This week I’m writing from Syros, the capital of the Cyclades islands in Greece. Given where I am, I thought it would be pertinent to write a post about the events taking place across Greece at the moment.
Greek communities across Australia have followed the financial crisis in Greece closely as it has developed in the news over the last few months. In a landmark vote on July 5th, the Greek people voted a strong no to the proposed austerity measures outlined by the European unions.
But what does this mean for Greece? Well, the situation looks likely to be quite devastating for the Greek people, with RBS Economics stating that Greece has suffered one of the worst economic declines in modern history, especially considering that it is not at war. It seems inevitable that the country will enter a serious period of depression, whether it remains in the Euro or decides to adopt the new drachma.
In this time of uncertainty and hardship, we should try our hardest to support the people of Greece from Australia. Here are a few simple ways we can all help.
A great way of providing Greece with economic support is to buy more Greek branded products such as Follie Follie, Korres, Apivita, Dodoni feta, olive oil, and wine.
The World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (PADEE) backs a campaign for the promotion of Greek products in Australia, especially food products and drinks. Greek products imported into Australia are of great quality and competitively priced, and buying them will help increase exports and job positions, as well as strengthening farming production.
There are plenty of Facebook groups, such as Support Greece and companies like Greek Market where you can buy Greek products online. You can also find out about Greek products here: http://www.ellines.com/en/category/entrepreneur/
Thinking of going on holiday? Show solidarity through tourism and take a trip to Greece. Spending your money in local restaurants and shops will give small business owners a much-needed cash boost.
Reach out to family, friends or business contacts you might have in Greece, or who are connected to Greece. You may be able to help them in a small, but vital way.
Since the crisis hit its peak, many online groups have sprung up as a way for Australians to connect with Greeks and show their support through messages and the sharing of information. One of the largest is the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign which also runs the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign (Facebook).
You can also keep up with the latest news and ways to support Greece by following Greg Pappas and Peter Economides on Twitter.
Photo credit: Nation of Change