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New Greek government announced trends of the changes within immigration policy plans.

It is a fact that new immigration policy of Greece tends to be less liberal and tolerant than the previous one. Although Prime Minister Mitsotakis asked from his ministers to focus their actions on the immediate future on issues that will include the immediate improvement of living conditions for refugees and migrants in Greece, especially for vulnerable groups, with top priority given to the protection of unaccompanied children living in the country, there will also be a strengthening of the protection of European borders, especially the maritime borders, with a new integrated plan, which will place the European force (FRONTEX) under Greek command with clear operational rules of action. Moreover, the Ministry of Immigration Policy was abolished and its competences were transferred  to the Ministry of Public Order. It seems that Police will play a more crucial role in the new immigration and refugee policy of Greece.

The conservative spirit of the new administration derives also from the fact that the newly-appointed Labour and Social Affairs has rescinded a circular signed by three ministers of the previous government on 20th June, a bit over two weeks before the general election, which had simplified procedures for the issuance of the AMKA social security number for  non-EU nationals, and in particular for migrants, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied refugee children. This social security number is necessary for access to hospital facilities etc. The minister said that the issue of social security numbers for third country nationals will be will be re-examined and new detailed instructions will be sent to the competent state services. The move has refueled opposition criticism and fears that the conservative New Democracy government will institute harsh policies on services provided to refugees and migrants living in Greece. There is no doubt that the new policy will make social integration of refugees more difficult. 

Natasa Kiorapostolou
ANTIGONE Information and Documentation Centre on 
Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence