Meeting with the Mayor of Athens Costas Bakoyannis

Meeting with the Mayor of Athens Costas Bakoyannis

With the Mayor of Athens Costas Bakoyannis was met on Tuesday, November 19, the advisor on immigration policy and organized crime, Jean Daniel Colombani.

The scheduled meeting was held at the Mayor’s office in Kotzia Square. The agenda of the discussion included Immigration – Refugee Issue, delinquency in the centre of Athens, as well as the organization of the Municipal Police through new technologies.Mr Colombani initially presented to the Mayor of Athens specific proposals on the above mentioned issues while they both agreed to meet again.

From the Press Office

Meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Culture, Tourism Development and International Relations of the Municipality of Lamia, Amalia Pontika

Meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Culture, Tourism Development and International Relations of the Municipality of Lamia, Amalia Pontika

Meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Culture, Tourism Development and International Relations of Lamia Municipality Amalia Pontika on Monday 18 November had the advisοr on immigration policy and organized crime, Jean Daniel Colombani. The meeting, which took place in a particularly warm climate due to their long-standing friendship, was held at Mr. Colombani’s political office in Agia Paraskevi.

Issues concerning the Municipal Authority of the region and especially to the citizens of Lamia were on the agenda of the debate. They exchanged views on cultural activities and there was also a discussion on the international relations of this municipality with other cities abroad. At the same time they focused on the Refugee – Migration issue, as Fthiotida has been home to a large number of immigrants for years. At the end of the meeting, Mr Colombani informed Mrs Pontika that his visit to Lamia would be accombanied by a tour to areas where refugees and immigrants reside.

From the Press Office

Meeting with Mayor N. Philadelphia – N. Chalkidonas for the Refugee Issue

Meeting with Mayor N. Philadelphia – N. Chalkidonas for the Refugee Issue

The Mayor of Nea Philadelphia – Nea Halkidona Yannis Vouros met on Friday, November 14, Mr Jean Daniel Colombani, Migration and Organized Crime Advisor. During the highly constructive meeting, issues related to the Refugee Issue were discussed, while an informative workshop was planned on the occasion of World Migration Day on 18 December.

Mr Colombani, who has also served as president of the Association of Greek Migrants, briefed Mr. Vouros on the problems that have recently arisen with refugees and immigrants, as well as on the situation in reception centers. In addition, among other things, he conveyed the concerns of immigrants who have already been living in the country in recent years, the difficulties with the asylum and the repatriation. There was an exchange of views between the Mayor and Mr. Colombani on ways to find solutions to these phenomena at local level as well.

The debate also extended to issues related to crime stemming from illegal immigration. Mr Vouros and Mr Colombani renewed their appointment for December while agreeing on frequent communication on Migration – Refugee as well as organized crime issues.

From the Press Office

Meeting with G.S.of the Ministry of Education for the education of refugees and immigrants

Meeting with G.S.of the Ministry of Education for the education of refugees and immigrants

Learning the Greek language and generally the education and training of refugees and immigrants in Greece, were the core of the meeting at the Ministry of Education on Thursday, November 14, with Migration and Organized Crime Advisor Jean Daniel Colombani and the General Secretary of Vocational Education, Training and Lifelong Learning, Giorgos Voutsinos.

Mr Colombani expressed to the General Secretary his concern regarding the problem faced by newcomers and already settled refugees and immigrants in Greece, regarding the lack of education. He also stressed that the existing structures have been proved problematic since, according to the available data, they are not functioning properly, and the necessary actions have not been taken to inform migrants of that choice. As Mr Colombani pointed out to Mr Voutsinos, the phenomenon of reduced education creates greater problems for immigrant societies, which sometimes lead to delinquency.

During this constructive meeting, there was also an exchange of views, from both sides, on resolving such issues that are proved important for the future living of refugees and immigrants in the country.

They also renewed their appointments and agreed to frequent communication on issues related to the education and training of migrants and refugees.

From the Press Office

Immigration Policy

Immigration Policy

The definition of migration policy is the cornerstone of the policy defined by each government in the modern era of globalization and international mobility. Greece has the largest number of immigrants among the EU countries compared to its population and the economic situation of the country.

