NEWS

Sweep to net illegals

An extensive nationwide sweep is being planned by the Greek police in the next few months. To this purpose, 500 border guards will be hired to work in Attica, with the main object of locating illegal immigrants in Athens and breaking up organized migrant-smuggling rings. According to the Ministry of Public Order, five new border guard departments will be set up in new buildings – not in police stations – in areas where there is increased criminal activity by illegal immigrants. Three departments will be set up in central Vathis Square, Acharnon and Metaxourgeio, one in Ano Liosia in western Athens, and one – whose location has not yet been determined – in eastern Attica. The process of legalization of the immigrants in the country is drawing to a close, with all those who have embarked on the legalization process expected to obtain their residence permits. Anyone who has not begun the process will be deemed to be residing illegally in the country. The sweep, one of the biggest to be carried out by the Greek police, will take place throughout the country and is expected to net almost all illegal immigrants. Decrees With two presidential decrees to be brought before the Council of State, the government is attempting to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, which has acquired alarming dimensions. The first decree provides for the creation of a further 500 permanent border guards and the establishment of special police departments to combat illegal immigration. The second proposed decree provides for the establishment of an Institute for Immigration Policy, whose objective will be to carry out studies on the planning and implementation of immigration policy in Greece. Specifically, the first decree determines a number of special immigration police departments to be set up, covering the areas of Athens, western Athens and Piraeus, northeastern and southeastern Attica. The policy institute will be governed by a nine-member council and general director, to be appointed for a three-year period by the Interior Ministry.