Tuesday, 31 May 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
94. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will give the purpose and venue of the recent visit to Greece by the Minister of State at his Department; the duration of the visit; the details of persons who travelled with the Minister; and the total cost of the visit in respect of travel, accommodation and other costs.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare, Deputy Joan Burton, was formally invited to attend an international conference on equal opportunities between men and women which was held under the Greek EU Presidency in Thessalonika from 15-18 May 1994.
The Minister of State then visited projects under the EU Poverty 3 Programme, in Western Thessalonika. She met with the single parent group in the project, to view their work and the various activities carried on in the centre and with a Romany group, where a special education project is being carried out in their camp site.
She also attended a meeting of the European anti-poverty network which was taking place in Thessalonika at the time and had discussions with the representative of the central unit of the Poverty  3 Programme. The Minister of State did full interviews with the press and TV and bilateral discussions also took place with a number of delegations regarding future EU poverty programmes.
The Minister of State was accompanied by her husband and two officials. The costs of the Minister of State and one official will be met by the EU. Full details of the remaining costs are not available at present but are likely to be in the region of £1,250.
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