first_imgFormer Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos told Neos Kosmos that the overwhelming backing of the Tsipras government’s stance against Greece’s creditors is “an emphatic result”, and one that means the EU, ECB and IMF “must sit down and start treating more seriously potential debt relief in return for ongoing reforms”.“We don’t want backtracking on previous commitments but we do need to recognise that the Greek people need to see some results from the years of austerity and depression”, said the senator.“This vote needs to be treated as a circuit breaker and that it opens the way to a new accommodation”.Last week Mr Sinodinos warned of the devastating cost to Greece if it was forced to leave the eurozone if the event of a ‘No’ vote. Speaking yesterday, the senator said the referendum result was “the end of the beginning. We’re in unchartered waters”.“With the Greek people having survived two or three thousand years, it suggests there’s something in their DNA which means they fight on for what they believe…” Federal politicians on both sides of the political divide made their feelings known, with Maria Vamvakinou MP, who had predicted a ‘Yes’ vote to win, said her overwhelming reaction was one of concern. “It’s now down to what Europe will decide,” said the Labor Member for Calwell. “The stakes are very high.”Liberal Member for Barton, Nickolas Varvaris, said the result would give Greece extra leverage in future negotiations with its creditors.“The purpose of this unexpectedly strong result is not to get out of the European alliance, but to achieve a better deal within the eurozone, a deal that will enable Greece to have a better chance of coping with the staggering debt whilst inflicting minimal damage to the Greek social structure”.Meanwhile in Victoria, Bill Papastergiadis, president of the Greek Community of Melbourne, appealed for supporters of both sides in the referendum debate to unite.“Now is the time for solidarity, to achieve the best possible out come for Greece in the negotiations.”“We’re hopeful this result will both energise the Greek government to get a fairer outcome for the Greek people, and ensure the creditors now come to the party to seek a just and sustainable solution – and help Greece stay in the eurozone and the EU.”In Sydney, Harry Danalis, president of GOCNSW, said though he welcomed the result, which “was an expression of the Greek people’s will and sovereignty”, he was not optimistic that the international creditors would change their positions.“It didn’t take long for Angela Merkel and the rest of the German leaders to go on the airwaves and instead of showing some charity and understanding of what the Greek people are going through, we heard the same stagnant criticism of this government,” said Mr Danalis.“This vote had to happen [but] I doubt it will change anything but express Greece’s democratic rule. The issue has always been one of sovereignty and the plight of the Greek people.”With pro-Greece demonstrations in Australian capitals in the days running up to the referendum, the Australia – Greece Solidarity Campaign said it welcomed “the resounding decision of the Greek people to say ‘No” to further austerity”. A spokesperson for the Campaign said the vote underlined “the abject failure of the austerity agenda and the Euro power brokers that have been prosecuting it. “The great hope now is that sanity will prevail and that debt relief and pro-growth policies replace the Troika’s strategy of asphyxiation.”Following the referendum result the Campaign has asked the the Australian Government to “play its part to ensure the IMF gets back onto a sensible path of pro-growth policies”.*For more reactions and analysis from the Greek Australian community on the referendum result and its implications – check out Neos Kosmos Weekend Edition this Saturday. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img