More than 500 members of the Greek and Cypriot community had the opportunity to meet and greet with the Commissioner of the Cyprus Republic, Photis Photiou, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, community leaders and politicians.
The function that took place at the hall of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria was organised by the Cyprus Community board in honour of Mr Photiou, but it ended up being quite beneficial for the Community who is embarking into a new project, being the redevelopment of the of the Community’s headquarters.
The beneficial aspect of the function started with the CEO of Bank of Sydney offering $10,000 to the president Mr Stelios Aggelodimou. After MP Maria Vamvakinou’s speech, Mr Photiou announced that the government of Cyprus will offer the community financial assistance to finish the project, however he did not announce the extent of this.
Mr Photiou congratulated the Community members for their achievement and finished his brief address with an update on the Cyprus issue.
“We are in a very critical phase,” he said, adding that “on the one hand there is the intransigence of the Turkish side and on the other we have an (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan who comes back every day with a new face and puts new demands on a daily basis. Most importantly, he has raised some issues in relation to the security of Cyprus. These issues are of primary concern to them and they are refusing to proceed to a solution, if we do not satisfy their claims. Is it possible for the conqueror who invaded Cyprus and is for 45 years there to be the guarantor of tomorrow? We will not accept such a solution.”
Member of Wills, Peter Khalil also took the stand trying hard to speak Greek but most importantly to announce the arrival of Mr Shorten.
“I acknowledge the oldest continuous culture in this country,” said Mr Shorten
“Theo [Theofanous] Maria and Peter contacted me today, informing me that there was going to be a very important function tonight and that I had to be here.
I wanted to be here and I know that there is an election in 45 days or 52 whenever they have it. And I absolutely want you to vote Labor. For those of you who voted Labor thank you and I hope that the rest of you will do it because Labor supports and rewards the hard work and the achievement of the Cypriot community. There is also another reason I am here. I wanted to be here is because it is great to be here. This is a good gathering to be, and to announce that if Labor is elected we will match the Victorian government, Daniel Andrews’s contribution with also half a million dollars for the project the Community has embarked on.”
His pledge was received with a great deal of enthusiasm from the audience who after he finished his speech had the opportunity to have a chat with him.