Greece keen to recruit temporary farm workers

Diplomatic Correspondent

7 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi has expressed an interest in the recruitment of agricultural workers from Bangladesh on a short-term basis. 

He has also shown eagerness to promote regular and safe migration.

The Greek minister expressed the interest during a meeting with Bangladesh Ambassador to Greece Ashud Ahmed at the Ministry of Migration and Asylum of the Hellenic Republic (Greece) in Athens on Thursday.

They discussed different issues related to the migration and wellbeing of Bangladeshi expatriate community in Greece.

The ambassador proposed that the minister should consider bringing the large number of Bangladeshi nationals working in agricultural sector of Greece to legal fold as they are positively contributing to the economy of the country.  

At that time, he proposed either regularising their status by issuing residence permit to them or registering them as agricultural workers which will allow them to have access to health, sanitation, security and legal services.

Notis Mitarachi responded positively and informed that the Greek Government is going to issue 15000 temporary work permits to irregular agricultural workers given that they apply through their respective employers.

However, he reaffirmed that the irregular migrants who have exhausted all legal means to stay have to return to their country of origin. Greek government is strictly pursuing this policy to stem the irregular migration and smuggling and wants to facilitate regular migration by all means.

In response to the proposal of Ambassador Ashud Ahmed to establish a legal framework for the recruitment of Bangladeshi agricultural workers, Mitarachi expressed the Greek government’s readiness to positively consider such proposal from Bangladesh.

He mentioned that agricultural workers from Bangladesh may be issued with two years working visa which would be beneficial for both the sides. The ambassador also requested to expedite the processing of pension for Bangladeshi expatriates upon return to Bangladesh after retirement. The Minister was optimistic about the issue and assured of his support in this regard.

Ashud Ahmed also discussed some other issues of mutual interest with the Minister including joint celebration of Bicentennial of the Greek independence and Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh, sustainable accommodation for Bangladeshi workers in Greece etc.