Compiled by John Ferris, former Philippines Honorary Consul in Ireland
FILIPINO DIARY November 2011
DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF THE 2003 PHILIPPINE DUAL CITIZENSHIP LAW.
1. The Dual Nationality Act of 2003 is VERY poorly drafted, has a poor usage of quality English and, as it stands, allows several interpretations. That is VERY poor legislation.
2. The KEY issue is that the re-taking of an Oath of Allegiance is ONLY required where the gaining of an additional Citizenship by Naturalisation causes that person to loose their Filipino Citizenship.
This IS the case in many countries which DO NOT allow DUAL Citizenship and require a Naturalised Citizen (Filipino) to cancel or revoke their original Citizenship.
This IS NOT the case in Ireland and I would therefore contend that the requirement for Filipinos in Ireland who become Naturalised should...........
- (a) NOT be required to loose their Passports,
- (b) do NOT loose their Filipino Citizenship and
- (c) should certainly NOT be required to swear a further Oath of Allegiance to the Philippines. You cannot re-become a citizen of a state of which you are ALREADY a citizen. That is ARRANT NONSENSE !
From the office of the President's "Commission on Filipios Overseas" we notice that they have given a sensible interpretation to the benefit of Overseas Filipinos, which we quote below.................
What is the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003?
Republic Act No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 is a law passed on 29 August 2003 which grants natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Filipino citizenship through naturalization in a foreign country, the opportunity to retain or re-acquire their Filipino citizenship.
Who are natural-born citizens of the Philippines?
Natural-born citizens of the Philippines are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. These are:
- Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines at the time of their birth; and
- Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.
Is it possible for Filipino to hold dual citizenship or more than one citizenship at the same time?
Before the passage of R.A. 9225, dual citizenship of some Filipinos already existed as result of the operation of nationality laws. For example, a child born in the United States of America of Filipino parents is an American citizen under US law, and a Filipino citizen under Philippine law. The child's American citizenship is derived from the principle of jus soli or place of birth, while his Philippine citizenship is derived from the principle of jus sanguinis or citizenship of his parents.
The passage of R.A. 9225 makes it possible for Filipinos to hold dual citizenship through means other than by birth.
With the passage of R.A. 9225, what happens to a natural-born Filipino who becomes naturalized in another country?
A natural born Filipino who becomes a naturalized citizen of another country is deemed not to have lost his/her citizenship under the provisions of the said law.
How does one re-acquire Filipino citizenship?
A natural-born Filipino who lost his/her Filipino citizenship through naturalization in another country may re-acquire Filipino citizenship through the following process:
(editorial comment: we won't give the procedures her because it's only applicable to those who loose Filipino nationality).
END OF http://www.cfo.gov.ie/ QUOTE
Unfortunately the CFO don't handle the issuing of passports; it's the embassies who have the last word on that, and they are unlikely to let go of this task. Just imagine if the 40 Filipinos who became Irish citizens during October were to approach the embassy to take an Oath, the embassy would be taking in over €4,000. Multiply that by 12 months and you get €48,000. That's money which Filipinos need to struggle in the new economic environment.
In our recent October issue we had quoted the following Philippine law ...........
"under the Citizenship and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship".
However we later discovered that this could be too good to be true, because scrolling further down one finds another clause qualifying that rule, which in effect probably makes any supposed benefits worthless.
In this issue we quote the full law from the Bureau of Immigration as follows:-.........
CITIZENSHIP RETENTION AND RE-ACQUISITION ACT OF 2003. RA 9225
Section 2. DECLARATION OF POLICY - It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all Philippines citizens who became citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.
(Editorial comment: that looks very straight forward; in other words you simply continue being Filipino citizens without having to go through a swearing in ceremony)
Section 3. RETENTION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP - Any provision of law to the contrary nothwithstanding, natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic.
(Editorial comment: That also seems straight forward; it doesn't appear to apply to Filipinos in Ireland who became Irish citizens after 2003 (after the Philippines recognized Dual-Nationality). That Section 3 only applies to Filipinos who became Irish citizens before 2003)
(here comes the real catch; section 3 goes on to state.................)
Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the Oath.
(Editorial comment: this clause seems to cancel out the benefit of section one, and regards Filipinos as having lost their Filipino citizenship and therefore obliged, in effect, to become Philippine citizens again.
Then the Philippine Dept of Justice website follows with a question and answers page as follows ......................
What is Republic Act No. 9225 ?
Answer: RA 9225 took effect on September 17, 2003. It is an act declaring former natural-born Filipino citizens who acquired foreign citizenship through naturalization are deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.
Who are not under the R.A. 9225 ?
Answer: RA 9225 does not apply to dual citizens, ie, those who have both Philippine citizenship as well as foreign citizenship not acquired through naturalization.
(Editorial comment: in other words a child born of Filipino parents who has lived and worked in Ireland for more that three years.
It appears all other Filipinos have to take an Oath ! This, on the face of it, seems to be the complete reverse of what is stated in Section 1.
So in what situation does that leave our Filipinos ?
When they obtain Irish citizenship do they loose Filipino citizenship immediately ?
Section one of the Philippine 2003 Act says no, but when one reads Section 3 it seems to say yes !
Irish law will still regard them as both Irish and Filipino, but Philippine law says something else which isn't quite clear to the average reader.
The Philippine law states something about having to swear an oath and paying €50; but I can't see anything about canceling your valid Philippine passport on any website - which you may have only recently paid €60 euros to buy - and then have to buy another one for €60. But yet this is what Philippine embassies are doing
"When you become an Irish citizen does your Philippine passport immediately become an invalid document ?
If you continue to use it on your travels are you committing an offence under Philippine law ?
The community would greatly appreciate if the Dublin embassy could give an explanation on their website, and especially give their opinion about the "Commission on Filipinos Overseas" sensible interpretation.
At the moment there is nothing of substance on the subject, and this is a matter of very important concern to Filipinos in Ireland. All they say on their website is.............. " Republic Act No. 9225 allows former natural born Filipinos to reacquire their Philippine citizenship."
If you apply to renew your Philippine passport at the Philippine embassy without telling them that you are an Irish citizen, are you committing an offence under Philippine law ? (the new passport application asks (28th October) "do you hold a foreign passport ? ").
You can truthfully answer "no" if you only hold Irish citizenship without holding an Irish passport yet.
(the London Embassy application form asks "do you hold foreign citizenship ! difficult to answer that one because it will cost you a small fortune if you answer yes)
PHILIPPINE EMBASSY SUGGESTING AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT FOR €25 IF YOU WANT TO INVITE A FRIEND FROM THE PHILIPPINES.
THE FOLLOWING ITEM APPEARS IN WWW.BALITAPINOY.NET
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
MANILA - Instead of being a measure to prevent human trafficking, the Department of Foreign Affairs' "Affidavit of Support" (AOS) requirement is becoming an instrument of corruption.
Several Filipino workers groups in the United Arab Emirates headed by the Dubai chapter of Migrante International Migrante-UAE is intensifying its campaign to have the AOS requirement, which the DFA is demanding from all visiting relatives of overseas Filipino workers based in the United Arab Emirates and other countries, removed.
Since July 12, 2010, OFWs securing an affidavit of support for their relatives from the Philippine consulate are required to be present even if they filed their visit visa at the UAE Immigration through travel agencies. They are also required to have their affidavit of support in red ribbon. The document has to be notarized at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and it costs around P1,000 (US$23.25).
Last year, Migrante-UAE initiated public discussions among Filipino groups in Dubai as part of its campaign to oppose the AOS requirement. In the next few weeks, the group will engage in a petition signing campaign, the results of which it will present to the Philippine consulate in Dubai. It also intends to send copies to Malacañang and the House of Representatives.
According to the DFA, the AOS aims to put an end to human trafficking and illegal deployment of OFWS through unscrupulous recruitment agencies. Nhel Morona, Migrante-UAE Secretary-general said the AOS requirement was "nothing but a form of legalized ‘kotong' or mulcting.
A useless document
"It's a useless document. It won't stop human traffickers from their illegal activities, but it will breed extortion activities," he said.
