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Economy

Ukrainian Refugees in Greece Offered Thousands of Tourist Jobs

ΑΤΗΕΝS – While thousands of refugees and migrants from other parts of the world remain in detention centers on islands and the mainland, Greece has bypassed normal procedures to take in 25,000 from Ukraine over the invasion of Russia and offered 10,000 of them residence and work permits in the tourism industry.

Short of help to deal with a mass influx of tourists as health measures around the COVID-19 pandemic are being eased, Greece has turned to the Ukrainians to help fill the gap in service positions such as cooks and cleaning staff.

The Sani/Ikos hotel group, for example, has already advertised its intention to offer jobs and free accommodation to 300 Ukrainian tourism workers, while another hotel group, which wished to remain unnamed, is looking to fill 200 positions on the islands of Kos, Rhodes and Crete, said Kathimerini.

“We got in touch with a travel office in Poland that works with many Ukrainians,” the head of hiring at the group told Kathimerini, adding that the sector is looking at significant staff shortages this year.

That’s in sharp contrast to Greeks and other tourism workers on the high-profile island of Mykonos complaining about squalid living conditions and low pay, some saying they are living in their cars, while the restaurants and bars are charging up to 1,000 euros ($1056) for a bottle of champagne.

In April, the honorary president of the Greek Tourism Confederations (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, tweeted that that more than 50,000 jobs in hospitality are still open. The biggest shortages, he noted, are in kitchens and service.

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