According to the latest data, Greece now accounts for 90% of all detections of illegal border crossings to the EU.
- In the first half of 2010, a total of 45,000 illegal border crossings were reported by the Greek authorities at all their border points.
- 12,5km is the total length of borderland in Northern Greece (Evros) used by illegal migrants as passage to the country, possibly including mine fields from past war periods.
- Up until now (Jan-Sept 2010), 24,300 illegal migrants have entered Greece through the borders in the Evros region
(Kastania). During the same period in 2009, a total of 57,000 illegal migrants entered Greece.
- 350 migrants attempt to cross the Evros border every day.
- In 2010, 50 people have drowned during the perilous venture of crossing the borders through the river Evros. Immigration influx continued unabated even during flood periods.
- 20% of illegal migrants are mothers and children.
- €5,000 per person is the average toll illegal migrants pay to traffickers to be transferred from the Turkish coast to Greece. €650 per person is the price for the passage through the land strip of Evros.
- "Poseidon," "Nautilus" and "Hera" are the names of "Frontex" joint operations to tackle illegal migration flows by sea.
- Upon entering Greece, migrants have 30 days to apply for asylum, during which time they are allowed to move freely inside the country.
- The majority of illegal migrants crossing Greece’s borders originate from the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, and increasingly from Africa.
The Road Map
Illegal immigration constitutes a thorny issue that tops the agenda of the Ministry of Citizen Protection, which has drafted a road map (National Action Plan for Migration Management) for dealing with illegal migration influx into Greece.
A thorough approach on the matter, the road map has been submitted to the European Union.
The government encourages inter-ministerial cooperation, as well as the engagement of the National Intelligence Service
in order to clamp down on human trafficking.Five Priorities
Greece’s current resources and infrastructure for tackling migration need to be upgraded. Hence, the Ministry’s effort to utilize EU funds (€57M allocated in the form of emergency financial aid.)
-Build three additional reception centres
close to the borders (Evros, Lesvos and the Dodecanese island complex) by 2011.
-Create facilities in the Attica region which will provide support and healthcare to vulnerable groups such
as minors and mothers.
-Build two new detention centres (pre-return, removal, and detention centres) of a total capacity of 500 people for those whose deportation is pending and improve the infrastructure of the four already existing centres.
-Improve the country’s record in voluntary repatriation. To this end, Greece aims to conclude bi-lateral agreements with countries
from which a high number of persons illegally cross into Greece, and sign repatriation agreements with competent international bodies and NGOs.
Ministry of Citizen Protection: Reference Information of the Minister of Interior with subject "Surveillance of the external borders of the E.U. and control of illegal immigration."
The government aims at tabling a draft bill on illegal migration by the end of this month to be voted on by December 14.
Greece- Frontex Collaboration
- Piraeus Frontex Operational Office
On October 1 Frontex inaugurated a pilot Operational Office (FOO) at Piraeus. The FOO - the Agency’s first unit outside its Warsaw HQ - is a pilot programme to test the strength of the its regional presence at EU’s southern borders. European Commission official Jean-Louis De Brouwer said: "Greece is the Member State confronted with the biggest challenge.
This is not a Greek problem, it is an EU issue," stressing that solidarity, as a fundamental principle of the EU, was embodied by Frontex. "This operational office is the first of its kind, it cannot fail" he said.
Following a request from Greece, European Home Affairs Commissioner Malmström in a statement issued on October 24
, said that "Rapid border intervention teams" (RABIT), coordinated by Frontex, "will be deployed at the external border and will ensure mutual assistance between Member States of the European Union; they will act under the authority of Greece and will be in place for a limited period of time."
Source: GREEK NEWS AGENDA issued by the Secretariat Genera