Morona cited reports his group received sometime on May 2011 about a group of passengers who boarded a flight from Manila to Dubai with a stopover in Hong Kong . They were supposedly asked to pay grease money by immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) when they discovered that the passengers were all on a visitor's visa. He also said there was a Filipina nurse who was forced to hand out P25,000 (US$581) allegedly to agents of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in NAIA so she would be allowed to fly back to Dubai on a visitor's visa.
In the meantime, a recent report from the Dubai-based Gulf news revealed that an OFW engineer bound to Dubai was also forced to provide P28,000 (roughly equivalent to 2,435 dirhams or US$651) just to be allowed to get on his flight. The engineer reportedly presented an AOS executed by his cousin, which was signed by a Philippine consul in Dubai, but he was still accosted by Philippine airport officials.
"We are continuously receiving complaints from OFWs whose relatives were victimized by an extortion gang in the NAIA. These extortionists demand to be shown the AOS, but afterwards went on to ask for money," he said.
This is not the first time that the AOS elicited strong criticism and protests from OFWs. In December last year, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur received several calls from Filipino travelers and "sponsors" who complained that the AOS they issued were not honored by Philippine immigration officers, causing them to be off-loaded from their respective flights.
The DFA released a statement saying that immigration officials "do not necessarily require authenticated affidavit of support and/or guarantee. But many Filipino travelers resort to this when they cannot show that they could shoulder the cost of the trip either through their personal capacity or through their sponsor."
"Nonetheless, having an authenticated affidavit of support does not guarantee being cleared for departure. The affidavit of support still has to be read and assessed by the immigration officer as authentication only guarantees due execution by the affiant and does not guarantee its contents," the DFA said. Such measures are in compliance with Republic Act (RA) 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, it went on.
The DFA has previously explained that the law mandates the Bureau of Immigration (BI) with strict enforcement duties pertaining to the immigration departure formalities of OFWs , the Filipino fiancés/fiancées and spouses of foreign nationals.
The BI supposedly has the right to regulate travel at the Philippine international airports and seaports should BI officers and personnel reasonably detect a trafficking situation. Immigration officials are reportedly backed by RA 9208 and/or other relevant laws including the Revised Penal Code, RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, and RA 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act.
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona for his part said they are already looking into the legal implications of the AOS requirement.
"It violates one's freedom to travel as guaranteed by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Unless the authorities can prove that the AOS is genuinely a measure that furthers concerns regarding public safety, public health or national security, the AOS should be scrapped," he pointed out.
He also said the AOS is not even required by the newly amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act or Republic Act No.10022.
Fees mounting for OFWS
According to reports, household workers bound for the Middle East spend about P5,800 to P11,300 ($134 to $262) each for medical certification, household worker assessment fee and other related fees such as those for clearance from the National Bureau of Investigations and passport, excluding transportation and food.
In the meantime, OFWs bound for Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brunei, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore also shoulder compulsory insurance premiums and placement costs, which range from P50,000 to P150,000 ($1,162 to $3,488). With most OFWs on two year contracts, the upfront cost of the compulsory insurance is between P6,500 to P8,800 ($151 to $204).
The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency said employers or recruiters are required to secure a two-year policy coverage for OFWs amounting to a fixed rate of US$144, on top of the premiums. The policy includes benefits of US$15,000 in case of accidental death; US$10,000 in case of natural death; and US$7,500 in case of permanent disablement, including repatriation costs, subsistence allowance benefit, money claims, compassionate visit, medical evacuation and medical repatriation.
The DFA said these costs should not be passed on to OFWs, but in reality, it's the OFWs who pays for them.
"OFWs are already paying so many fees imposed by the government, but get so little in turn in terms of services. This AOS is another financial imposition on OFWs and it should be done away with," said Monterona.
Scrap AOS requirement in Macau
Filipino organizations in Macau have been up in arms since the Philippine consulate and the immigration authorities re-imposed the AOS requirement in June 2010.
According to Migrante-Macau coordinator Catalina Yamat, the AOS requirement in Macau has been repeatedly scrapped and reinstated in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2010. She made the observation that the AOS was reinstated always one year before an election is scheduled to take place.
