Propontios Logothetis Online: Pelasgia's Newspaper of Record

Discussion in 'The Press Agency' started by Pelasgia, Sep 9, 2019.

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  1. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Ministry of Foreign Affairs unveils new Foreign Worker Program amid labour shortage, population decline
    Propontis, 9 September 2019 | Vasileios Eipirotis

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    The Main Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of Pelasgia in downtown Propontis

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of Pelasgia has unveiled a new Foreign Worker Program titled "Europa". The Program is meant to respond to the labour shortage caused by the aging and gradual shrinking of Pelasgia's population. The shortage in question has particularly affected unskilled and low-wage fields of employment, given the high degree of education of the Pelasgian populace. The "Europa" Program was enacted following the passage of the "Foreign Residency Reform Act" (Act no. 403 of 2019) by the Common Parliament, at the behest of the Constitutional Democratic Party government headed by Themistoklis Notaras. The "Europa" Program could allow as many as 300,000 foreign workers to remain and work in Pelasgia for up to five years. Following this period, all the visas would have to be reconsidered, allowing some to stay in case of a renewal and obliging others to return to their home countries. The Government would favour the latter, to allow new workers to get a chance to work in Pelasgia, though past membership will be considered as a positive factor for new applications.

    The main sectors being targeted would be manual labour, such as construction and stevedore work, janitorial work, elderly and house care, and other low skill professions. However, some higher skill professions, such as foreign market analysts and foreign language teachers would also be included, the latter favouring Pelasgia as a safe, wealthy and culturally rich destination to practice during the early years of their careers. The requirements for higher skill positions are not to be relaxed, according to the Government, given that there is no shortage for those segments of the labour market right now. Nevertheless, many thousands of skilled foreign workers choose to apply to live and work in Pelasgia every year. Currently, the Government has chosen to only extend the "Europa" Program to a handful to culturally, economically or diplomatically proximate countries, such as Eiffelland-Retalia, the Engell Republics (including Clarenthia), the Scanian states, the Holy Germanian Empire, and Natal. The Government has also integrated a special process for Burgundian refugees in those countries.

    Applicants will have to meet rigorous criteria, such as language tests, cultural integration courses and reviews of their skills, experience, financial and family status and recommendations. Criminal background checks and other such security and immigration inquiries will also be made. All applications will have to be submitted abroad, and the applicant will need their permit to be approved before traveling to Pelasgia. Nevertheless, the initiative has been opposed by some of the more hard-line conservative elements both within and without the government coalition, as well as by some leftist parties which decry the move as an attempt to undercut Pelasgia's own unionised workers. At the same time, most members of the Boule of Representatives applauded the measure as "necessary and timely", in the words of Mr. Nikolaos Papadiamantiou, a Moderate Democratic Representative from Sindos. The Pelasgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PELSEV) also expressed its support for the initiative.

    In other news
    ☞ (Education) – A week before the Pelasgian school year starts, the Ministry of National Education and Research has published a strict new dress code for schools, in response to some of last year's "excesses". The plan comes on top of other reforms unveiled by the Ministry, such as new textbook, smaller classes mandated to a maximum of twenty students, and the introduction of practical skills classes such as personal finance and two more years of home economics. So far, the Ministry has declined any reform of the National Examination system.
    ☞ (International) – Pelasgian whaling ships in the Southern Thaumatic Ocean attacked face harassment and even attacks and sabotage by Clarenthian activists, according to reports by the Pelasgian Chamber of Shipping. The Government of Pelasgia has denounced the attacks and has called on the activists to cease their "reckless actions", citing the fact that repeated violations could lead to prosecution for piracy under admiralty law and that "Pelasgian sailors and whalers have a right to earn their living safely, and they thus have a right to defend themselves".
    ☞ (Entertainment) – 64th Propontis International Festival to open its doors to theatrical pieces, films and other kinds of art from across Europe with the patronage of Pegasus Heavy Industries S.A. the Imperial Family of Pelasgia. The Festival is to be hosted at the National Opera House and the Propontis State Theatre and to be attended by over six hundred prominent artists, intellectuals, journalists, critics and other notable personalities from across the globe. This year's proceeds will partly go towards helping refugees from the war-torn areas of Gallo-Germania and eastern Himyar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019 at 4:14 AM
  2. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Pelasgia has only accepted 60 Burgundian refugees, according to Justice Ministry report
    Propontis, 14 September 2019 | Theodosios Karaflos

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    Officers of the Imperial Pelasgian Border Guard check the documents of a foreign tourist at Propontis Selymbria International Airport


    The Ministry of Justice of the Empire of Pelasgia has released a report indicating that Pelasgia has only accepted 60 Burgundian Refugees since the conflict started. Despite being a relatively safe and geographically proximate country to Gallia, Pelasgia has taken less than a hundred refugees from Bourgogne. Many applicants have seen their claims rejected, and many would-be applicants have chosen to avoid Pelasgia for another destination, given the country's well-known skepticism towards foreign asylum-seekers and the almost certain detention-followed-by-deportation a 'weak' claim (by the Pelasgian Government's standards) would entail. According the Ministry of Justice's report, the Government of Pelasgia has received a total of 16,331 applicants this year, rejecting the vast majority thereof, amounting to a figure of about 1 in 250 applicants being accepted. The number of applications drastically dropped by 47 percent since last year, according to the same Ministry report. Most applicants came from Bourgogne, eastern Himyar and socialist Germanian countries. The reduction, as well as the extremely high rejection rate, is attributed by many asylum advocates to Pelasgia's staunch immigration and asylum laws, which were only hardened last year by the passage of Act 36 of 2019 "With pertinence to asylum and immigration".

