Andreea Pastarnac, Minister for Romanian Abroad, stated on Monday that she presented to Premier Sorin Grindeanu a report about Romanians who are working in Sicily, adding that she hopes that the measures agreed with Italian authorities would be put into practice in the shortest of time, on the basis of a memorandum.
“I presented a report to the Romanian Prime Minister. Likewise, I’ve started a process of consultations with the Interior Ministry and Labour Ministry, on the problems signalled during this mission, and we hope that in a very short time we would manage to put into practice all the measures we agreed with the Italian authorities, so as to ensure the presence in Sicily of the representatives of the two ministers, who would address on a case-by-case basis the problems that appeared there. The Italian authorities have offered their principled agreement with the measures we mentioned during the meetings in Rome and, basically, at this moment we will start a process of negotiating a memorandum which would put these elements into law,” Andreea Pastarnac stated at the Victoria Palace.
The minister pointed out that Italian local and government authorities received “very well” the official Romanian delegation that travelled to Ragusa last week, the talks being “extremely open.”
“The issue of labour abuses has been noted since 2014. Case-by-case measures have been taken, but for the first time we discussed with government and local authorities also a package of measures with which to try to respond to the various forms of problems and various forms of constraints that exist in Sicily. The range of measures discussed on that platform, which also includes trade unions and NGOs, alongside the representatives of local authorities, is meant precisely to give the person who arrived there (in Italy – editor’s note) from abroad, who maybe knows the language but does not know the dialect of that place, who is isolated for certain reasons, the possibility to know his/her rights first of all, to know there is someone who will respect and protect him/her,” the Minister for Romanian Expats stated.
Andreea Pastarnac added that, apart from an information campaign, she discussed, in a first, the possibility of sending mixed mobile teams to Italy, even to farms there.
“People should start having in front of them an interlocutor they know, they would turn to and would know that that person is at their disposal,” the minister explained.
She pointed out that, at this moment, at official level, according to information from Italian authorities only three formal complaints have been filed.
“It’s clear that this number does not reflect the situation, probably, which the Romanian citizens are facing, and we must find a way, and the ways have been discussed in detail. Of course, at this moment they are still confidential, how we can help the persons who are in an extreme situation, for them to be able to file complaint or to signal this situation,” the minister said.
According to Andreea Pastarnac, Italian authorities “have rendered harsher the law that censures labour force trafficking and brokering.”
“We must think of the person who is taking the decision that will change his/her life, that person should call that phone number. The moment that citizen takes that decision he knows his life will no longer be the same and needs a series of measures after taking this step, which is a radical step for each one of them. Firstly, there are measures needed to protect that person, measures that would ensure his/her continued access on the Italian labour market, in Romania or in another European Union member state,” the Minister for Romanian Abroad added.