(ANSAmed) – ATHENS, JANUARY 6 – The Greek President, Karolos Papoulias, has said today that the wave of illegal immigration affecting the country is ”a national problem”. He added that it is “a European issue” and invited the EU “to bring about an integral policy on the matter”.
Visiting the region of the Ebro river, near the border with Turkey, Papoulias, who was quoted by the ANA agency, said that “80% of illegal immigrants heading for Europe arrive in Greece” and that this is “a national problem” for the country, which has to be resolved with the help of the EU. “Every day, 200-300 illegal immigrants arrive here,” said the head of state. “In other words, it is as if a small new village were born on the Ebro every day”.
Papoulias also asked Turkey to “collaborate in a constructive way with the EU” in order to slow the wave of migration, “checking its borders and immediately applying the bilateral repatriation protocol with Greece”.
A few days ago, the Athens government announced that a 12.5 kilometre “wall” would soon be built along the Turkish border with the aim of slowing the trend. The President rejected as “hypocritical” the claims of those who have expressed reservations over the project while at the same time inviting Athens to clamp down on the phenomenon. (ANSAmed).