A year to remember
English edition editor Eugenia Pavlopoulou looks over the stories that shaped 2011, and the year that saw Greece in crisis
2011 will be remembered as a historic year for Greece and the Greek diaspora. It was for all the wrong reasons that our country of origin monopolised the headlines of the global media.
We saw, read and some of you may have witnessed horrifying riots, seemingly endless protests, and a wave of destruction in both physical and financial terms that wrought havoc in Greece and beyond.
Images and interpretations of the ferment, often exaggerated, travelled quickly - at the click of a mouse - across the world.
In between the protests, austerity measure announcements and political upheaval, the country - which was the envy of the world during the 2004 Olympics, slipped into both a deep recession and psychological depression.
Greece was the most powerful news narrative of the year, not only for Neos Kosmos but for all media.
We tried to cover these events objectively, but also with sensitivity.
Like we always do, we presented you with the Greek perspective which you, our readers, always appreciate and value.
What the renowned Greek poet George Seferis wrote is a universal truth for the diaspora: "Wherever I travel, Greece wounds me."
Greece may be far away, but it is always close to our hearts.
In this brief retrospective, we look into how the Greek diaspora lived through these events, how they impacted on our psyche, on our everyday life and on our view of Greece.
In April we started to see an increase in the number of Greeks, professionals and blue-collar workers expressing their interest to migrate to Australia. The Greek Australian community did not turn a blind eye. We as a community did, and still do our best to help our compatriots.
Meetings with Immigration Minister Chris Bowen were convened by the community: a Skills Expo in Athens organised by the Australian government eventuated, due to the efforts of the Greek Australian community. Encouraged by the community, the government has begun to look at a range of ways assistance to Greece could be expanded.
The campaign 'You in Greece' which Neos Kosmos started in mid-June received a great response from our readers. It is another example of the readiness and the will of the Greek Australian community to help the country of our ancestors.
As we begin the festive season another campaign, 'Go Greek', initiated by the President of the WHIA and Victorian Labor party MP John Pandazopoulos and wholeheartedly supported by Neos Kosmos, gets underway: another example of the diaspora's determination to help the Greek economy in whatever way possible.
The diaspora will always be on the side of Greece, but apart from being a great supporter, the diaspora has become also the best ambassador for Greece in every corner of the world.
We all know and understand the shortcomings of Greece's political system and society.
We felt embarrassed from time to time. We knew that the misery Greeks live today did not come out of the blue. But this has not stopped every single one of us defending Greece.
We point out to the critics, that while a culture of corruption too often bedevils Greek society and undermines the work of reformers, this does not mean that each and every Greek is corrupt.
What the Greek economic crisis has given Greek Australians and the diaspora worldwide, is an opportunity to reaffirm our cultural identity, to use it to celebrate all that is great about our ancestral home, and to make our support a 'call to arms' in helping Greece to meet the challenges it faces now and in the future.
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