Greek National Day

Written on the 28 March 2012

In my electorate of Southern Metropolitan Region I have a number of strong and very proud Greek communities, including those in the areas of Prahran and Oakleigh. The 25th day of March marks the national day of Greece -- a day that recognises the Greek War of Independence and is celebrated by Greek communities throughout the world and in many parts of Melbourne. On Friday I attended a flag-raising ceremony in Prahran to mark the occasion together with my colleagues Clem Newton-Brown, the member for Prahran, and Kelly O'Dwyer, the federal member for Higgins. The event, organised by the Stonnington City Council, has been held for 30 years. Attended by many local traders, residents, and church leaders, it is an important event each year for the local community of Prahran.


On Sunday Nick Kotsiras, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, yourself, President, other state and federal colleagues and I attended a reception at the Consulate General of Greece in recognition of the day. On this occasion much was said about the many achievements of Greece over centuries, the resilience of Greece and the special relationship Australia has with Greece. Also discussed was the concern many Greeks in our own communities have for friends and family who remain in Greece and who are dealing with the current financial crisis affecting their country.


The debt levels Greece and some other European countries have are placing great strain on their governments, despite the receipt of billions of euros from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The situation still remains dire and of concern to not only Europe but to the international community. It is a salient reminder to us all of the need for prudent fiscal management, including responsible government borrowing and spending. The Baillieu government is taking great measures to ensure that Victoria's economy remains strong and competitive, with a clear plan to improve the state's fiscal position, drive investment and create jobs.

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