Saturday, 18 July 2009

Greece - asylum seekers - human rights?

In an earlier posting I touched on the issue of illegal immigrants to Greece and pointed out that the geographical situation makes it extremely difficult to control immigration form Albania in the north and from the sea border with Turkey in the east.
Now the head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in the region has strongly critised Greece for law changes which will make the situation of illegal immigrants more perilous. For a start the whole business of deciding on their fate will be decentralised to 50 police agencies. Secondly these agencies have no expertise in such matters and even lack the language skills to communicate with immigrants. Thirdly, and worst of all, the previous right of appeal has been abolished.
All this I see as signs that the government in the current economic crisis is coming under increasing pressure from the country at large to stop the influx of immigrants which many Greeks believe are now taking away their jobs.

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