Den­dias says mi­grants ‘tragic’

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Hun­dreds of peo­ple took part in an anti-racism protest in cen­tral Athens yes­ter­day. The event was co-or­ga­nized by United Move­ment Against Racism and the Fas­cist Threat (KEERFA) and groups rep­re­sent­ing Pak­ista­nis, Bangladeshis and Egyp­tians liv­ing in Greece. The pro­test­ers were call­ing for a re­lax­ing of im­mi­gra­tion con­trols and the dis­band­ing of the Euro­pean Union’s bor­der agency, Fron­tex. The protest came af­ter 12 mi­grants drowned off Far­makon­isi last week in cir­cum­stances that are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The rally was held a few hours af­ter Pub­lic Or­der Min­is­ter Nikos Den­dias lamented the “qual­ity” of mi­grants that come to Greece. “The qual­ity, the dif­fer­ence in cul­tures of mi­grants that we re­ceive is tragic,” he said. “I do not den­i­grate any­one but they are peo­ple who come from a to­tally dif­fer­ent world,” he told Skai TV. “The mi­grant from the ex-Soviet Union that goes to Swe­den has some kind of level,” he added. “We have to deal with mi­grants from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have a dif­fer­ent cul­ture, who come from a dif­fer­ent world. That is our mis­for­tune.”

Health­care strike.

Doc­tors, nurses and den­tists will strike on Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 6, to protest the over­haul of pri­mary health­care. The strike is be­ing held to co­in­cide with Par­lia­ment vot­ing on the draft law sub­mit­ted by the gov­ern­ment. Doc­tors at state hos­pi­tals along with those who work with health­care provider EOPYY will be tak­ing part in the ac­tion. The unions rep­re­sent­ing the health­care work­ers said in a joint state­ment that the bill would “de­stroy health­care and cre­ate in­de­scrib­able dif­fi­cul­ties for pa­tients.” The pro­test­ers are to gather in front of the Health Min­istry in cen­tral Athens at 11 a.m. and march to Par­lia­ment.

Debt ar­rests.

The for­mer chair­man of Larissa soc­cer club, Costas Pi­ladakis, was ar­rested yes­ter­day in con­nec­tion to debts that have al­legedly been run up by two com­pa­nies that he owns. Po­lice said the debt to the state amounted to 4 mil­lion eu­ros. The 48-year-old was taken to a prose­cu­tor af­ter he was ar­rested in Gly­fada, south­ern Athens. He was one of four peo­ple ar­rested in Athens over un­paid taxes yes­ter­day. The other three were a 69-year-old man­ag­ing di­rec­tor who owes 2.4 mil­lion eu­ros, a 55-year-old with debts of 362,000 eu­ros and a 54-year-old who has not paid some 360,000 eu­ros in tax.

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