'Take back' cities – Greek politician

2012-06-13 19:18
(AFP)

(AFP)

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Athens - Greek conservative chief Antonis Samaras on Wednesday vowed to "take back" Greek cities from an influx of undocumented migrants if his New Democracy party wins critical elections on Sunday.

"We have to take back our cities from those who have flowed in without any permission whatsoever," the 61-year-old Samaras said at a press conference.
"We need to drive the fear out of the Greeks," he said.

Samaras said on Tuesday that Greece - one of the main entry points for undocumented migrants into the European Union - was facing "an invasion".

He called for better patrolling of the border with Turkey, where most of the migrants cross from, and said he would abolish a law passed by a previous Socialist government that abolished strict limits on obtaining citizenship.

Samaras said the law, which opened the way for the naturalisation of second generation migrants, was "a magnet" for illegal immigration.

He has also proposed an overhaul of the police force and harsher sentencing.

Currently polling neck-and-neck with leftist radicals ahead of Sunday's vote, Samaras did not mention legal immigrants living in Greece.

The country's 800 000 legal immigrants have been largely forgotten in a campaign in which the word immigration has been associated with insecurity, a sentiment that has helped boost the vote for far-right groups.

Greece has been witnessing an increase in attacks on immigrants, with a local Muslim leader accusing politicians, particularly those on the right, of stoking racist violence.

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