Germany eases restrictions on CEE harvest labour

8th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2006, BERLIN - Germany further eased Tuesday its restrictions on labourers from Central and Eastern Europe who are hired every year to help farmers with harvest work, saying it would be "flexible" with permits if suitable German unemployed people were not available.

8 February 2006

BERLIN - Germany further eased Tuesday its restrictions on labourers from Central and Eastern Europe who are hired every year to help farmers with harvest work, saying it would be "flexible" with permits if suitable German unemployed people were not available.

German farmers have voiced a strong preference for professional farm labourers from the east with the skills, stamina and physique to harvest asparagus and other difficult crops. They were outraged at government plans to put unskilled people to work in the fields.

Last year 325,000 experienced labourers from Central and Eastern Europe were welcomed to Germany for seasonal work.

The government has directed 20 per cent of that number, or 65,000, to be recruited from German jobless queues, but will reduce that number to 10 per cent if insufficient jobless Germans volunteer.

In a fresh concession to farmers, Labour Ministry officials in Berlin added Tuesday that this German quota could be further reduced and "flexible solutions" offered if farmers found they were short of labour.

DPA

Subject: German news

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