The Pakistani government announces the legalization of illegal immigrants in Greece. There is no official denial from the Greek side.
Notis Mitarakis, Minister of Immigration and Asylum, held talks in Pakistan with the country’s political leadership. What was discussed and what agreements were reached? On the official government website of Pakistan, a message appeared:
“During the meeting, issues related to illegal immigration between the two countries were discussed. The Greek minister said there are over 60,000 Pakistanis in his country.”
During the talks, Notis Mitarakis noted:
“We know very well why people move illegally from one country to another and become immigrants, because in the past the history of Greece is similar to the history of Pakistan. Unfortunately, there was no strong close connection between Pakistan and Greece, which is why Pakistanis living in Greece face difficulties. Pakistan and the Hellenic Republic maintain friendly relations. A strong Pakistani diaspora of over 60,000 is an important economic and cultural bridge between the two countries. The visit will further strengthen the cooperation ties between Pakistan and Greece.”
The Minister assured that next year the policy of legal immigration of Pakistanis will include the issuance of five-year visas. Thanks to the planned conditions for the stay of Pakistanis in Greece, those of them who have legal grounds will be able to stay 9 months a year in Greece and 3 in Pakistan. The Greek minister noted that legal resettlement would significantly increase the country’s income, and announced his intention to open a direct flight to Greece by Pakistani Airlines. He praised the role of the Pakistani community in the Greek economy and detailed the proposed plan for legal channels between the two countries.
Greece and Pakistan have signed a memorandum of cooperation to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Pakistan and provide Greece with human resources through legal immigration channels and tough immigration policies. But the coverage of the details of the agreement by the two countries differs somewhat. A Pakistani government press release states:
“The aim of the new policy will be to provide a visa for 5 years (for seasonal immigrants). Every year, an immigrant can stay in Greece for 9 months, and spend the rest in their homeland. The three main policy objectives are: Issuance of new visas through legal channels, legalization of illegal immigrants, elimination of smuggling and illegal immigration.
What is hidden behind the definition of “legalization of illegal immigrants”? Most of them entered Greece illegally! Will the Greek authorities legalize them? Here is what the Greek side says:
“The goal of the government is to support legal immigration to meet the needs of the Greek economy, while combating illegal arrivals and the return of those who do not have the right to stay. We offer legal immigration seasonal work for up to nine months a year, not a long-term settlement.”
Even in the English version of the Greek statement of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, no details are mentioned. And not a word about the legalization of Pakistani illegal immigrants. As well as there is no official refutation of the statement from Pakistan. Which one of them is lying? Meanwhile, the Pakistanis are celebrating the adoption of agreements with the Mitsotakis government. So what is it hiding and will we find out the details?
And the icing on the cake: Minister of Immigration and Asylum Notis Mitarakis, after conveying cordial greetings from the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic Kyriakos Mitsotakis, invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan to visit Greece.