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

Igoumenitsa: Locals rally against illegal immigrants
Hundreds of residents of the port-city of Igoumenitsa rallied against the continuous influx of illegal immigrants. The locals blocked the main port’s entrance as a protest to the hundreds of illegal immigrants who have formed groups which regularly clash violently and have camped around the port in an effort to sneak onto ferries to Italy.

The relevant article (Kathimerini, 4/5/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Europol: Greece is the focal point for illegal entry to the EU
Europol’s latest report on Organized Crime in the EU emphasizes that “In 2010, a sharp reduction in the use of sea routes was accompanied by a substantial increase in illegal overland entries, overwhelmingly concentrated on the Turkish-Greek border. Besides being the natural gateway for immigrants from the Middle East and Asia, Turkey is now the final step towards the EU for migrants with many other origins, including North and West Africans. Its geographical position, the presence of historical smuggling routes and the comparative ease with which entry visas may be obtained have transformed Turkey into the main nexus point for illegal immigrants on their way to Europe”. As the report points out: “illicit entries of migrants from Turkey have increased by over 500 per cent between 2009 and 2010”.

Europol’s “EU ORGANISED CRIME THREAT ASSESSMENT” for 2011 can be read here (in English)

Papademetriou: “Greece does not control its borders”
The President of the US-based Migration Policy Institute, Mr Demetrios Papademetriou, argues that the Greek governments have no idea on how to tackle the issue of illegal immigration. He points out that Greece – aided by Frontex - must try to reduce the inflow of illegal immigrants and, at the same time, increase the number of repatriations.

Mr Papademetriou’s interview (Kathimerini, 8/5/2011) can be read in full here (in Greek)

Brutal slaying fuels racial violence in Athens City center
The fatal stabbing of a 44-year-old Greek by three robbers (two Afghans and one Pakistani) provided the spark that fuelled the simmering tensions between Greek residents and illegal immigrants in Athens city center. The residents organized rallies against criminality and several incidents of racial violence took place when groups of Greeks attacked immigrants in the areas surrounding Victorias Square and Kotzia Square.

Relevant articles (Kathimerini, 13/5/2011 and 14/5/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Greek officials urge calm after racist attacks
The Seattle Times’ view of the incidents.

The relevant article can be read here (in English)

Leaked Secret Services report on illegal immigration is quite revealing
“Ethnos” newspaper publicized parts of a secret report compiled by the Hellenic Police and the National intelligence Service. The report is quite revealing on the role of immigrant communities and on their efforts to push for another amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The relevant articles (Ethnos, 15/5/2011) can be read here (in Greek only):  Part 1Part 2

Wikileaks revelations on Greece’s illegal immigration issue continue
Wikileaks telegrams were also publicized by “Ta Nea” newspaper. They reveal that during 2006 a Pakistani Embassy official gave the Greek government a list of names involved in a money transfer network operating in Greece. The money came from the illegal trafficking of Pakistani nationals and other criminal activities and was used to fund Islamic extremists in Pakistan. The Greek government completely ignored the list and this may well be an indication of corruption of state officials as far as cases of illegal immigration are concerned.

The relevant article (Ta Nea, 16/5/2011) can be read here (in Greek only)

Government announces plan for Athens city centre
We have heard similar plans in the past.

The government’s announcement can be read in full here (in Greek only)

Minister for Citizen’s Protection: “Illegal immigration is a bomb on the lap of Greek society”
The Minister for Citizen’s Protection, Mr Christos Papoutsis, admits that by ignoring the issue of illegal immigration, all political parties are responsible for its aggravation and now it has turned out to be a bomb at the foundations of Greek society.

Mr Papoutsis’ interview (Eleftherotypia, 22/5/2011) can be read in full here (in Greek only)


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