Migrant Sri Lankans seeking employment in Italy in recent times were faced with severe economic problems due to lack of openings for jobs while some of those who had arrived in there by illegal methods of entry were reduced to beggary, some Sri Lankans returned home for Sinhala/Hindu New Year told The Nation.
The migrants, who had paid as much as 1.5 million to reach Italy through unscrupulous elements, were found sleeping on sidewalks and small access strips of shops after closing time, as they had no means to find suitable accommodation, they said. Italian business houses and even small enterprises that offered part-time employment like cleaning windows or gardens, fuel pumping at filling stations and other odd jobs were not offering new arrivals any opportunities.
In the city of Milan, there were about 50 Sri Lankans, who were among the migrant workers without employment, being fed and helped by two churches there and some NGOs that had provided them with sleeping bags, sheets and other basic material to sleep outdoors. Most of them, who had arrived in the country through illegal ‘job agents’, were suffering severe difficulties and some families among them, who had borrowed monies to pay unscrupulous agents, were also in difficulties being unable to repay their debt, they said.
Italy is one of the five European countries facing economic recession without any promise of recovery or growth with international economic analysts predicting further difficulties in short-term and medium-term wise. “Therefore employing illegal immigrants even when they are prepared to work for lower salaries is not done now,” they noted.