopoulos will hold a working-dinner with the expatriate Larissans of the Greek-American Club rather than paying a visit to the United States for cultural matters.

As Mr. Billis had announced earlier, two delegations from the United States have been arranged, one scheduled to arrive at Easter and the other in the summer. Invitations have already been obtained by Mr. Gedertsan for the dance-troupe, Kele, since he will receive a performance slot within the framework of the events for volunteerism and Olympic Aid for the U.S.

Likewise, equivalent dance-troupes which received slots in the inaugural ceremony of 2002 and METAL groups had already received permission to participate in suitable events at Larissa.

Present at this congratulatory visit were the president of the Greek-American Club, Mr. D. Billis, Mr. D. Kanakis of Tempi Travel, Mr. A. Deslis, Mr. I. Berkoulakis, and Mr. S. Roditis.

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(Posted March 2003)

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