“Greek community flies flag to help homeland”, The Age, 14/2; “Melbourne in a Greek rush as new wave of migrants arrive”, H-S, 19/2. Greece’s economy continues to implode, so guess where many citizens there are looking to escape to? Yes, the far-off paradise of Australia, where despite having our own problems with hundreds of people losing jobs every week, the Victorian Premier urges Greeks to migrate to Victoria:
THE Baillieu Government wants Greeks hit by the economic crisis to migrate to Victoria. Greek-born Multicultural Affairs Minister Nick Kotsiras yesterday put out the welcome mat for his former countrymen and women. “It’s important that we build this nation and I think that migrants add to our capacity to grow and develop and to provide jobs,” he said. “And so I encourage people from all over the world, including Greece, to apply.”
Mr Kotsiras said the Victorian Greek community’s Antipodes festival this weekend would be a chance to show solidarity with the ethnic homeland. He said it was estimated that thousands of Greek Aussies based in Greece had returned to Australia because of the country’s debt crisis.
The Baillieu Government has given the Greek community more than $3 million to build a cultural centre and to spruce up Lonsdale St’s Greek precinct.
There is a similar situation in Ireland, as noted in my 15/12/2011 entry. I guess you can’t blame people for wanting to escape bad situations, but what happens if Australia is beset by a similar crisis? There would be nowhere else to go. I doubt I would want to leave, even if I had the means (which I don’t).
The whole “nation-building” ethos is so anachronistic (along with colonialism and slavery); I can’t believe some still espouse it. An alternate slogan I would like to see adopted for Australia: “Small, smart and sustainable”.