Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The vast majority of Australians living permanently in Athens say they are not interested in voting in today’s Federal Elections. Many claim they just don’t care, while other say they feel it is not right to participate in the electoral process given they no longer live in Australia. There are tens of thousands of Australians (mainly Greek-Australians) currently in Greece as tourists or expatriates who have returned permanently but only a few hundred of them will vote. Christine Pappas who has been living in Athens for six years, says she finds no reason to vote this Saturday. “I don’t care about it,” Pappas said. “I don’t see the reason, the Australian government has nothing to offer me and therefore I have no interest in who is running the country.” Despite not participating in the process, Pappas says there are some key issues Australians living in Greece should consider if they’re going to vote. “I think Australia needs to work closer with Greece to offer Australian citizens now living here more social security benefits.” She says many have worked and paid taxes in Australia for decades and are now living in Greece but can’t access decent health cover. “I feel there is a real lack of support for Australians living here,” Pappas said. Yiannis Triantafilidis says he definitely will not be voting. “Why would I, I mean really who cares,” said Triantafilidis, who also has two brothers, both born in Australia but now living in Greece. “None of us are interested,” he claimed. Marika Stylianou has only recently moved to Athens, but she too says she has no interest in voting. “I left Australia to move here and don’t feel any need to get involved with what’s happening there, to be blunt i just don’t care.” Kostas Karakonstandis and his family have been living in Athens for years. He says he won’t vote, but not because he doesn’t care. “Because I take democratic elections seriously, I strongly believe that only permanent residents of any nation should vote in elections because its the permanent resident that live out the consequences of their vote,” Karakonstandis told Neos Kosmos. He says only permanent residents can be truly informed of the vital daily issues. “And I’m not one to make uninformed decisions so therefore I will not be voting,” Karakonstandis said. Despite not voting he maintains a strong interest in Australia. “I have no idea who will win the Federal elections but whoever wins I hope it is the right choice for the country at this difficult and challenging time of global uncertainty.” He says as a Greek Australian he hopes the new government can form even closer bilateral ties. “In particular, closer economic ties and trade between the two countries would be of mutual benefit and has yet to reach its potential.” He says on issues of particular Greek sensitivity, such as the divided and occupied Republic of Cyprus and FYROM, Australia has largely complied with United Nations Resolutions. “And I trust that any new Australian Federal Government will not only continue to do so, but will even play a more proactive role in promoting real solutions for these problems.” Panos Arvanitis also wants further support from Australia. He has been living in Athens and says Australia owes it to Greece to give back. “Many of us Greeks helped build Australia, yes we benefited from it but so did that country, and now that Greece is in trouble they could do more,” Arvanitis said. He believes Australia could start by importing more Greek products and investing in projects in Greece. “Now is a good time to invest in this country, Greece won’t be down for long and we will not forget who did and did not support us when we were down,” he said. Maria Theodoropoulou, was born and raised in Australia but has been living permanently in Athens says she doesn’t care about what’s happening in Australia and didn’t even know Australia was holding elections this weekend. “Well of course I don’t really care and have been away for so long I don’t even know who the candidates or what the issues are, I’m more focussed on what’s happening here.” Neos Kosmos did manage to locate two Australians currently in Athens that are taking the time out to vote. Jenny Leloudas says she will visit the Australian Embassy to cast her vote because she feels strongly about who the right candidate is. “I think this could be a crucial election for Australia and I feel it’s my duty to vote, just because I live here doesn’t mean I don’t care,” Leloudas said. She says she may one day move back to Australia and feels voting is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. “Too many Greeks, and Australians that have been here for a while, have lost interest in politics because of all the corruption and mismanagement, but we can’t change a thing by sitting on the sidelines,” she said. Mathew Kamanis is currently winding up a European holiday with his last few days being spent in Greece. He took time out from sightseeing to go to the Australian Embassy and cast his vote. “To be honest the main reason I voted was to avoid paying the fine,” Kamanis said.