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Greek Community of Melbourne President meets with Greece’s PM




In a meeting which emphasised the relevance of the deep ties between Greece and its diaspora, the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis OAM, held discussions with the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The meeting marked the continuation of dialogue between the two that has taken place practically each year, the effect of which is to foster closer collaboration.

Commencing the meeting, Bill Papastergiadis expressed the support of the diaspora in regards to the fires plaguing Greece. Bill noted the efforts of many media organisations and community groups in Australia that have historically funded relief projects for Greece.  Bill Papastergiadis also made mention of the Greek Volunteer Firefighters Association with which the Greek Community of Melbourne had worked closely with over a number of years.

The Prime Minister then turned the conversation to the issue of voting rights of Greek citizens abroad.  The Prime Minister said “we will pass laws on Monday so that every Greek citizen no matter where they live can exercise their democratic right to vote”

On the issue of building stronger ties Bill Papastergiadis made mention of a number of matters including a reciprocal health agreement, expanding the relationships between Greek and Australian Universities and the double taxation agreement.

Other matters raised included enhancing cultural exchange programs, fostering educational opportunities, particularly student exchanges at high school and tertiary levels.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the importance matters and stated “I will arrange a personal discussion with Prime Minister Albanese on how we can expedite these issues.”

The Prime Minister noted the historic relationship between the two countries and stated that he was committed to visiting Australia during this term.

The President of the GCM expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for his receptive approach and pledged to work closely with the Greek government where required. 

Both Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Bill Papastergiadis reiterated their shared commitment on matters referable to Greek culture, and language. In that regard, Kyriakos Mitsotakis made immediate arrangements during this meeting for Bill Papastergiadis to talk with a number of relevant ministers to take some of these issues forward. 

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