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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-08-18

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM confers with Interior Minister

  • [01] PM confers with Interior Minister

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Monday with interior minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and discussed the issue of immigration, which is among the priorities of the current French EU presidency.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Pavlopoulos noted that the French EU presidency was advancing the signing by EU leaders in October of a "European Pact on Immigration and Asylum", given that 3.8 percent of the EU population are citizens of non-EU countries.

    He explained that some 1.5-2 million citizens of third countries enter the EU annually, adding that the EU was late in realizing the importance of a common European policy on immigration.

    Greece, he added, has been a champion of such a policy since 2005.

    The chief issue to be tackled was that of illegal immigration, "and we must tackle this dually," Pavlopoulos said, explaining that it should be tackled "not only as a phenomenon of what should we do when immigrants reach the European Union, but also now we can inform them in their countries of origin, so as to eliminate the causes that lead these people to becoming victims of people traffickers".

    Pavlopoulos continued that 112,000 immigrants had arrived last year in Greece alone, adding that measures were taken and, in cooperation with the EU, Immigrant Hosting Centers were set up such as those on Samos and in Lakonia, as well as such a Center for children in Amygdaleza.

    He said that the creation of more such Centers in Greece would be advanced, in cooperation with the EU, to avoid situations such as those observed in the past, given that Greece had a duty, in accordance with its tradition, culture and democracy, to treat everyone in accordance with the human values.

    Pavlopoulos further noted that many of the points contained in the French EU presidency's draft Pact emanated from Greek initiatives, and Greece, as a country, had every reason to help in its immediate implementation, but also in agreement being reached between the European North and South so as to iron out the differences of views noted in the past.

    He said that Greece and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis would play a leading role in the relevant discussions, adding that an intermediate meeting of the EU interior ministers would be held in late September, ahead of the EU interim summit in October.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis

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