Confrontation between him Noti Mitarakis and Kyriakos Velopoulos, on the occasion of the severe criticism of the president of the Hellenic Solution on the government’s immigration policy that occurred in the Parliament, in the context of the debate on the draft law on the Immigration Code.

“We will not allow you to make Greece a new Hellenistan,” said Mr. Velopoulos, with the Minister of Immigration and Asylum replying that, in the narrative of the president of the Hellenic Solution, “there is no dragon”. Mr. Mitarakis cited a series of facts about the reduction in flows, noting that “our country no longer experiences the pressure of immigration”.

As he said, illegal flows have decreased by 90%, of 92,000 residents, 13,000 have remained, of 121 structures, 34 have remained, of 200,000 asylum applications, 20,000 have remained, that far more have left our country than those who have come in the last four years, and that our country no longer experiences the pressure of immigration. On the islands, he continued, we had 45,000 and there are 4,000 left, in the large urban centers the “Estia” program has been closed, while the structures in Athens have been closed and the city has been decongested.

He also pointed out that the deportation law has allowed an increase in deportations in 2022 compared to 2021, and that the new agreement with Frontex will see an even greater increase in deportations in 2023.

Referring to the subject Immigration Code said it closes windows of abuse of right. In particular, for the so-called “exceptional reasons” he said that with today’s bill the existing provision is tightened and that “we have received strong criticism for this”.

He also clarified that “we are in favor of legal immigration. As you and your parents (Mr. Velopoulos) legally went to Germany, as I legally went to Great Britain, Poland and France and worked for several years, someone can come to our country to work legally. And the work permits given are necessary for residency to exist. That is, if someone does not work, also in our country, – because you mentioned Germany – the process of deporting those who have lost their legal status is already applied to us.”

“In this matter you are left alone, in this matter because the government of New Democracy, by implementing a strict but fair immigration policy, faced the crisis created during the days of SYRIZA” said Mr. Mitarakis.

In response, Mr. Velopoulos said that it is one thing to legally go to a country and another to be arrested at the border. “And since you’re talking about legal immigration, salute to the two Pakistani terrorists,” he added.

Besides, in the report of Mr. Velopoulos, which carried a publication which presented the then President of the Republic of Cyprus N. Anastasiadis being pressured by the Prime Minister Mr. Mitsotakis, that Cyprus should not do mining, the present Deputy Minister of Immigration & Asylum, Mrs. Vultepsi said: “It is absolutely false […] and there is an official denial by Mr. Anastasiadis in the Athens News Agency, yesterday”.