Most Greeks Support Clampdown on Illegal Immigration, Poll Shows

Paul Tugwell, Bloomberg, April 8, 2012

Ahead of May elections, more than six in 10 Greeks, or 61.7 percent, agree with recent government moves to clamp down on illegal immigration in the country, a poll showed.

A survey of 1,610 Greeks over the age of 18 by Kapa Research SA for To Vima newspaper published today found that 83.4 percent of interviewees believe illegal immigration is a major problem for Greece while 48.3 percent said that the main priority of any immigration policy should be to gradually remove all immigrants from the country, up from 19.5 percent in a similar poll in 2009.

Greece’s government plans to create 30 detention centers on the mainland to house illegal immigrants, who don’t qualify for asylum, before they are deported, the country’s Citizen Protection Ministry said March 27.

More than half of those surveyed by Kappa, or 54.7 percent, said such centers are necessary while 61.7 percent said recent Greek police actions to carry out widespread identification checks and arrests of illegal immigrants is a move in the right direction to control the problem.

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The land border between Greece and Turkey is the main entry point for immigrants into the European Union from Asia, according to Frontex, the EU’s Warsaw-based agency for external border security. {snip}

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