The issue of a reciprocal agreement between Australia and Greece – so that Greek citizens will have the right to work in Australia while on holidays – was raised this week by Steve Georganas, Federal Labor member for Hindmarsh, to the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen.

Mr Georganas met with the minister following a letter sent him last week, outlining the benefits for Australia, as well as Greece, by signing the agreement. The agreement will give Greek nationals the right to work while holidaying in Australia.

“We have many tourists in Australia from UK or Canada who come here with a tourist visa and they have the right to work. So I can’t see why we can’t have the same agreement with Greece as well,” Mr Georganas told Neos Kosmos, adding that he is getting at least four enquiries a week from people in Greece – before 2010, he didn’t receive any.

Mr Georganas said that the discussion was a positive one and that Mr Bowen is looking into the issue, but the minister didn’t give any indication on if or when the agreement would be signed.

“[Mr Bowne] is looking at it at the moment, he is considering it and certainly we’ve written to him, we’ve spoken to him. He told me he had meetings and correspondence with different Greek communities around the country and it is a matter of time for him to consider it” said Mr Georganas.

The Holiday Working Visa is for people aged 18 to 30 years of age, who are interested in a working holiday of up to 12 months in Australia.

This visa allows tourists to supplement the cost of their holiday through short-term employment of up to six months with one employer. Currently Australia has in place similar agreements with more than 15 other countries, including Cyprus.