Research Institute for European and American Studies
Newsletter on Immigration to Greece
Editor: Ioannis Kolovos
Finally realizing the basics!
The deputy Minister for Immigration Policy Mr Yiannis Mouzalas stated in an interview that Greece should set a number on the population of illegal immigrants that it can receive and support.
The increase of refugee inflow to Greece is the second most important event of 2015
According to a Kapa Research opinion poll 54.5% of Greeks consider the increased inflow of refugees as the second most important event of 2015 for Greece, preceded only by the imposition of capital controls (58.7%).
Keep for future reference I
The deputy Minister for Immigration Policy Mr Yiannis Mouzalas claimed that "several thousands" of illegal immigrants may end up stranded in Greece, as only genuine refugees will be granted asylum and will be relocated. Mr Mouzalas' prediction is very optimistic as repatriations, deportations and relocations are faltering. Thus, the actual number of illegal immigrants who may end up stranded in Greece is more likely to run in the tens (or even hundreds) of thousands [Note to Readers: The eighth and the eleventh news-item of this newsletter, which took place a month later, proved our prediction to be right!].
Legalization through the back door?
The Ministry of Agricultural Development plans to introduce obligatory social security for immigrants without residence permits who work in agriculture. In essence, this would be a first step towards ex-post facto legalization.
Commission discussed draft Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece
The report found that there was no effective identification and registration of irregular migrants and that fingerprints were not being systematically entered into the system and travel documents were not being systematically checked for the authenticity or against crucial security databases, such as SIS, Interpol and national databases. On this basis, the draft report concluded that Greece was seriously neglecting its obligations and that there were serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border controls.
Estimations of the cost of the refugee crisis for Greece
A Bank of Greece internal report estimated that the cost of the refugee crisis for Greece in 2016 will be at least 600 million euros. Moreover the German Ministry of Economy estimated that the hospitality cost for 100,000 refugees is 1 billion euros. The deputy Minister for Immigration Policy Mr Yiannis Mouzalas argued in Parliament that, according to the Ministry's estimation, the cost of the refugee crisis for Greece exceeded 1 billion euros.
How much has the foreign population in Greece increased?
The deputy Minister for Immigration Policy Mr Yiannis Mouzalas claimed that, despite the increased inflow of almost 1,000,000 illegal immigrants and refugees in 2015, only about 15,000 have remained in the country. At the same time the General Secretary of the same Ministry Mr Vassilios Papadopoulos argued in an interview that the number of people who have stayed in Greece with a residence permit/leave to remain has not increased. Unfortunately, both do not seem to make any estimation of the people who may have stayed in the country illegally!
Keep for future reference II
The deputy Minister for Immigration Policy Mr Yiannis Mouzalas predicted that if Greece's northern neighbours closed their borders, then 50-70,000 illegal immigrants would be stranded in the country. In his view a border closure would result in the decline of the inflow and that the aforementioned number of people was "manageable" [Note to Readers: As mentioned in the third news-item of this newsletter, which took place a month earlier, this estimation is considered as optimistic].
Absolute majority of Greeks justify protests of local communities against hotspots
A "Public Issue" opinion poll showed that 52% of Greeks consider that the protests of local communities against the creation of hotspots are right, while 30% of Greeks consider them as wrong.
On Greece's immigration policy
General Frangoulis Frangos, former Chief of Army General Staff, commented on the country's immigration situation.
And just after 2 weeks...
Unnamed Ministry for Immigration Policy official admitted that the estimation of 50,000 illegal immigrants to be stranded in the country if Greece's northern neighbours closed their borders is no longer valid! [Note to Readers: As mentioned in the third and eighth news-items of this newsletter, we had emphasized from the start that this estimation was too optimistic].
Absolute majority of Greeks think that the government is not handling the refugee crisis in the best possible way
According to an opinion poll conducted by the University of Macedonia, 53% of Greeks think that the government is not handling the refugee crisis in the best possible way, while 34% are of the opposite opinion.
Absolute majority of Greeks are against the permanent settlement of refugees in the country
A "Public Issue" opinion poll showed that, in spite of having positive attitudes towards refugees (67%), the absolute majority of Greeks (55%) are against their permanent settlement in the country (32% are in favour).