A two-week personal holiday to Greece was the opportunity for Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos to hold a series of meetings with officials of the new Greek government.

She met with the new Greek Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Abroad Antonis Diamataris. “He has direct experience with his portfolio, having lived and worked in the US for a number of years,” Ms Mikakos told Neos Kosmos.

Ms Mikakos thanked him for the Greek government’s support of Greek language programmes in Australia and the teachers they continue to send abroad despite Greece’s own financial problems. “He was particularly interested in the Victorian government’s new programs for kindergarten teaching of different languages, including Greek,” Ms Mikakos said.

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She also broached a number of other issues, such as the working visa, health insurance for Australians visiting Greeks, recent changes to Greece’s driving laws that no longer accept Victorian driving licenses catching numerous citizens off-guard when renting cars on holidays to Greece, as well as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews desire to support a trade mission to Athens.

“These are all works in progress and more discussions are needed,” said Ms Mikakos, adding that her goal had been to meet Mr Diamataris face-to-face to raise some of the issues of concern to Greek Australians in order to set the tone for further discussions.