TIRANA, August 19
Wido Geis-Thöne, is an economist at the Institute of German Economy, based in Köln. In a recent interview by DW, asked about what does distinguish the workers who come from the western Balkan countries, from those who come from other parts of the world in Germany, he says that these people work more in the construction industry and they fall in the category mid-level qualification, compared to other countries.
He adds that after construction, follow the sectors of cleaning and health, where the people from western Balkans countries get employed more when they come to live and work in Germany. Also, a huge number of them work in gastronomy. Geis-Thone says that it is difficult to count the exact number of workers from the Western Balkans, that stand in the gray or black area of employment which is the unreported work.
At the beginning of 2019, there were registered around 100.000 citizens who were doing simple jobs, and around 60.000 other people in other qualified jobs, that in Germany, came from either Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro or Serbia. This data excludes Montenegro, the only country that hasn’t given any statistics.
The western Balkan countries have been able to enter Germany on working visas since November 2015, as part of an agreement known as the Western Balkan Settlement. The only prerequisite is that applicants must already have a job offer from German employers. DW reports that in the first nine months of 2017, German embassies in the Balkans issued 19,294 working visas, from which 2796 working permits for Albanians.