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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Interior minister says new law represents Greece's first modern immigration strategy
  • [02] PM Karamanlis meets with visiting Russian President Putin in Halkidiki

  • [01] Interior minister says new law represents Greece's first modern immigration strategy

    Greece will for the first time acquire a modern strategy for immigration policy that seeks to allow immigrants to live in the country with dignity, through the law passed by Parliament on August 23, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos told reporters on Thursday. He said the bill looked to the future and sought ways to incorporate immigrants into the job market while fully respecting their rights, as well as trying to correct past problems with immigrants whose residence permits had expired or who had never obtained a residence permit.

    Pavlopoulos announced that these last two groups, provided that they were resident in Greece up until December 31, 2004, will be given one more chance to become legally resident, provided they apply before the end of the year.

    Those who had never received a residence permit could submit an application and supporting documents from October 1 until December 31, while those whose residence permits had not been renewed could apply from October 31 until December 31.

    Applicants must supply photocopies of all pages of their passport bearing a visa stamp, proof that they had applied for a residence permit on humanitarian grounds or that this application has been rejected, proof that they have paid social insurance contributions; photocopies of any decision rejecting their application for asylum and proof that they had asked for a tax registry number.

    Pavlopoulos said that the form that applicants would be asked to fill out would be the same for everyone and that it contained information necessary to Eurostat, while he stressed that there would be great emphasis on full information for everyone, with instructions and leaflets in several languages.

    The minister also noted that residence permits would no longer be easy to forge, since they will be printed on paper with a watermark, while there will be different coloured permits for those who have supplied fully information and those who have submitted incomplete information.

    He said he expected the problem to be fully resolved by June 2006.

    [02] PM Karamanlis meets with visiting Russian President Putin in Halkidiki

    Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived at 10:15 p.m. at Porto Carras in Halkidiki, northern Greece, on Thursday and was received by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis with a warm handshake. Karamanlis and Putin, in statements they made before a dinner hosted by the Greek prime minister in honour of the Russian president, referred to the good Greek-Russian relations and the need for an improvement in economic cooperation between the two countries, the Cyprus issue and the Balkans. Putin said "I came to check our watches on the Cyprus issue, where we have similar positions" and recalled that he had a recent meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Cyprus issue.

    The Russian president reiterated his support for a solution to the Cyprus issue within the framework of the United Nations, noting that it is good for the people of Cyprus for a solution to be found.

    On his part, The Greek prime minister had previously underlined that Greece greatly appreciates Russia's steadfast and undivided support in efforts to reach a comprehensive and just settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Karamanlis underlined the close traditional bonds of friendship with the Russian people, noting also the common Orthodox faith, and stressed that with President Putin "today, as a few months ago in Moscow, we will have the opportunity to exchange views which I am sure will confirm our excellent relations."

    Referring to the economic cooperation between the two countries, Karamanlis noted that efforts are being made for it to be further strengthened, while he underlined that "within the framework of both the economic and broader political cooperation, we support the need for relations between the European Union and Russia to be strengthened, something which would be to the benefit of both sides."

    Furthermore, the Greek prime minister underlined that on the agenda on Thursday evening included the issues of the western Balkans and of the broader region, where on many matters there is an identity of views.

    Putin is on a private visit to Greece and on Friday will go to Mount Athos to visit the Russian monastery of Aghios Panteleimon. Karamanlis described Mount Athos as a beacon of Orthodoxy.

    The Russian president underlined that his interest in Greece was increased from his student years, due to the friendly relations between the two countries. He gave priority to economic matters and particularly to the sectors of energy and high technology, not only on a bilateral level but also on a multi-sided level.

    Putin noted that the positions of Greece and Russia on many international issues coincide, such as on Balkan issues. He described Greece as a serious partner of Russia and thanked it for its steadfast support in the development of its relations with the European Union.

    Putin underlined that "if our projects and plans are implemented, then the natural gas pipeline can be transferred also to third countries," while he spoke also on cooperation in the energy sector, noting that an electricity network can be created which will also be promoted to third countries.

    Putin also referred to the advancement of the plan for the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline.

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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