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Labour recruitment agreement

The economic boom of the 1950s led to a shortage of labour in West Germany. In order to meet these shortages, the federal German government recruited migrant workers through bilateral labour recruitment agreements. In 1955, West Germany signed the first labour recruitment agreement with Italy; followed by recruitment agreements with Spain (1960), Greece (1960), Turkey (1961), Morocco (1963), South Korea (1963), Portugal (1964), Tunisia (1965) and Yugoslavia (1968). The German Democratic Republic (GDR) entered similar labour recruitment agreements with Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mozambique, Poland, Hungary, Yemen and Angola. In both countries, the migrant workers’ stay was supposed to be temporary and they were supposed to return to their country or region of origin (s. rotation principle). The 1973 ban on labour recruitment in the FRG concluded the recruitment of labour migrants in West Germany.