June 12, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Samaras opposes Mitsotakis for immigration law amendment

Antonis Samaras in his statement asks to withdraw the amendment, which reduces the required period of residence for obtaining a residence permit for illegal migrants from 7 to 3 years.

The former Prime Minister (from 2012 to 2015) reacted sharply to the amendment of the law on the legalization of migrants from third countries who have lived in Greece for at least three years. Former party chairman “New Democracy” calls on the government to withdraw the amendment and reconsider the entire issue. In his statement he calls “obviously wrong” amendment “about illegal immigrants” and calls the appearance of a resolution providing unexpected “a new type of residence permit for work for third-country nationals.”

“Our country, with this amendment, becomes a beacon for attracting illegal immigrants.”

In a statement issued to parliamentary editors immediately after the meeting of the committee on the mini-insurance bill at which the resolution was introduced, he says that “the need to solve the problem of workers can be achieved through internal potential” and emphasizes that “With this amendment, our country becomes, in fact, a beacon for attracting illegal immigrants.” The former Prime Minister’s statement reads:

“The sudden introduction of an amendment granting a “new type of residence permit for work to third country nationals” is erroneous. In practice, it legalizes all illegal immigrants who have been in Greece for 3 years! In fact, collectively, without any real control of the individual each of them by the state!And this at a time when the problem of immigration has overwhelmed the whole of Europe, which is looking for tougher policies!

I don’t understand why our government is making residency and work permits for illegal immigrants even more flexible. Even those whose asylum application was rejected! Even if they have a passport, “even if it is expired”… And the issuance of permits becomes mandatory, and not at the discretion of the competent authorities, as has been the case until now.

Let me remind you that our government in 2012-2014 created a legislative framework that provided, under very strict conditions, for the issuance of a residence permit only if the applicants had completed 7 years of continuous stay in the country. And even SYRIZA supported this regime…

With this amendment, our country essentially becomes a beacon for attracting illegal immigrants. The need to address the workforce problem can be addressed through internal capacity. And of course, through legal immigration and temporary transnational agreements under which immigrants return to their countries. And it sounds completely inappropriate that the solution to the demographic problem could be the legalization of illegal immigrants! Greece is a country, not a place! I request the government to withdraw this amendment and reconsider the entire issue.”

This was preceded…
This is not the first time Antonis Samaras has reacted to the government’s choice, as he recently made a strong statement on the issue of recognizing the right to marriage for same-sex couples. The former prime minister’s position was part of a wider context of reactions from members of the government, with the loudest reaction being that of Makis Voridis, who announced his resignation if party discipline was imposed.

Antonis Samaras, answering this question in an interview Kathimerinistated that he would not vote for the corresponding bill in parliament, because, according to him, “if we recognize “marriage”, then later we will be forced – for reasons of “equalizing” dissimilar things – to recognize childbearing for same-sex couples”.

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