Greeks dismiss migrant input

Almost eight in 10 Greeks believe that immigrants have contributed to a rise in crime and have offered little to the country, according to statistics revealed by immigration experts at a conference in Athens yesterday. According to figures presented by the Immigration Policy Institute (IMEPO), which was one of the conference organizers, 77 percent of the 1,000 Greeks questioned during a telephone survey carried out earlier this month said the crime rate in Greece has gone up because of the influx of migrants into the country. The poll carried out by Alpha Metrics also found that 45 percent of respondents felt that the presence of immigrants had not benefited Greece. A third of Greeks said migrants had contributed «a little.» Just over half of those questioned said immigration into Greece should stop. Some 1 million migrants are estimated to be living in Greece currently but the survey found that a third of Greeks believe that they have not contributed anything to the national economy. However, 38 percent said that migrants had contributed «a lot» or «very much» to Greece’s economy. Parliament passed a new immigration law in May to help simplify the process with which migrants obtain residents permits but the government admitted yesterday that there is still room for improvement. «We are still a long way from having a correct immigration policy but the recent law is a step in the right direction,» Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis told the conference.

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