Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has issued a message addressed to Greek Australians and Hellenes around the world in honour of Greek Independence Day.
Morrison drew back on last year’s bicentenary celebrations when Australia’s landmarks were lit in blue and white celebrating to celebrate the 200th anniversary.
“In 2021, sites and monuments across Australia were illuminated in glorious blue and white to honour the Bicentenary of Greek Independence,” the Prime Minister said.
“I am delighted that one year later, we continue to celebrate the past, present and future of Greece.
From the ancient past to the modern era, Greece has given the world riches of art and architecture, philosophy and science, literature and sport. In these uncertain days, we cherish democracy — the voice of a free people — as the greatest of these gifts.
In 1821, the people of Greece stood in the face of autocracy and demanded liberty. You built your hard-won independence on the foundations of democracy and sovereignty. In the centuries since, you have defended these ideals with the same defiant unity.
Today, in Europe, we are witness to an aggressive authoritarian regime’s acts of coercion, bullying and violence against a liberal democratic state.
Nations that celebrate a democratic inheritance, so powerfully enacted by the Greek people in their quest for independence, stand together to condemn these outrages. Those who believe in a world that favours freedom will not be cowed by threats or violence.
Here in Australia, we take courage from the power and spirit of democracy and unite in support of freedom and sovereignty.
On Greek Independence Day, Australia honours the epic history of Greece and gives thanks for the generations of Greek Australians who have given so much to advance our great nation.
Happy Independence Day!”
Australia’s opposition leader hails Greek Independence Day
Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese also sent his very best wishes to all Greeks and Australians with Greek heritage, with a heartfelt message.
“It is 201 years since the revolt in the Peloponnese that saw a people rise to their feet and so emphatically end centuries of Ottoman occupation. Their cry of Elefthería í thánatos/ Ελευθερία ή θάνατος – Freedom or Death – has lost none of its spirit,” his statement wrote.
“If anything, current events are underscoring the enduring power of that rallying cry and the hunger for freedom that drove it. Our connection with Greece is profound. We are home to such a large part of the Greek diaspora; Melbourne alone has the biggest Greek-speaking population outside of Greece.
It’s something we take great pride in as Australians. From our big cities to our country towns, Greek Australians have done so much to shape the face of our modern nation. I am proud to say my own electorate of Grayndler, especially my home suburb of Marrickville, has long been a Greek stronghold. On behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I say to our Greek community – and to Greeks everywhere: Zito i Ellas! Ζήτω η Ελλάδα! Long Live Greece!”