The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis announced that they have commenced the necessary processes for the signing of a reciprocal agreement between Greece and Australia which will allow Greeks and Australians to visit both countries as tourists and work during their period of stay.
A similar proposal to seek the implementation of a reciprocal agreement was put forward by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria's Migration Committee to Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Mr. Chris Bowen during their meeting with the Minister in Canberra earlier this year. Minister Bowen noted that the Australian Government would be willing to sign should the Greek Government agree.
In response to a question posed in Greek Parliament by Ministers Ioannis Kouranti and Spiridonas-Adonis Georgiadis of the L.A.O.S party, Mr. Lambrinidis noted:
"Greek Communities and organisations from various Australian cities have been in contact with the relevant Australian Government departments to find solutions to the issues that our patriots are facing in their endeavours to migrate to Australia including the possibility of finding employment. The Department of Foreign Affairs has already begun talks with the responsible Australian Departments so that a reciprocal agreement can be drafted which would allow the movement of young people to Australia and New Zealand. A similar agreement was signed in May of this year between Greece and Canada. Our Australian counterparts have expressed their interest for such an agreement in numerous discussions and have been informed of our progress."
Finally we note that the GOCMV also communicated with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic in August seeking to expedite the reciprocal agreement.