Greece and Bangladesh signed a deal on Wednesday for Greece to employ 4,000 Bangladeshi workers annually.
Bangladesh Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad and Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis signed the deal together in Dhaka.
“Bangladeshi workers will be provided a 5-year temporary work permit,” Bangladesh’s expatriate ministry explained. “Under the agreement, seasonal workers will be hired in the agricultural sector.”
The two countries have decided to expand the agreement as needed, potentially adding sectors and workers to the deal. Workers will have to leave Greece after the five-year period ends.
Greece plans to present the deal for approval. This is Bangladesh’s first such employment contract in Europe.
“Bangladeshi workers will be able to safely go to Greece to work legally now. They will be able to travel there with the employers bearing the expenses after the recruiting process is complete in Bangladesh,” Mitarakis remarked.
Workers from this East Asian nation have confronted problems with human trafficking and rights violations in the past. This deal aims to facilitate a safe process for workers to come to Greece without infringing on their rights.
Applicants are required to submit their own work contracts, travel documents, and proof of health insurance, as well as pay any expenses independently.
Greece’s Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis signs deal with Bangladesh after Turkey clash
This deal comes on the heels of Mitarakis’s back and forth with the Turkish government over accusations of migrant pushbacks on the Greek-Turkey border.
Turkey’s interior minister, Suleyman Solyu, said that Greek guards were responsible for pushing the refugees away from the border into Turkey, where they died. The dead were part of a group of 22 people.
Greece’s migration minister, Notis Mitarachi, denied Solyu’s allegations that Greek frontier units forcibly expelled the migrants.
“The death of 12 migrants at the Turkish border near Ipsala is a tragedy. But the truth behind this incident bears no resemblance to the false propaganda pushed out by my counterpart,” he said in a statement.
“These specific migrants never made it to the border. Any suggestion they did, or indeed were pushed back into Turkey, is utter nonsense.”
Mitarakis insisted that Turkey should work on preventing such “dangerous journeys,” instead of wasting time with “baseless claims.” Mitarakis referenced a deal the EU made with Turkey to stop such migrant flows. “Turkey should assume its responsibilities if we want to prevent such tragedies from occurring again,” he added.
Tensions between Turkey and Greece have deepened since 2020 when Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told asylum seekers to make their way to Europe through Greece.
It is illegal under domestic, EU, and international law to deny migrants seeking asylum at the border. Despite this, numerous organizations have assembled proof that expulsions are a regular occurrence at the border.