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Tuesday, 1 October 1974
Page: 1489

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Is he in a position to advise the Senate of any visible indications of greater political freedom in Greece under the new Government?

Senator MURPHY - There are such indications. I have some specific information on this subject supplied to me by the Department of Foreign Affairs which I can give the honourable senator.

Senator Drake-Brockman - You just happen to have it.

Senator MURPHY - As the honourable senator will see, I happen to have notes on a considerable number of matters and this is one of them. On 23 July 1974 a civilian Government led by Mr Karamanlis replaced the military Government in Greece. One of his first actions was to announce the release of all political prisoners and amnesty for all political offences. The Australian Government welcomed those developments. On 25 July the Minister for Foreign Affairs said in Parliament that he hoped elections would be held in Greece in due course. On 23 September the Greek Government issued a decree which restored freedom of action to all political parties in Greece. The Greek Government is also reported to have announced its intention to restore freedom of assembly throughout the country. It has also decided to hold early elections. A date has not yet been announced but Mr Averof the

Greek Acting Foreign Minister, has mentioned the middle of November as a likely time. The Australian Government welcomes this further evidence of progress towards the restoration of full parliamentary democracy in Greece.

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