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Greece calls for EU effort to fight illegal immigration
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09:27, October 31, 2007

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Greece, overwhelmed by the influx of illegal immigrants, reiterated on Tuesday its call for a "coordinated and comprehensive" effort by the European Union (EU) on the issue.

Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos renewed the call in a letter to the president of the European Parliament's civil liberties committee, the Athens News Agency reported.

"It is clear that control and management of this phenomenon has a European dimension, and affects us all," he wrote.

The Greek minister added that the country's borders with non-EU states result in waves of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the east Mediterranean nation's borders, and by extension, western Europe.

Pavlopoulos said Greek taxpayers are burdened with huge expenditures for the illegal immigrants, on behalf of all European taxpayers.

He said that in September alone a total of 13,151 illegal immigrants were arrested in Greece, of which 2,777 were intercepted in the southern and northern Aegean.

Some Greek islands located near Turkish coast have become "favorite" crossing points for mostly third world nationals attempting to reach Greek and EU territory.

Athens has urged Ankara to take efficient measures to prevent illegal immigrants from entering Greek territory.

Source: Xinhua

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