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Greece to Discontinue Police Operation Against Irregular Immigration

Thursday, 05 February 2015

The new Greek government led by the left-wing Syriza party will ditch Operation Xenios Zeus, a controversial program aimed at restricting irregular immigration and crime in Athens.

Moscow (Sputnik) — Greece will give up Operation Xenios Zeus, a controversial program aimed at restricting irregular immigration and crime in Athens, Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou said.

The new Greek government led by the left-wing Syriza party will also seek ways to replace migrant reception centers in the country, the minister said in an interview with Greek news website Left.gr on Wednesday.

"These camps are incompatible with humanitarianism, the rule of law, and any sense of reason," Christodoulopoulou said.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), under the operation launched in 2012, people appearing to be foreigners were routinely subjected to checks and searches of their belongings, as well as insults and even physical abuse.

HRW research revealed that police in Athens used their broad powers to detain migrants, drug users and sex workers, among other individuals, with no reasonable suspicion of any wrongdoing.

Leftist party Syriza won the Greek general elections in January, vowing a complete rethink of the country's immigration policy, as with other social issues as part of the party's rejection of austerity.

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