Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australian and Greek Ministers meet to discuss social security agreement

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator the Hon Kay Patterson met with her Greek counterpart, Mr Panos Panagiotopoulos, on 1 April 2005 to discuss the proposed social security agreement between Australia and Greece.

Minister Patterson explained that Australia was committed to an agreement with Greece on terms acceptable to both countries.

“The Howard Government appreciates that people who came to Australia from Greece have played an important role in the development of this nation.

“The Australian Government recognises that many elderly Australians of Greek descent are hopeful that an agreement will help them in their retirement,” said Senator Patterson.

Minister Patterson said she was pleased with the progress from the discussions with Minister Panagiotopoulos.

“Australia has made a very generous offer for an agreement and is now waiting for a formal response from the Greek Government.”

Australia currently pays over 7,600 pensions into Greece with a yearly value of around $78.9 million under domestic portability rules.

Both Ministers were in Paris to attend the OECD Social Policy Ministerial Conference.