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Editor’s Note :

“The last one out at the airport, turn out the lights!” we used to joke in Rio in the 1990s, a time when inflation was often several thousand percent a year. Today, in the US, the Brazilian-American community is half a million strong. In contemporary Ukraine, the longer that politicians content themselves with business as usual, the more working class Ukrainians will simply vote with their feet and take the bus to Poland. And, eventually, some will stop coming home

President Zelenskiy’s White House visit now is to be in August,

before Ukraine’s 30th Independence Day celebrations, on Aug. 24. Concorde Capital’s James Hydzik writes: “The delay stems from Washington’s ongoing concerns over the replacement of the head of Naftogaz. It is highly unlikely that the Zelensky administration will accede to Washington’s demands regarding Naftogaz under the present circumstances. As such, the welcome in Washington will be relatively cold.”

Solar and wind energy producers are pursuing 130 legal actions totaling $66 million against Ukrenergo’s Guaranteed Buyer for non-payment of the green tariff,

 reports expro.com.ua.  The Guaranteed Buyer says it is trying to reach a compromise on the claims. Last month, this state company said the overdue debt amounts to $630 million. The President’s office is considering a proposal to place a $500 million hryvnia ‘green bond’ to pay most of the debt.

Ukraine’s GDP grew by 6% yoy in the second quarter,

the Economy Ministry reported yesterday. The increase comes after five straight quarters of decline due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a Reuters poll, economists predicted an 8% yoy increase. The Ministry said: “In the second quarter of 2021 economic recovery entered a positive trend, although it continues to be affected by the pandemic.” The government forecasts 4.1% growth for all of 2021, cancelling out last year’s decline of 4%.

Germany’s Labor Ministry is speaking with its Ukraine counterparts about allowing Ukrainians to do seasonal farm work

. AT present, there are only 20,000 international workers in Germany which are classed as ‘holiday workers.’ The country has signed a pilot agreement with Georgia and Ukraine to allow workers to enter under simplified rules to work 90 days in a 180-day period. The situation is critical for the agricultural sector, as German farmers say they need 300,000 workers in the summer.

A survey by opendatabot found that 12,840 jobs were offered to Ukrainians by EU employers in June, almost double the 7,667 offered in May

. Top recruiting countries were: Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, and Latvia. The most sought after workers were: plumbers, electricians, welders, handymen, packers, seamstresses, chefs, nurses, and drivers. Last week, work.ua reported an increase by 33% in the number of job offers from Polish employers.

“If Poland wants most Ukrainian workers to stay in the country, it must adapt to changing realities, because the struggle for a Ukrainian worker among European countries is just beginning,

“ said Anatoliy Zymnin, the PR manager for EWL Group at a recent press conference. In EWL’s May survey of 570 Ukrainians working in Poland, many respondents said they were interested in trying to work in a new EU country. Top choices were: Germany, Czech Republic and the Scandinavian nations.

Polish employers are pressing their government to allow Ukrainians to obtain 3-year work permits.

 “This is a serious step towards turning our labor migration into emigration,” said Voskoboynyk, recently on Ukraina 24 TV. “This question is not just about our employers, but about the future economic development of our state…there will be a problem of demographic nature within our country…and this will lead to the question of who will invest in a country where there is no one to work.”

Poland is giving more autonomy to regional labor offices to issue work permits to foreigners, whichh cuts time and red tape, and is digitizing the whole process,

said Ivona Michalek, Poland’s deputy Minister of Development, Labor and Technology (Dziennik.pl). She said that: “We want foreigners to be able to come to Poland easily, to start working here, especially in specialties where there is a shortage of labor in Poland, where Poles are reluctant to work.”

Employment experts estimate that the real number of Ukrainians working in Poland is 1-1.5 million.

Vasily Voskoboynik, the President of the Ukrainian Association of Companies for International Employment, estimates that 3-5 million Ukrainian citizens now work abroad. For Ukrainian blue collar workers, the option of working in the EU is increasingly mainstream. Every six months, EWL Group, a Ukrainian-Polish job placement agency, polls Ukrainian workers in Poland. In September, 28% of respondents said it was their first time working abroad. By May, this portion had increased to 44%.

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