Thousands of Greek Australians attended the parade for Greece’s Independence Day in Melbourne on Sunday, while several attendants booed Greek Deputy House Speaker Giorgos Varemenos when he tried to deliver a speech afterward.
According to SBS, hundreds of students from Greek schools across Melbourne and Victoria, along with members from Greek and Cypriot organizations, took part in the annual Greek Independence Day parade.
A total of 79 groups marched towards the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne’s CBD, with the student bands from Alphington Grammar School and Oakleigh Grammar banging their drums proudly to commemorate the 25th of March 1821 and the revolution of the Greeks against the Ottoman rule.
This year’s parade was dedicated to the genocide of Pontian Greeks, as 2019 marks 100 years from the year that the Ottomans slaughtered 353,000 Hellenes from Pontus.
Crowd calls Greek Deputy House Speaker “Traitor”
Greek Parliament 2nd Deputy Speaker Giorgos Varemenos was in the Melbourne parade to represent the Greek government. When the Syriza MP tried to deliver a speech, several attendants protested angrily.
According to Australia’s SBS, a group of people started calling Varemenos a “traitor” for “selling out Macedonia”, protesting the Prespa agreement. They were shouting “Hellas, Hellas Macedonia”, blocking out the speech of the Greek government representative.
According to the same report, one angry protester threw two bottles at the Syriza MP without coming close to him. The healing did not stop until Varemenos’ security advised him to leave.