Greece has shown interest to recruit agricultural workers from Bangladesh on short term basis, officials of the foreign ministry said on Thursday.
“During a meeting with Bangladesh Ambassador Ashud Ahmed, Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi expressed his interest to promote regular and safe migration. He also expressed interest to make some arrangement for recruiting agricultural workers from Bangladesh on short-term basis,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said.
Ambassador Ashud Ahmed met Notis Mitarachi, minister for Migration and Asylum of the Hellenic Republic (Greece) at his office in Athens on Wednesday and they discussed different issues related to the migration and wellbeing of Bangladeshi expatriate community in Greece.
Ambassador proposed the minister to consider bringing the large number of Bangladeshi nationals working in agricultural sector of Greece to legal fold who are positively contributing to the economy of Greece, said a spokesperson of the foreign ministry.
Bangladesh requested Greece either to regularise their status by issuing residence permit to them or to register them as agricultural workers which will allow them to have access to health, sanitation, security and legal services.
According to the officials, Migration and Asylum Minister Mitarachi responded positively to the Bangladesh proposal and informed that the Greek government is going to issue 15,000 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.
On the proposal of the Ambassador Ashud Ahmed to establish a legal framework for the recruitment of Bangladeshi agricultural workers, Minister Mitarachi expressed his government’s readiness to positively consider it.
He mentioned that agricultural workers from Bangladesh may be issued with two years working visa which would be beneficial for both the sides.
In response to Bangladesh’s request to expedite the processing of pension for Bangladeshi expatriates upon return to Bangladesh after retirement, the Greek minister assured of his support in this regard, said the spokesperson.