Friday, June 12, 2009

Slovenia to cap work permits to Kosovo citizens

Slovenia to cap work permits to Kosovo citizens
12 June 2009

Slovenia's govt. has approved a ban on issuing work permits to officials of companies from Kosovo and drastically cut the number of permits for Kosovo citizens.

The government has decided on these steps against Kosovo companies as a response to the increasing unemployment rate in Slovenia, but also warnings from other EU member-states regarding abuse of its employment laws.

Slovenia has been warned that many nationals of third countries are entering other EU states thanks to Slovenian residency permits, the majority of whom are working on the black market.

Moreover, the number of companies founded by Kosovo citizens is on the rise in Slovenia, while the number of companies started up by citizens of the other former Yugoslav republics is in decline.

As a result, Ljubljana has decided to cut the overall quota of work permits and to propose the introduction of restrictions and even bans to parliament.

A draft law is also being lined up to prohibit the issuing of permits to officials of small and medium-sized companies run by Kosovo citizens who do not have Slovenian residency permits.

The reason for the ban, according to the government, is that these work permits are being abused to enter other countries in the Schengen zone.

Slovenia’s attention has been drawn to these abuses by Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland, the most frequent destinations for Kosovo citizens carrying Slovenian work permits.

The Slovenian government plans to address this problem systematically, through laws it will bring before parliament designed to toughen the conditions for the founding of companies by foreign nationals.

The government has also decided to propose a quota of 24,000 work permits for foreigners.

Of this quota, 1,500 are still to be issued, of which the government plans to give 95 percent to nationals from all the other republics of the former Yugoslavia, excluding Kosovo, which will have to apply for the other five percent with all other countries.

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