A source privy to events in the Ministry of Migration and Asylum has told Greece City Times that the Greek government has quietly set aside, for now, ideas of implementing a visa scheme for Pakistani labourers to work in Greece.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced after his meeting February 7 with Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi that:
"[there's an] initiative of establishing legal migration channels which will open avenues for Pakistani skilled labour" to work in Greece.
Imran Khan's office tweeted that "the Prime Minister appreciated Greece’s initiative of establishing legal migration channels which will open avenues for Pakistani skilled labor."
In this context, the Prime Minister appreciated Greece’s initiative of establishing legal migration channels which will open avenues for Pakistani skilled labor.
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) February 7, 2022
Greeks were incensed by this news as it effectively awarded Pakistan for its hostile actions against Greece and for the fact that criminality, such as rape, has skyrocketed since the influx of Pakistanis to the country following the 2015 refugee crisis.
There was also outrage because of Islamabad's evident and unapologetic Turkophilia, so-much-so that has culminated with the country's officials visiting occupied northern Cyprus and participating in military exercises that violate Greece's borders.
In the aftermath of the meeting with Imran Khan, Mitarachi said: “The goal of the government is to support legal immigration to meet the needs of the Greek economy, while combating illegal arrivals and the return of those who do not have the right to stay.”
“We propose to legal immigration seasonal work for up to nine months a year compared to long-term settlement,” he added.
On the other hand, according to a press release from Imran Khan’s office, Mitarachi during his visit stated that Greece wants in 2022 to create a new immigration policy with the aim for Pakistani immigrants to enter Greece legally with a five-year residence visa.
More specifically, for each of these five years, the visa holder will be entitled to reside in Greece for nine months of the year, while for another three months they will have to return home.
A similar deal was made with Bangladesh following Mitarachi's visit to Islamabad.
However, a source close to the Ministry of Migration and Asylum has told Greek City Times that the government has quietly set aside, for now, ideas of implementing the visa scheme for Pakistani labourers.
According to the source, this is because of the backlash the visa scheme proposal received, including from voters of the ruling New Democracy party.
Although the visa scheme, according to the source, is set to continue with Bangladesh without hindrance.
It is recalled that on February 22, Deputy Minister for Migration Sofia Voultepsi said on Vergina TV that it was difficult to proceed with the migration deal with Islamabad.
Although news of the visa scheme being cancelled was reported in late February, the source told Greek City Times that there is an opportunity for the deal to be offered to India instead.
The source said that efforts are being made so that such work opportunities are made available for Indian labourers.