Greece is to introduce new legislation to impose stricter penalties on illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes. The measure is to be brought in to tackle the escalating wave of crime committed by foreigners.
Criminals who commit serious offenses including rape, people smuggling and robbery, will be dealt stiffer sentences if they are also found to have entered Greece illegally. Proto Thema reported the directive to the Justice Ministry came straight from Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
The purpose of the new legislation is to tackle the rise in crime and to deter illegal immigrants from entering Greece. The move was justified as it is unacceptable that someone who has already broken the law by entering the country via a smuggling route should then venture to commit further crimes. 71% of solved crimes are attributed to foreigners.
Greece is currently overwhelmed by the number of undocumented migrants who choose to enter the EU through Greece's Turkish border. As Digital Journal reported the number of illegals entering through the Evros border crossing has dropped since stricter border controls were implemented in August. However, illegals are now targeting Greek islands as their entry point via the Aegean Sea.
The government is concerned at the possibility of an influx of Syrian refugees. During an interview with the Washington Post on Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said "I wake up every morning and say, 'Has anything happened to Syria today?' If something happens in Syria, thousands of people would be flowing into Greece. Illegal immigrants are already a very big problem for us. We are already taking big steps to disallow illegal immigrants from coming in. Imagine if that number is multiplied by 10."
The international press has carried many reports on the alleged abuse of illegal immigrants in Greece, which is blamed on the rise of the nationalist party Golden Dawn. However, it fails to report on the daily occurrence of the many Greek victims of violent crime at the hands of foreign criminals.