Composer?s comments on migrants cause stir

Comments by the respected composer Dionysis Savvopoulos, according to which undocumented immigrants living in central Athens, should be sent to sparsely-inhabited Aegean islands for farm work under the aegis of the United Nations refugee agency, caused a stir on Thursday.

Speaking to Athens City Hall municipal radio station, 984, Savvopoulos said on Wednesday that the problems being caused by a burgeoning population of illegal immigrants in the city?s historic center were overwhelming and called on authorities to declare a state of emergency and remove all migrants from the area.

?Athens cannot become the dumping ground for all these people,? Savvopoulos said, noting that the capital should bar access to any new migrants until the European Union drafts a more effective policy for the repatriation of economic migrants.

Responding to objections by journalist Angelos Tsekeris that exiling immigrants to rocky islets might not be the ideal solution to the city?s problems, Savvopoulos remarked, ?it is time to decide whether to live or die.?

The composer also drew attention to the scourge of drug dealing and suggested that all derelict buildings currently being occupied by drug addicts be evacuated and renovated.

The drug addicts can be transferred to areas where drug dealers cannot easily find them, he added.

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