Bulgarians Protest German Green Card Plans

Sofia (03/29/2000) - The Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (Bait) has objected to Germany's intention to issue green cards to foreign, especially East European, IT specialists and programmers. With regard to the German Chancellor Schroeder's announcement at CeBIT 2000, that Germany will issue "green cards" to IT specialists from abroad, Bait officially declared its doubts about the program.

The software members of the association are working on a written memo with which they will respond to the German government. The document will be given first to the German IT Association BitKom and will then be forwarded to the German government. "We're scared by the possible consequences to our programmers", said Bait's Chairman Vassil Hristovich. The German program allows for 5-year contracts for foreigners, and those with families will have to leave the country alone.

A letter is being prepared also by the branches of the company Nemetschek in Bulgaria, and will soon be submitted to the German Embassy. The company manager believes the accent of the "green card" program should fall not on importing IT cadres but on exporting software projects to Bulgaria. "Only the small and medium enterprises are interested in attracting foreign workers. Big companies successfully outsource projects," commented Nemetschek's Director for Bulgaria George Brashnarov.

Bait was suggested to license Bulgarian software companies, capable of managing software projects from Germany, and also to become a guarantee that the projects will be equally allotted.

Meanwhile, the managers of the software companies decided to put much effort in creating a good living and working environment for the Bulgarian programmers, so that they stay in the country.

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