Migrants’deadline extended

The government yesterday extended beyond February 2 the deadline for immigrants to apply for extensions to their work and residence permits, aiming to complete the process for an estimated 350,000 people by Easter. This is part of the effort to solve huge problems created by a shortage of staff and lack of organization by state agencies involved in the registration process. Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis met yesterday with representatives of migrants’ organizations and informed them of the changes to the system. The ministry is sending a circular to the state services involved to keep accepting applications beyond February 2. Migrants will not be deported if they have applied for residence permits, even if their six-month permits have expired. Today three new centers are to begin processing applications in Athens, at 11-13 Galaxia St. in Neos Cosmos, 73 Achilleos St., at Karaiskaki St. and at 152 Harilaou Tricoupi St. And Greeks come second only to the Luxembourgers in television attendance, on which they lavish an average 227 minutes of their lives every day. At the same time, less than 20 percent of the Greek population reads the daily press. The survey also found that Greeks, above all other EU nationals, are dissatisfied with their homes, which they find noisy, badly built, poorly heated, cramped and dark.

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