In solidarity with Ukraine, Greece announced that it would open 50,000 jobs in tourism to Greek expatriates or to Ukrainian refugees, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced this week.
Kikilias said Greece was taking initiatives to support Ukraine and its people who are suffering a humanitarian crisis as a result of Russian aggression.
“We are seeing shocking images. Civilians, children, women, the elderly; young children from oncology hospitals in the basements of apartment buildings and shelters, women taking children of other families to the border in order to cross safely. Images in Poland and Romania…,” said Kikilias, reiterating that Greece was by the side of the people of Ukraine.
According to Kikilias, Greece has over 150,000 expatriates in Ukraine, in Mariupol, in Odessa.
“I announced, after consulting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that we will accept Greek expatriates or Ukrainian refugees into the country… Action has been taken for the care and treatment of these people, and potentially also for jobs, where there is a need,” he said.
The minister went on to add that due to the development of the country’s tourist product, new needs and therefore new jobs have opened up. Kikilias spoke of 50,000 jobs “which weren’t covered last year by the Greek workforce, so these positions, could possibly be covered by our expatriates or by Ukrainian refugees if they make their way to Greece to stay”.
Kikilias confirmed that the ministers of Interior and Immigration will reaffirm the procedure on Thursday at the European Council of Internal Affairs, which foresees amnesty, refugee care and employment under the EU framework and collective bargaining agreements. He added that the Council will set out the exact terms and conditions regarding residence and work permits.
It should be noted that Greece on Monday closed its airspace to all aircraft from Russia in line with an EU decision and has stopped issuing and renewing residence permits to Russians investing in Greece.