Former PM Samaras criticizes gov’t amendment on residence permits

Greece
Sat, 16 Dec 2023 7:58 GMT
Former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras has criticized a government amendment that would grant residence permits to third-country nationals living in Greece for many years without legal documents and working in undeclared jobs.
Former PM Samaras criticizes gov’t amendment on residence permits

Former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras has criticized a government amendment that would grant residence permits to third-country nationals living in Greece for many years without legal documents and working in undeclared jobs.

Samaras, who was premier from 2012 to 2015, said Greece was becoming a “beacon for attracting illegal immigrants” with such legislation. 

“The need to solve the labor problem can be done through domestic potential, and of course with legal immigration and transnational fixed-term agreements where immigrants will return to their countries,” he said, calling on the government to withdraw the amendment and to reconsider the issue.

Responding to Samaras’ comments, his party colleague Labor and Social Welfare Minister Adonis Georgiadis said “it is unfair to the government and the prime minister personally to present them as supporters of an open border policy.”

An estimated 30,000 long-term residents of Greece will be impacted by the modification, which was added to the insurance bill on Friday and is presently being considered by Parliament.

The government decided to introduce this specific provision at this moment because the Greek labor market is under more strain due to the exodus of migrants – Albanians for example – to other European nations. This is primarily because citizens of third countries can more readily obtain documentation and have better access to the employment market in other European countries.

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