The Greek Embassy in Wellington is suspending its operation due to the Greek government’s failure to provide a salaried diplomatic office.
Greeks living in New Zealand have expressed their frustration at the decision, as they will now be forced to travel to Canberra, Australia, in order to settle their affairs.
Such a trip costs at least AU$600 and takes six hours, complicating legal issues for the local diaspora and newly-arrived Greeks in New Zealand.
The Holy Metropolis, along with various Greek communities, organisations, brotherhoods and associations of New Zealand, addressed the Greek state in a joint letter, to which they also attached a new proposal.
“We deem your decision unfair to Greeks in New Zealand, since the Greek state has not even provided a salaried consulate that can serve the needs of Greek diaspora members across the country,” they noted, stressing that the dynamic presence of Greeks in New Zealand was not taken into account.
“It is estimated that 5,000-6,000 Greeks are currently living in the country, a number that has kept growing over the past three years after the economic developments in our country, Greece.
“As Greek citizens with obligations and rights we demand that the Greek state does not rob us of our inalienable right for seamless transaction and connection to our homeland,” concluded the letter.