Greece Refugees must receive work permits news

Greece: Refugees must receive work permits news

Greece has been severely affected by a wave of emigration during and after the pandemic. Numerous workers, for example in tourism, left the country and some never returned. This is now noticeable in many sectors.

The Athens government must take countermeasures; The shortage of personnel in tourism, construction and agriculture can no longer be met in any other way. A new proposal now aims to give the approximately 300,000 people already living in Greece without documents the opportunity to work in some sectors. Migration Minister Dimitris Kairidis told public broadcaster ERT.

“We have to see what we do with those who are already in our country without creating more attractions for others,” said Kairidis. The objective is not to increase irregular migration, but rather to “increase public revenues through taxes and labor contributions and help resolve dramatic bottlenecks in certain sectors”.

Winemakers groan

The shortage is indeed great: Heraklion’s employment service recently warned that many winegrowers in Crete are currently seeing “the fruits of their labor go to waste” because they are unable to complete the harvest without additional help. The Agricultural Association of Ierapetra stated that in several rural areas of Crete “the situation is extremely difficult” and many producers are already abandoning their crops.

The government initially did not provide any additional information about the integration plan. The matter was discussed on Tuesday at a national security meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, but has not yet been formalized. Kairidis is expected to formally present the initiative at a cabinet meeting next month.

Lots of arrivals, lots of work without authorization

Border crossings into Greece more than tripled in August compared to the previous year, with a total of 715 people arriving, according to the Financial Times. Since the beginning of September, an additional 7,000 people have arrived on the Greek islands and the capacity of reception facilities is at its limit.

Since Mitsotakis took office in 2019, Greece has taken a hard line on the issue of migration. He deployed more border guards and increased patrols at land and sea borders. Accusations of illegal repulsions have also been repeatedly made against Greece. However, thousands of people from the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe come to the country every year, many of whom have worked illegally for years.

Bureaucratic obstacles must fall

According to Agriculture Minister Lefteris Avgenakis, Greece also needs around 180,000 agricultural workers every year, which until now have been supplied through its own agreements with India and Egypt, for example. Bureaucratic obstacles caused delays and constant bottlenecks. Instead, we should recruit those who are already in the country and have to endure the problems of the underground economy. “It is a fact that in our country we have several thousand illegal workers who have known for many years the peculiarities and difficulties of sheep and goat farming,” Avgenakis told Portal.