October 30th, 2023
METAdrasi obliged to severe cuts in interpretation services due to prolonged payment delays by Ministry of Migration and Asylum
As of today, METAdrasi has been compelled to reduce its roster of interpreters by approximately 80%, affecting a team of 300 skilled interpreters proficient in 63 languages and dialects. These interpreters play a pivotal role in facilitating communication throughout Greece’s asylum procedures, including accommodation facilities and Reception and Identification Centres.
Delays in payments are caused due to the Ministry’s failure to disburse payments, resulting into a six-month and a five-month disruption by the Ministry’s Asylum Service and the Reception and Identification Service respectively, including the month of October.
The liquidity problem started in August, but due to the increase in migratory flows METAdrasi has made every effort in the last months to avoid the interruption of the interpretation service which is necessary for the processing of a number of procedures, such as the information, registration, submission, and examination of asylum applications.
METAdrasi remains puzzled by this situation, concerning the disbursement of the funds designated by the European Commission for this purpose. However, as a humanitarian organization, METAdrasi will continue to maintain a minimal team of interpreters in all locations around Greece to cover the particularly urgent needs of the refugee population and the staff of the competent services.
METAdrasi calls upon the State to demonstrate empathy and consistency in fulfilling its obligations and commitments, which is crucial in order to prevent the suspension of contracts for hundreds of interpreters. Additionally, METAdrasi implores the corresponding actors to immediately proceed with the payment of the amounts due in order to assure continuation and smooth provision of interpreting services. These services are indispensable for registration and asylum examination procedures and a necessary condition for the decongestion of the Reception Centres on the islands and in the mainland.