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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athens mayor on illegal migration issue, Turkey's inaction
  • [02] Gov't: Dialogue on public order

  • [01] Athens mayor on illegal migration issue, Turkey's inaction

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis on Friday was the latest high-profile office-holder to comment on the surging problem of illegal immigration in Greece, especially since the largest municipality in the greater Athens-Piraeus area, the city of Athens, is experiencing the biggest problems from the congregation of groups of illegal migrants in specific urban districts.

    ?A year ago, when I defined the problem of uncontrolled illegal immigration to Greece, and particularly Athens, in its actual dimensions during my meetings with the prime minister, interior minister and all other political bodies, I was labeled by ‚professional liberals‚ as an extreme right-winger.

    "The city of Athens constitutes a unique phenomenon in Europe, in terms of its policy for the integration of legal migrants, which involves a comprehensive social protection network. However, everyone must become aware of the fact that Athens has now exceeded its limits and cannot function as a ‚reservoir of reception and residence‚ for hundreds of thousands of unfortunate fellow humans who are systematically forwarded by neighbouring countries, particularly Turkey.

    "The common European Immigration Policy and actions to remind Turkey that its European journey involves EU Authorities and Legislation are two imperative measures which, in combination with repatriation treaties, must be implemented," Kaklamanis, a former health minister, said, adding:

    The government‚s measures are initially a move in the right direction.?

    [02] Gov't: Dialogue on public order

    The government on Friday announced that Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis has sent letters to all Parliament-represented political parties requesting that they appoint representatives for a meeting at the interior ministry next Wednesday focusing on public order issues, including illegal immigration.

    Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said the government steadfastly and consistently seeks to consult with opposition parties on issues of crucial importance for the country and citizens, charging however, that its efforts have faced a constant and permanent 'no' - primarily from main opposition PASOK.

    Antonaros said Markoyiannakis had sent a similar letter on May 5 but had received no reply from any of the political parties. He stressed that those who again refused would be "solely responsible" for their refusal to participate and that the government had done its duty.

    The spokesman pointed out, meanwhile, that the issue of illegal immigration will be discussed at the upcoming European Council next week as a result of the Greek government's diplomatic initiatives.

    "We are interested in tangible results and not the ephemeral and noisy drum-beating that others resort to in the hope that their voice will be heard," he added, contrasting the government's stance with "those who restrict themselves to general wish-lists or who present existing actions as their own initiatives".

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