Thousands of Greek Australians rallied against FYROM receiving a compound name containing the term ‘Macedonia’ on Sunday in Melbourne.
The rally held outside the Greek Consulate was organized by the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria and supported by many other community groups as well as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
The crowd holding Greek flags and chanting “Hellas-Hellas-Macedonia,” listened to several prominent Greek Australians speak against the use of the term ‘Μacedonia’ by the former Yugoslav republic.
Addressing the crowd, Victoria Representative Steve Dimopoulos said that “Macedonia is a as Greek as the Acropolis.”
“No one can steal Greek history and culture,” he said, adding that the Victoria government will always support Greece in its dispute against FYROM.
President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Bill Papastergiadis said it’s the duty of the Greeks of the diaspora to make their voice heard.
“We are fighting for justice and history… We demand respect. Macedonia was, is and will always remain Greece.”
The president of Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria, Peter Iasonides, launched an attack against the government in Athens saying that Macedonia cannot be sold. “No Greek has the right to sell Greece’s history and culture.”
He demanded that the Greek government puts the agreement with FYROM to a referendum where the “four million Greeks of Diaspora will also vote.”
A declaration was read out by Johh Paganis, of Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria and one of the key organizers of the rally.
The declaration, which will be handed to the Greek consulate on Monday, calls for an immediate stop of the negotiations with FYROM, until Skopje accepts a name that will not include the term Macedonia.