Greek lawmakers seeking to introduce hardline migration legislation for accelerated deportation of migrants

With Europe anticipating a surge in migrants due to the recent Afghanistan crisis, lawmakers in Greece are moving forward with new legislation to expedite the deportation of migrants from the Hellenic Republic.

The new legislation was brought before the Greek Parliament by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. It proposes a reduction in the grace periods for migrants slated for deportation and seeks to grant broader powers to the police in enforcing deportations. A draft of the legislation was presented to the parliament on August 27, 2021 by the Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis.

Greece Parliament in Athens (source: Getty Images)

Migrants seeking to illegally enter Greece through irregular channels and without requisite documentation will be deported if they do not apply for asylum or if their application is denied. Undocumented migrants who are considered as flight risks will also be held in custody prior to deportation.

The minister noted that migrant flow has dropped by 86% over the last year. Greece is seeking to avoid a repeat of the 2015 European migrant crisis that was instigated by refugees seeking to flee war and persecution in countries like Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Over 1.5 million people applied for asylum in Europe in 2015. Turkey, who share a border with Greece hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide with a figure of around 3.7 million people.

There are currently around 120,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Greece.

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