OPINION

No time for jobs for the boys

Greek Australian Dimitris Dollis, former Australian Labor Party (ALP) deputy leader for the state of Victoria, has been appointed one of Greece’s two deputy foreign ministers in the recent PASOK Cabinet reshuffle. Born in Kastoria in northern Greece in 1956, Dollis moved to Australia with his parents at the age of 15, in 1971. After 28 years of living in Australia, Mr Dollis’s constant trips to Greece attracted the attention of then Foreign Minister and current Prime Minister George Papandreou and he was appointed general secretary for Greeks abroad. One of Papandreou’s staunch supporters and close advisers over the years, Dollis was earlier this year sent as the PM’s special envoy to Afghanistan to negotiate the release of teacher Athanasios Lerounis, who was captured by the Taliban during the course of his duties as curator of a heritage museum linking the Kalash tribe’s culture with Greece. I personally have to wonder why Greece needs to create such a position, given its current economic woes and given how much money has been squandered to overseas Greek organizations that base their importance on estimate figures rather than census figures. Most diaspora Greeks live in the United States, Australia, Germany and Canada (all G-20 economies) and most are comfortably well-off and do not need handouts from Greece, which owes over 300 billion dollars. Dollis’s position is a job for mates and a waste of Greek taxpayer’s money. Mr Dollis in the past has also exaggerated Melbourne’s Greek population, claiming it was 300,000, when in fact the 2006 Australian census based on ancestry only showed 159,000 in a population of 3.7 million. GEORGE SALAMOURAS, Melbourne