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Conference on «Social Policy and Local Government» hosted by the European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities

Georgia, seven years after the so-called “Revolution of the Roses”, having healed its wounds after the recent “war” with Russia, is currently progressing towards the path of democratic reforms, facing however, strong issues of unemployment and poverty. Issues in which the country of Caucasus seeks effective models for the exercise of social policy from advanced Western Countries. The transfer of “know how” is welcome and that’s why the city of Tbilisi willingly accepted the proposal of the European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities for the joint organisation of a conference on “Social Policy and Local Government”. The Conference took place on the 10th and 11th of June at the capital of George, a few days after the elections for Local Government which were positively evaluated by European observers. The good relations between the two countries, sharing a common religion and historical bonds were emphasized at the meeting of members of the Network with the President of the Municipal Council of Tbilisi, Zaal Samantasvli who received them at the historical building of the municipality, in the centre of the city. The opening of the proceedings of the conference which was held under the auspices of KEDKE, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Decentralization and E-governance, the Ministry of External Affairs, the GSGA and the World Council for Hellenes Abroad, was announced by the Ambassador of Greece in Georgia, George Chatzimichelakis. The President of the European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities, George Kontorinis, Town Councillor of Solna Sweden emphasized that, among the aims of the Network which is already comprised of 250 members from the Urals to the Atlantic, is the exchange of experiences and “know how” between European local authorities and the former Soviet Union. The Conference in Tbilisi comes third after the successful conferences in Donetsk of Ukraine and Sochi in Russia. The Speakers at the two-day conference, apart from Mr. Kontorinis were, Ioanna Zacharakis, town councilor in Solingen Germany, Eleftherios Prezalis, prefectural councilor of Vicenza in Italy, Isidoros Diakidis from the Municipality of Haringey in London UK, Kyriakos Papageorgiou from the municipality of Zurich Switzerland and Iakovos Sarigiannis, general manager of the development agency ANATOLIKI S.A., who accepted many compliments on the organizational support of the conference. The successful organisation of the conference made particularly proud the members of the Federation of Greek Communities, with Fotios Tsilidis as President, whose contribution to the organisation was very important, as well as the Mayor of the “Greek” Tsalka and member of the Coordinating Committee of the Network, Nougzar Tsamourliev. The visit of the Delegation on Saturday in Tsalka was particularly overwhelming whereby only 1000 Greeks are left from 32.000, according to the local authorities of the area. The visit of the Delegation was turned into a small celebration of Greeks at the offices of the Federation of Greek Communities, where the Junior Dance Group of the cultural centre “Odysseas Dimitriadis”, chaired by Madonna Savvides, welcomed the members of the Delegation with Greek dances and songs.
(source: ana-mpa)

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