The Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign had a successful public meeting in the historic Melbourne Trades Hall. Approximately 200 people came to listen to the speakers that included recorded message from Euclid Tsakalotos (Alternate Minister Foriegn Affairs for International Economic Relations) and Yannis Varoufakis Minsiter of Finance. Both Ministers provided a brief and interesting account of the immediate challenges faced by the government in attempting to pursue a program that addressed the humanitarian crisis and escaped politics of austerity.
Both of the speeches can be viewed below.
The meeting was also addressed the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (Ged Kearney) who reminded the audience of the global presence of austerity politics and their damaging effects across the world and including Australia. She was clear in stating her suport for the new Greek governemnt in its attempts to get a fairer deal for Greek workers and the people in general.
The National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) addressed the meeting and discussed the significance of the SYRIZA government for working people everywhere and parallels with governments in Brazil and other countries.
The film maker Anna Kokkinos provided a more personal account of the crisis and a perspective on the psychological aspects of the crisis and the drama that it both depicts and creates.
The meeting also heard from Michael Kokkinos,head of the Secretariat for Greeks abroad , a body responsible for developing close ties between the government and the diaspora
Theo Markos, Jeanna Vilthoukas and Adam Rorris from the campaign presented perspectives from the organisers on the need for further activities to gatherAustralians and other supporters of the Greek government and people during this extraordinarily difficult time in Greece.
The meeting with concluded with comments and questions from peoplke attending the meeting where a wide-range of views were epxressed on the crisis andthe difficult task that lays before the Greek government.