On 21 July, 2015 I attended the 10th General Assembly of the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (W.H.I.A) – an international body of elected parliamentarians who share a Greek background but reside outside of the Hellenic republic – hosted in Athens.
As a proud Greek-Australian MP of the Victorian Parliament, I was grateful for the opportunity to address the Hellenic Parliament and share my thoughts on the Greek Debt Crisis as well as shame the policies of the tormenting right-wing Greek Nationalist party, Golden Dawn.
To my misfortune there was a translation error during my address and it was later reported through the Golden Dawn website that I had used ‘warm words’ to praise the party and their policies.
This is completely untrue.
I remain disappointed that the translator could get it so wrong and that the Hellenic Parliament allowed the wrong translation to be distributed permitting my Greek colleagues to think that I could support the policies of a Neo Nazi fascist party that prey on the most vulnerable people in our society.
It disgusts me to think that this incident has allowed Golden Dawn to further pedal their policies of hatred for the unemployed and people living in low-socioeconomic conditions.
I rebuked their fictional statement when I became aware of it on 25 July through my Twitter account.
I now have video footage of my address (see below), which was in English, clearly showing that what I said was an attack on the Golden Dawn policies. I did not support it in any capacity.
Further to this, I am writing to the Hellenic Parliament to have the public record reflect the correct translation of my address to the House.