Minister opposes PM’s bid to revoke migrant law

Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis on Thursday expressed opposition to plans by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to revoke a law granting greater rights to second-generation immigrants in Greece and to reforms opening up the lawyers’ profession to competition, part of an economic overhaul demanded by the troika.

The comments by Roupakiotis, who had originally objected to signing off on a four-year austerity and reform program for Greece before being talked round, fueled fears of further rifts breaking out within the fragile three-party governing coalition, which only barely clinched parliamentary approval for a new raft of austerity measures last week.

Addressing a press conference, Roupakiotis said he disagreed with an initiative aimed at overhauling the citizenship law, claiming that it would simply boost the popularity of the ascendant ultra-right party Golden Dawn, which has been fueling anti-immigrant sentiment.

The minister also lashed out at the troika for “exploiting our weak spot” with laws that “abolish the fundamental rights of lawyers.” Roupakiotis said those measures had been “imposed by the Finance Ministry and the troika to benefit banks and insurance companies.”