The first results of actions decided by the government cabinet on May 16 to upgrade Athens inner city districts were made public on Monday by the office of government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos.
Within the past month, a total of 1,231 police officers checked 4,924 individuals, 699 private cars and 135 stores, while 2,421 people were taken to police stations for questioning and 250 of them were arrested.
In the first four months of 2011, a total of 20,002 individuals were arrested trying to enter Greece illegally recording a considerable decline as a result of intensified border checks and a number of diplomatic moves.
A total of 17,340 foreign nationals were deported in 2010, while in the first four months of 2011 their number reached 2,530. The voluntary repatriation programme was utilized by 824 foreign nationals in 2010, while 203 made use of it in the first four months of 2011.
In addition, joint crews made up of Greek Police (EL.AS) and municipal police officers in the presence of prosecutors conducted regular operations aimed at combating the so-call “underground market” and other forms of crime.
A “night shelter” project is close to materialize following the signing of a memorandum by the ministries of labour and social insurance and the Church of Greece.
A tolerance status is implemented for illegal migrants that cannot be deported to ensure that law and order are observed.
An immigration map is in the process of being drawn up to outline the immigrant population qualitative and quantitative characteristics taking under consideration and the recent population census.
The number of labour stamps necessary to have a residence permit issued has been reduced from 200 to 120 to preserve the legal status of those who live and work legally in the country, while a draft law is being prepared incorporating directive 2009/52/EC providing for sanctions on employers who hire illegal migrants.
Since the beginning of the year, a total of 113 houses in downtown Athens occupied by illegal migrants were checked for tax violations by their owners.
Meanwhile, in the same period, financial crimes squad (SDOE) in cooperation with the Greek Police (EL.AS) and municipal police raided 41 warehouses in downtown Athens and confiscated over 4 million counterfeit brand name items. The street value of the items seized in 20 of the warehouses raided is estimated to over 110 million euros.
Economic incentives have been offered for the regeneration of inner city districts (Gerani, Keramikos, Metaxourgio).