immigration10Research Institute for European and American Studies
Newsletter on Immigration to Greece

Editor: Ioannis Kolovos

New government's immigration policy is starting to bear fruit!
Arrested illegal immigrants admit: "We heard that Greece has opened its borders and, thus, we can travel easily to Europe"!

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 1/4/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

Illegal immigrant inflow by sea increased sharply in Q1 2015
The inflow of illegal immigrants by sea has increased more than threefold in Q1 2015 compared to Q1 2014 (10,445 arrests compared to 2,863 respectively).

The relevant article (Ethnos, 5/4/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

The new Citizenship Bill is about to be publicized
The new Citizenship Bill, which is about to be placed under public deliberation, tries to balance between Syriza's maximal proposals and the Council of the State's decision on the previous Citizenship Bill.

A relevant article summarizing the new Bill's proposals (Ethnos, 10/4/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

"Ta Nea": Immigration policy is heading in the wrong direction!
The largest selling daily newspaper "Ta Nea" pointed out emphatically in an editorial that the new government's immigration policy is heading in the wrong direction and is resulting in increased inflow of illegal immigrants.

The editorial (Ta Nea, 14/4/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

No government ever had a plan on immigration policy!
"Ethnos" daily newspaper admitted in an editorial that, since the issue of illegal immigration arose in the early '90s, no Greek government ever handled the issue effectively and drafted a specific plan.

The editorial (Ethnos, 15/4/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

Voluntary Repatriations' programme may stop due to lack of funding
The new government has not yet concluded its negotiations with the European Commission on the funding of the voluntary repatriations programme which, thus, runs the risk of coming to a halt at the end of June due to lack of funding.

A relevant article (Kathimerini, 16/4/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

RIEAS commented on the current immigration situation
RIEAS' Director John Nomikos and the editor of this newsletter published a joint article in the weekly newspaper "Ependysi" commenting on the current immigration situation.

The article (Ependysi, 18-19/4/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

Victim of its own success?
The Head of Greece's Asylum Service Ms Maria Stavropoulou argued that the increase in applications in Greece is owed to the increase in the granting of asylum, which makes asylum seekers trust Greece's system more than they used to in the past.

Ms Stavropoulou's interview (Kathimerini, 19/4/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

European Commission's Asylum Directive fosters illegal immigration
Mr Pericles Nearchou, former Ambassador of Cyprus in Paris, pointed out that the European Commission's Directive on Asylum essentially leads to increased illegal immigration.

Mr Nearchou's article (To Paron, 19/4/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

Islamist extremists may enter Greece posing as illegal immigrants
The deputy Minister for Citizens' Protection Mr Yiannis Panoussis admitted in an interview that Islamist militants may enter Greece posing as illegal immigrants.

Mr Panoussis' interview (Kathimerini, 19/4/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

Turkey does not take back illegal immigrants who enter Greece from its soil
In 2002 Turkey signed an agreement to take back immigrants who illegally enter Greece from Turkish territory. From April 2002 until January 2015 Greece submitted requests for the readmission of 137,722 illegal immigrants to the Turkish side but Turkey took back only 3,838 of them.

A relevant article (Ethnos online, 21/4/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

New government gets its lowest mark on the issue of immigration
According to an opinion poll conducted by the University of Macedonia, on a scale from 1 to 10, the new government gets its lowest mark – a "3" – on the handling of the immigration issue. The new government is also not doing well on the issue of criminality and security where it gets a "3.7".

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 21/4/2015) can be read here (in Greek only)

Vast majority of Greeks disagree with government's stance on immigration
An opinion poll conducted by ALCO showed that 64% of Greeks disagree with the government's immigration policy while only 21% agree.

The relevant opinion poll (Proto Thema, 26/4/2015) can be found here (in Greek only)

Eight answers on the issue of immigration
Ministry of Interior's former general secretary for Population and Social Cohesion Mr Aggelos Syrigos made some interesting comments on the current situation as far as illegal immigration and asylum are concerned.

Mr Syrigos' article (Kathimerini, 26/4/2015) can be read in full here (in Greek only)

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