Although Greece has adopted one of the most progressive laws on asylum in Europe, as acknowledged by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, problems remain and are located – above all – in unemployment and social security subject.

In Greece, the institutional framework for the conduct of immigration policy as supplemented by Law. 3838/2010 not only denies the opportunity of regularization of immigrants but also retains the logic of legal migration through complex transnational processes. These result to a migration admission policy that only aims to the absolute state control of flows in terms of meeting the demand for specialties that are not sufficiently available in the domestic labor market, while accepting the need for a one-off regularization of migrants that are already in Greece.

The fact that both the state apparatus and local authorities have not yet completed the infrastructure, human resources and knowledge required in such a mobilization management, is an obstacle to any reform policy undertaken. This means that the response of migrants to the practitioner migration policy is positive, whereas the administrative environment does not achieve high levels of effective operation. Impressive is the fact that even the individual responsible for the Ministry of Immigration does not know the exact number of immigrants who are in the country.

In the Evangelical Church with migrant communities



The migration policy of Greece requires a fundamental realignment focusing on the following areas:

  • Need for conservation of the mechanisms which guarantee the objective and impartial view of asylum applications.
  • Specialization of personnel involved to the competent authorities; either these that consider or decide on asylum requests.
  • Strengthening provisions concerning the method of service of the decision to the refugees, in order to adequately safeguard their right to judicial protection if recognized as political refugees.
  • Complete management of migratory flows, which will balance the inputs for humanitarian and economic reasons, combating the illegal entry; especially the entry through illegal channels.
  • Fair treatment of third country citizens who live and work in EU countries.
  • Cooperation with countries of origin to regulate migration flows.
  • Long quest for a common policy regarding political asylum.
  • Enlargement of the European Union with ten new member-states which will favor the migration to EU countries.
  • Family reunion, which is the most important form of migration influx in the European Union.
  • Joint division of costs between member states.
  • Unified management of external borders, the establishment of a European border guard
  • Socio-economic integration of immigrants, which requires policies (employment, vocational training, social protection, migrant education) involving both immigrants and the host societies.
  • Organization and operation of educational institutions, in the sense that education combined to family is a basic socialization factor.
  • Cooperation with migrants’ countries of origin, in the sense of providing financial assistance, for the purpose in the long term to eliminate the conditions that favor migration and control of illegal immigration and refugee movement.
  • Combating illegal immigration and cooperation with third countries.

Greece agrees with the provision-economic assistance for developing the necessary structures in third countries to reduce illegal immigration.

Seeking Ways to Coexist with Those of Different Religion

Seeking Ways to Coexist with Those of Different Religion

At the Cultural Center of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens, it was held a Workshop under the auspices of UNESCO on the subject: “Seeking Ways to Coexist with Those of Different Religion”

The aim of this conference is to explore the problems, the challenges and the most possible solutions that arise from the coexistence of those of different religions; focusing on points which facilitate the coexistence of religions based on each religion’s teaching.

The structure of the Workshop was based on two axes: a) Specialists developed key points in the teaching of the three major monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – in coexistence with others, focusing mainly on tolerance, acceptance or rejection of coexistence. b) Religious officials from the main hetero-religious and heterodox active communities in our country have highlighted the problems, the challenges, the positive and the negative ones that emerge in everyday life from the coexistence of the different religions.

At the Conference they participated as speakers: Dr. Begzos Marios, Professor, “Changing the Faith: Religious Pluralism is Guilty or Non-Guilty?”, Dr Zarras Constantinos, Assistant Professor, “Children of Abraham: The Jew and the Other in an age of anxiety”, Reverend Adamantios Augoustidis, Associate Professor, “Pastoral Approach of Otherness”, Dr Marioras Michalis, Lecturer, “Seeking ways of religious coexistence: Islamic perspectives”, Dr Tsapogas Michalis, Lawyer, “Legal dimensions of the religious coexistence in Greece”, Rabbi Gabriel Negrein, “The act of peace: the course of faith towards coexistence”, Savant Imam Dr Abd Rasoul Mounir, “The foundations of inter-religious dialogue in Islam and its relation to modern reality”, The Most Reverend Chrysostomos Metropolitan of Messenia, “The principle of Tolerance and its implication in the context of religious freedom”, Father Kontidis Theodoros, “Catholics in Greece today”, Reverend Boukis Dimitrios, “I the Stranger: Fulfill the Royal Law” .”.