    According to Pelasgian immigration and asylum laws, persons filing a claim from a designated safe country (i.e. a country that is not in the conflict zone or is not directly involved in the conflict, in the case of wars such as the Burgundian War) are facing a presumption of not needing asylum, which they need to overcome beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be granted asylum. This essentially obliges refugees to claim asylum from within the territory of a country engulfed in the conflict, or to immediately claim asylum at the closest Pelasgian diplomatic mission upon entry to a safe country. Even when those conditions are met, Pelasgian law considers that refugees should show why they did not choose a more geographically and/or culturally proximate nation, before crossing the Long Sea. "A failure to have a specific and convincing reason could prove fatal to one's application," according to Professor Anastasios Damianos, Associate Professor of International Human Rights Law at the Imperial University of Propontis Faculty of Law. "Essentially, the Government of Pelasgia has made it so that only people who have no other more immediate and more safe place to fleet than Pelasgia can claim asylum here. This is often hard to establish for someone who is fleeing a conflict, since they have no real way of knowing which countries will accept them and which not; Pelasgia seems determined to put it across that it will probably be in the latter category."

    Despite such criticism, which has been echoed by many asylum and human rights activists, included the Pelasgian Association for Human Rights (POAD) and the Pelasgian Society for Asylum and Immigration Law (PEDAM), the Government of Pelasgia has defended its policy. "Pelasgia does not wish to encourage what many specialists in the field have term 'country-shopping'. Those who come to our country and claim asylum here should only do so because no other avenue is available in a more proximate and culturally closer to them location; not because they would have liked to move here out of personal preference," stated Mr. Gregorios Alkavaris, Vice-Minister of Justice of the Empire of Pelasgia. However, many experts on both sides of the debate note that Pelasgia's asylum and immigration laws are unlikely to change anytime soon; "The Pelasgian public is known to be hospitable but also rather xenophobic across Europe. Pelasgians are welcoming to visitors, on the condition that these visitors go home sooner rather than later," commented Dr. Periandros Adamidis, of the Pelasgian Institute for International Studies and Relations. Indeed, according to a report by the Institute, rising fears of radical Catholic and radical Socialist terrorism across the Long Sea are a 'major immigration policy concern' for 53% of Pelasgians polled, with another 22% classing it as a 'notable concern'. With elections coming next year, the governing Constitutional Democratic Party (SDK) has no reason to oppose itself to the voters wishes as well as to decades of Pelasgian immigration and asylum policy; and neither do any of its major opponents, for that matter.

    In other news
    ☞ (International) – Pelasgia begins repatriation process for Engellexian and Clarenthian sailors rescued by the Imperial Pelasgian Coast Guard from the shipwrecked freighter Gloriana III. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects the process to be over by the end of next week, citing good coordination and cooperation with the two countries' legations. Unconfirmed reports of potential judicial troubles with some of the rescued persons have not been commented upon by Government sources. However, according to reports, the Pelasgian Coalition for Civil Rights (PSPD) has made unsuccessful public information inquiries to the Eastern Archipelago Asylum and Immigration Commission regarding the issue.
    ☞ (Innovation) – Pelasgian Automobile Giant Pegasus to unveil new cutting-edge humanoid robot styled "Argyris 3" at the 81st Thermi International Εxposition, among other technological innovations. The Expo, which has been going since 1938, is an annual chance for Pelasgia's biggest businesses to show off their innovations, services and products to the world, and for foreign delegations to do the same. Increasingly, it has been regarded as a Mecca for the demonstration of new technologies, given Pelasgia's enormous technology, IT and electronics industries. Pegasus has also discussed plans of using such robots
    ☞ (Environment) – Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Alexios Platanias, vows to improve Pelasgia's recycling system following report on the misuse of plastic waste and the failure to properly implement recycling procedures in 29 demes (municipalities) across the country. "Pelasgians are conscious of the need to protect our precious and irreplaceable planet and natural wealth, and this is an important part of our Government's mandate," the Minister stated to reporters during a press session on the Government's new 'Environmental Protection Plan'. The Plan aims to introduce more rigid recycling guidelines and enforcement procedures, to boost funding for recycling and garbage management nationally, and to severely limit the use of non-recyclable plastics.
     
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