Permits scarce for migrants

There are an estimated 1.1 to 1.2 million migrants living in Greece, of which less than half have a legal residency permit, according to data made public yesterday. Research group Hellenic Migration Policy Institute (IMEPO) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) presented data showing that the Interior Ministry had issued residency permits for 480,000 people as of October last year, while another 300,000 applications are thought to be outstanding. According to IMEPO surveys, 70 percent of immigrants who have been in Greece for between five to eight years have steady work, said IMEPO President Alexandros Zavos. Of these migrants, about half believe they are underemployed, while four in 10 replied that they see themselves as being well matched to their work. Data also showed that 350,000 migrants have social security insurance, amounting to 14 percent of Greece’s pension fund members.