Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS)
Newsletter on Immigration to Greece
Editor: Ioannis Kolovos

Police Special Branch against ethnic gangs
A new Special Branch has been set up by the Police. Its aim is to target ethnic gangs and especially the Albanian organized crime.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 27/3/2010) can be read here (in Greek only)

IOM’s voluntary repatriation program remains inactive in Greece
Another piece of evidence of successive governments’ indifference towards the repatriation of illegal immigrants is the fact that an EU-funded program which facilitates their voluntary repatriation with the aid of the International Organization for Migration is still inactive in Greece. The program is being implemented in other European countries since 2007 and there is the risk that the funds that have been set aside for Greece may be lost.

The relevant article (To Vima, 27/3/2010) can be read here (in Greek only)

Greece second in asylum pressure among EU countries
According to asylum data for the past five years, Greece ranks second in asylum applications per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the rest of the EU countries. Austria tops the table with 9.1 applications and Greece follows with 7.4. The EU average is 2.3 asylum applications per 1,000 inhabitants.

The relevant table (Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia, 3-4/4/2010) can be found below:


Ministry of Citizen’s Protection to focus on voluntary repatriations of illegal immigrants
Minister of Citizen’s Protection Mr Michalis Chryssochoidis claims that voluntary repatriations of illegal immigrants will be stepped up and that hundreds have already been voluntarily repatriated. Still, this is not enough when illegal immigrants come into the country by the thousands.

The full text of Mr Chryssochoidis’ interview (Kathimerini, 11/4/2010) can be read here (in Greek only)

Ioannis Kolovos on Blue Sky TV
RIEAS Research Associate on illegal immigration to Greece, and editor of this newsletter, Ioannis Kolovos appeared on Blue Sky TV on 17/4 and discussed the issue of immigration and the recent developments surrounding it.

The discussion lasted for more than two hours and relevant videos have been posted on youtube. To view the first (of the thirteen) videos follow the link below. Links to the other videos are available there as well.

[Many thanks to Evonymos for posting all 13 videos on youtube]

Number of unofficial mosques in Greece rises
According to sources of “Kathimerini” newspaper, the number of unofficial mosques operating in Greece (excluding Thrace where native Muslims live) is on the rise. There are 75 unofficial mosques (compared to 68 in June 2009), 23 of which have been founded by Pakistani and 15 by Bangladeshi immigrants. According to the same newspaper the number of Muslim extremists reaching Greece through illegal immigration is also increasing.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 24/4/2010) can be read here (in Greek only)

Illegal trade costs 2 billion euros
The turnover of the illegal trade which takes place by illegal immigrants is estimated at about 7 to 10 billion euros and results in a loss of about 2 billion euros in state income. Illegal trade undercuts the turnover of legal merchants and shop-owners who sell garments, leather goods and travel accessories.

A relevant article (Ta Nea, 24-25/4/2010) can be read here (in Greek only)



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