Tuesday, May 22, 2018
AUSTRALIA ALERTED TO “INTERFERENCE” IN MACEDONIAN COMMUNITY
Team Uzunov blog exclusive - Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs responds to concerns over “foreign interference” in the Australian Macedonian community over Greece’s name dispute with Macedonia....
Media spokesperson for Australia’s Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (Minister Dutton is second from the left in photo; next to him in civilian suit is Minister for Law Enforcement Angus Taylor) issued this statement to Team Uzunov blog:
"Foreign individuals, groups and governments are free to influence debate in Australia on issues of importance to them. Their contributions can make a positive contribution to public debate. We require this to be transparent and to take place within our legal framework.
"When they are not conducted in a transparent manner and/or are coercive, clandestine or deceptive, they constitute foreign interference.
"Left unchecked foreign interference activities could erode our sovereignty and undermine our values and interests of Australians and Australia. The Government’s counter-foreign interference efforts will target such activities.”
The Home Affairs Department runs the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) - which is domestic counter intelligence - and Australian Border Force (ABF).
TEAM UZUNOV blog questions to Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber security Angus Taylor:
- Is the Home Affairs Department aware that there are some concerns within the Australian Macedonian community over the current political upheavals in the Republic of Macedonia and the impact felt here in Australia?
- Concerns have been raised that the current Macedonian government, which has taken on a controversial course of political action - name change negotiations with Greece - is at odds with the vast majority of Australian Macedonians and has allegedly set up front organisations...to intimidate the Australian Macedonian community. There are deep concern over collusion between the governments of Macedonia and Greece to intimidate Australian-Macedonians.
- Are Home Affairs, ASIO and the AFP aware...? And as well as claims over Greek government interference? Has Home Affairs or ASIO or the AFP received any complaints about [########] and the Greek government? Has any investigation been opened or will be opened...?
- Ministers, there are also concerns that the Macedonian and Greek governments have (respectively) allegedly infiltrated “agent provocateurs” within the Australian Macedonian Community.
- Are Home Affairs, ASIO and the AFP aware of these persons and their activities? Has Home Affairs or ASIO or the AFP received any complaints about such persons? Has any investigation been opened or will be opened into these persons?