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  • Greek referendum (Provided)Source: Provided
In the early hours of Monday morning a small crowd gathers in the offices of the Greek Centre in the heart of Melbourne. A laptop is hooked to a big screen showing results of the Greek referendum, the first in 41 years. SBS Greek reporter, Dina Gerolymou, reports from the Greek Centre.
By
Dina Gerolymou / SBS Greek Radio

6 Jul 2015 - 11:10 PM  UPDATED 6 Jul 2015 - 11:22 PM

The last time Greece held a referendum was after the ousting of the Generals in 1974, when the Greeks were asked to decide on the type of republic they wanted. The mood among the people at the Greek Centre was one of euphoria and cautious excitement.

They saw the 61,3% of a “No” vote to the deal proposed by Greece’s creditors as an affirmation of national sovereignty and dignity over austerity and its manifestations which brought a staggering 60% of youth unemployment. 

Olivia Nikou QC, co-chair of the Greek Centre for Contemporary Art was among those watching the referendum results. She expressed her relief at the result.

 

Many were surprised at the high percentage of the “No” vote given that consecutive pre referendum polls showed a lead for the “yes” camp.  Jim Bossinakis, vice president of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, summed up the feeling of surprise:

Greek- Australians interpreted the result as a positive outcome for Greece, one that would strengthen the country’s negotiating position, as Nick Koukouvitakis said:

Esther Anatolitis, director  at Regional Arts Victoria, expressed her joy at the result of the referendum and says the word “No” has defined Greece in the pivotal moments in its history.

Among the crowd at the Greek Centre were young Greek- Australians who believe the “No” vote offers hope for an alternative solution to the austerity measures that placed 2 million Greeks below the poverty line.

Penny Kyprianou and Helen Papadomanolakis expressed their satisfaction to the determination displayed by the Greeks in this referendum:

For a broader coverage visit sbs.com.au/greek