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Greece, Article Review from New York Times - Accurate Essays

Greece, Article Review from New York Times

Greece, Article Review from New York Times

Originally, human traffickers used the beaches of Spain to force immigrants into Europe. As they travelled, some immigrants opted to escape by jumping into the sea. However, most of them were unable to swim and their bodies were washed on the shorelines. Failure of this route led the traffickers to turn to Italy’s coastline and the Greek Islands as alternative entry points for their business. Security in these areas was beefed up by the use of patrol boats and helicopters to monitor movement in and out of the countries. In addition, Italy and Spain signed a treaty with North African countries, spelling out the rules on repatriation. These two actions forced traffickers and immigrants to seek another entry point into Europe, the Greek-Turkish border (Daley, 2011).

For the longest time, Greece has been one of the easiest passageways into the European continent, especially for immigrants from Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Somali and Afghanistan. Greece appears to have lax legislation on immigration, one of the reasons why it is a great attraction for traffickers and immigrants. Immigrants need not show there identification documents; instead they just claim to be from one of the war torn countries mentioned, seeking asylum from the war. In addition, the Greek-Turkish border is not well monitored. Immigrants simply walk into Greece through potato and garlic plantations. Immigration statistics were as high as 3,500 in 2009, and in 2010, the number of immigrants had increased ten-fold (Daley, 2011).

Immigrants move for several reasons. Some are driven away by the war situation in their countries, genuinely seeking a safe haven for them and their families. Others are pulled to Europe in the hope of improving their lifestyle. The continent offers good employment opportunities with better pay, a factor that strongly appeals to potential immigrants. As Europe borders North Africa, most of its immigrants are young men from North America.

The large flow of immigrants has had a negative impact on Greece. The crime rate is reported to be on an increase, largely because the immigrants are frustrated. The other effect is over-population of the streets. Towns and villages that were once tidy and organized are overcrowded beyond capacity. As a result, anti-immigrant sentiments have become evident, particularly among the right-wing extremists. Immigrants have been subjected to all manners of inhumane treatment ranging from beating, stabbing and bombing (Daley, 2011).

Coupled with high debts, Greek’s weakening economy is not able to offer refuge for immigrants. In this wake, several measures have been undertaken to decrease the inflow of immigrants. Frontex, the body responsible for managing the borders of the European Union, was called upon to provide personnel, night vision equipment and cameras to monitor movement at the border. Greece also intends to put up a fence along the territory (Daley, 2011). Though immigration and trafficking numbers have reduced significantly, they still occur.

However, these efforts are hindered by lack of co-operation by Turkish soldiers. The rule is that Turkish soldiers must take back unauthorized immigrants, a rule that is not always adhered to. The choice on whether to stop immigrants is left to the discretion of the soldiers. As more ways are enforced to curb illegal entry into Europe, immigrants and traffickers are also coming up with other ways to gain access into the continent. The measures implemented seem to result in diverting the entry points rather than fulfilling the intended purpose of reducing cases of immigration and trafficking.


Daley, S. (2011, January 31). Greece Tries to Shut a Backdoor to Europe. New York Times. Retrieved from

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