migration17Research Institute for European and American Studies
Newsletter on Immigration to Greece
Editor: Ioannis Kolovos

On the presence of jihadists in Greece
According to Hellenic Police reports, four foreigners were deported from Greece in recent years because they were propagating ISIS and they were trying to recruit radical Islamists to their cause.

The relevant article (To Vima, 29/11/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

Repatriations to Pakistan: an issue which the EU needs to address urgently!
Pakistan refused to allow 30 migrants deported from Greece to leave a plane at Islamabad, a week after talks with the European Union to settle a dispute over forced repatriations.

The relevant Reuters news-report can be read here (in English)

Frontex's assistance to Greece for the management of the illegal immigrant inflow
Frontex deployed 477 officers throughout Greece, including 172 crew members of vessels helping to patrol Greek waters. Moreover, Frontex called on EU Member States to provide 775 border guards for its activities, with 600 to be deployed in Greece. Member States offered 447 officers.

The relevant news-item can be read in full here (in English)

European Commission: Greece does not implement the Eurodac Regulation correctly
The European Commission adopted an infringement decision concerning Greece for failing to fully transpose and implement the Common European Asylum System. The Commission urged Greece to correctly implement the Eurodac Regulation which provides for effective fingerprinting of asylum seekers and transmission of data to the Eurodac central system within 72 hours.

The relevant European Commission press release can be read in full here (in English)

The "hotspots" project is faltering
The creation of "hotspots" on islands of the Aegean Sea is faltering due to inadequate planning and mismanagement.

A relevant article (Kathimerini, 12/12/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

The European Commission reported on the progress of the "hotspots" project
The European Commission noted that "Five hotspot areas have been identified by the Greek authorities in Lesbos, Leros, Kos, Chios and Samos. So far, only the hotspot in Lesvos is operational. Greece has appointed hotspot coordinators and has created a central coordination committee, but must complete the construction of the hotspots in line with the planned timetable, and improve the organisation of the hotspots".

The relevant European Commission press release can be read in full here (in English)

Unemployment much higher for foreign nationals
According to the latest Labor Force Survey (3rd quarter of 2015) the unemployment rate of foreign nationals was much higher compared to the Greeks (28.6% compared to 23.7% respectively).

The relevant press release by the National Statistics Authority can be read here (in Greek only)

Majority of Greeks disagree with government's policy on immigration
According to an opinion poll conducted by the University of Macedonia, 62.5% of Greeks consider the government's immigration policy as "wrong", while only 23% consider it as "right". Syriza voters are split on the issue, by 44% and 42.5% respectively.

The relevant article can be read here (in Greek only)

Public Opinion is against the reception of refugees
A Public Issue opinion poll showed that 44% of Greeks would like refugees to be blocked from entering the country while 27% want Greece to receive them. A further 26% depend their answer on additional conditions and factors. Moreover, 53% of Greeks consider refugees as a threat to the country's security while 38% do not.

The relevant article (Avgi, 20/12/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

Is a new ex-post facto legalization of immigrants being planned?
The General Secretary of the Ministry of Immigration Policy Mr Vassilios Papadopoulos argued in an interview that those illegal immigrants who cannot be repatriated should be given the chance of obtaining a status of legal residence.

The interview (Epohi, 20/12/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

How the immigrant inflow spiraled out of control
Ministry of Interior's former general secretary for Population and Social Cohesion Mr Aggelos Syrigos pointed out the mistakes of the Greek and German governments in the handling of the illegal immigrant and refugee inflow.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 20/12/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

The data on immigrant and refugee flows in the first eleven months of 2015
All indicators are greatly disappointing compared to the same period of 2014. The inflow has increased more than tenfold while the relocation of refugees is almost non-existent. This situation sketches a very pessimistic perspective for 2016.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 29/12/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

The data on asylum applications in the first eleven months of 2015
Asylum applications increased by 49% compared to the same period of 2014. The increase is very small compared to the more than tenfold increase of the inflow to Greece. The asylum approval rate for the same period was 48.8%.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 29/12/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

Frontex launched rapid operational assistance in Greece
Frontex initiated the deployment of 293 officers and 15 vessels to the Greek islands as part of a new operation called Poseidon Rapid Intervention after Greece requested additional assistance at its external borders in the Aegean earlier in December. The officers will assist in identifying and fingerprinting of arriving migrants, along with interpreters and forged document experts. Poseidon Rapid Intervention aims to provide Greece with additional technical assistance aiming to strengthen its border surveillance, registration and identification capacity.

The relevant news-item can be read in full here (in English)

Almost half of foreign pupils dropped out of school in 2013
According to Ministry of Education latest available data, 45.8% of foreign pupils (originating from non-EU countries) dropped out of school in 2013. This further decreases their prospects of integration to Greek society.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 31/12/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)