Tuesday, March 13, 2012



On Sunday evening, on one of MEGA TV's most popular programmes, Protagonistes, some of Greece's best and brightest Global Greeks discussed Greece's image with journalist/host Stavros Theodorakis and how it needs to be changed to combat the recently acquired negative stereotype of the lazy and corrupt, non-tax paying Greek who lies on the beach all day drinking coffees....

Brand Strategist extraordinaire, and Global Greek of the Year runner up, Peter Economides (Greece), Athens 2004 Opening and Closing Ceremonies' Mastermind Dimitri Papaioannou (Greece), journalist/showman Nikos Aliagas (France), MP Jorgos Chatzimarkakis (Germany) , CEO of V+O Communication creators of the Give Greece a Chance Campaign,John Olympios, along with journalist Rika Vagiani (Australia) and writer/journalist Soti Triantafyllou (USA)  discussed ways of how Greece can reverse the negative stereotype which has prevailed recently because of the economic crisis and has led to almost racist jokes, snide remarks, sneers  and odd behaviour not just from other people but from some otherwise seemingly respectable institutions such as airlines and pilots ...

Last year a cafe owner in New Zealand woke up to find this on his shop door, citing running up debts as a Greek Cultural Tradition (!!!)

Photo Source: Stelios Manousakis

A few weeks back we were appalled to read on our Twitter Feed about a so-called joke made by a pilot to the effect that ' now that we have established that our Greek passengers have paid their tickets we can take-off', or the more recent language tests forced on a Greek passport-holding passenger by an Aer Lingus agent in Spain before she and her family were allowed to board , an incident for which the airline apologised but the harm was done...

Thanks to the economic crisis in Greece and the negative and distorted image which has fed through to the international media, it means that the average Greek anywhere in the world has to fight to prove that he is not corrupt and lazy, pays his taxes and dues on time,  and lives up to his responsibilities while he enjoys his life; to fight the negative stereotype that has taken over from that same guy who was lying on the beach and was known as Zorba, a fun-loving but wise philosopher of life, who everybody loved and admired...

Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates in Zorba's Dance...
 In the days when Zorba was considered cool ...

There is a lot of work to be done by all those of us who love Greece, Greeks and non-Greeks alike, to bring confidence back to Greece and our people's belief in ourselves, and it must be done. We need to reverse that negative image!

We all need to believe that we can succeed, that we can do what it takes to turn things around.

We need to take that feeling of euphoria that we all had after the success of the Olympic Games and put it on tap... remembering how good it felt to have succeeded and made those who doubted Greece around the world eat humble-pie so to speak.

FORGET what the others say we CANNOT do, we need to set our own goals and achieve them, and if possible surpass them...it is a question of pride, in ourselves and in our people...

As Peter says, and we endorse it wholeheartedly...

We will never be Good Germans but we can be Great Greeks!

Γ Ι Ν Ε Τ Α Ι !   G I N E T A I !
YES, Greece CAN!

If you missed Protagonistes, it is well worth taking the time to watch it: Here it is

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  1. There is a Greece outside of Greece and it is us, The Global Greeks. Love that and much better than "the diaspora". As a tv/radio producer, I'm trying my best on my side of the world, here in Toronto. Will have Peter Economides on am740 radio,a 50k watt clear channel with one of the largest broadcast footprints in North America. Listen LIVE to the Richard Syrett Show, http://www.richardsyrett.com/, on Sunday April 8th. It will be available on itunes and podcasts at a later date.
    Twitter: @richardsyrett

    I'm also writing a blog, about my personal journey from inside Greece. Hope you enjoy it. http://jsyrett.blogspot.ca/2012/03/wheres-streetwise-hercules-to-fight.html

    Me agape,

    1. Thank you Jacqueline! Our Global Greeks are one of Greece's greatest assets and we all need to be there for Greece as we also change the habits of many years and the mindset that got us where we are today! Keep up the great work on your side of the world. Look forward to hearing the session with Peter, who really is an inspiring speaker! Efharistoume! :)


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