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Issue #1924      July 20, 2020

Australian Greeks protest against right-wing coup

Big meetings of Greek Australians in Sydney and Melbourne have condemned the conspiracy between the Greek King and extreme rightist forces that have deposed the elected Papandreou Government.

Georgios Papandreou.

In Athens, a demonstration of 200,000 supporting Papandreou was typical of a nationwide upsurge in defence of Greek democracy. A national general strike was scheduled for this week.

Following the coup, Greece is threatened with foreign-backed repressions of the kind carried out there by the British and American armed forces in the immediate post war years, to establish a rightist dictatorship.

For months warnings have been issued from democratic sources inside and outside Greece of an intended army coup to displace the Centre government of Papandreou.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, spearheaded by the USA, was named as the inspiration of the threatened coup.

Papandreou was elected by a substantial majority at the general elections at the end of 1963. While not fulfilling his pledge to restore full democratic rights, he released most of the political prisoners, permitted considerable freedom of expression and reached a friendly agreement with socialist Bulgaria.

But this, it seems, was too much for the Americans and coup rumours increased.

Last week Papandreou decided to move in first by sacking defence Minister Garoufalias. But Garoufalias refused to resign. The Western-backed King supported him and in turn dismissed the Prime Minister, replacing him by a right-wing member of his own party.

Sydney

At one of the biggest meetings ever held in the Sydney Greek community last Sunday night, 500 people sent a cable of support to the deposed Prime Minister.

The meeting, held in the Atlas Club, also cabled the King asking him not to interfere in Greek political life.

Last Saturday, Atlas Club members distributed leaflets to the Greek community asking them to protest against the rightist coup d’etat in Greece.

Thirty sellers sold 2,000 of a special edition of the Greek weekly “Neos Kosmos” in an hour last Saturday.

Melbourne

In Melbourne, a meeting of 400 Greek people last Sunday was addressed by Labor MHR for Yarra, Dr J F Cairns, Mr J Elefantis, President of the Greek Community, and Mr J Gogos, editor of the Greek newspaper “Neos Kosmos”.

The meeting called unanimously for action in support of democracy in Greece. A broad committee has been formed to draw into activity all democratic organisations and individuals in Victoria who over the years have shown interest in the struggles of the Greek people. The meeting adopted by acclamation a resolution to demonstrate outside the Greek Consulate in Melbourne on Wednesday, July 21, at 5 pm.

This article originally appeared in Tribune July, 1965.

Next article – Update on Melbourne’s lockdown

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