Research Institute for European and American Studies
Newsletter on Immigration to Greece
Editor: Ioannis Kolovos
Greece did not make the most from EU funding
From 2007 to 2013 Greece was granted 207 million euros from the External Borders Fund in order to patrol its borders more effectively. Nevertheless, Greece managed to absorb only 43% of these funds (compared to EU average of 87.6%).
Almost 7 out of 10 foreigners living in Greece are at risk of poverty
According to National Statistics Authority data 68.7% of foreigners between the ages of 18 to 64 years' old living in Greece are at risk of poverty compared to 36.1% of Greeks. The figure rises to 72.5% for foreigners originating from non EU-27 countries.
Illegal immigrants burden the NHS
The Minister of Health Mr Makis Voridis pointed out that illegal immigrants pose a huge burden for the National Health Service as far as infrastructure and resources are concerned.
Greece does not have a specific problem with jihadists and extremists
During an official visit in the US, the Minister of Public Order Mr Vassilis Kikilias emphasized that: "While we don't have a specific problem in Greece with jihadists and extremists, we have been monitoring people passing by from Europe going to third countries and from Africa or [the Middle East] going back to Europe".
More than 1,000,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested in Greece in the last decade
The Minister of Public Order Mr Vassilis Kikilias gave a speech at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Tufts University. In his speech he mentioned that more than 1,000,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested in Greece in the last decade and that illegal immigration is a significant factor for social destabilization and for the divergence from economic growth.
The new European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos was interviewed by "Kathimerini"
Unfortunately, when it comes to immigration policy, Mr Avramopoulos' interview reads more like wishful thinking than an approach grounded to reality. The new Commissioner wants to attract immigrants to Europe – legally – in order to curb the Continent's demographic decline. Yet, he makes no mention of the repercussions that such a policy will have on the social cohesion of European societies.
Number of unofficial mosques in Greece declines
According to sources of "Kathimerini" newspaper, the number of unofficial mosques operating in Athens decreased as, due to the economic crisis, Muslim immigrants are leaving the country. It is estimated that out of about 100 unofficial mosques, about 40 have closed.
The Ministry of Interior is preparing a new Citizenship Bill
Is the issue of citizenship a priority for a country deep in economic crisis? Will this Bill turn out to be another own-goal for the government?
Foreigners constitute 58.6% of Greece's prison inmates
According the latest Ministry of Justice figures, 6 out of 10 inmates in Greek prisons were foreigners (7,025 out of 11,988). This is another indication of the link between illegal immigration and serious crime.
How many are the country's legalized immigrants?
According to the latest Ministry of Interior data 587,102 third country nationals have a valid residence permit. About 70% of permit holders are Albanians.