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Society

Cutting the Numbers, Greece Will Ship Out Migrants Faster

ATHENS – Greece's New Democracy government plans to rapidly deport unlawful migrants instead of trying to use a lengthier return process that would involve getting consent from their homelands.

With the number of those in Greece falling even as Turkey has allowed human traffickers to keep sending them during an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the European Union, the government wants to further empty detention centers and camps of those seeking asylum.

A Migration Policy Ministry bill is focused on increasing deportations for migrants who enter Greece unlawfully, said Kathimerini, because that wouldn't involve international protection measures for people seeking sanctuary.

Ministry sources not named told the paper that, “The administrative deportation of illegal migrants will be implemented in compliance with the guarantees under the European Union acquis in the field of asylum, as well as the country’s obligations deriving from international conventions.”

The bill will be sent to the Parliament the government controls, ensuring its passage and has provisions barring migrants the right to leave the country voluntarily if authorities think they will use that to stay in hiding in Greece.

The voluntary departure time is reduced to 25 from 30 days and tighter rules about the possibility of extending the period of voluntary departure will also be put in place, the report said.

The bill also introduces a provision according to which the identity card of asylum seekers will be taken into account only if the full date of birth is indicated to try to prevent falsification that could be used for more favorable findings.

Greece still has some 50,000 refugees and migrants who went first to Turkey, fleeing war and strife and economic hardships in their homelands, the European Union having closed its borders to them. 

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