Last week, METAdrasi was officially informed about the non-renewal of the agreement for the provision of interpretation services at the Asylum Service and thus Friday September 30, 2022, was the last day of interpreting services at the Service after ten consecutive years.
In the context of the tender announced in December 2021, where the Spanish for-profit company Seprotec was selected as the first contractor and METAdrasi as the second and despite the final decision of the Council of State to which METAdrasi appealed in August 2022, it is estimated that it will still take a considerable amount of time for the signing of the relevant contract.
These developments raise particular concerns about unavoidable delays in the registration of asylum applications and postponements of interviews of potential beneficiaries of international protection scheduled for 2022 to 2023, since it is estimated that the start of the new contract will not take place at least until the end of the year.
For twelve consecutive years, since its establishment, METAdrasi has tried to contribute with consistency and professionalism to the twenty-year problem of interpreting in our country, characterized by significant shortages and cases of corruption. It created a framework for the selection, training and evaluation of interpreters and highlighted the importance of the role of the interpreter and quality interpretation in the migration field. In particular, since the establishment of the Asylum Service in 2013 under the Ministry of Mr. Dendias and with Ms. Stavropoulou as Director General, METAdrasi has been a supporter of every effort to upgrade the quality of the asylum procedure.
Unfortunately, this development has led us to the forced termination of the cooperation of 160 trained, experienced and dedicated interpreters and staff members, for whom the effort to reintegrate them into METAdrasi is ongoing.
METAdrasi continues to provide interpretation services to other public services, international organisations and entities with the same principles and values and is ready, as always, to contribute with its resources to any urgent needs that may arise during this transitional period.
We would like to thank all the staff of the Asylum Service throughout Greece for their excellent cooperation over the years, as well as for their supportive and touching messages on the last day before our departure from the Asylum Service.