Sydney helping Greece to breathe

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The weekend that passed for the Sydney Greek Community proved to be an exceptional one. With the success of the ‘parelasi’ at Darling Harbour to open the 33rd Greek Festival of Sydney, another success was emerging.Any one of the tens of thousands who made it out to Tumbalong Park at Darling Harbour on February 14 and 15 would have seen the poignant message on a banner to the side of the main stage. ‘Let Greece Breathe’, the banner screamed. With a puff of air as the sole image to accompany the slogan, few people could be mistaken about what the banner was trying to state.On the other side of the festival, along the main walk up to Tumbalong Park, you could find a stall that was gathering signatures for the campaign. Hundreds, probably more than a thousand, had signed up and pledged to help promote the message. They want Greece to breathe.Over 200 of them turned up on Monday 16 February at Town Hall in the heart of the CBD to rally in support of Greece, to show their disappointment in the treatment of Greece by the EU, the IMF, and a number of other key stakeholders.The rally held in Sydney reinforced the message heard at the festival. The rally was organised by the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign. Coordinator Mr Adam Rorris, an education economist, told me that the rally is an opportunity for people in Australia to show their support for “Greece as it fights for a fair and sustainable deal on debt. A deal to allow its people to live with their dignity and a reasonable hope for their future”.“When a country has under the duress of it lenders implemented policies that have seen it lose 25 per cent of its GDP, rendered half its youth unemployed, destroyed its health system and produced child malnutrition rates not seen since the German occupation, you know that it’s time to change course.” Mr Rorris told Neos Kosmos.The rally heard from Mr Harry Danalis, president of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, Angelo Gavrielatos, the former president of the Education Union, Ms Maria Mouratida, a young person recently arrived from Greece, as well as Mr Rorris.Their message was clear and unequivocal. They believe that the new Greek government that was elected last month has a mandate to change the ‘course’ and the international agencies are beholden to recognise the will of the Greek people and her supporters overseas.The campaign will continue to breathe in the coming weeks, with a speech and discussion event to be held at the University of Sydney on 10 March, a significant institution, as this is where Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis taught for a decade.last_img

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