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“We don’t invite economic migrants to Greece,” says Gov’t spokesman

“We do not invite any economic migrant to come to the country” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said. “Those who will ‘invest’ money to traffickers to come to Greece will lose their money because they will be sent back,” he warned.

Until the end of 2020, 10,000 migrants not entitled to asylum will be sent back to Turkey, he said speaking to TV Open on Saturday.

Only 1,800 migrants were sent back to Turkey in the last four years.

Regarding the unaccompanied children, he said that there is a proposal to EU countries for these children to be allocated but only two countries have accepted up to now, among them Ireland.

Those foreign nationals with a refugee profile will be transferred to hotels or other facilities in the mainland, while the economic migrants will be transferred to closed facilities and pre-departure centres, Petsas said according to state news agency amna.

The conservative Greek government has recently made the distinction between Refugee and Migration issue, claiming that the majority of the new arrivals are “economic migrants” not “refugees.”

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  1. I’m sorry, but this cannot be repeated enough: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ECONOMIC MIGRANT other than legally recruited workers from abroad. Everyone else is either an asylum seeker or an irregular migrant.

    If the idiot Petsas means that the government intends to profile irregular immigrant arrivals and give immediate refugees status to some “obvious refugees” without a legal process, this is bizarre. He is using the term “economic migrant” to mean asylum-seekers of unknown status. This is also bizarre.

    In far right terminology, “economic migrants” is a term used to mean that people are obviously not refugees — despite the fact that there is no obvious about it. But ND is apparently using it to mean people who may be refugees, but need to complete legal procedures to determine their entitlement or not. Playing with words, nothing else.

    • A reflection on my comment. It may be that there are translation problems, and I could not find the AMNA article to check). Maybe what this idiot is trying to say is that asylum-seekers awarded refugee status (NOT “with the profile of a refugee”) will be sent to hotels or other accommodation on the Greek mainland, while rejected asylum-seekers (NOT “economic migrants” at all) will be kept in closed camps and possibly repatriated.

      If so, that is exactly what has been happening since 2016. Of course, it ignores the problem of what to do about rejected asylum-seekers who cannot be repatriated. Imprisoning them for years is not a humane or legal option, so most EU countries give them a temporary humanitarian status unless they have criminal records. There is no EU law on this, although provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights are relevant.

    • Like it or not economic migrant has become the defacto term to describe people who who come to Europe pretending to be asylum seekers looking for a better life for themselves who aren’t fleeing war or persecution.

      Anyone who travels through multiple safe countries or lies about their country of origin can be classed as an economic migrant.

      With regards to Greece I think it’s totally reasonable for Greek politicians to try and take steps to stem the flow of opportunistic and unwanted economic migrants.

      • All you are telling me is that a lot of people and news media are repeating Far Right terminology and propaganda. I already knew that, thank you. What we are not getting is the correct info on what proportion of asylum-seekers arriving in Greece are rejected: I still do not know. Last time I heard, it was around 35%.

        And this has nothing to do with policy. There is nothing that anyone can do, legally, to stop migrations. That is why the EU is using Libya and Turkey to act on its behalf — not legally, of course. And that is why the torture and murder of people in Libya is the responsibility of European politicians.

    • “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ECONOMIC MIGRANT” What a joke! How delusional and naive can you get.?! Overcome your obsession and wake up to the real world. Just take a walk around Omônia. Question: Do you work for Opern Society?

      • Mr William: I have read your peculiar comments many times. But this time, your personal insults require a response. You need to get to grips with reality and stop reading right wing garbage, which you then mindlessly repeat.

        Omonoia Square? I see first of all a formerly beautiful square destroyed by the greed of Greek politicians. Secondly, I see a highish proportion of people with darker complexions than most Greeks. I do not know who they are, although I suspect that many are from Bangladesh and Pakistan, along with Iraq and Iran maybe. I do not know their legal status, but there is a large number of such immigrants in Greece with legal status, most of whom have been here for some time.

        Answer: I do not know what Opern Society is. Are you referring to Soros’ political initiative against far right propaganda? FYI: I advise governments and prepare expert studies for international agencies, for a living. Formerly, I was a university professor. What do you do?

  2. Professions aside, there is a big difference between economic migrants and refugees, whether they like it or not. I assume it is part of the Soros sect and is a member of the Kalergi Plan. Europe does not have to accept everything and everyone for the sake of Europeans. Enough of invasions.

    • Sigh. Yes, there is a big difference between economic migrants and refugees. Economic migrants are people recruited from abroad and given work permits. Refugees are people awarded the status of 1951 Convention Refugee, after legal process. Both are legally present on the territory concerned.

      If you are able to think reasonably clearly, you will understand that using the wrong words for things is either stupid or malicious. If I insist that tables are really called chairs, and chairs are really called toilets, is this helpful?

      Of course, the confusion about “economic migrants” is not accidental. It is a systematic attempt to confuse people by obscuring the facts and presenting political propaganda as reality. If you want to refer to rejected asylum-seekers, that is the expression. If you want to refer to the arrival of people with uncertain claims to protection, the correct expression is “mixed flows” — a mix of cases, and we don’t actually know what the situation is without investigating properly.

      And kindly stop the anti-semitic and anti-social democracy attacks on Soros. We do not have to agree about political ideology or even government policies — but hate speech is not acceptable from any source.

  3. My understanding is that economic migrants are those who leave their countries of origin in search of what they think will be a better life.

    For the definition of economic migrant that is proposed by Mr. Heller above, the word we use in Canada is “foreign worker” or “temporary guest worker”. This lines up more with the German “gestarbeiter”. [spelling may be wrong]

    There are now also climate migrants (south pacific islanders, for example). But we can leave that discussion for another day