Spanish Embassy meets Norway government over sailors' rights / News / The Foreigner

Spanish Embassy meets Norway government over sailors' rights. Officials from both countries hold meetings in Oslo regarding tax and pensions. Norway Long Hope Association President Juan Lores Nazara and the Spokesman Alberto Paz Viñas arrive in the Norwegian capital, Friday, for high-level meetings to argue their cause. As previously reported on The Foreigner, some 12,000 Spanish sailors served on Norwegian Merchant Fleet vessels between 1950 and 1994. “Not told”

spain, sailors, pension, tax, norway, ships



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Spanish Embassy meets Norway government over sailors' rights

Published on Friday, 14th November, 2014 at 14:52 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 22nd January 2015 at 08:54.

Officials from both countries hold meetings in Oslo regarding tax and pensions.

Norwegian Ministry of Finance
Representatives will state their case at the Ministry. This picture shows the building at the beginning of 2011.Norwegian Ministry of Finance
Photo: © 2005-2007 Bjørn Erik Pedersen/W.Common


Norway Long Hope Association President Juan Lores Nazara and the Spokesman Alberto Paz Viñas arrive in the Norwegian capital, Friday, for high-level meetings to argue their cause.

As previously reported on The Foreigner, some 12,000 Spanish sailors served on Norwegian Merchant Fleet vessels between 1950 and 1994.

“Not told”

They paid income tax to Norway during the course of these 44 years but declare that they never received a refund or a pension.

“We were never informed about the working conditions we were subject to, neither in writing nor verbally, resulting in untold amounts being paid into the coffers of the Norwegian State without our having the right to any compensation.”

The statement from the Association also reads that the seamen find this to be a violation of Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Joaquin Nieto from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel García-Margallo, and the Norwegian Ambassador to Spain, Christopher Johan Vibe, met Long Hope representatives in Spain in September.

The Association presented the Ambassador with a 108,000-signature petition in support of their cause.

Last week’s count of signature numbers for their internet petition showed some 134,650. Mr Viñaz says that these came from many world countries.

Long Hope also has the support of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

Invalid

Norwegian government officials’ opinion is that the sailors are not entitled to money in either form.

The Ministry of Finance has turned their claim down.

In an email to The Foreigner, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs officials write that “There has been a process between the Spanish seafarers who worked on board Norwegian registered vessels prior to 1994, their organization, the Long Hope Association, and the Norwegian authorities for several years.”

“Initially, the Spanish seafarers raised a claim for old-age pension. Then, a request for reimbursement of paid taxes was made, and now the request is to be granted a payment for not having obtained old-age pension from the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme."

“The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is of the opinion that the Spanish seafarers in question do not have any legal rights to old-age pension from the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme or any other Norwegian pension scheme, and the Ministry has no further comments upon this matter,” they also state in their email.

High-level talks

Six meetings are planned duringNorway Long Hope Association representatives’ visit. Assisting them will be Raúl Bartolomé, Deputy Head of Mission at the Spanish Embassy in Oslo.

On Monday 17th November, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Thor Kleppen Sættem, will be receiving them at the Ministry at 13:30 local time.

The Tuesday sees two meetings: the first with Bjørn Dæhlin, Head of Division at the Parliamentary Ombudsman – who supports the sailors’ claim – takes place at 10:00. They will then meet with Johnny Hansen, President of the Norwegian Seamen’s Union (NSU) at 12:00.

Ms Katrine Hellum, attorney-at-law of the Legal Department of The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), will be meeting the Association’s Juan Lores Nazara and Alberto Paz Viñas the following day. This is scheduled for 10:00.

A meeting with Spanish Ambassador to Norway Antonio López Martínez takes place on Thursday 20th November at 11:00, while the Friday sees a meeting with Ms. Helen Campbell, Ambassador of the European Union to Norway, at 15:00.




Published on Friday, 14th November, 2014 at 14:52 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 22nd January 2015 at 08:54.

This post has the following tags: spain, sailors, pension, tax, norway, ships.





  
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