Moderators of the discussion: Mr. Daniel Esdras, Director of the International Organization for Migration Office (IOM) in Athens Mr. Alexandros Velios, Journalist

Greetings by: Fr Adamantios Avgoustidis, on the part of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, Mr. Benny Bahanadewa, Ambassador of Indonesia, Mr. Ioannis Panagiotopoulos, G. Secretary of Mass Media Mr. Patroklos Georgiadis, G.Secretary of Civil Protection, Mr Hirsam Darwish, Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of Egypt, Mr. Mozafari, Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of Iran, Mr. Dim.Papagalakis, representative of the President of the Greek Commission for UNESCO, Father M.Bradshaw, on the part of the British Ambassador, Mrs. Maria Antoniadis, President of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers Mr. Jean Daniel Colombani, President of the Youth Leadership – The Exelixis Institute.

Extracts of Speeches: “Bitterness answers our tolerance in the name of religious pluralism and is the criterion of how we coexist with the religiously different one,” M.Begzos.

Let us learn from peacekeeping Aaron, from the “Prince of Peace” Jesus Christ, or from all those who carry messages of indifference or mutual help. Let’s learn from the modern-day Jesus Christ great lawmaker Hille: “If not me, then who? If not now, then when? “, Dr. K. Zarras

“The primary concern of the pastoral approach is the formation of a christocentric ethos of the members of the Church so that love for the “hetero” or “our” is revealed in practice”, Fr Adamantios Avgoustidis

“Religions through their teaching and historical testimony have proven beyond all difficulty that they can coexist fruitfully and creatively. People wish? “, Dr. M. Marioras

“The remaining deviations of the Greek legal framework for religious freedom from the Western European enlightenment model are an open theological pendant, despite the undisputed progress that has been made and affecting the prospects of a genuine interreligious dialogue in terms of equality,” Dr. M.Tsapogas

“Today, more than half of the world’s population, supports its origins literally (genealogically) or metaphorically (spiritually) to Patriarch Abraham. The past teaches the present to build the future. The Rabbis teach: “Let every man be merciful to the face,” Rabbi Gabriel Negrein

“It is time for all Muslims, Christians and Jews to understand that this state of hatred, aversion and hostility that is taking place among us is unacceptable,” Dr Abd Rasoul Mounir

The Most Reverend Chrysostomos Metropolitan of Messenia, referred to the multifaceted work of the Church of Greece on the expression of coexistence by documenting its “practice” in ecclesiological criteria

Father Kontidis referred to the difficulties faced by Roman Catholics in Greece, as well as to the positive developments that have been taking place for a long time.

Reverend Boukis Dimitrios  described the reality of Evangelicals in Greece through various narratives.


On the morning show of ALPHA 9,89 Radio Station, with Nikos Kamakaris,  the Chairman of the Union of Immigrants of Greece, Mr. Jean Daniel Colombani, spoke about the “dark routes” of black money of illegal immigration and the enrichment of the traffickers by exploiting the hope of people from countries of the world in crisis.

Nikos Kamakaris: According to figures released by the Department of Maritime Affairs, Security Division and involving the smuggling of illegal immigrants by sea, traffickers importing illegal immigrants into the country make more than 200 million euros a year. The amounts are huge, it is a normal business sector, if we are allowed the expression, we are going to discuss the issue with the President of the Union of Immigrants of Greece and colleague journalist, Mr. Jean Daniel Colombani.

What is the situation? These figures are very worrying, these amounts are huge, we are talking about so much money, slavers doing gold, Mr. Colombani.

Jean Daniel Colombani: Indeed, the situation has reached its limits, slavers are getting rich every day with large sums, starting from 500 to 5.000 euros to bring an illegal immigrant to Greece, East Bloc, Asia, Africa. This situation is what we of the Hellenic Immigrants Association are trying to record and study, which is in fact very difficult, both by the authorities and by the state.