The AOS requirement in Macau has been suspended twice as a result of protests from the Filipino community in the special autonomous region.It remains unclear if the AOS is a requirement from Macau authorities or the Philippine government alone, and the same applies in the case of the AOS requirement in Dubai. The AOS requirement in Macau costs P1,320 (US$30.70). Migrante-Macau has been leading a drive demanding the scrapping of the AOS. Before, one AOS was good for three visitors, but the BI changed the requirement to one AOS per visitor.
In Thailand, the DFA and the BI charge an authentication fee of 1,125.00 baht, or US$ 36.07.
THE ABOVE ITEM REMINDS ME OF AN ARTICLE WE PUBLISHED CONCERNING THE EMBASSY WEBSITE EARLIER THIS YEAR AS FOLLOWS:-
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION APPEARS ON THE DUBLIN PHILIPPINE EMBASSY WEBSITE.
Question. What documents do I need to invite relatives/friends from the Philippines to Ireland?
Answer: Since this concerns the issuance of an Irish visa, the requirements for such should be inquired from the Honorary Consulate General in Manila.
If the petitioner is required by the Irish Honorary Consulate General to submit an affidavit of support, the petitioner should execute one and have it authenticated by the Philippine Embassy
Comment: During my 18 years as the honorary consul in Dublin I have never heard of the Honorary Consulate in Manila requiring an affidavit of support to invite someone to Ireland to be authenticated by the Philippine embassy ! Why would they require one ! The examining officer at the Department of Justice in Dublin is only interested in other information about the sponsor. There is nothing about an affidavit of support requirement on http://www.inis.gov.ie/ the official government website. By executing such an affidavit and having it authenticated by the Philippine embassy would be a waste of 25 euros because the INIS are interested in seeing hard evidence that the sponsor can support the invited person, and that a relationship exists.
IS THERE A NEW REQUIREMENT TO PREVENT YOUR INVITED GUEST BEING TRAFFICED TO IRELAND ?
The Philippine embassy continues to advise Filipino callers to the embassy - who want to invite friends and relatives - to execute an affidavit of support and consent to travel, and charge them €25 for the privilege. This happened again on Monday 24th October. A Filipina phoned me to ask where the Philippine embassy was ? she was going there to ask them how to invite her sister. I told her "they will tell you to execute an affidavit of Support and Consent to Travel, and ask you to pay €25 for same". True to form they did tell her this, but fortunately she remembered my advise and left the embassy emptyhanded.
Filipinos should be advised that there is no requirement for this document by the Irish immigration. Perhaps the embassy might give an explanation on their website why they tell Filipinos to execute such a document to invite their relatives to Ireland ? Is it possible that it has something to do with the need to prove to immigration in Manila that their "relative is not visiting Ireland for the purpose of being trafficked"?
According to the DFA, the Affidavid Of Support aims to put an end to human trafficking and illegal deployment of OFWS through unscrupulous recruitment agencies.
Upon reading the article from Balita Pinoy it occurs to one that the embassy might have instructions from the DFA to load this bureauacy proceedure on Filipinos. If this is the case should they not put the information on their website ?
Other information for inclusion on their website.
How much they charge for photocopies, and why they don't issue receipts for photocopies upon request ?
Also what time they take lunch break ? Their website states open from 9am to 5pm, but no reference to lunch hour. In the past Filipinos have complained that they have to wait for an hour while they take their lunch ! This is important considering the expense of parking meters in the vicinity of the embassy, probably €5 per hour, not to mention the loss in earnings sitting around an embassy waiting for lunch break to finish.
They could also explain why they charge €10 express service ? Imigine telling a Filipino to pay £25 euro for a simple document which can be done in a couple of minutes, and then telling them to return the following day to pick it up. Apparently they will arrange for you to pick up the same day if you give them €35 (which includes the €10 express service.
If the Irish Government authentication service - on the ground floor of the same building - did that it would make headline news and lead to questions being asked in Parliament. But the embassy can get away with it. They charge only €20 and return the authenticated document to you within a few minutes. And they only have a staff of about three; the Philippine embassy have ten or more.
