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Migrants 'takeover' Athens law school, demand legalisation

Δημοσίευση 25 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 09:14 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Migrants 'takeover' Athens law school, demand legalisation
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Hundreds of third country nationals, presumably Third World illegal migrants, entered the Athens law school on Monday to demand that the Greek government grant them permanent residency cards, a development that generated heated criticism by at least two major party-affiliated student groups.

Hundreds of third country nationals, presumably Third World illegal migrants, entered the Athens law school on Monday to demand that the Greek government grant them permanent residency cards, a development that generated heated criticism by at least two major party-affiliated student groups.

One grouping, PASOK-affiliated PASP, in an announcement, charged that the rival leftist grouping AP.En, affiliated with the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos), essentially herded 250 migrants inside the building in order to demand their unconditional legalisation.

PASP said the AP.En student grouping provocatively ignored a decision by the school's faculty senate last week to reject a request to "host" the migrants inside the law school.

Meanwhile, the New Democracy-affiliated DAP students' group also expressed its opposition to the "takeover", as it said, adding:

"Those responsible for this situation are members of the AP.En student grouping and groups unaffiliated with the university, ones backed by Synaspismos, who barged into the building without any approval, breaking down the interior doors and taking over the Solonos (Street) building and placing mats and other items inside," the announcement read.

In a later development, a main opposition New Democracy MP, Thanasis Nakos, sharply criticised the citizens' protection ministry over what he called the school's "takeover", noting that "unfortunately, the events of the last few days, where scores of illegal immigrants travelled, unbothered, from Crete to Athens to break into the law school building, sends out this message: that our country is an 'unguarded vineyard' (using the Greek adage), where anyone does as he pleases."

Nakos, ND's shadow minister for the public order portfolio, called on the government to better tackle the spectre of illegal immigration, "which threatens to spiral out of control and undermine the country's security".

Internet postings by supporters of the initiative demand a full legalisation, with political and social rights, of all the third country nationals that sneaked into Greece over the years. The 250 or so individuals are listed as nationals of North African countries, most of whom are employed as farm held or construction workers on Crete.