25 January, 2021

The Reich Rebuffed

Racism, peculiar laws and Silicon Valley prompt Indian geeks to spurn bodyshoppers from Bonn

The Reich Rebuffed

They are calling it the war of Gastarbeiters (guest workers). But beyond the gloss and the hype, it's nothing but a simple clash of egos between the world's third richest nation, Germany, and one of the poorest, India. And thanks to its own shortsightedness, the former is on an extremely soft turf.

Three months ago, when Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced amid much fanfare the hiring of foreign IT professionals to help develop the industry and fill 75,000 vacancies in the west European nation, Germans were not prepared for a near-total rejection by the "poverty-stricken" Indians.

What went wrong? Are Indian geeks cool to German industry after their exposure to - and the lure of - Silicon Valley, where they are decidedly, collectively, king? Are they waiting for the US to raise H1B visa limits? It's all that and more. Sources say the immediate dampener is the rigid visa terms offered through the Federal Employment Agency (fea), which monitors all foreign professionals. The initial offer was to issue 10,000 three-year visas, ban on job change and work permit...



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