Immigrant Council Ireland News Bulletin (extracts)
Issue 90 - Tuesday November 1st, 2011
On October 17th and 18th, the ICI and the AIRE Centre hosted the first meeting of the ICI led transnational research project entitled the "Family Reunification - a barrier or facilitator of integration?"
CEO of ICI, Denise Charlton, chaired the two day meeting. She commented on the research, saying that despite the European Commission's desire for consistent implementation of its Family Reunification Directive, which Ireland did not opt in to, Member States' wide interpretation and discretion have resulted in anomalies, delays, discriminatory practices and in some cases, no avenue for independent appeal against negative decisions. She further said that the views of those affected by laws and policies relating to family reunification, as well as those of Non Government Organisations, lawyers and interest groups, on the impact of legal and administrative rules governing this crucial issue, and how it can support integration, remains under-researched.
For more information on this project please contact Ann at mailto:email@example.com
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST SPOUSES OF MIGRANTS
ICI Senior Solicitor Catherine Cosgrave, made a presentation on October 5th, to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality hearing on domestic violence. The ICI submission was informed by the experiences of migrant women accessing the ICI's information and legal services and highlights the specific issues arising for migrant women with dependent residence status in terms of access to refuge accommodation and other social protection. Unlike most other countries, Irish immigration law does not currently contain a 'domestic violence concession' providing an entitlement to the granting of an independent residence permit to an individual who is resident in Ireland on the basis of a family relationship and has an abusive partner. The ICI referred the Joint Committee to the provisions of the European Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, as well as other European Directives, and called on the Government to amend the draft Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 and introduce statutory provisions governing family reunification which should outline the conditions to be fulfilled for remaining in the State following changes in circumstances, such as separation due to domestic violence. Pending the enactment of the legislation, the ICI urges the INIS to publish administrative policy guidelines for the consideration of applications in this situation.
For further information, please contact Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizenship & Casework Updates
The ICI congratulates several of our clients who have recently been granted Irish citizenship. Two clients were initially refused citizenship at first instance; although they were considered to have fulfilled the relevant statutory eligibility criteria, the Minister had adopted a general policy requiring applicants to show they had supported themselves while residing in Ireland. Our clients were refused for receiving social welfare temporarily having been made redundant after eight years full-employment history. Although strictly there is no right of appeal, following submissions from the ICI, the original decisions were reconsidered and overturned. Three further clients have also been granted citizenship and we are happy to report that all of their applications were processed within the stated average processing time of 24 months or less. Another client has just received a positive decision after a period of nine months!
Although we are conscious that many individuals are still experiencing what can only be described as an extreme delay in the processing of their applications - for example, we are aware of one man currently waiting 52 months for a decision - the ICI welcomes the fact that it appears the Government's commitment to clearing the significant backlog in citizenship application is being met. All of our clients are looking forward to attending the citizenship ceremony and we wish them every continued success!
On a related casework note, the ICI is also very pleased to have received a positive decision to grant a change of status to a stamp 4 for the dependent spouse and minor dependent daughter of a work permit holder whose husband and father sadly passed away earlier this year. The ICI had highlighted the situation of our clients at the MIPEX Ireland launch earlier in the year to demonstrate the need for legislation/policies clarifying the associated rights of dependent family members when there are changes of circumstances.
