In the third largest Greek-speaking city in the world, Melbourne, there are only four employees to serve the expatriates.
The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) has pointed out the problem of insufficient staffing at the Greek Consulate in Melbourne in a letter to Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighting the inconvenience suffered by the Greek expatriates of Victoria for the slow processing of various cases, as there are only four employees at the Consulate.
In a letter to Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis, and Deputy Minister George Kotsiras, GCM President Bill Papastergiadis stresses that it takes Greeks in Melbourne “over two years for appointments” for some of their affairs.
“The large number of Greeks living in Melbourne, which is considered the third largest Greek-speaking city in the world, faces serious problems in terms of speedy service from the Consulate General, and there is an immediate need to increase its staff,” Mr Papastergiadis said in the letter, adding that “at the same time, in other foreign cities with a smaller number of Greeks, such as Hamburg for example, the Consulate is staffed with double and triple the number of staff.”
The letter from the Community states the following:
“With this letter we wish to inform you of an important issue that concerns the Hellenism of Melbourne in relation to the services offered by the Greek Consulate in our city. The large number of Greeks living in Melbourne – considered to be the third largest Greek-speaking city in the world – faces serious problems in terms of prompt service from the Consulate, and there is an immediate need for an increase in staffing.
Today, we are particularly concerned because the situation has worsened with the dramatic reduction in staff.
There are only 4 staff to serve the Melbourne expatriate community. This is at a time when the number of Greeks is increasing, while at the same time, in other overseas cities with fewer Greeks, such as Munich for example, the Consulates are staffed with double and triple the number of staff.
In the past, the Consulate employed up to 15 people, while today it takes more than two years for appointments to obtain Greek citizenship or other issues!!!
We note that we are satisfied with the Consul General, in terms of their ability and service.
In our effort to maintain and strengthen our ties with Greece, we believe that care should be taken to better staff the Greek Consulate in Melbourne. This will result not only in a more effective service to the expatriate community, but also to Australians who wish to visit our country or have trade and investment relations with Greece.
It is worth noting that this issue is also of great concern to the major Greek-language media, which together with us are facing the discontent of the expatriates about the problematic services of the Greek Consulate of Melbourne, which, due to a lack of staff, do not serve the needs of our community. We note that the radio station 3XY, the major newspapers Neos Kosmos, Ta Nea and The Greek Herald, and the radio station Rhythmos, have repeatedly dealt with this issue, as they, like our Community, have received many calls in recent years from expatriates complaining about the long delays in the processing of their cases at the Greek Consulate of Melbourne.
We are looking forward to your positive and immediate response to the problem, especially at a time when the Government is making efforts to attract investment from abroad and strengthen the ties of the expatriate with the motherland, such as with the postal vote.