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Suspension of interpretation in the Asylum Service

ANNOUNCEMENT

As from today, May 31st, 2018, METAdrasi has suspended the provision of interpretation services to the offices of the Asylum Service all over Greece, due to the prolonged delay of outstanding payments by the State.

Since 2011, METAdrasi, through the provision of interpretation services in the asylum procedures, has been covering a long-existing gap, which has resulted in Greece being convicted by European courts.

Over the last 7 years, METAdrasi, through a team of 350 trained interpreters in 43 languages, has remained strongly committed to the provision of high quality and impartial interpretation services, within the context of the asylum procedures. Despite the often adverse conditions, our team is constantly covering the communication needs of refugees and potential beneficiaries of international protection; either through physical presence, or through teleconference, in 23 asylum offices throughout Greece.

In the past, we have treated similar delays of payments with understanding and patience, continuing to provide our services with consistency and professionalism, in order to minimize the inconvenience of asylum seekers and refugees, so as to safeguard their rights. However, after a prolonged delay of 10 months, it is no longer possible for METAdrasi to continue the provision of interpretation services to the Asylum Service. State agencies should understand the urgent need to expedite the disbursement of the European funds, which has already been approved since last December, and proceed with all the outstanding payments related with the interpretation in the asylum procedures.

We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to all asylum seekers and refugees, while we fully realize the difficulties and pressure put upon the Asylum Service, regarding the swift and accurate evaluation of applications for international protection. Additionally, we understand that over the next few days, the examination of a large number of asylum applications without the necessary interpretation services will present the Asylum Service officers with a great challenge; therefore, we sincerely ask for their understanding, as we anticipate for the prompt resolution of the issue.