Monday, 04 February 2013 09:08

A Proud Greek in diaspora, Candidate Mayor of N.Y.

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 Twenty-one years ago, when our Office, specialising in AVIATION LAW, had a cooperation with the C.E.O. of the then newly established HELLENIC AIR, I had a first idea of the Greek-American businessman John Katsimatides.

Having knowledge of Airline Business in the United States, this Pioneer Greek in Diaspora, has taken the chance to ride the train of development, as it was then called by the Greek Government.

Innumerable hopes and great expectations grew in his soul.
During that period, according to the European directives and the relatively new Aviation Code (L 1815./1998), a full A.O.C. could be granted to a company providing there was commercial authorization while an aircraft was needed for the technical exploitation license.

For this reason, Mr Katsimatides brought a BAC 1-11 aircraft at Elliniko Airport as well as all the requisite studies for the technical part of the A.O.C. (Technical Procedures Manual etc).        

He tried to proceed with the licenses in vain against the voracious Greek bureaucracy.

During any stage of this procedure that we were asked to offer our help, we did so and we made considerable efforts together with the then local management of Hellenic Air.

Finally, the company was never started.

That aircraft, to the grace of a country that punishes its children, who want to invest in it, has remained rotting at a parking area of Elliniko Airport even until today!!

Vividly showing the investor’s despair.

Since then, that Greek man has developed even more rapidly than he had started in a Group of businesses, oil, trade, super markets and real estate, with his current property value reaching 4.0 billion USD.

Being an aggressive businessman, bursting with will power, a restless worker, an excellent P.R. handler, he culminates in America.

Now, being more mature in the ways of thinking and due to his course, he has a dream.

To govern New York. The Mekka of Economy.

He announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York 2 days ago, in a public statement.

His good external evidence is a given.

His ability for a pre-electoral campaign is essential.

The symbolism of such an action is vital for the Greece of «crisis».

A Greek on the footprints of the blessed Greek-American president of U.S.A. M. Doukakis, is giving meaning to the timeless value of the Greeks in Diaspora.

To this unexploited superpower by all the Governments of our Country.

Seldom has he appeared in public through the mass media of Greece.     Each time he did it, one could detect his longing for his Greek Country, which has continuously neglected calling him for immediate help.

Despite that, when he is interviewed in the United States, he talks about his distant soul country with passion and love, that he tunes in with his plans for his second Country, America, the capstone/ City, of which he wants to govern.

On the 6th of July 2012, among many other interviews, he was interviewed live by Diana Williams for the American channel A.B.C., showing his dynamics

He spoke with nostalgia about his birthplace, the small Greek ¨Nissyros¨ island, and his love for it.

The «self-made» of his route.

And in one of his older, also live interviews, with Michael Steler on the ‘Building N.Y.’ show, on May 6th, 2011, as the Chairman and C.E.O. of RED APPLE GROUP INC., he narrated how he built his Business Group, among which is his Airline Business, in America.

His knowledge on this field pointed out how well coordinated he is, with this business activity too.

We stand here and envisage the fact that if this Pioneer had been offered motivation by Greece, without bureaucracy and with a steady LEGISLATION, he would have been able to set up a long haul Airline that could fly with Cargo and Passengers from Greece, in long distance, even now. 

What would the added value be for such a Company, managed by so successful a businessman who would at the same time feel as if being accepted back by his «Ithaca»?

It is never late for this Motherland to embrace in warmth and with a Practical Business Spirit such a Businessman in Diaspora.

Could a real approach be made by our Country to this specific businessman and to tens of others all over the world, on business terms and without extravagant and false promises instead of actions?

Who, in this country, dares face the people in Diaspora realistically and with a practical spirit, while being straight forward and ready to take action?   We are certain that, if that could be implemented, John Katsimatides would be present in various fields of activity, essentially giving life and business will, to the cradle of his origin.  

He proved it in practice in 1991-92, when he attempted to establish HELLENIC AIR, within a negative “climate” for AVIATION FIELD and without any appropriate AVIATION LAW rules, really enforced.

I still long for the company’s ¨logo¨ on the tail wing of the aircraft with the four white and four coloured horizontal lines, the white cross and six circular stars.

In 2013, when his own “STAR” culminates with the contest of the Mayoralty of New York, the ‘timing’ is right to invite him, in order to be “re-connect” with Greece.     

We are not flattering anyone, we are just sure of this man’s Guts.

The benefits and international positive impact will be unique.

Is there any better choice than having a Greek Airline, a new Hellenic Air, flying again from Athens to New York, owned by John A. Katsimatides, and not only that but also 52 years after the first flight of Aristotle’s Onasis OLYMPIC AIRWAYS, to the same city?

There are means and solutions. However, is there political will?