Cypriot Americans honor Nobel Laureate Compatriot

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Dr. Christopher A. Pissarides, Professor at the London School of Economics and Visiting Professor at the University of Cyprus, who was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (along with Peter Diamond of MIT and Dale Mortensen of Northwestern) received the “Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Merit Award” at the organization’s 8th Annual Awards Gala, held recently at the New York Hilton Hotel.

About 250 people, including some from the same village where Dr. Pissarides was born and raised, showed up for the event which over the years has come to signify the conclusion of another cycle of annual activities, while celebrating the millennia old Cypriot entrepreneurial spirit.

After receiving the award, Dr Pissarides expressed the view that the debt situation in Greece has been dealt with successfully so far by the Greek Government. However, “restructuring will not be in Greece’s interest,” he pointed out. “Greece will not come out of this mess any time soon. Crucial changes are much needed to be made.” In comparison, Cyprus is in a better position than Greece but given the fact that the two economies are connected if things in Greece deteriorate Cyprus will be affected too. In order for the island economy to be prepared to deal with the crisis more effectively, Dr. Pissarides asked for reforms where the labor unions, the labor market and competition are concerned.

The President of the Cyprus-US chamber of Commerce, Mr. Dennis Droushiotis, thanked the event’s organizing committee headed by Peter Papanicolaou, the Board of Directors and the Chamber members and friends for their dedication. Highlighting the presence of many young people among the attendees, Droushiots said that “in 2011 we plan to develop a Cyprus – US internship exchange program for the benefit of Cypriot and American students to work in their field study.” Regarding the Honoree, Droushiotis noted that “his continued contributions dedicated to his homeland are evident, as he is currently a visiting professor at the University of Cyprus. In honoring him tonight, we pay tribute to his outstanding achievements as an economist, educator, author and a champion of his Cyprus heritage that reflects so positively the strides and contributions of our ancestry.”

The Chamber’s charismatic President and founding member Dennis C. Droushiotis is the former Trade Commissioner in the United States for the Republic of Cyprus. During his tenure, he implemented export promotion programs that saw Cypriot exports to the United States increase from $700,000 to over $32 million.

The Chairman of the Board Andy Comodromos noted that the chance to meet a Cypriot Nobelist is a once in a life time experience.
The Ambassador of Cyprus to the US Pavlos Anastasiades declared that “Cyprus is indeed proud to have such loving children who, through their work, dedication and outstanding achievement, honor their homeland by globally raising its profile and serve as role models for the younger Cypriot generations and the Cypriot research community. And in ways you may not be able to quantify, strengthen our continuing struggle to make Cyprus whole and free again.”

The host of NPR’s Morning Edition of WNYC Radio, Mr. Soterios Johnson, himself of Cypriot extraction, mced the event.

The Cyprus – U.S. Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in 1998. The organization’s purpose is to help potential investors open doors and offer advice on foreign investment projects and introductions to Cypriot partners, exclusive briefings by private and government officials and much more.


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