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Egypt to Send 5,000 Farm Workers to Greece

May 10, 2024

Greece and Egypt have reached an agreement to address Greece’s workforce shortages, with Egypt supplying seasonal workers for Greece’s agricultural sector this summer, reported Reuters. The program, originally agreed in 2022, will initially welcome approximately 5,000 Egyptian farmworkers and could expand to construction and tourism industries.

Greece’s economy, despite a difficult decade, is forecasted to grow at nearly 3 percent this year – outpacing the eurozone average. However, the country faces a labor crisis resulting from worker emigration during its economic downturn, a shrinking population, and strict migration policies. This shortage impacts farming, tourism, and construction sectors.

The worker exchange program with Egypt is seen as mutually beneficial and has garnered support from Greek employer groups, reported Reuters. Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Kairidis and Egyptian Labour Minister Hassan Shehata recently met in Cairo this week to discuss the program and cooperation on stemming illegal migration flows.

According to Egypt Today, under the agreement between the two countries, Egyptian selected to travel to Greece would be granted nine-month stays annually. The 5,000 Egyptians have already been selected by Egypt and their paperwork is currently being reviewed by Greece.

Egypt has agreements with several countries in Europe, the most prominent being with Germany, to address labour shortages in such countries.

Egypt relies on remittances from more than 14 million Egyptians working abroad to support the economy. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, it was reported that remittances reached USD 32 billion.

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