Thursday, July 21, 2005


Thank you to Tim Wilson for the following Press Watch. Last Thursday (14/07) the Prime Minister Mr. K. Karamanlis and the Minister of Interior Mr. P. Pavlopoulos discussed among others the details of the new draft bill on migration and the first reactions to it, especially what Ms. Yvette Jarvis (Head of the Political Asylum and Migration Committee of the Human Rights' Section of PASOK) said for lack of dialogue between the government and representatives from migration organisations. Ms Jarvis had also criticized the fact that the new draft law equates asylum seekers with economic migrants. (Express, 15 July) A research conducted by KAPA RESEARCH and the magazine "Tahydromos" shows that Greeks lack tolerance vis-à-vis foreigners, especially when these are immigrants. The figures show that women are more afraid of foreigners than men and that the supporters of the "New Democracy" Party are less tolerant towards them. (Tahydromos Magazine, 16 July) According to a report by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), the refugee protection system in Greece faces many problems of malfunctioning and violation of human rights. Refugee recognition rates in Greece are among the lowest in the EU, asylum seekers are often deported back to countries, like Sudan and Iraq, where they often face the risk of serious human rights violations, positive recommendations by the Appeals Board are often ignored by the Greek authorities, detention conditions are highly inadequate, without any specific provisions for vulnerable cases, access is often denied to lawyers, NGOs, etc while there is a reluctance to renew residence permits granted for humanitarian reasons. In light of the above, the NCHR urges the Ministry of Public Order to review the refugee protection framework. (Ethnos, 18 July)


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