MINISTRY OF CITIZEN PROTECTION
Tuesday, March , 15, 2011
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture ( CPT ) persists in no uncertain terms in its criticism of our country in relation to detention conditions of illegal immigrants. The Government has heeded this criticism and has taken initiatives to seriously tackle this issue.
The CPT however, has not taken into consideration the heavy pressure of the increasing influx of immigrants on Greece. According to official FRONTEX data, 90% of those entering illegally EU member States, enter through Greece and the Greek-Turkish border. The CPT also refuses to recognize the great effort country is making in order to deal with the thorny issue of illegal immigration. This effort however, has been recognized by the European Commission and by Manfred NOWAK, former Commissioner, director of the “ Human Rights in Europe ” program.
At a rate of 200-300 illegal immigrants entering the country daily, the elementary process of identification, registration and medical tests of these individuals requires at best one whole week. This means that in the space of a week, Greek Services are expected to manage 2000 persons approximately, this figure being indicative of the burden weighing upon them.
Our country remains steadfast in its resolve to implement the measures it has proclaimed . These have been approved by the EU and concern the setting up of a new asylum service, first reception and screening centers and the application of a rational international protection system. But, first and foremost, the Greek Government wants to insure that these persons meet with such reception and terms that guarantee decent living conditions for them. The Government is working at a fast and diligent pace in this direction.
Let it here be reminded, that P . D 114/22-11-2010 and law 3907/26-01-2011 regulating asylum seeking applications on the first and second instance, as well as the 45.000 backlog pending applications, recently took effect.
In any case it is unfair to regard illegal immigration management issues as an exclusively Greek matter. For this reason, we deem encouraging the fact that very recently it was recognized as a widely European issue and that all the other EU member States have taken initiatives supporting the Greek Action Plan for the management of immigration flows.