Prime Minister Kevin Rudd personally congratulated newly elected Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and invited him to visit Australia, during a phone conversation they had on Wednesday, according to a report in news agency AAP.
The two men discussed the importance of the large Greek community in Australia as well as the bilateral relations.
They also agreed on the significance of a successful World Summit on climate change. The Summit, which is organised by the United Nations, will take place in Copenhagen this coming December.
Both Prime Ministers agreed to remain in close contact on various issues and exchanged invitations for official visits.
Greek Australian politicians are also congratulating the newly elected Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
Federal Labor MP, Maria Vamvakinou, is keen to highlight that she expected the election result of October 4.
“PASOK’s conclusive and definitive victory is very much a result of what I had observed while in Greece in July this year. The Greeks were literally at their wits end with the inaction, the failures and the near paralysis of the Karamanlis government especially in relation to the economy,” Mrs Vamvakinou said.
The Victorian Federal Labor MP from Victoria was quick to add the new government has its work cut out for it.
“Many challenges lie ahead both on the domestic and international fronts. Greece needs a new paradigm and Papandreou needs all the help and courage he can muster if he is to make radical reforms, this must include tackling corruption and nepotism.” Mrs Vamvakinou was hopeful that the margin of PASOK’s victory will enable Mr Papandreou and his government to push forward with their reform agenda.
However, she pointed out that the landslide victory will not be a panacea.
“It’s clear by the size of the victory that the Greek citizens have great expectations, the challenge for the new Papandreou government is to begin meeting those challenges immediately… reform is already way overdue and the new PASOK government is already living on borrowed time.”
Federal Labor MP, Steve Georganas highlighted the qualities of Mr Papandreou who he has met on a number of occasions.
“I’ve had several personal contacts with Mr Papandreou and I can tell you that he is a very intelligent man, a man who is measured with his words and he has got a very strong reform agenda.”
Mr Georganas said that he was looking forward to working with the new government as he had done in the past with the outgoing government of Mr Karamanlis.
The South Australian Federal MP highlighted the fact that Mr Papandreou has spent a great deal of his childhood and adulthood living outside Greece puts him in a position to better understand and empathise with the problems and challenges faced by Greeks in the Diaspora.
Mr Georganas was also pleased with the announcement of the appointment of Theodoros Pangalos as the Vice-President of the newly formed government.
“I met Mr Pangalos last year when I went to Greece and I was very impressed with his breadth of knowledge and intellect but most importantly about the fact that he seemed to know a lot about Australia and when I asked he revealed to me that he was a great fan of our country had visited it many times on an informal capacity.”