The President of the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria, Andreas Ballis openly challenged Bill Papastergiadis, the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), to take a stance on the Macedonia name issue.

Mr Ballis, in a statement published in Neos Kosmos, called Mr Bill Papastergiadis to “inform, even now, the Greek community, what the official stance the stance of the Greek Community of Melbourne is regarding this grave national matter”.

Mr Papastergiadis responded immediately, via a statement in Neos Kosmos, stating that the GOCMV was pivotal in dealing with the Macedonia issue for a very long time. He stressed that it was GOCMV that contributed to secure permission for the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria to hold a rally and that it even gave the Association a stall at the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival. It also consulted with the group prior to the ‘Nostos’ forum.

“Our stance is that we support the Pan-Macedonian [Association], but we do not agree with the term ‘Unwanted’,” Mr Papastergiadis said, pointing to a previous statement from the Association which said that the President of the Greek Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Deputy Minister of State Terens Quick are ‘unwanted’ in Australia.

Meanwhile, Mr Ballis had condemned all the Greek MPs that agreed with the Prespes Accord and voted ‘for’ it, calling them ‘traitors’ in a previous letter that Neos Kosmos published in last Thursday’s Greek edition.