The legal framework of migration in Greece 1991–2001 and its effects1
The last 15 years have shown that Greece has become a country of immigration. Great socio-economic and political changes in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the former Eastern bloc, as well as in Asia and Africa, brought a very large (for Greece) number of migrants. The Greek state and society, which had not experienced such an influx of immigrants before, were caught by surprise, and had to adapt to the new situation as smoothly (and quickly) as possible. Initially, Greece formulated a policy (Law 1975/1991) consisting of limited measures to regulate immigration. In later stages, some decrees and the Law 2910/2001 have been an expression of the Greek state to improve upon the 1991 law, and to meet the challenge of regulating immigration in the country. However, there have been some negative effects of this framework. The purpose of this article is to provide an account of the legal framework of migration in Greece from 1991 to 2001, and to present its effects particularly in relation to asylum applications and refugee status determination, deportations of migrants, and imprisonment of migrants for illegal entrance, residence and employment.