I live in what was Sydney's Greek Central. The surrounding suburbs, Mascot, Rosebery, Eastlakes and Kingsford were all areas of heavy Greek settlement in tha mass migration period after the Second World War.
St Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church is nearby. Next to it is St Spyrdon's primary school. The senior school campus is in Maroubra. Just up my street is the Acropolis Funeral Service with its Greek and Cypriot flags. The Greek population that came during the mass migration period is rapidly aging. Acropolis does a very good business. I often see its cars on my walks past the Church.
I wonder what they are going to do about the anti-smoking regulations now about to come into place that will stop them sitting outside to have their coffee and cigarettes, to play cards and chat? Our current, mandated, health obsessions can be very cruel and insensitive sometimes.
To these people, the Greek problems are not an abstraction, they are personal. I don't actually know many Greek people in this area. My Greek connections are elsewhere. I do know that that the locals still have family in Greece, that some local residents have gone back to Greece, that the turmoil affects them personally.
It's hard. One can argue about the causes of the crisis, about the validity of different solutions, but in the end it comes back to people. In purely local terms, it's about dads and mums, daughters or sons, about parents and grandparents. It's about what happens to us.When the state fails, and that is what has happened in this case, you come back to the most personal bedrock, family. Then, you just do what you can. In the end, it's family that counts.