Thousands of Greek Australians of all ages rallied yesterday in the heart of Melbourne chanting “Hellas-Hellas-Macedonia,” and waving their Greek flags.
The ‘Macedonia is Greece’ rally was held outside the Greek Consulate the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria with the support of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria as well as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia including members and officials of many independent Greek community groups.
Greek Australians and Philhellenes from across the country gathered at 2pm to protest against FYROM receiving a compound name containing the term ‘Macedonia’.
“We are fighting for justice and history,” said President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Bill Papastergiadis.
“We demand respect. Macedonia was, is and will always remain Greece,” he shouted stressing that the voice of the Greek diaspora needs to be heard.
Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopoulos addressed the crowd saying that the Victorian government is committed to supporting Greece regarding the Macedonia name dispute.
“Macedonia is as Greek as the Acropolis. No one can steal Greek history and culture,” Mr Dimopoulos said.
The rally was overall a peaceful one although it was expected to have a larger turnout.