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Parliamentary questions
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31 January 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Kostas Papadakis
 Subject: Migrants in Marathon shot by their employer

An incident at Marathon, in which an employer fired at three Indian migrant agricultural workers who were demanding to be paid has caused outrage in Greece. The Greek authorities have taken very energetic action against the victim who has been placed under guard in hospital because he does not have a residence permit for Greece, but have been markedly less assiduous in arresting and punishing the employer for his criminal conduct.

In a number of similar cases, migrant agricultural workers in Nea Manolada were subjected to a murderous attack by large-scale strawberry growers and their henchmen in 2008, and two agricultural workers died in the Foggia Ghetto tomato fields in Italy. These are workers who work 24/7 for a pittance, and live in wretched conditions, having to endure the mud and cold, without heating, electricity or water.

The EU and national governments have deployed the entire arsenal of anti-labour measures against refugees and migrants and this repressive policy is methodically eroding workers’ rights and promoting business profitability. This is leading to greater exploitation of migrant workers who, according to surveys, have ‘very poor job prospects, jobs and working conditions’; it has also emboldened employers in their treatment of them.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:

how does it view the fact that the repressive policies and anti-labour laws of the EU and its governments have led to a situation in which refugee and migrant workers are living and working in Member States as hostages, without any papers or rights?

does it agree that these refugee and migrant workers need to be granted residence permits and full employment rights?

Last updated: 12 February 2020Legal notice