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Invalid pensions restored in Greece



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P R E S S R E L E A S E THE SENATE

STATEMENT BY SENATOR DON GRIMES, SHADOW MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SECURITY 17 January 1983

INVALID PENSIONS RESTORED IN GREECE

I welcome the announcement that twenty former invalid pensioners in Greece are to have their pensions restored and will receive pension arrears going back to April 1978. O - V - o x

The pensions of 135 Greek-Australian pensioners^were cancelled in the punitive atmosphere of hysteria which prevailed during the arrests of 1978.

Five years and more than ten million dollars later all charges against pensioners have been dropped and most pensions and benefits reinstated.

The overseas pensioners have been the last to receive the Government's recognition that these people were unfairly persecuted because of their association with some persons arrested in Sydney. ,

The Fraser Government cancelled their pensions in Greece and denied any responsibility for their welfare, so that most have lived on charity for the past five years.

The Government must also reconsider its refusal to pay the arrears and travel expenses of those pensioners who borrowed to return to Australia to establish their right to pension because they had been told that they could not reapply in Greece.

The Opposition expresses great satisfaction that justice, however overdue, has at last prevailed in these cases.

It does not, however, obscure the fact that many other families of pensioners caught up in the alleged conspiracy case have suffered terribly from the original arrests and cancellations.

The Government has not yet made all its amends.

72 6157 - Netta Burns

(003) 315714 ) Senator Don Grimes (003) 442258 '