E.g., 11/01/2014
E.g., 11/01/2014

Country Resource - Greece

Greece

GR
  • Population......................................................................10,775,557 (July 2014 est.)
  • Population growth rate .............................................................0.01% (2014 est.)
  • Birth rate.....................................................8.8 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Death rate................................................11 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Net migration rate...............................2.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Ethnic groups*......................................population: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census) 

​* percents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity

CIA World Factbook

Once known for large-scale emigration, Greece has become the main point of entry for unauthorized migrants heading toward Europe. The country must now — amid economic turmoil — grapple with issues related to its highly porous borders, mounting asylum applications, and inadequate immigrant-detention system.

Recent Activity

The murder of an anti-fascist rapper in 2013 dealt a severe blow to Greece's extremist, virulently anti-immigrant political party Golden Dawn, whose popularity had been increasing (relatively unchecked) since 2010. The party, which rejects the neo-Nazi label that many have applied to it, provoked a national outcry in September after a party sympathizer confessed to killing Pavlos Fyssas.

The U.S. and Australian governments have long grappled with unwanted entries by unauthorized migrants and would-be asylum seekers. Both nations undertook efforts in 2012 to reform immigration detention policies and procedures that have generated significant scrutiny and criticism.

In 2012, significant challenges to existing EU policy, from Schengen to the Common European Asylum System, have constituted the chief concerns for migration management for both EU Member States and the European Commission. Beyond EU borders, there will be additional pressure for the European Union to offer a more concerted humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis affecting Europe's neighbor Turkey in 2013.

The electoral fortunes of far-right parties, a number of which campaigned using anti-immigrant messages, varied during 2012, with notable albeit small advances for Greece’s extremist Golden Dawn party. For the most part, however, extreme-right politicians continue to struggle to build sizeable support; and in Europe, the anti-immigration discourse has been overshadowed by anti-Brussels rhetoric and anger over high unemployment and austerity measures.

Once known for large-scale emigration, Greece has become the main point of entry for unauthorized migrants heading toward Europe. The country must now — amid economic turmoil — grapple with issues related to its highly porous borders, mounting asylum applications, and inadequate immigrant-detention system.

When there's a will, there's a way — migrants seeking illegal entry have proven the old proverb true countless times as they and their smugglers have adapted to enforcement strategies. The latest development in the cat-and-mouse game comes not from the United States, but from Europe.

Only recently have European politicians and public opinion leaders talked about the need to focus on the integration of immigrants and their children.

With fewer natives working in agriculture in Southern Europe, migrants from the Balkans, Africa, and Asia are filling the gaps. Charalambos Kasimis of the Agricultural University of Athens reports.

Martin Baldwin-Edwards of Panteion University examines new trends in the long-established phenomenon of migration within the Mediterranean basin.

Greece, once known for outward migration, has become a receiver of migrants and a permanent immigrant destination according to Charalambos Kasimis and Chryssa Kassimi.

Reports
December 2011

While policymakers are under increasing pressure to reduce illegal immigration, the estimated population of unauthorized immigrants in EU-15 countries has declined since 2002. European governments are collaborating on the management of their external borders, as this report details, discussing the detected and estimated scope of irregular migration in the European Union.