Greek politician offers insight into health care and immigration

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Adonis Georgiadis describes how he and others in his country have tried to preserve Greek heritage while adjusting to the modern world.

Conservative Greek politician, Adonis Georgiadis, responded to questions about health care, immigration and unemployment among other topics after his presentation that was hosted by the UVU Office for Global Engagement, Jan. 10.

Georgiadis began his presentation speaking about the difficulty of retaining Greek heritage and language while adapting to the modern world and the difficulties —  especially economic difficulties — that Greece has faced in recent years.

The issues that were briefly introduced by Georgiadis became recurring topics during the question portion and are also topics that the United States is struggling to address.

Brady Jones, a political science junior, asked about universal health care in Greece and referenced other European countries that are having difficulty managing their own universal health care systems.

“Why do you feel that universal health care promotes Greece and helps your economy instead of privatizing it more?” Jones asked.

In response, Georgiadis described how having basic health care provided to the Greek population is important, and it has been especially important during their economic crisis, when up to 28 percent of the population was unemployed and many remained unemployed for years.  He believes that integrating public and private health care will allow for basic services but also allow for higher quality services in the future.

Audience members also asked about immigration and what Georgiadis and his political party, New Democracy, intend to do to manage it.

“I was just wondering what, in terms of immigration agenda, specifically with refugees, what your party would change as opposed to current parties,” Gary Crofts, a political science senior, asked.

“We don’t believe in open borders,” Georgiadis said. “Open borders, you can see it has more humanitarian, but at the end, it causes tremendous problems.”

Georgiadis detailed that with open borders there is a lack of control, which results in social and political problems. His party wants controlled legal immigration. He also spoke about the benefit of additional money and support from the rest of Europe with helping immigrants and refugees to improve their lives in their own countries.

Stace Hall, UVU’s executive communications officer, asked what advice Georgiadis would give to the United States.

Georgiadis spoke about the importance of competitiveness in the U.S. economy and balancing imports and exports but most importantly managing debt.

“There is a day that the debt will take you down,” Georgiadis said. “Even a huge country and a very successful country as the U.S. should be very careful of that. I see that you[r] debt is rising. This is not a good idea.”

Georgiadis continued by explaining that it will eventually catch up with the country. He explained that his country went through the same problem and suffered a severe economic collapse.

“We thought that prosperity would be forever,” Georgiadis said. “Money is cheap. We could find as much money as we wanted, and one day, this couldn’t happen. When that day came, everything changed. So, I would say, ‘Beware’.”