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12° Nicosia,
15 April, 2024
 

Greece to bring in 40,000 workers from six countries

Prime Minister Mitsotakis unveils ambitious plan to address labor shortages, introducing comprehensive agreements with Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Thursday that Greece is on the cusp of a migration agreement with India to bring in unskilled and skilled workers to the country to be employed in the agricultural, construction and tourism sectors. “We believe that we will soon be able to move toward signing a mobility agreement on migration, which will allow more Indian workers to come to Greece in an organized manner,” he said during a Greek-Indian business forum titled “Exploring Economic Collaboration Between Greece and India: Future Prospects.”

The agreement is to be signed in March and will be tabled in Parliament for ratification soon after. The agreement will be two-tiered, involving unskilled workers and highly skilled labor.

In the former case, workers will have a right to stay for five years, but after 18 months they will be obliged to return home for six months before coming back to Greece. The high-skilled workers, which India has in abundance as it is a global tech hub, will have a residence permit for three consecutive years.

The deal is only one part of a broader plan of the government that includes agreements with a total of six countries – Armenia, Georgia and Moldova in Europe, and India, the Philippines and Vietnam in Asia.

The ultimate goal is to attract some 40,000 people to meet the country’s worker needs.

The agreements with these six nations are the second step in the government’s effort to address the major issue of labor shortages.

The first step was taken with a bill passed during the Christmas period and concerned the legal employment of those migrants already in the country. The deal had drawn some criticism from various quarters, not least from former conservative premier Antonis Samaras, who said it would send the wrong message, as the amendment, he claimed, suggested a “relaxation” of migration policy.

The next step proposed by the government will be to improve the administrative procedure so that permits and renewals of residence permits can be issued more swiftly.

​​​​​​The government believes its migration policy tailored to labor needs will provide multiple benefits as it will ensure migrants work legally and that the state will know where they are working and how long they have been in the country as there will be payments of taxes and contributions.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Greece  |  migration  |  labor  |  workers

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