Disappointment on the Track Led to Success in Life
Thomas or Tom katsiantonis, president of World Interparliamentary Union of Hellenism. He is from Ellasona and would not change his country for anything, even though he was born in New Hampshire. When he was seven his parents went back to Greece and when he turned eighteen he had to go back to the United States to study.
Even now his life in New England, the Manchester of New Hampshire, is exceptional. He has two restaurants that are doing well.His political career is quite good because he is a parliamentary member in New Hampshire and a member of the town council in his county of Manchester, which has a Greek mayor, Theodore Katsa. Despite this, the idea of going back to Greece occurs to him.
‘’Of course, I would go back to Elassona, Greece and stay there permanently. I have learned to take risks in life. Nothing scares me except taxation in Greece which keeps changing. Opportunities exist even in a crisis. I would create things and live under different circumstances with my friends, and neighbours in Elassona, which is a beautiful provincial area. I would wake up and go to the square. There would be no need to phone my friends, since they would already be there,’’he emphasizes.
Their brother ,George, is parliamentary member with the party Enosi Kentron, which belongs to Vasilis Leventis. Thomas, the elder brother, has helped George with his political career since 2002. Thomas helped his brother get into the Greek Parliament. What is more, Thomas had many offers from Greek parties to become a candidate..Thomas Katsiantonis is the owner of two restaurants in the United States. He uses products coming from Greece and employs close to 100 employees. He had planned to go back to Greece before the crisis but his work started taking off he changed his plans.He is also parliamentary member and a member of the Town Council in Manchester, New Hampshire.
‘’I came to the USA in 1992 during a major crisis to study and to work. I thought I would stay for three years, but I still have not left. I opened a restaurant, entered politics and everyone whtho knows I am an admirer of Greeks. My city has 120,000 citizens of which 7000 are Greeks. Our mayor ,Theodore Katsa,is Greek and even though he belongs to another party we work together for the good of Greek citizens. Thomas will run for governor and he talks about the role of the World Interparliamentary Union of Hellenism:
‘’In the past our goal had more to do with foreign policy .Our role has changed since then.We have elections dealing with Greek issues, such as the Macedonia issue. We also try hard to get more investors to invest in Greece.There are investors with lots of money but the political instability and the continuously changing tax system makes investments in Greece difficult. We also try to get emigrants to vote and I am confident this will happen after some meetings we have already had and will have until summer 2016.’’
Others leave for the United States to work and to find a better future for their family. However, Thomas did it because he was ‘’hurt emotionally’’.As a track and field athlete he ran 800 meters and he was in a good group consisting of members like Kenteris, Vasdeli, Tsiamita and so on.
‘’I was in the pre-national group at the Olympic Games but I was not promoted to something better, perhaps because I was from Elassona and not from a major club. I hope my children ,my eleven-year-old son and my four-year-old daughter, have the talent to race for Greece one day. Since then I have not been able to watch the Olympic Games on TV. I get upset. These are the reasons I went to the United States to study.When I went to college I did some running and came in sixth. My coach asked,’How is it that the Greeks let you go?’ Afterwards my father’s serious health problem forced me to both work and study at the same time.’’