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Coalition welcomes new hope for east Germany



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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA · THE SENATE

SENATOR ROBERT HILL SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

CANBERRA, A C T . 2600

TELEPHONE: C62- ”7 '765 FAX: . 062 ) 77 3598

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19 O c t o b e r 1 9 8 9

COALITION WELCOMES NEW HOPE FOR EAST GERMANY

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today

welcomed the resignation of East Germany's Communist Party leader,

Erich Honecker, and expressed the hope that the resignation would

lead to a new era in East Germany.

“Erich Honecker was a symbol of inflexible Communism. He was

responsible for the construction of the Berlin Wall and is

inextricably linked with military suppression, barbed wire and a

failing economy,"

"The flight of thousands of ordinary East Germans to the West in

recent months is poignant testimony to the rejection by the East

German people of both Honecker and his brand of Communism."

Senator H i l l however warned that it was far too early to c l a i m a

victory for increased freedom.

COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M1CAH

ENHILL TEL No . 083567206 19,10.89 13:57 P.02

"Much would depend on the policies followed by new leader Egon

Krentz, previously reputed to be a hardliner opposed to

liberalisation.

"Much would also depend on the attitude of the Soviet Union.

"Honecker's departure means only that there is a glimmer of hope

that East Germany may now join Poland and Hungary in permitting

some economic and political liberalisation rather than stay with

the hardline policies of states like Czechoslovakia, Albania,

Bulgaria and Romania.

"The sacking of economic chief Guenter Mittag and propaganda chief

Joachim Herrmann is a welcome sign as they were both closely

associated with the stagnant East German economy and the repressive

propaganda machine.

"Certainly all Australians would share the wish of East Germans as

demonstrated recently so clearly for an end to repression. The

importance of support by the West for the changes in Poland and

Hungary is reinforced by this new opportunity."

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