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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 19 May 2018
2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 19 MAY 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Minister of Citizenship firm on the significance of an English Language test It will not be a prerequisite for applicants over 60 years old NIKOS FOTAKIS The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge confirmed the Australian Government’s commitment to the importance of the knowledge of the English language as a prerequisite for Australian citizenship. Though the Coalition Government tried to introduce a bill to make the citizenship prerequisites stricter last year, it failed to pass the Senate. Now another bill is waiting to be discussed in the Parliament, introduced by One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson, which also amends the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 in relation to strengthened citizenship requirements, including English language proficiency. These two elements were brought to the foreground last week as they are included in the Federal Budget. "We are still planning on introducing some reasonable requirements for new migrants to learn conversational English before becoming a citizen," Mr Tudge told Neos Kosmos. "It is difficult today to get good employment without English and, of course, basic English is vital to be a full participant in our democracy." This specific reference to "conversational" English is a far cry from the 'university level' English test that government critics were concerned that the ministry was aiming to introduce. "Importantly, these requirements would not apply to anyone over the age of 60," the minister clarified. Working Holiday visa agreement only a matter of days . . . ‘The agreement will allow young Greek citizens to work and holiday in Australia for 12 months,’ says Steve Georganas, MP THEODORA MAIOS Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/ALEX MURRAY Australia seems to be less than a week away from resolving the ongoing Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) issue with Greece, according to Greek Australian South Australian MP Steve Georganas, who visited Greece last week to attend official Anzac Day commemorative events, and to discuss the visa impasse that has been at a standstill since 2011. "It is always very special NEOS KOSMOS Published since 1957 Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by ACM Printing, 126 Fairbank Road, Clayton South 3168. No. 6038 Contacts Reception Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Web: www.neoskosmos.com Letters Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NEOS KOSMOS - English Publisher: Editor-in-chief: Address: Level 1, 169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 Subscriptions Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Letters should not be more than 200 words and they must indicate your full name, address and a day time telephone number for verification. By submitting your letter to us for publication you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons and may, after the publication in the paper, republish it on the internet or in other media. Christopher Gogos Sotiris Hatzimanolis Editorial director: Nelly Skoufatoglou Journalists: Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis Contributors: Thanos Pappas, John Vithoulkas, Theodora Maios, George Stogiannou, Dean Kalimniou, Con Stamocostas, Alexandros Anyfantis Graphic design: Peter Kelidis Proofreader: Allyson Griffith for me to touch down in Greece, the place of my ancestors whilst I represent Australia and its people," said Georganas who, with newly appointed Australian Ambassador to Greece Kate Logan, conducted a series of meetings with the president of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, as well as Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Terence Quick. "I was very honoured to meet the president of the Hellenic Republic and dis- cuss the close relationship between our two countries; Greece and Australia. Both parties are certainly keen to support and further strengthen the bond between the two nations by finalising the pending Working Holiday visa agreement." The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Australia and Greece will allow 500 Greek citizens aged between 18 and 30 to travel, stay, and work legally in Australia for an entire year. Australian citizens of similar age will be allowed to visit Greece on a reciprocal basis. "Australia has finalised all its obligations in respect to the Working Holiday visa, nevertheless, there is a small technical glitch on Greece's end which, according to Greek government officials, is due to be resolved next week," confirmed Georganas after meeting with Mr Quick as well as former Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni, who originally signed off on the abovemen- tioned MOU. "What a wonderful thing for young Greek and Australian citizens to be given the opportunity to experience these two brilliant countries, acquaint themselves with a different culture whilst gaining experience in their professional fields," Mr Georganas said, noting he was impressed by President Pavlopoulos’ knowledge of Australia and its Greek migrants. According to Mr Georganas, Mr Pavlopoulos also expressed a very keen interest in visiting Australia in the near future. "I have already written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull requesting that a formal invitation is extended to President Pavlopoulos." Mr Georganas and Mr Pavlopoulos also discussed the importance of the Greek language and culture and the need for additional Greek programs for the next generation of Greek Australians, that focus on strategies that could be implemented to further promote Hellenism outside of Greece. "I also expressed our gratitude and thanked him on behalf of the South Australian Greek Community for allowing the Presidential Guards (Evzones) to visit Adelaide," said Georganas who is keen to continue working closely with both the Australian and Greek governments. "Both countries have a special place in my heart and I consider myself fortunate to be able to live in a country that respects my Greek background, my culture, my language and yet provides me with the opportunity to become a respected member of the Australian parliament. "At the same time I consider myself blessed to be Greek because Greece is the country that gave me my family, my language, my history and this incredible Greek culture that I am keen to pass on to the future generations of Greek Australians."
12 May 2018
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