JCU‬ IR Society Welcomes Dr. Themistoklis Demiris, Ambassador of Greece to Rome

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Dr. Themistoklis Demiris and Prof. Driessen

Dr. Themistoklis Demiris and Prof. Driessen

On Tuesday, March 24th, The International Relations Society was pleased to host Dr. Themistoklis Demiris, the Greek ambassador to Italy, for a lecture entitled “The New Greek Government and the Challenges It Faces.”

With more than thirty years of experience in the Greek diplomatic service, Dr. Demiris has worked as an ambassador in Baghdad and Brussels, before arriving in Rome in 2013. Ambassador Demiris furthermore currently serves as a permanent representative of Greece to various International Organizations based in Rome, including FAO, IFAD and WFP.

After a warm welcome by IR society member Anna Butuzova and Professor Michael Driessen, Dr. Demiris started his lecture with an overview of Greek foreign policy. In particular, he emphasized the importance of Greece’s membership in the European Union, and argued that despite the current difficulties, the majority of the Greek population wishes to remain a part of the EU. By underlining the traditionally positive relations between Greece, Russia, and other Eastern Countries, the ambassador furthermore addressed the challenges Greece faces with the Balkans, and their ongoing talks with Macedonia, Turkey and Kosovo.

The latter part of his presentation focused on Greece’s economic policy. Dr. Demiris emphasized the importance of a consensus among the EU member states in tackling the economic difficulties the country faces. Dr. Demiris described the situation as a humanitarian crisis, defined by huge youth unemployment, high debts, as well as a constant inflow of illegal immigrants and refugees. Nevertheless, he remained optimistic in his belief that Greece is at the end of its crisis.

Ambassador Demiris’s visit was part of the International Relations Society‘s effort to provide a platform for students to enhance their knowledge of current affairs through dialogue and lectures with leading professionals from different countries and fields.

Learn more about the Department of Political Science and International Relations at John Cabot University.