On behalf of the Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) of the Political Studies Association (PSA), I am writing to express our concern about your recent statement regarding the possibility of enforcing restrictions to the movements of Greek nationals across UK borders.
The Greek Politics Specialist Group has a membership of more than 300 academics, researchers and practitioners based in many universities and institutions across the UK and Greece. During the last 8 years, we have worked very hard to promote and strengthen the ties between the British and Greek academic communities, to support collaborative and cross-national research and to encourage the sharing and exchange of expertise between the two countries.
Britain and Greece have always enjoyed a very close relationship of mutual respect. The ties between the two countries are both historic and continuous, spanning many sectors of British life, including research and development, tourism, higher education, shipping, banking and culture to which Greek citizens and institutions have been making a considerable contribution, competing with domestic and international candidates on an equal basis.
We believe that your recent statement – and the government’s contingency plans as outlined by both yourself and the Home Secretary on an earlier occasion – may have an adverse effect on our effort to further reinforce a climate of trust between the two communities. The statement could be perceived as offensive and disrespectful, both to the thousands of highly skilled, productive, law-abiding, well-integrated Greek residents within Britain, and to a country which is a European Union partner, an ally and, hopefully, a friend. Furthermore, in the long term it could be harmful to both countries’ interests. At a time of economic uncertainty and rising extremism across Europe, we feel it is vital to protect and nurture solidarity and trust across the EU and particularly between Britain and Greece.
We hope that the government will have the opportunity to reconsider its contingency plans and we look forward to continuing working to support the ties between the two academic communities.
Roman Gerodimos, PhD
Founder and Convenor,
Senior Lecturer in Global Current Affairs, Bournemouth University
The Executive Committee of the Greek Politics Specialist GroupDr Andrew Liaropoulos, University of Piraeus
Dr Georgios Karyotis, University of Strathclyde
Dr Dimitris Tsarouhas, Bilkent University
Dr Stella Ladi, Panteion University
Dr Vasilis Leontitsis, London School of Ecomomics
Dr Theofanis Exadaktylos, University of Surrey