NEWS

Port police are ‘doing a good job’

Greek harbor police arrested over 3,000 illegal immigrants trying to sneak onto Italy-bound ferries last year, and Italian complaints that Athens is doing nothing to stem the flow are «unfair and groundless,» Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Anomeritis said yesterday. In statements this week, Italy’s deputy interior minister, Alfredo Mantovano, claimed the EU should take punitive action against Greece which, he claimed, «is taking no specific measures to stop [migrant] departures.» His comments followed the arrest of a Greek national on Sunday for ferrying illegal immigrants to Italy. Anomeritis said 3,086 migrants were arrested last year in the western ports of Patras, Igoumenitsa and Corfu, while 110 vehicles carrying migrants were seized. «Compared to our 3,086 arrests, the five people caught on an inflatable boat… cannot bear out a statement of such political vehemence,» he said, noting that Athens and Rome are cooperating against illegal migration. He added that starting with Piraeus «in two or three months,» only travelers with tickets will be allowed into Greek harbors.