METAdrasi suspends today, September 16, 2019, the provision of interpretation to the offices of the Asylum Service, due to the prolonged delay of outstanding payments.
For the last 9 years, METAdrasi’s interpretation team, consisting of 350 trained interpreters in 43 languages, covers the communication needs of refugees and asylum seekers – by physical presence, or via teleconference – in 25 asylum offices all over Greece.
Interpretation in the Asylum Service is covered exclusively by funds of the European Commission. It is crucial for the competent public services to be activated, to realise the emergency and to disburse the European funds, in order to cover the amounts due. We have been facing this delay for many months, with understanding and patience, continuing to provide interpretation, with consistency and professionalism, in order to avoid causing inconvenience to asylum seekers and refugees, but also in view to allow the new government to take the necessary time. However, having reached the seventh month of delay, it has now become impossible for METAdrasi to continue providing interpretation to the Asylum Service.
By exception and due to the situation in the islands, METAdrasi will provide interpretation in the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros and Kos for a few days, hoping for an immediate resolution of the issue.
We fully share the problems and the pressure faced by the Asylum Service, regarding the prompt and quality examination of applications for the provision of international protection, as well as the difficulties in handling a large part of asylum applications that will occur in the time to come and we ask for their understanding.