Greece Offers Visas for Bangladeshi Workers to Till the Fields

ATHENS – Workers from Bangladesh in Greece will be offered seasonal work in the autumn although many of them were said unreceptive because it doesn’t provide them long-term security.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarachis told InfoMigrants of theplan that comes after the two countries in February signed a memorandum of understanding to lawfully bring in 4,000 workers from Bangladesh annually.

The agreement was signed in Dhaka by Bangladesh Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad, as well as his Greek counterpart Panagiotis A. Mitarakis, said Schengenvisainfo.com.

“Bangladeshi workers will be provided with a 5-year temporary work permit. Under the agreement, seasonal workers will be hired in the agricultural sector,” the Bangladesh expatriate ministry said.

Despite still relatively high unemployment, Greece is having trouble filling lower-paid and more menial jobs that often see migrants – many of them in the country unlawfully – working strawberry fields and in agriculture.

Nealry 30,000 citizens from Bangladesh are living in Greece, said the Bangladesh Embassy in Athens, with nearly half of them believed to be in the country unlawfully, some for years.

Greek officials said the seasonal worker visa scheme, which is confined to the agricultural sector, may be considered strict but it’s fair although Greece has been trying frantically to keep out migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

“Greece does not accept illegal migration.We protect our borders. We do not allow smugglers to select who comes to Europe,” Mitarachis told InfoMigrants, after he also denied pushbacks of refugees and migrants cited in reports.

Under the deal, the Bangladeshi workers can stay in Greece legally for five years if they work the fields for at least nine months annually although there had been reports they were being mistreated and not paid at times.


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