By Ola Goroveci
Nafsika Tomara, a Greek woman originally from Athens, has been living in Barcelona, Spain for the last twenty years. Approximately five years ago, she created an agency called “Agora – Grecat,” or “The Greek Marketplace,” aiming to connect Greece and Catalonia in the realms of business and culture.
Her agency offers diverse services, ranging from business information for those who want to invest in Greece or Spain to legal advice for Greeks who come to live or study in Barcelona.
In addition, it even offers translation and interpretation services and language classes in Spanish, Catalan and Greek.
Speaking to Greek Reporter, Tomara expressed her wish to do more for young people and create a “business bridge” between the peoples of Greece and Spain.
Tomara building bridges between Greece and Catalonia
“When I started this project, I got in touch with the Council and Greek Embassy in Spain and everything was all right. But after the political issue between the province of Catalonia and Spain, it made us face some problems, because almost nobody wanted to cooperate in a heated political situation,” Tomara explains.
Despite successfully collaborating with a few individuals who show great trust in her, people who have studied business and very much want to give their help to this project, Tomara’s new agency is facing a shortage in funding.
The entrepreneur said that her main goal now is to attract the attention of Greek and Spanish/Catalan authorities and sponsors, because they feel they have so very much to contribute in this vital arena.
“We want to let them know that we are doing a good job and are working hard to create this cooperative bridge between Greece and Catalonia,” Tomara explains.
Young Greek people may face a range of problems when they move to Barcelona due to a lack of information about the culture, or knowledge of the language.
One of the major goals of Agora – Grecat is to help them overcome these issues, and to provide legal advice to them as well, but her project also focuses on other individuals who want to collaborate for future business and cultural promotion in both countries.
A main objective of Agora – Grecat is to show the great business opportunities available to internationals in case some of them are interested in investing in Greece.
Tamara says that her agency wants to prove that Greece has not only recovered from the decade-old financial crisis but it is a beautiful nation as well, and has so very much to offer those who would like to invest there and work together.
Many connections between Greece and Spain
“Greece has a lot of features that can be positioned at the same level as Spain. We can project another beautiful Greek image to the Spaniards,” the entrepreneur explains.
“Northern Greece is almost completely unknown, and this is another mission that we as Agora – Grecat have, the cultural and touristic promotion of this forgotten region. Both nations can exchange or learn something if they keep an open mind,” Tomara adds.
Spain is a much-loved country by the Greeks, since they share some common cultural features. If we delve into history, we learn that ancient Greeks founded the first city in Catalonia, named Emporion (Ἐμπόριον) or Ampurias in Spanish, meaning “a trading place.”
The great city of Barcelona itself was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists from Phocaea.
Right now, according to the most recent statistics, there are approximately 4,000 Greek citizens living in Spain and at least 2,000 of them live in the region of Catalonia.