The Senate has debated the situation of Romanians working abroad during the state of emergency
Many Romanians have chosen to leave the country in
these difficult times to seek employment abroad, especially in agriculture.
Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Austria are but some of
their destinations. On Monday the Senate's specialized committees discussed
their situation. Labor Minister Violeta Alexandru and Foreign Minister Bogdan
Aurescu explained that the authorities can step in to support them only in
those cases where problems are reported. The two officials say many of these
people signed seasonal contracts with employers, not with employment agencies.
Labor Minister Violeta Alexandru:
"Compared to the 30,000 people who left the country by
plane, train and the 4,000 people who left using their personal means of
transportation, most of these people didn't resort to job recruitment and
employment agencies, which, in itself, is not a problem. If there is a single
Romanian facing difficulties right now, he should know the state will represent
him at institutional level. He can report any kind of problems he might be
facing, and will get support from state institutions".
In turn, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said labor
freedom is enshrined in European legislation. In relations with Germany,
Minister Aurescu explained, there was no agreement allowing Romanian seasonal
workers to work in this country. The Opposition in Romania begs to differ.
Social-Democrat interim Senate Speaker, Robert Cazanciuc:
"The Government has taken no safety measures for
Romanians who left to work abroad. The Labor Ministry stated that all Romanians
who left on April 9 for Germany, seeking employment, did so on their own
account. The Foreign Ministry has not made it clear if this operation was the
result of a diplomatic effort or if 2,000 people decided to organize themselves
and takes buses and planes from Suceava to Germany, all in one night".
Romania is the top supplier of seasonal workforce to
the agriculture of West-European countries, which has prompted many employers'
associations to lobby extensively for securing this workforce, both with
national governments and with the Romanian Government. Given that all outgoing
flights to the European Union have been grounded under the state of emergency
in the last two months, Bucharest issued military decrees that sanctioned
charter flights carrying seasonal workers, after getting permission to proceed
from the relevant authorities in the countries of destination.
(Translated by V. Palcu)