These good decisions were granted on a discretionary basis after several months of representations and there are currently no administrative guidelines publicly available regarding these types of cases. The ICI shall continue to lobby for the draft Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 to be appropriately amended so there is clarity regarding the residence entitlements of migrants and their family members living in Ireland.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Board legal seminars on Work Permits, Visas and Residence
As part of the CPD Board Autumn calendar, ICI Senior Solicitor Catherine Cosgrave, delivered legal training last month on foreign nationals' permission to work in Ireland and there will be two further courses in November and December. These CPD seminars focus on the legislative and administrative policy developments related to employment permits and the general immigration system regarding access to the labour market. For more information or to register for the training, please contact the CPD Board directly:http://www.cpdboard.ie/
FILIPINOS SHOULD ATTEND THIS MEETING ON NOVEMBER 3RD 2-5.30PM
Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL) seminar on Union Citizenship in Practice
ICI Senior Solicitor Catherine Cosgrave will speak at the ICEL seminar on Union Citizenship in Practice, which will be held on Thursday November 3rd, 2011 from 2-5.30pm at the Distillery Building, Church Street, Dublin 7. The seminar will focus on Union citizenship, its scope of application, impact on residence entitlements, social security entitlements and issues related to immigration. Catherine's presentation will mainly focus on the issues presenting in the ICI services for parents of Irish citizen children following the CJEU decision in the Zambrano case earlier this year. The event will be Chaired by the Honourable Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan, The High Court, and other speakers include Advocate General Eleanor Sharpson QC, Court of Justice of the European Union, Dr. Siofra O'Leary, Referendaire, Court of Justice of the European Union, Mr. Anthony Collins, Senior Counsel, Dr. Cathryn Costello, Fellow and Tutor in EU and Public Law, Worcester College, University of Oxford, Mr. Michael Lynn, Barrister-at-Law and Mr. Jonathan Tomkin, Barrister-at-Law.For further information or to reserve a place, please see:www.icel.ie/events_currentprogramme.php
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Greeks turn anger on immigrants
Published: 02 November, 2011, 10:04
Greeks are to vote for the EU bailout deal as soon as possible. And as the country's economy teeters on the brink of collapse, the austerity-hit public is struggling with poverty and unemployment.
On the streets of Greece protests have become a common occurrence. Now, their frustration is also turning to immigrants, who they blame for making the situation even worse.
An Afghan refugee tells RT that it is particularly dangerous to be a refugee in Greece now, especially in Athens.
Over the last few years, illegal immigration into Europe and Greece in particular has skyrocketed, whilst the Greek economy has plummeted.
"The crisis has led to unemployment, to poverty, increasing to a lot of people not being able to make ends meet," Professor of Economics Tsakalotos Efklidis explains.
Faced with these tough economic conditions, it is not just extreme factions of society that have seen a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, but everyday Greeks who, faced with exceptionally tough social circumstances, have begun to point the finger of blame.
The streets of Athens have become a kind of limbo now for illegal immigrants, who are struggling to make money and survive. Even second-generation immigrants, who have lived in the country for many years, are feeling the tension.
RT's crew visited one of Greece's neighborhoods dubbed a "danger zone", for its high immigrant population. A local park here has become a battleground of its own kind.
"We had to close the park because it was overrun with immigrants," Local Councilor Spyros Dianatos tells RT. "They'd piss everywhere in the park, near the church mural. No one could cross the park, everybody was scared, and no Greek people could come here. It was not a playground anymore."
The children are now forced to play their games outside the closed gates of the park after this area was named a "danger zone". But whether or not the threat is real, the fear in this neighborhood certainly is.
"There is an issue, because it's a symbol of the area," says Leonidas Koukas, a resident of the "danger zone". "They say it's because of the immigrants... [They could just] close it after midnight... but to be closed like this, when there are children playing - I don't see the reason."
But as the euro crisis continues, ethnic tensions have been growing, leading to an extremely volatile and sometimes dangerous situation.
"We couldn't go out of our house at nighttime, we are afraid, this is clear," the same Afghan immigrant said.
Greece is a country now in the midst of not just a financial and economic crisis, but an immigration crisis too. However, finding a way to rebuild social cohesion here is not going to be easy.
26. 10. 11. - 19:00
Polish Jobless Coming To UK
Thousands of jobless migrant Polish workers are heading back to Britain after being warned their home unemployment figures are in meltdown.
Latest official records show unemployment in Poland at nearly 12 per cent, but government experts say it can only get worse.
Central Statistics Office spokesman Janusz Witkowski confirmed: "The situation on the labour market is more worrying than we thought before. The time has come when it will be difficult to create new jobs and thus reduce unemployment."
Now officials expect thousands of job hunters - driven home by the credit crunch in the UK and the rest of western Europe - to leave again to find work abroad.
"Things are tough in Britain, Germany and France but they aren't as tough as they are here," explained one.
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