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Research Institute for European and American Studies
Newsletter on Immigration to Greece

Editor: Ioannis Kolovos

On “truths” and “myths” regarding immigration to Greece
Ioannis Kolovos publicized in the weekly “Epikaira” magazine a lengthy article commenting on a recent publication by the local branch of the Rosa Luxemburg Institute, which is affiliated to the German Party “Die Linke”.

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

2013 illegal immigration data

Hellenic Police HQ publicized the data on illegal immigration in 2013. 43,002 foreigners were arrested for illegal entry and/or illegal stay in Greece (down from 76,878 in 2012 – a decrease by 44%) and at the same time 26,186 foreigners were repatriated (up from 22,117 in 2012 -  an increase of 18.4%). Nevertheless these data show that, even with this improved performance as far as border surveillance is concerned, the absolute number of illegal immigrants in Greece must have increased for yet another year. If repatriations do not exceed the arrests, then the resolution of the issue will not have begun.

The relevant Hellenic Police HQ press release can be read here (in Greek only)

The fence in Evros is a great success
According to Hellenic Police HQ data for 2013 the inflow of illegal immigrants from the land border between Greece and Turkey, where a fence has been erected, has been minimized. In 2013 only 1,109 foreigners were arrested compared to 30,433 in 2012 (a decrease by 96.4%).

The relevant Hellenic Police HQ press release can be read here (in Greek only)

How many are the country’s legalized immigrants?
According to the latest Ministry of Interior data 473,124 foreigners have a valid residence permit. Moreover, the deputy Minister of Interior Mr Leonidas Grigorakos announced that the new Immigration Bill plans to decrease the number of social security stamps required for the renewal of residence permits from 150 to just 50 per annum. This last measure facilitates the stay in Greece for people who cannot find a job in the country and, thus, can barely make ends meet. Instead, the government should have launched a repatriation scheme for all ex post facto legalized immigrants who could not meet the 150 social security stamps threshold for the renewal of their residence permits.

A relevant article (Ethnos, 15/2/2014) can be read here (in Greek only)

Foreigners feature disproportionately in Police’s statistics on serious crime

According to criminality figures for 2013 released by the Hellenic Police, foreigners contribute significantly in serious crime. Foreigners make up for 41.6% of those arrested for homicides, for 39.4% of those arrested for rape, for 33% of those arrested for thefts-burglaries and for 40.5% of those arrested for robberies.

The criminality data for 2013 can be found here (in Greek only)

UK launches £2m project in Greece to assist repatriation of migrants
According to the British Ambassador Mr John Kittmer “Our assessment is that the UK remains a primary final destination country for many of the irregular migrants in Greece. British funding for this programme is ultimately about reducing illegal migration to the UK. That is why we are co-operating with the Greek government as it faces the continuing challenge of illegal migration”.

A relevant news-report (The Guardian, 19/2/2014) can be read here (in English)

Over 86,000 residence permit forms were stolen!
The deputy Minister of Interior Mr Leonidas Grigorakos admitted in Parliament that, from 2007 to 2011, more than 86,000 residence permit forms were stolen from various Civil Services.

A relevant article (Kathimerini, 21/2/2014) can be read here (in Greek only)


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