Pensions for migrant workers, first round of talks between Albania and Germany finalized

Pensions for migrant workers, first round of talks between Albania and Germany finalized

Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Erion Veliaj: Several thousand Albanian citizens who live and work in Germany benefit

Tirana, January 23, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

The first round of bilateral talks between Albania and Germany for the agreement on the pensions of migrant workers has been finalized. Albanian Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Erion Veliaj and German ambassador to Tirana, Mr. Helmut Hoffman, declared today in a news conference that this is the first concrete step for the final endorsement of the agreement in autumn this year.

Veliaj said that the technical group has completed most parts of the agreement which benefits several thousand Albanians who live and work in Germany. “We praise such agreement with Germany, which would benefit several thousand Albanians who live there. This is a concrete step following the Berlin meeting, where PM Rama and chancellor Merkel launched a more serious and intensive engagement process with the Balkan”, said he.

Mr. Veliaj said that Albania is interested on holding similar negotiations with other EU countries too. “The success of the negotiations with Germany would act as a standard in negotiating with other countries”, said he.

Ambassador Hoffman said that after the country was granted the EU candidate status, time had come for Albania to enter such agreements, such as this one on social protection.

“The most crucial point is to guarantee social protection for our citizens. This process is an investment for the future”, said he. According to ambassador Hoffman, these agreements also include boosting relations in the economic sector and exchange of labor force between the two countries.

“Labor force in Germany is interested for qualified labor force from Albania. But, the path to start relations of employment with Germany must not go through asylum seeking. This is the wrong way. What interests us is the employment of qualified labor force with the respective education and sufficient knowledge in the German language”, said Mr. Hoffman.

The first round of talks between Albania and Germany will be followed by the second round which will be held in April. A week ago, German State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Mr. Jorg Asmussen, said that the agreement is expected to be signed in autumn this year. /ibna/