About 2,000 people marched through the streets of Greek capital Athens on Thursday in a protest against government’s plans to deport illegal immigrants, local media said.
Protesters marched to parliament’s building, carrying banners “No to Racism, No to Government’s measures, chanting “Hands off immigrants”, “No to deportation”.
- Needless to mention that Islam is not a race../ed
The protest was organized by trade associations, committee on immigrants’ protection, and leftist organizations.
Far-left groups, including anarchists, staged a protest rally in Athens and clashed with far-right groups and police in a district populated with immigrants.
Government’s anti-immigrant measures include the rounding up of those without paper, and deportation of foreign nationals who is accused of a crime which carries a sentence of three or more months.Â
More than 250.000 illegal immigrants live in Greece, and many of them, according to experts and NGOs, hope to sneak into Western European countries.
Thanks to Islam in Europe
Nine in 10 Greeks believe that the country has reached saturation as concerns the number of immigrants it can accept, according to a new opinion poll carried out for Sunday’s Kathimerini.Â Â
The Public Issue survey found that 93 percent of the public questioned believes that Greece cannot accept any more migrants, while only 4 percent believes that there is still room for more.
Immigration has come to the forefront as an issue on the political landscape over the last few months, particularly after the government’s defeat in the European Parliament elections last month, and it appears that an increasing proportion of voters are concerned about the influx of migrants.
Three in four voters believe that there is a direct correlation between immigration and rising crime in Greece, while 39 percent believes that migrants are taking jobs from Greeks. Almost half of the respondents feel that migrants are employed in positions in which Greeks would not be interested. Overall, 62 percent believe that immigration is “probably” doing harm to Greece. This is up from 54 percent last year. In contrast, 19 percent believe that it is “probably” doing good, down from 23 percent in 2008.