Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS)

Newsletter on Immigration to Greece

Editor: Ioannis Kolovos

Government to lower the threshold for the renewal of residence and work permits
The government announced that it is preparing a draft law which will reduce social insurance contributions to a minimum of 120 work stamps from 200 currently needed for the renewal of residence and work permits. It is estimated that 60,000-80,000 ex post facto legalized immigrants did not renew their permits as they could not gather the 200 work stamps and a further 90,000 will be facing the same situation in the near future.

A relevant article (Kathimerini, 1/3/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Government’s defeatist mentality on immigration revealed!
An article by Ministry of Interior’s General Secretary for Population and Social Cohesion Mr Andreas Takis reveals the government’s defeatist mentality on immigration. According to Mr Takis the inflow of illegal immigrants will continue no matter how well our borders are guarded, the state may not be able to repatriate the majority of illegal immigrants, the population of illegal immigrants with whom the Greeks will have to live side by side will increase, a number of illegal immigrants may stay in Greece for many years and thus may be given proper residence and work permits.

The full text of Mr Takis’ article can be read here (in Greek only)

Police report: immigrants to be more than 2 million by 2014
A Police report titled “Research on the problem of illegal immigration to Greece”, which was prepared by Officers in the Hellenic Police HQ, estimates that in 2014 the total number of immigrants in the country will be 2,142,348, 57% of whom will be illegal (1,219,089 people).

The relevant article (To Pontiki, 10/3/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Government’s defeatist mentality in action!
The government gave in to the blackmail of the hunger strike of about 300 illegal immigrants. The Minister of Interior Mr Yiannis Ragoussis did not offer them the residence permits they demanded but offered them a temporary leave to remain for six months, which can be renewed. He also allowed them to visit their homelands without fear of being refused entry back in Greece. Moreover, the Minister of Interior agreed to make the legalization of illegal immigrants easier. The current law requires that immigrants prove they have been living in Greece for at least 12 years and this period will be reduced towards eight years. Finally, Mr Ragoussis also agreed to the reduction of the number of work stamps needed for the renewal of residence permits.

A relevant article (Ta Nea, 11/3/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Greece calls for EU help on 'refugee wave'
The Telegraph’s view of the current situation in Greece.

The full article can be read here (in English)

Greece worries over recent wave of migrants through Turkey
VoA’s view of the current situation in Greece.

The full article can be read here (in English)

Wikileaks revelations on Greece’s illegal immigration issue
“Kathimerini” newspaper gained access to Wikileaks US Embassy telegrams. They reveal US Embassy’s worries that among illegal immigrants who enter Greece may be people connected to islamist and other extremist networks. The (then) US Ambassador Mr Daniel Speckhard had offered to facilitate the purchase by Greece of the relevant equipment for the measurement and storage of illegal immigrants’ biometric data but the (then) Minister of Interior Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos declined the offer as he did not consider the equipment as useful.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 20/3/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)


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