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Greek gov’t ministers “duel” over controversial provision in immigration draft law

For a second time in less than 24 hours, Deputy Interior Minister Leonidas Grigorakos removed a controversial provision from the draft immigration law, a provision that foresaw the expulsion of immigrants found to have made false allegations of racial-motivated violence by the police authorities.

The removal of provision No. 19 was greeted by lawmakers of main opposition party, left-wing SYRIZA. However, it was Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis who expressed his objection to the provision removal.

“We will not dissolve the state. I understand that some get a problem when they see people in uniform, but we will not dissolve the state. At some point we have to impose order, order in our borders, order in the center of our cities,” Michelakis said during a debate at the Greek Parliament.

Michelakis said further that some human-traffickers tought the illegal immigrants they transport to Greece to claim that they had  experienced the violent behavior by the authorities.

On Wednesday Grigorakos removed the provision following criticism from SYRIZA that described it as “racist”. Also Samaras’ junior coalition partner PASOK had expressed reservations. A modified version was introduced again on Wednesday morning.

“We have no intention of discouraging allegations of racist violence and for this reason we are withdrawing [the provision], Grigorakos said after he removed the provision for a second time.

Leonidas Grigorakos is a member of PASOK.

The issue is to be taken up on a later point.

sources: news247, newsit, ekathimerini

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