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Political Relations

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Greek-Australian relations are characterized as very warm and cordial due to shared historical experiences and community ties. The success – over the course of decades – of the Greek Australian community has helped to shape, maintain and further strengthen Australia’s relations with Greece.
Another important parameter in this relation are the Greek – Australians, a 700.000 strong community which is a vibrant and integral part of the Australian society. There are numerous parishes, communities and local Hellenic associations across Australia.
Our two countries share strong historical bonds fighting side by side during WWII, especially in the campaign in the Greek mainland and the battle of Crete.
The Greek Orthodox Archbishopric of Australia, with headquarters in Sydney, plays a major pastoral role and exercises extensive philanthropic and educational work.
The high level of the bilateral relations is reflected in the frequent exchange of high level visits, the extensive institutional framework for bilateral cooperation and the multilateral coordination in international fora.

Main visits by Greeks officials

March 1982: official visit of the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Konstantinos Karamanlis
1984: visit of Minister of Culture Mrs Melina Merkouri
1987: visit of Deputy Minister of Culture Mr. George Papandreou
May 1988: visit of Vice President and MFA Mr Ioannis Haralambopoulos (unveiling of the Australian – Hellenic  Memorial)
Nov. 1988: visit of President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. K. Sartzetakis on the occasion of the Bicentenary of Australia
1996: official visit of President of the Hellenic Parliament Mr. Apostolos Kaklamanis
2002: official visit of the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Konstantinos Stephanopoulos
May 2007: official visit of the Prime Minister Mr. Konstantinos Karamanlis

Treaties and agreements between Greece and Australia

- Agreement between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia concerning the graves of members of the Australian Armed Forces in Greek territory.
- Agreement between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia on Cultural Cooperation (1981)
- Treaty on extradition between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia (1991)
- Treaty on mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia (2005)
- Agreement on Social Security between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia (2008)
-  Agreement between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia relating to Air Services (1971)
- Agreement between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia for The Avoidance of Double Taxation of Income derived from Air Transport (1981)
- Agreement between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia about the possibility of employment for the dependant family members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps (1998)
- Agreement between The Government of the Hellenic Republic and The Government of Australia about cooperation in the field of Sports (2000)


Cooperation between Greece and Australia at the parliamentarian level
There are Parliamentarian Friendship Committees at the Federal Level as well as the States Level with a high frequency of exchange of visits. Greek – Australian MPs continue through the years a successful tradition. The same applies to elected representatives in local government.


Anniversaries / Historical landmarks

Anniversaries play a very important role in keeping alive the memory of common historical experiences (such as Lemnos and the Gallipoli centenary of 2015 or the Battle of Crete 75th anniversary in 2016).
Also, the 2014 celebration of the 30-year anniversary from the signing of the twinship agreement between Melbourne and Thessaloniki is an expression of the dynamism and the vivacity of the Greek-Australian cooperation at the level of business community and civil society.
In February 2013 a commemoration event took place at Bonegila Camp honouring the 60–year anniversary from the arrival of Greek immigrants through the arrangement of assisted migration.

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