Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Yiannis Panousis reacted strongly to a police document that circulated on Tuesday regarding “new policy on migrant detention procedures.” The document states that illegal immigrants arrested in the Greek borders will not be detained but will be given renewable permits to stay in Greece.
The deputy minister called an emergency press conference where he stated that the document is withdrawn. He said that such documents should bear the minister’s signature but instead the particular document was signed by a police higher-up who has no authority signing such documents, especially without notifying the minister. He also called for an immediate investigation and asked for the resignation of those responsible for composing and circulating the document.
Mr. Panousis said the document was the work of provocateurs and spoke of a “jungle of misinformation” that should be eliminated. He also said it is suspicious that the former prime minister and head of the opposition Antonis Samaras made statements and reacted so quickly in condemning the alleged change in immigration policy.
Speaking to Mega television on Wednesday, Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said that the citizen protection ministry or the new immigration ministry have absolutely nothing to do with the document and the fact that someone circulated the document is a major political problem.
On Tuesday evening, Mr. Samaras stated that, “The Tsipras-Kammenos coalition are turning Greece into a magnet for illegal immigrants,” stressing that the impact on the social fabric, citizen security, economy and tourism would be devastating and would damage the country’s relations with Europe.
The government spokesperson replied immediately to the Samaras allegations and accused him of irresponsibility and putting on a tasteless show. The official announcement was also a warning to those responsible for releasing the document.
The Panhellenic Federation of Border Guards issued a statement confirming that they received the document regarding evacuation of illegal immigrant detention centers, the 6-month permits for illegals and the release of those arrested for crossing the borders illegally. At the same time, the border authorities ask the ministry on actions to take from now on.