As the world looked toward Greece this week, witnessing it missing a debt payment to the International Monetary Fund and seeing citizens struggle as banks closed, many Greek Americans in Astoria sought to reframe the polarizing crisis to focus on supporting their countrymen.

“Our only goal as a Greek-American community is to support Greece, not any political side or not to get involved in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote that they’re having,” said Athanasios Aronis, the fourth vice president of the Federation of Hellenic Societies, on 29th Street in northern Astoria.

Aronis, who came here when he was 11 and visits Greece every summer, added that the struggles — such as a grandmother who reportedly jumped in front of a train — there have been “heartbreaking” to witness.


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