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D. Kairidis: 2024 is the year of legal migration

On the occasion of the European Commission's new initiative to create a talent pool in the European Union, the Minister of Migration and Asylum, Mr. Dimitris Kairidis, spoke this morning at the joint meeting of the Special Standing Committee on European Affairs and the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice of the Greek Parliament.

The Minister described the various successes of the Greek immigration policy, which were recently praised by the European Commissioner competent for migration, Mrs. Ylva Johansson, including the successful control of illegal arrivals and the creation of legal alternatives for migration with conditions and rules in line with the needs of the Greek economy.

At a time when the rest of Europe is divided on immigration, the Greek government manages to take initiative and establish broad consensus, as demonstrated by the fact that 262 MPs voted in favour of the amendment providing legal status to those who have resided in Greece for three years or more and are working.

The next step will be the signing of six bilateral transnational labour mobility agreements with Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines. Finally, the administrative mechanism for legal migration is being strengthened, modernised and upgraded in order to process with speed and reliability these increased requests for seasonal workers, new residence permits and renewals of existing permits.

Mr.Kairidis referred in detail to national and European developments over the last six months with respect to both illegal and legal migration, highlighting that migration is not only a problem but, provided proper management, may also signify an opportunity for development.

New Democracy's policy proves that the middle road, which resolutely protects the external borders and at the same time respects European humanitarian values and encourages legal alternatives, provides solutions and addresses the anxieties of European citizens, whose vote is being sought in the forthcoming European elections by populist extremists who either scream xenophobia or pretend to be humanitarian. Responding to opposition MPs, the Minister recalled the tragedy of migration management in the period between 2015-2019, which contributed to Brexit, the rise of the far-right in Germany and ultimately led to the humanitarian disasters of Moria and Idomeni.

Finally, Minister Kairidis addressed critiques pertaining to a lack of data and a lack of transparency by pointing out that detailed monthly updates are regularly published and posted on the ministry's website and include all relevant data on legal and illegal immigration in Greece.

Watch Mr Kairidis first speech here:

Watch Mr Kairidis second speech here:

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