I have noted years ago that every conversation between Greeks will at some point turn to politics. I do not know of another nation where politics plays such a dominant role in everyday life. When I saw that the Prime Minister of Greece, Georgios Papandreou, is using twitter, I followed him. He is not an active twitter user, averaging less than 2 tweets per month. Social networks are still fairly unknown in Greece, and I must give credit to Mr. Papandreou for embracing twitter.
Last Saturday Mr. Papandreou sent out a tweet. I noticed that he follows “only” 18 people, among them Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Unfortunately, this was an obvious fake account, used to send out satirical tweets. To be fair, the tweets are in the German language, nevertheless, postings like “I am fed up with life” or “Please do not vote for me again” leave little room for interpretation. I alerted Mr. Papandreou via twitter about this somewhat embarrassing fact. Within minutes, I received a Direct Message from his web team, thanking me for my support and asking me for the official twitter account for Mrs. Merkel. The fake account had been swiftly unfollowed.
I openly stated on twitter that I was impressed with how quickly the Papandreaou team had taken action. I also suggested that Mr. Papandreou should follow me instead, in order to engage in a conversation on how the government could support the promotion of Greek wines abroad. This resulted in the following tweet by jasonswineblog, who is based in the US:
In the meantime, I had verified that the German Chancellor does not use twitter at all. However, one of the current shooting stars in her political party does. Julia Kloeckner is using this medium in a very professional way. I suggested her account to Mr. Papandreou, and he did indeed start following her.
This is a great example of how useful twitter can be, and how engaging many of its users are. The Greek Prime Minister got rid of an embarrassing fake account, replaced it with somebody truly worth watching, and gained a few followers along the way – thanks kalofagas and michalaki for getting involved.
And who knows? Although the Greek Prime Minister has not heeded my advice to follow me :) , maybe he will give the promotion of Greek wines abroad some serious thoughts. If he wishes to engage, he knows now where to find me.