An 88-year-old Cypriot retiree has sent his 506 euro (555 dollar) pension to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as a contribution towards the cash-strapped country’s budget in a show of "support and gratitude."
Onoufrios Michaelides, who describes himself as a "Greek Cypriot refugee" from the north of the island, sent the money along with a letter addressed to the leftist "Comrade Alexis.”
The gift was in "appreciation of your tireless but also heroic efforts to preserve and secure the honor and dignity of the Greek people, which our powerful vulgar ‘associates’ so much defy and abuse… Damn them."
He asked that his contribution, his entire monthly pension, serve as "partial fulfullment of my ideological identity toward my internationalistic feelings".
He concluded the letter: "Keep high, Comrade Alexis, our banner of struggle for pride and dignity."
Michaelides, who has a small electrical appliances shop in the coastal city of Limassol, told AFP he was moved to act after seeing TV images of "people my age standing outside the banks trying to get" money from their accounts.
Michaelides, whose three daughters studied in Greece after he became a refugee in the 1974 Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus, said he would have voted "no" in the Sunday referendum called by Tsipras to reject EU conditions for an economic bailout.
"I am a sensitive person… and I told myself this small gesture could encourage people with more money to help people," he said, adding that he had received a telephone call from Tsipras aides thanking him for his gesture.
"I saw how much we have suffered (Cypriots), probably less than the Greeks, and I told myself: yes, do it, send this small amount to help families poorer than yours." [AFP]