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

Israeli secret services and police officials voice their concern after last month’s Muslim protest in Athens turned violent
Secret services and police officials from Israel expressed their concern that such violent incidents may eventually lead to terrorism.

The relevant article (To Vima 27/5/2009) can be read here (in Greek only)

Things must be really getting serious: Even ELIAMEP is now worried about immigration!
ELIAMEP’s general director Thanos Dokos considers immigration a time-bomb and raises a number of questions.

Mr Dokos’ article (Kathimerini, 27/5/2009) can be read here (in Greek only)

Not to blow my own trumpet, but I had raised similar questions several years ago (e.g. see my letter published in To Vima on July 6th, 2006). More recently, I raised these questions again. The relevant letter (To Vima, April 23rd, 2009) can be read here (in Greek only)

It is good to see aggressively pro-immigration institutions, such as ELIAMEP, to move towards a more cautious approach!

Alternate Minister of Interior Markogiannakis admits foreigners make up 20% of the country’s population.

The Minister’s admission (Athens News, 5/6/2009) can be read here (in English)

A defeat in the election for the European Parliament and a 75% rise of the anti-immigration, radical right People’s Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) made the government realize the severity of the immigration issue.
The government announced heavier penalties for illegal immigrant smugglers, a tightening of border controls, the creation of hospitality camps for illegal immigrants, the lengthening of the arrest period of illegal immigrants from 3 to 12 months and emphasized its focus on repatriation.

The measures are in the right direction, although they come a little too late. Moreover, they need to be strictly and continuously enforced and they have to be complemented by: a) measures to combat illegal employment, b) a study on the immigrant labor needs of our economy and c) a study on the carrying capacity of our society to immigrants.

A report on the government’s measures (Kathimerini, 12/6/2009) can be read here (in Greek only)

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis sent a letter to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and President of the European Union Jan Fischer pointing out that urgent measures need to be taken by the EU in order to tackle illegal immigration

Parts of Mr Karamanlis’ letter can be read here (In Greek only)

The vote in favor of the People’s Orthodox Rally made even the social-democratic PASOK to want to sound tough on illegal immigration.
The leader of the main opposition party Mr George Papandreou points out the party’s eight proposals in order to tackle Greece’s immigration issue.

Mr Papandreou’s article (Kathimerini, 14/6/2009) can be read here (in Greek only)

EU Presidency’s Conclusions apply some pressure on Turkey regarding illegal immigration
The Presidency of the European Council went some way in admitting that EU members in the Southeast (Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Malta) are under much pressure from illegal immigration and named as a priority the application of readmission agreements with Turkey and Libya.

The EU states leaders’ conclusions can be read here (in English)

Relevant reports (Kathimerini, 20/6/2009) can be read here (in Greek only)

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