NEW YORK, N.Y. –
The SAE Board believes that decisions made at its recent meeting in Thessaloniki will have a strengthening effect on the organization’s course. Discussions during the four-day event, attended by the Board, the leadership of the SΑΕ Networks (Youth, Business, Culture, Science and Women) and by representatives of the Greek government and the parliament, covered a number of future activities including funding of network programs, the Elliniada athletic and cultural event, and hospitality programs for young and old.
Based on a prior decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs determined the extent of funding for various network programs planned for 2003. Special emphasis was given to the Business, Science and Youth networks, which collectively are expected to absorb the largest portion of the funds.
“Elliniada,” the new athletic and cultural event of which SΑΕ has been an organizer, will take place this year from June 25-29 with 326 athletes and 40 artists currently signed on to participate. The athletic events will include men’s soccer, women’s soccer, baseball, tennis, swimming, wrestling and tae kwon do. The cultural events consist of theater performances, music and cinema.
The reports and requests of the Pan-American SΑΕ Education Committee that were recently submitted to the Ministry of Education are currently being studied and a response is soon expected, a Ministry representative confirmed.
Details about SAE’s World Camp were announced. This hospitality program, for youths 18-30 years of age, will be held at “Kamena Vourla” (Voiotia), a new location, during August 4-17, 2003. A similar program, for three age groups for youths and for those of 65 and over, is currently being conducted through a collaborative effort between the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad (ΓΓΑΕ), the Ministry of the Interior and the Local Municipalities (EETAA).
Also discussed was what is hoped will be the evolution of SAE’s current relationship with the Greek State from that currently reflected in Article 108 of the Greek Constitution to a future constitutionally-defined relationship reflecting SAE’s maturity and future developments, including operational issues such as convention frequency and officer terms. Although many proposals expressing this need have been submitted by the membership and the Board in the past, the new law will be the final product of the Greek State.
It was also decided that further action will be taken in such areas as the financial and moral support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem, the support of Hellenes of the countries of the former Soviet Union and those of Albania, and the development of the National Funds of Hellenes Abroad (ETO).
Among those also attending the Board meeting were Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Magriotis, Chairman of the Interparty Parliamentary Committee Grigoris Niotis and members of the Board, General Secretary for Greeks Abroad Demetri Dollis, representatives of the prefecture and municipality of Thessaloniki and other officials.