Ombudsman warns of serious gap in immigration bill

The Greek Ombudsman has called for a new immigration code to be frozen until a provision outlining the conditions for granting residence permits on humanitarian grounds, including to victims of racist attacks, is voted through Parliament.

The provision was withdrawn from the bill in March after conservative New Democracy, which leads the ruling coalition, deemed that it could be subject to exploitation by migrants making claims of racially motivated abuse in a bid to secure legal residence in Greece.

The Ombudsman expressed concern that the law in its current form puts victims of racist violence and human trafficking at risk. It called for the previous law for issuing residence permits to apply until the provision for the new law is approved.