Athens denies plan to block migrant workers

As the Interior Ministry yesterday extended the deadline for immigrants to apply for new residence permits, Athens denied rumors that it planned to deny re-entry, after the August Olympics, to thousands of Albanian workers expected to go home for their summer holidays. «There is no change regarding re-entry to Greece for the Albanians who leave the country during the summer holidays,» government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said. «What applies under the Schengen Treaty will also apply during the Olympic Games.» He also said there were no plans to temporarily suspend, during the Games, the passport-free entry to Greece that many Europeans enjoy under the Schengen Treaty on lifting border controls. An Interior Ministry circular issued yesterday gives immigrants until June 30 to seek the renewal of residence permits that expired between June 30 2003 and May 21.