Gillard keen to strenghten ties with Greek Australians

first_imgAustralia’s invitation to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is open and the government is ready to facilitate his visit whenever he decides to visit, Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Neos Kosmos during a post budget meeting in Canberra.“We have an open invitation to the Greek Prime Minister and I have discussed it with him on different occasions. We know he is very keen to come and we are ready to facilitate his visit whenever he decides to come,” assured Ms Gillard.“We are as keen as the Greek community of Australia to receive Mr Papandreou and renew Australia’s longstanding friendship with Greece and its people. So, whenever he decides to make the trip down under we will be ready to receive him,” the Prime Minister added.During the meeting the Prime Minister renewed Labor’s commitment to multiculturalism and its unwavering support of the multicultural communities of Australia. “We are a government that praises multiculturalism, a government that wants to insure that in our modern Australia we are understanding truly everyone who we are including in the life of the nation.“We acknowledge the benefits of our cultural diversity and remain committed to supporting multiculturalism and our multicultural communities,” she said.“Our support to multiculturalism and cultural diversity is reflected in our budget that is based on the philosophy of inclusion of all Australians in the economic life of our nation and in the nation’s life overall.“We know, as we work with people from all communities, that there are challenges for people, particularly for recently arriving migrants, particularly people who have come to Australia under our humanitarian program, in accessing the skills, the training and the support they need to get a job in Australia.“So many of the measures you see in the budget are based on giving all people the opportunity to share in the benefits of our strong economy,” the Prime Minister underlined.Ms Gillard unveiled a plan to strengthen the government’s relationship with Australia’s multicultural communities through the multicultural media.The key element of the plan, conceived by the Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, is the establishment of a Multicultural Media Round Table that will become the permanent channel of communication of the government with migrant communities.“The government acknowledges that the multicultural media play a very special role in providing information, news, perspective and views to so many people of our multicultural communities, and for many the multicultural media is their main source of information.“We want to extend this engagement with your community and you relationship with the government into the future,” Ms Gillard said. “Kate Lundy has suggested to me, and I think it is a very good idea, that we should create a Multicultural Media Round Table, so that we could have at least an annual exchange of perspectives on how the relationship is working. It may be everything, from very simple things to the provision of information by the government and advertising,” she added.Meanwhile, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen is trying to find time to meet with the Executive Committee of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) to discuss the increasing number of Greeks interested in migrating to Australia.The Minister told Neos Kosmos the meeting requested by GOCMV president Mr Bill Papastergiadis “will take place as soon as he is able to fit it into his schedule”.Neos Kosmos alerted the Minister to the difficulties faced by prospective Greek migrants to Australia in obtaining a work visa or entry to Australia via the Family Reunion Program. He undertook to refer the matter to the competent government instrumentalities.Mr Bowen explained that the government does not give preferential treatment to any particular group of aliens interested in migrating to Australia. “Entry to Australia in all categories is granted upon application by aliens who fulfil the prescribed requirements,” he said. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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