Greek authorities obstruct veterinarians working to save stray animals

18 November 2008

Greek authorities obstruct veterinarians working to save stray animals

Did you know that Greece is closed to vets from other countries? Foreign veterinarians are being refused work permits on the grounds that they are not sufficiently well-trained and because they would present their Greek colleagues with 'competition'. This means, of course, that everything that you have heard about recognition of qualifications within the EU and equal access to labour markets is, at least in this instance, so much moonshine. This is, in so many words, what SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer intends to bring to the attention of the European Commission.


Erik MeijerEurophiles rant on about open borders and – above all – economic freedoms. But only when it suits them. Animal welfare organisations have confirmed that Greece, a member state of the EU for almost three decades, continues to put obstacles in the way of vets from other EU countries who want to practise their profession there. And in this case, they are not even looking to be paid. The Dutch foundations Dierenhulp zonder Grenzen (Animal Aid without Frontiers) and Dierenhulp Kreta (Help Crete's Animals) consist of volunteers, including professionals. "These are people motivated by idealism rather than personal gain, who are working to ensure that stray animals do not have to be put down," says Erik Meijer. "The Greek authorities fear that foreign vets will put their own people out of work, but these people are working to help solve an urgent problem in Greece, the need to sterilise stray animals.".

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