Nikos Kamakaris: Mr Colombani, are the policies at national level in our country, as well as at European Union level, able to work in order to prevent illegal immigration?

Jean Daniel Colombani: Greece is in a strategic point next to Balkans, next to Turkey, has vast maritime areas on the border with Turkey, so it is a bit difficult, but can the state and the authorities have a very good immigration policy, which currently does not exist in Greece.

Nikos Kamakaris: What could be done, what would you suggest, you are exposed to it daily, Mr. Colombani …

Jean Daniel Colombani: We ask for all illegal immigrants to be registered, to cooperate with all European Union authorities to prevent such phenomena as: I have been informed that there was a wanted from three countries, from France, Turkey and Greece, and from the moment that has stopped him at the borders, has been released from justice with 50,000 euros … 500-1000 people a day are being killed.

Nikos Kamakaris: Mr. Colombani, what is the future of a person chooses this way to leave his country, obviously has reasons to come to Greece, what is the future that is reserved for him?

Jean Daniel Colombani: Look, most free migrants are laborers and in the economic crisis, I see that it is very difficult for Greece to welcome over 2.5 million who are currently here. Most illegal immigrants are laborers, there is no industry in Greece, no big factories like England, France, Italy. Greece is a small country, I am an immigrant myself in many countries, I went to many countries for business purposes, and I see that in the area that is the Immigrant Association it has become a ghetto. Ghetto in Europe … I have an experience from a lady who came to visit us from Switzerland, she is from the Congo. I saw her, she was afraid of Aharnon area, she tells me these things are not happening, there is a ghetto … 90% of the inhabitants of Agiow Panteleimonas of Acharnes are immigrants. An Immigrant Can not Join Society …

Nikos Kamakaris: This again has to do with the issue of the state … What I want to ask is the issue of work, and you is good you have stressed it, Mr Colombani, most illegal immigrants are laborers, Greece has no industry, where are they being channeled these people; How likely is it, and I think we all understand and we all know the answer, these people being exploited?

Jean Daniel Colombani: Look, there is a lot of exploitation from employers here in Greece. Most of them work without insurance, with little pay, we are already receiving complaints from immigrants living in Greece for twenty years. An immigrant lives in Greece for twenty years with his family, and there comes an illegal immigrant who works for 20 euros a day. It is very exploited by employers. Not by all but by some!

Nikos Kamakaris.: Which are the countries of origin, for illegal immigrants in Greece Mr. Colombani?

Jean Daniel Colombani: There is a big wave that comes from Asia, from Pakistan and Bangladesh. First are the Albanians, bordering on Greece, from Africa, from the Middle East, most of them are from Pakistan and Bangladesh after the Albanians.

Nikos Kamakaris:  And how does this illegal network that takes these people operates, coordinates their transportation through so many countries, to leave Pakistan and come to Greece?

Jean Daniel Colombani: I’ve recently heard that advertising is also taking place in Pakistan and Bangladesh. That there is a better life, that there is a future, you place your children in school, to study, etc. with an amount starting from 4.000 – 5,000 euros. In this way, slavers do their job and also exploit through Greece. As we have heard from the Romanian community that they are bringing gypsies from there to become beggars here in Greece. There are circuits that Greeks are included …

Nikos Kamakaris:  And Greeks…..?

Jean Daniel Colombani: Unfortunately…

Nikos Kamakaris: Mr Colombani, thank you very much for the conversation we had.


I believe, that in this situation, the law plan will create terrible discrimination instead of solving problems.

The president of the Immigrants Union of Greece, Mr. Jean Daniel Colombani, declared to “N” that “the government is trying to implement its pre-election promises. It is a fact that the children of migrants born in Greece or who have come to the country at an early age and have attended Greek schools have the same rights as Greek children.  Of course, something that the government has not noticed is the smooth incorporation not only of children but also of their parents into Greek reality”.

Regarding the right to vote, Mr. Colombani declared absolutely in agreement with the government “but on the condition that they have the right to stand for the position of Mayor and chairman of the City Council, so then we can say there will be equality between Greeks and immigrants “as he says.