Gillard holds up a mirror to Greece

first_imgWhen the Australian Prime Minister spoke to Neos Kosmos about Golden Dawn, no one imagined the impact her words would have, not only on the diaspora but to the Greek community in the mother country. Some comments have been positive, some negative, but all have have the underlying message that Greece should look at Australia for the treatment of migrants, after all, it’s the Greeks in Australia that the PM praises for harmonious multicultural life in the antipodes. The majority of the media in Greece has commended the Australian PM for having the courage to speak out against Golden Dawn and their policies, with many comments geared towards Greece learning from Australia to work with the migrants in the Hellenic Republic and how to live in harmony as Greek migrants have done for many years in Australia. In the interview with Neos Kosmos at this year’s Antipodes Festival, Ms Gillard said political parties such as Golden Dawn will not be “muzzled in Australia”, even though she was quick to point out there is “no place for that kind of politics in our nation”. “We have freedom of speech and even people who have got the most repugnant views are not muzzled in Australia, but if they do come with repugnant views then we certainly call it for what it is as there is no place for that kind of politics in our nation,” she tells Neos Kosmos. Her comments made as part of Greece’s independence day celebrations for March 25 in relation to the contribution by the Greek community were also noted by the media. In her message to the Greek community of Australia, Ms Gillard noted the valiant efforts of the heroes of 1821, but used the message to pay tribute to Greek Australians. She said: “As the leader of Australia, I also record our gratitude for the gift of Greek migration, which has done so much to transform and enliven this land we love. “The shape of modern Australia is unimaginable without the Hellenic contribution. We are a better, richer nation because of what you’ve done.” Upon reading this, a columnist for Eleftherotypia wrote: “As I read it I wondered, would any Greek leader dare speak at some point about migrants in Greece – such as Albanians, Filipinos, Ukrainians, Africans and so on. The ones who harvested the land while the men drank their frappes in the cafe; the migrant women who cared and looked after our elderly while the Greeks would not bother. “So let’s re-read what Julia Gillard wrote and rethink how we progress as a country to think seriously about acknowledging the contribution of foreigners to its progress.” However, there were some negative comments made towards the Federal Government. One person responded dismissively to Ms Gillard’s stance on Golden Dawn, stating that she could not comment given Australia’s treatment of the Aboriginals. The article Golden Dawn: we will not muzzle them, says PM was also posted on a white supremacist forum entitled White Pride World Wide. A member of the forum from Greece posted this comment on the forum: “You can forbid the people of Golden Dawn to enter Australia but you can do nothing to stop the ideas.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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