The Pan-Macedonian Federation of Australia issued a strongly worded statement, deeming Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister Terens Quick as ‘persona non grata’ in Australia. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of issues of the Diaspora is
scheduled to visit Australia in March.
The main purpose of Mr Quick’s trip will be to attend the third annual edition of the ‘Nostos – Return to roots’ forum, an initiative bringing together the diaspora of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. Developed as part of a signed a cooperation protocol of the three countries on diaspora issues, the forum aims to establish a common strategy and joint actions in different Greek diaspora centres. The ‘Nostos’ forum will take place in Melbourne on 25-26 March 2019. A day before the forum, the Deputy Foreign Minister will visit Adelaide to participate in the annual celebration of the Greek National Day.
The Pan-Macedonian Federation urges Mr Quick to reconsider.
Signed by Peter Jasonides, coordinator of the executive board of the Pan-Macedonian Associations (which includes the Pan-Macedonian Associations of Melbourne and Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland), the statement refers to “journalist and politician, former member of ANEL and appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs of the SYRIZA government, Terens Spencer Nicholas Quick,” stressing that he is not wanted nor welcome in Australia and demands the cancellation of his arrival, “in order to avoid any ridicule and outbursts.”
The Pan-Macedonian Federation of Australia also states that organised groups of Macedonians and the Hellnism will stage intense protests wherever Mr Quick appears, “in public or even private space (churches, halls and buildings) and calls “the government of Athens not to provoke the Australian Hellenism’s public sentiment.”
The Federation had moved to a similar declaration, in anticipation of the Greek President, Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ scheduled visit to Australia, which was subsequently cancelled.
It is unclear whether this attitude is shared among the other Greek Australian Associations, or if it represents the views of the majority of the Greek community in Australia. So far, there has been no reaction by the organisers of the events in Adelaide and Melbourne. Neos Kosmos also approached the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment, to no avail.