The amendment was approved by the Parliament of Greece with a large majority (262 out of 300 deputies), since all parties in Parliament voted in favor, except the three far-right formations (Spartans, Greek Solution and Niki).
However, former prime minister and deputy of the ruling New Democracy (ND), Antonis Samarás, also voted against, pointing out that the legislation makes Greece “in a lighthouse to attract illegal immigrants“.
The legislation provides that, from now on, to work legally in Greece it will be enough to have resided in the country for at least three years, instead of seven, not to have committed any criminal offense and to present a job offer. According to the local press, There is a lack of about 70,000 workers in fruit, vegetable and olive crops, as well as in livestock farmingwhile there are also thousands of vacant jobs in the tourism and construction sectors.
The Minister of Migration, Dimitris Keridis, pointed out during the debate on the amendment that Greece has a problem “of reducing the workforce” and that this legislation is “essential” so that the development of the economy is not slowed down.
UNHCR: almost 45 thousand migrants from Turkey have arrived in Greece in 2023
According to the Minister of Labor, Adonis Georgiadis, to private television SKAI, the legalization of these immigrants will also contribute to combating undeclared work. It is one of the few times in recent years that legislation has been approved with such a large majority, with both ND and the main opposition party, the leftist Syiriza, voting in favor.
However, the conservative government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis specifies that this legislation does not mean a change in its “strict but fair” position on migration and border protection. Greece is one of the main entry destinations for refugees who want to reach the European Union (EU).
According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Almost 45,000 people arrived in Greece from Turkey so far this year, with data from December 10, more than double the slightly less than 19,000 in 2022. The country has been repeatedly accused by NGOs and international media of practicing hot (immediate) returns of migrants to Turkey in the Aegean Sea, which the Greek government has always denied.
jov (efe, theguardian)