NEWS

Backing for border crackdown

Most Greeks want stricter border checks to help curb illegal immigration, but at the same time hold that legal migrants should enjoy the same rights as local workers, according to an EU-wide survey. The Eurobarometer poll, conducted in all 15 European Union member states between December 8 and 16 and released in Brussels yesterday, showed that 89 percent of the 500 Greeks questioned felt tougher border controls should be implemented. Only 9 percent disagreed with the notion. Some 66 percent of respondents said foreign workers legally resident in Greece should enjoy the same rights as the local work force. Around 56 percent disagreed with the notion that more immigrants were needed to boost the economy, compared to 43 percent who agreed. Thousands of illegal migrants enter Greece every year, while the 2001 census established that some 800,000 non-Greeks live in the country. A survey by Panteion University in Athens has found that there will be 14.2 million people living in Greece in 2015, 3.5 million of which will be non-Greeks.