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Assessing the cost-effectiveness of irregular migration control policies in Greece

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posted on 2023-10-11, 14:55 authored by Danai Angeli, Anna TriandafyllidouAnna Triandafyllidou, Angeliki Dimitriadi

Greece has been characterised by relatively high irregular migrant population stocks and flows during the past 25 years. Of particular concern have been the Greek Turkish land and sea borders that bear the brunt of irregular migration and asylum seeking pressures from neighbouring and far away Asian and African countries. Migration and asylum pressures at Greece’s and the EU’s external borders are strongly influenced by geopolitical developments in the region since the Arab spring in 2011 and particularly the implosion of the Libyan regime, the conflict in Syria as well as overall instability and conflict in the Middle East. Arrivals at the Greek Turkish sea borders had peaked in 2008- 2009 but are dramatically rising again during 2014. The Greek Turkish land border by contrast was heavily under pressure in 2010-2011 but has now largely been abandoned.The flows are mixed in terms of composition; young men but also families and unaccompanied children, people who flee war and political unrest as well as people migrating mainly for economic reasons. Syrians have emerged as the largest nationality group arriving at the Greek Turkish border in 2013-2014 while Afghans occupied the top position in 2011-2012. Pakistanis have consistently been among the 5 largest nationality groups but their numbers have sharply declined from nearly 20,000 in 2011 to approx. 2,000 in 2014. Sadly, Greece has hit the headlines for illegal pushbacks of small vessels in the Aegean, and overnight refoulements across the Evros river, but also for grimy detention centers and violence that went unpunished (see ProAsyl 2007; Human Rights Watch 2009; MSF 2014; Convictions by the European Court of Human Rights).

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