Republicans attack Ohio congressman Zack Space and his Greek ancestry, for participating in congressional delegation visiting Greece and Cyprus
New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Greek American Community will defend Zack Space, not only because he is of Greek descent, but also because of his qualities. This is the decision of many Greek American leaders, after the recent Republican attacks against the Democratic Congressman from Ohio Zach Space.
GreekNews discussed the recent developments with Congressman Albio Sires (D-N.J.) who is leading the Congressional delegation to Greece and Cyprus, as well as the Presidents of PSEKA, Philip Christopher and the Cyprus Federation of America, Peter Panicolaou.
Speaking to the GreekNews during an event organized by the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus”, Congressman Albio Sires expressed surprise for the fuss created after the announcement of the official trip to Greece and Cyprus.
“I really donʼt know why this fuss. I asked Zack Space to join me. He was really going on his own to Greece, covering his own expenses for the trip. Obviously it is targeted district and people are trying to take any issue and blow it out of proportion.
For my perspective, it is a very important fact finding trip for my very personal knowledge of the district of Greece and the security issues in that area and the Cyprus issue. The relationship of the United States with Greece has always been very good and I want to learn more.”
PSEKA President Philip Christopher says, Zack Space was targeted before even became elected.
“His district was Republican for many years and the indictment of Congressman Ney gave him the chance to win the election. Space has already proven what he can do in the US Congress. He is a young man with a lot of drive, representing a younger generation of some 50 freshman members of Congress. He is in a class of Congressman believing in the American values and the American ideals.
There is no question that we will defend him. Not only because he is a Greek American, but for his qualities.”
Philip Christopher agrees that if the congressional delegation was heading to Israel, no one would have complained.
“A trip to Israel, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, is not getting criticized. I donʼt understand why such a government sponsored trip is getting criticized. We as Greek Americans are not really involved, we are just help them to the process”.
Cyprus Federation president Peter Papanicolaou points out that a dirty war is taking place against Congressman Zack Space.
“As a community we are aware of this, for few moths now. We discussed the fact that he has been targeted by the Republicans and we should expect to hear similar stories from the Republicans in an effort to influence his constituents to turn against him.”
Papanicolaou says congressional trips like the one organized for Greece and Cyprus are happening on a regular basis.
“Members of Congress are visiting foreign countries to get a clearer picture on foreign policy, economic relations, antiterrorism, money laundering, as well as issues effecting the American public and US policy in general. Reading these articles, the extensive coverage is questionable, given the fact that this overseas trip has been approved by the Chairman of the International Relations Committee and the delegation is bipartisan. Indeed there are more Republicans that Democrats in the delegation. Nothing unusual is happening. The members are traveling by military plane, they are staying in a hotel suggested by the Department of State and the local transportation is provided by the US Embassies in Athens and Nicosia, which have arranged their meetings.”
Papanicolaou also underlines that in Greece we had much less trips, comparing with countries like Israel, Russia and Turkey.
“Thatʼs why the criticism about this trip is questionable, especially when it is the first time ever, an official trip to Cyprus by the Foreign Relations committee is taking place.”