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Politics

Greece Says Egypt Deal for 5,000 Seasonal Workers Controls Migrants

January 11, 2023

ATHENS – An agreement with Egypt to bring in 5,000 seasonal workers for the fields in Greece and agriculture will slow unlawful migrants from there coming, Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said.

He was speaking during the agreement’s debate and ratification at the Standing Committee on National Defense & Foreign Affairs, which was approved by majority of ruling party New Democracy.

All the opposition parties declined to take a stand, saying they would wait for debate and a vote on the floor of the Parliament controlled by the Conservatives, which ensures the measure will pass.

Varvitsiotis though said the agreement is a model of how to control unlawful immigration that the European Union could use, although its method is to close the doors to them.

He said the plan means a new generation of migrants coming to Greece under the guarantee of their country for a limited duration won’t have any extra rights and will have to return home when their work was done.

If it works, he said, it would be implemented with other countries, the Foreign Ministry looking into drawing similar agreements for workers in construction or tourism, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry the deal for farm workers in Greece – where they have sometimes been exploited – could be a guide for future agreements signed by Greece and the European Union with other countries to slow unlawful immigration.

“We hope the first Egyptian workers will be in the Greek fields to help harvest the next crop early next year,” Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said after signing the deal with his Egyptian counterpart Ihab Nasr in Cairo.

“We hope the first Egyptian workers will be in the Greek fields to help harvest the next crop early next year,” Varvitsiotis said after signing the deal with his Egyptian counterpart Ihab Nasr in Cairo in November, 2022, Reuters reported.

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