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

Council of State panel deems new Citizenship Law unconstitutional
The Council of State’s 4th Panel of judges considers the government’s 2010 Law, which eased the granting of citizenship to immigrants and offered them the right to participate in local elections, as unconstitutional. The Council of State’s final say on the issue will be the outcome of a forthcoming plenary session. If the decision remains the same, the Law will collapse and the government will suffer a severe blow to its prestige.

A relevant article (Kathimerini, 2/2/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

The full text of the Council of State 4th panel’s decision can be read here (in Greek only)

Illegal immigrant influx increased in 2010
According to official data 132,524 people were arrested for illegal entry or illegal stay in Greece in 2010 (an increase of 5% compared to 2009’s 126,145 arrests). 37.9% of those arrested (50,175 people) came from Albania, while 35.5% (47,088) entered Greece through the land border with Turkey in the Evros area. 52,469 people were deported or repatriated in 2010, marking an increase of 158% compared to 2009 (20,342). Still the inflow of illegal immigrants remains much higher than the outflow.

The Hellenic Police official data for 2010 can be found here (in Greek only)

A relevant article (Eleftherotypia, 3/2/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Fortress Europe: Greece bids to stem migrant surge from Turkey with guns, wire and a 'wall'
The Observer’s view of the situation at the Greek-Turkish border in Evros.

The full article (Observer, 6/2/2011) can be read here (in English)

Promises made, promises kept?
The Minister for Citizen’s Protection Christos Papoutsis promised that all illegal immigrants will be deported. Moreover, he argued that those who organized the occupation by illegal immigrants of the Law School Building in Athens city centre wanted to cause a conflict. A similar view was expressed in Parliament by the Minister for Education Anna Diamandopoulou who said that the occupation was part of a plan organized by left-wing groups which aimed to cause bloodshed in Athens that evening or the following days.

Mr Papoutsis’ interview (To Vima, 6/2/2011) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

Ms Diamandopoulou’s speech in Parliament can be read here (in Greek only)

A RIEAS Editorial on the occupation of the Law School building can be read here (in English)

Frontex’s border guards will stay permanently in Evros
Frontex’s Rapid Border Intervention Team (RABIT), which was deployed in Evros on November 5th, will remain permanently active in the area. The team will consist of about 200 guards.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 11/2/2011), can be read here (in Greek only)

100 asylum seekers cause trouble in Larnaka, Cyprus
100 Palestinian asylum seekers occupied the Welfare Office in Larnaka, Cyprus and injured a police officer and a clerk who tried to resist. The asylum seekers protested against the delay of the payment of their welfare benefits. According to witnesses some of the Palestinians yelled “jihad” as they stormed the Welfare Office!

A relevant news report (Phileleftheros, 11/2/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Multiculturalism isn’t working in Cyprus either!
Dozens of Greek pupils clash with Palestinian classmates in Larnaka High School. Seven people were wounded in the clashes.

A relevant news report (Simerini, 17/2/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)


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