After being initially rejected by the local government in New South Wales, the Greek community in Sydney was awarded the privilege of projecting the Greek flag on the Sydney Opera House— one of the most iconic buildings in the world.
According to Neos Kosmos, the leading Australian publication serving the Greek community there, the initial request by the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales was rejected by the New South Wales government.
Members of the opposition party wrote to the NSW premier, as did Greek Australian elected officials from local legislative councils. These requests were ignored.
Things got heated when Mark Buttigieg, a member of the NSW Parliament took to the floor of the chamber to lambast the government for ignoring the request, explaining the significance of the March 25th holiday not only for the region’s Greeks, but also for the world.
On his Facebook page, Mr Buttigieg called out the NSW government for what he called “rank hypocrisy” while posting the video of his remarks in Parliament.
Note: The image is an artists’s rendering of what the Sydney Opera House will look like on the evening of March 25, 2021.
“Today in Parliament – I pointed out the Berejiklian government’s rank hypocrisy – it’s fine to project adverts for gambling onto the Opera House but not the Greek flag in recognition of Greek Independence Day! The Berejiklian Government should respect the wonderful people with Greek heritage that live in our state!”
A day after the heated exchange, the premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian issued a statement conforming that the Greek flag would, in fact, be projected on the Opera House.
“I am delighted to confirm that the Sydney Opera House will be lit on 25 March to commemorate 200 years of Greek Independence. We are proud to share this moment of history with our Greek community in NSW.”
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