The first flight to return illegal immigrants of Pakistani nationality back to their country of origin took place late yesterday afternoon from Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos.
Yesterday’s flight returns 30 Pakistanis who illegally entered Greek territory and is the first of a series of forced returns that will follow, planned by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum.
Collectively in Greece the departures are made through different procedures:
- Forced deportations to third countries, as happened last night.
- Returns to Turkey under the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration.
- Voluntary departures.
- Through the International Organization for Migration.
- Transport under Regulation No. 604/2013 (Dublin Regulation).
Departures also include the relocation of unaccompanied minors.
In a statement, the Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Notis Mitarakis pointed out the following: “Greece implements a strict, but fair immigration policy. Following the strict guarding of the borders that we have been implementing since the beginning of March and the acceleration of the asylum process, we have started the deportations of those who are not entitled to international protection. The first flight to Pakistan started yesterday with good cooperation with the Greek Police and the Embassy of Pakistan in Athens. Our goal this year is to have 10,000 returns from our country to the countries of origin.”
Also present at the deportation process was the Director of the Airport Directorate, Brigadier General Konstantinos Markopoulos, the Director of the Attica Directorate of Foreigners, Brigadier General Dimitrios Davalos, the Police Director Nikolaos Manokos and the General Secretary of Yaranos Paratos Georgiadis and the Deputy Commander of the Asylum Service Giannis Sfyrakis.
Of the 10,000 illegal immigrants that Greece wants to evict, it is not yet known what their countries of origins will be, but it will likely comprise of people from Pakistan and Afghanistan, the main source of illegal migration to Greece.