Greece and Australia sign a new Working Holiday Agreement

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Greece will soon be added to the Working Holiday Visa program with Australia. The program will allow young people aged between 18 and 31 years old to visit each other countries for a period of up to one year. Some Australian Working Union members have expressed a fear that an agreement with a country such as Greece which has large rates of youth unemployment might be disadvantageous for Australia. The reason for this is that there might be an asymmetry between the numbers of people, which apply for the visa.

As a result of these concerns, the Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison will meet Greece’s Ambassador to Australia. They will discuss whether a possibility exists that a lot of young people from Greece depart for Australia using the Working  Holiday Visa program, without having the necessary information and skills to be successful on the Australian labour market. According to the Greek community in Australia, there are a lot of new people coming forms Greece since the beginning of the economic crisis, most of them, however, have wrong or inadequate information about living and working in Australia.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling for a moratorium on the working holiday visa programme amid worries that floods of young people from abroad mean that young Australians are losing out on jobs. Nevertheless, the immigration minister Scott Morrison said that the program will continue since its benefits are much more than the disadvantages that it has. Meanwhile, the Australian-Greek Welfare Society has organised an awareness campaign in Melbourne to inform the new immigrants about the visas and the immigration law in Australia.

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