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Diplomacy on Migration

Greek PM: Address at EPP Group Study
STUDY-DAYS(1)(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) 
The government’s priorities are to accelerate reforms and tackle illegal immigration, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis said on June 29, in his opening address to the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) Group Study Days taking place in Athens.  The premier also referred to the worsening problem of illegal migration, pointing out that Greece was currently shouldering a large portion of the burden that is actually shared by all of Europe, since illegal migrants eventually make their way into other EU countries. “Active solidarity and a fair distribution of the burden are needed,” he stressed, adding that the issue was a top priority for Athens. He also pointed to the progress made in setting up a European coast guard, adding that joint European exercises had taken place in the framework of EU’s FRONTEX agency.
Visit to Migrant Centres
oast1European Commission Vice-president Jacques Barrot, responsible for justice, freedom and security, who is in Athens to attend the EPP meeting, paid a visit on June 29 to reception facilities for illegal migrants on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, accompanied by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. In statements afterwards, he acknowledged that Greek  authorities faced a difficult task but also stressed Greece’s obligation to provide refuge for migrants arriving on its shores.  Barrot accompanied by Pavlopoulos also visited the migrant centre in Evros, north-eastern Greece, near the Greek-Turkish border.  The Commissioner called for a strong stance to be adopted by Europe vis-a-vis migrant traffickers, adding that all countries of Europe should demonstrate their solidarity to countries which are more exposed to illegal immigration, such as Greece. Hellenic Migration Policy Institute: Statistical Data on Immigrants in Greece; European Commission: Towards a Common Immigration Policy  ELIAMEP- Clandestino: Stocks of Irregular Migrants: Estimates for Greece

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Illegal Immigration: A Commmon EU Issue

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stressed the need for immediate joint action by European countries to combat illegal immigration as he emerged from a European People’s Party (EPP) summit held in Brussels on Thursday: “It is an issue of European dimensions, which doesn’t concern only those countries that are directly affected and are now having to shoulder the greatest burden,” he emphasised. The two-day works of the European Council meeting under Czech Presidency in Brussels (18 – 19 June), attended by Prime Minister Karamanlis, center on Barroso’s second term as President of the European Commission, the global financial crisis, global warming and illegal immigration. The European Council has agreed to examine illegal immigration following the requests of Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta. According to the last outcome of the European Council , the 27 leaders have underlined that an effective European response based on solidarity and distribution of responsibilities are necessary to combat illegal immigration.

Karamanlis @ EU Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)       Entering a summit of the European People’s Party (EPP), ahead of the European Council summit scheduled (June 19-20), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis described the conjuncture in Europe as “particularly sensitive.” The European Union must prove that it can effectively meet the challenges it faces, especially with regard to the high cost of living affecting all of Europe, Karamanlis noted. The premier referred to his recent letter to European Commission president Manuel Jose Barroso in which he pointed out the need for addressing this problem at the EU summit. Regarding the Lisbon Treaty, Karamanlis also stressed the importance of the ratification process for the shake of Europe and its citizens. Athens News Agency: PM Karamanlis in Brussels for EU summit; EU Council: Press Release Provisional Version (19.6.2008)