Greece Brings in Migrant Workers from Egypt while Cracks Down on Rejected Asylum Seekers

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Greece will start bringing in workers from Egypt this summer to take on temporary farming jobs under a deal between the countries to tackle a labor shortage – writes Info Migrants.

Faced with a growing labor shortage, Greece will start bringing in workers from Egypt this summer to take on temporary farming jobs under a deal between the countries last year. The transnational agreement was ratified by the Greek Parliament in November 2024 and currently covers 5 000 seasonal farm workers. The agreement was signed by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis who emphasized its significance in meeting the needs of the agricultural sector and limiting irregular immigration.  The countries have discussed expanding the “mutually beneficial” scheme to the Greek construction and tourism sectors, the Greek Migration Ministry said in a statement.  After struggling for the past decade, the Greek economy has been forecast to grow nearly 3 percent this year, far outpacing the euro zone average of 0.8 percent. However, an exodus of workers during Greece’s economic crisis, a shrinking population and strict migration rules have left the country struggling to find workers to fill the tens of thousands of vacant jobs in farming, tourism, construction and other sectors.

A Scheme to Fill Labor Market Gasps

The Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported that during a visit by Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Kairidis to Egypt on Friday,

the Egyptian government provided him with an initial list of 2 400 Egyptian nationals who will come to the country for work. Under the current agreement, the workers will come to Greece until the end of the year, mainly to work in the agricultural sector.

Egyptian workers have been selected to come to Greece via a new residence permit which will be valid for nine months and will be linked to the employment of the workers. The new scheme has been in force since the beginning of 2024 and seeks to bridge the gaps in the Greek labor market. The Migration Ministry’s spokesperson talked about a new online platform, which provides a database of migrant workers and their respective skills, will allow potential employers to select the workers they need. The Greek Consulate will then handle the process. During his visit to Egypt, Kairidis raised the issue of human trafficking and stressed the need for closer cooperation to jointly prevent irregular flows from the central Mediterranean corridor. He also noted the need to intensify the return of rejected Egyptian asylum seekers to their country of origin.

In March, the European Union announced a “strategic partnership” with Egypt and a 7.4 billion euro deal to stem migrant flows to Europe from North Africa. With a population of 106 million people and limited foreign investment, economic hardship has pushed more and more Egyptians to find better opportunities abroad.


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