As an aside to the brave and prolific Rugfish's excellent article at the Green Arrow yesterday, in which he referred to the nightmare facing the Greek public, who, as we may soon find ourselves, face the prospect of decades of hardship in order to repay crippling debts, it is worth mentioning what the Greek government did in January 2007. For, it was then that they made a number of changes to to their already very liberal immigration rules, in order to grant MORE residence permits to foreign workers.
Amongst other things, the new provisions, ominously entitled ‘Entry, residence and social inclusion of third country nationals in Greek territory’, enabled non-EU residents working in a number of (you guessed it) “low paid” occupations, such as nurses and construction workers, to renew their residence permits without having to produce trifling documents such as proof of employment.
The changes also enabled immigrants to purchase additional employment stamps, rather than actually earning them. Accumulating sufficient employment stamps was another requirement of renewing residence/work permits, so this was yet another change designed to make it easier for (low paid) foreign workers to remain in Greece.
In addition, immigrants would in future be able take up positions in regions other than the one where the original residence permit was issued. (Remember, Nick Clegg's promise to ensure immigrants were send immigrants previously non-”enriched” parts of the nation?!!)
The most significant change in the regulations was in relation to illegal immigrants, with regard to whom those drafting the new regulations had noted with horror that under previous regulations “hundreds of thousands of immigrants were not able to obtain residence permits”. To address this lamentable situation, the law would in future merely require illegal immigrants to provide evidence that they had been in the country prior to 31st December 2004 (i.e. for three years) in order to obtain residence status. (What's the word for “amnesty” in Greek?)
Odd they chose the three year gateway, given that those changes were only made three years before Greece found itself in its current predicament.
It doesn't take long for the benefits of immigration to start trickling through does it?
When is it going to occur to the great and good that mass immigration and economic collapse clearly go hand in hand?