Areas of Athens that are overflowing with illegal immigrants are leading to a health bomb ready to explode, according to Greek ministers. Previously eradicated communicable diseases are increasing dramatically, including leprosy, syphilis and cholera.
The approximately one million illegal immigrants in Greece are creating immense problems with regard to public health and safety, according to Health Minister Andreas Loverdos and Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chryssohoidis. Athens News reported the two ministers held a press conference on Sunday to address the issue and put forward immediate legislation to control the problem.
They announced that all migrants will now require a health certificate proving they are free of infectious diseases. Ekathimerini reported that teams from the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) are to begin conducting checks on migrants, and those infected with communicable diseases are to be moved to hospitals for treatment. Diseases which pose a health threat include tuberculosis, yellow fever, malaria and diphtheria. Additionally AIDS cases have increased by 1000 percent since 2010, exacerbated by the issue of 620 unlicensed brothels in Athens.
Health certificates will be required for all migrants seeking work or applying for asylum. Measures to clamp down on existing illegal immigrants will be more forcefully enacted. Owners of residences allowing illegals to live will be prosecuted, as will business owners who employ them. Ta Nea reported that severe penalties and fines will be applied to those hiring or housing illegal immigrants. Additionally a citizens complaints line will be established in order to facilitate the reporting of illegal immigrants living in abandoned buildings.