Tirana, April 22, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
Albanian authorities have reached an agreement with Canada for the recognition of the pensions of Albanian nationals who live in the far continent.
Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Erion Veliaj, said today after the meeting of the Council of Ministers that this agreement was reached after a two year negotiation period.
“We finalized the agreement for pensions with Canada. It has been a very important agreement, a strong negotiation which lasted two years, with rounds of talks held in Albania and Canada, in order for 20 thousand citizens of the Republic of Albania who live and work in Canada to benefit pensions”.
The agreement assists 20 thousand Albanians who live in Canada, but they also benefit from the agreements that Canada has with other countries. This means that if an Albanian emigrant has lived in Italy and Greece and then moved to Canada, then the years that he worked in Italy and Greece, although these countries have no agreement with Albania, but they have it with Canada, will benefit from this agreement and transfer their pension years with Italy and Greece too.
In the recent years, Albania has signed agreements for the recognition of work years for pension purposes with many other countries where Albanians live and work, such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania and FYROM.
Meanwhile, negotiations have also been finalized with Germany and an agreement is expected to be signed in the weeks to come.
This process has also entered the final round of negotiations with Austria.
Negotiations have also opened with Italy. Italy says that “it has been a very important chapter, a very difficult one, but we have started the first round and I believe that with another two rounds we will have a concrete agreement with Italy too”.
The agreement with Greece remains a challenge for Albania.
Minister Veliaj blames Athens for the failure of talks. “So far, Greece has not had the will to launch negotiations”. He suggests that this has perhaps come as a result “of the difficult economic conditions that Greece is going through” and the fact that this means a bigger financial cost in order for those citizens whose pension will be recognized to benefit. /ibna/