26 janvier 2015
Beyond all the talk of debt, austerity and welfare payments lies a less-hyped but far-reaching consequence of Greece’s election bombshell: a dramatically more welcoming policy to migrants and asylum seekers.
The left-wing Syriza party, which trounced the anti-immigration New Democracy party in yesterday’s elections and holds 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament, has pledged to open Greece’s borders and increase support for migrants already inside the country.
"Syriza takes a strong stand against the demonizing of immigrants and undemocratic measures like concentration camps and border walls,” the party’s head of migration policy, Vasiliki Katrivanou, said after the vote.
“We will take steps to improve so called “ghetto areas” in benefit of everyone living there: Greeks and immigrants," she added. “We consider our win at the polls a victory for all Greeks and all migrants.”
Matthaios Tsimitakis, a Greek journalist and political analyst, said he expected a major shift in government policy.
“The previous government was based on the right-wing ideology that dominated politics…Syriza is moving in a different direction. Immigrants are not a threat to national security; they are victims of international wars. They need integration to become productive members of society and not a burden."