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Italian work visas are traded in Bangladesh: Italian Prime Minister

Patrick D Costa

He said his government has taken various measures as part of its tough stance on immigration issues.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that the majority of workers coming to Italy from outside the European Union (EU) are from Bangladesh. He said this in a video message released after a meeting of the country’s cabinet on Tuesday. In a video message, Georgia warned of strict action against corruption in Italy’s work visas.

He said that diplomats have raised the issue of labor visas in Bangladesh. They said that each visa is sold for 15 thousand euros (about 18 lakh taka) in the country.

Criminal gangs are exploiting loopholes in Italy’s visa system to illegally smuggle foreign workers into the country. The country’s Prime Minister Meloni thinks that the anti-mafia prosecutor should investigate this.

He said his government has taken various measures as part of its tough stance on immigration issues. Besides, various measures have been taken to meet the growing labor shortage.

The Meloni government last year increased the quota of non-EU nationals for the period 2023-2025. Now this quota is 4 lakh 52 thousand. This number is about 150 percent more than the previous three years. Before the Corona pandemic in 2019, Italy issued only 30,850 visas.

Maloney said investigating the visas turned up some “alarming” information. It was found that some regions (especially the southern part of Campania) received a much higher number of applications than the number of potential employers.

A speech from Meloni’s office said, “Few foreigners who have received work visas against so many applications have signed work contracts. In Campania the rate is less than three percent.”

He said, this incident proves that the organized crime gang arranged to apply for visas to immigrants who do not have the right to enter Italy in exchange for about 15,000 euros.

The country’s anti-mafia investigators have been alerted, Meloni said. He promised to pass new measures to curb these irregularities after the G-7 summit in Italy on June 13-15.

According to the Italian Ministry of Interior, the number of irregular migrants arriving in Italy by sea so far in 2024 is 21 thousand 574 people. This number is less than half compared to the same period last year.

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