The article examines the immigration policy agendas of two Greek mainstream parties, centre right New Democracy (ND) and centre left PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Party) since 2000. Drawing on the analysis of parliamentary proceedings and key political texts, it first analyses areas of consensus and disagreement on the mainstream parties’ positions in relation to immigration control and citizenship. Second, it considers the impact of far right parties, namely, of the radical right Laikos Orthodoxos Synagermos and the extreme right Golden Dawn, on the immigration agendas and positions of the two mainstream parties in the context of the Greek austerity crisis. The article argues that despite a decline of trust, suggested by the recent electoral successes of the far right and other ‘fringe’ parties, and despite internal ideological strains, PASOK and ND did not ignore or divert attention away from the ‘immigration issue’. In contrast, they co-opted the far right agenda.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.
Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.
I use the term far right to refer to both LAOS, a radical right part, and Chrysi Avgi, a neo-fascist party.
LAOS fits in the criteria of a nativist ideology, authoritarianism and populism used by Mudde (2007).
Baldwin-Edwards, M. (2009) Greece. In: M. Baldwin-Edwards and A. Kraler (eds.) Regularisations in Europe. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: European Commission/Amsterdam University Press.
Bale, T. (2008a) Turning around the Telescope: Centre Right Parties and immigration and integration policy in Europe. Journal of European Public Policy 15 (3): 315–330.
Bale, T. (2008b) Politics matter: A Conclusion. Journal of European Public Policy 15 (3): 453–464.
Bale, T., Green-Pedersen, C., Krouwel, A., Luther, K.R. and Sitter, N. (2010) If you can’t beat them, join them? Explaining social democratic responses to the challenge from the populist radical right in Western Europe. Political Studies 58 (3): 410–426.
Boswell, C. and Geddes, A. (2010) Migration and Mobility in the European Union. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Duncan, F. and Van Hecke, S. (2008) Immigration and the transnational European centre-right: A common programmatic response? Journal of European Public Policy 15 (3): 432–452.
Ellinas, A. (2012) LAOS and the Greek far right since 1974. In: A. Mammone, E. Godin and B. Jenkins (eds.) Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe: From Local to Transnational. London: Routledge.
Ellinas, A. (2013) The rise of golden dawn: The new face of the far right in Greece. Southern European Society and Politics 18 (4): 543–565.
Gemenis, K. and Dinas, E. (2010) ‘Confrontation still? Examining parties’ policy positions in Greece. Comparative European Politics 8 (2): 179–201.
Gemenis, K. and Nezi, R. (2012) The 2011 Political Parties Expert Survey in Greece. University of Twente, http://doc.utwente.nl/79515/1/Expert_survey_report_DANS.pdf, accessed 16 June 2013.
Georgiadou, V. (2008) Voting for the extreme right: The electoral preferences of LAOS. Epistimi kai Koinonia [Science and Society] 19: 243–256.
Georgiadou, V. (2011) Glissement des partis d’extreme droite vers le centre et renouvellement de i’extremisme a leur marge. Revue des Sciences Sociales 46: 37–45.
Georgiadou, V. and Rori, L. (2012) Stable party strength in an unstable political landscape? The case of the Golden Dawn. In R. Gerodimos (ed.) First thoughts on the 17 June 2012 election in Greece. Greek Politics Specialist Group, http://www.gpsg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/GPSG-Election-June-2012-Pamphlet.pdf, accessed 16 June 2013.
Government Gazette (2011) Law 3838/2010, http://www.synigoros.gr/resources/docs/02-8568_1_ithageneia.pdf, accessed 16 June 2013.
Givens, T. and Luedtke, A. (2005) European immigration policies in comparative perspective: Issue salience, partisanship and immigrant rights. Comparative European Politics 3 (1): 1–22.
Gropas, R. and Triandafyllidou, A. (2011) Migrants and political life in Greece: Between political patronage and the search for inclusion. South European Society and Politics 17 (1): 45–63.
Hammar, T. (ed.) (1985) European Immigration Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Hammarberg, T. (2008) Report by Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights following his visit to Greece 8-10 December 2008, https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?Index= no&command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage= 1163266&SecMode=1&DocId=1361712&Usage=2, accessed 16 June 2013.
Karamanidou, L. and Schuster, L. (2012) Realising one’s rights under the 1951 convention: A review of practical constraints on accessing protection in Europe through a case study of Greece. Journal of Refugee Studies 25 (2): 169–192.
Karyotis, G. (2012) Securitization of migration in Greece: Processes, motives, and implications. International Political Sociology 6 (4): 390–408.
Kasimis, C. (2012) Greece: Illegal Immigration in the Midst of the crisis Migration Policy Institute, http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=884, accessed 16 June 2013.
Konsta, A.M and Lazaridis, G. (2011) Plastic citizenship, (in)securities and processes of abjectification: The case of Albanian migrant women in Greece. In: G. Lazaridis (ed.) Security, Insecurity and Migration in Europe. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
Kovras, I. (2010) The parliamentary election in Greece, October 2009. Electoral Studies 29 (2): 293–296.
Lahav, G. (2004) Immigration and Politics in the New Europe: Reinventing Borders. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Maroukis, T. (2010) Irregular migration in Greece: Size and features, causes and discourses. In: A. Trandafyllidou and T. Maroukis (eds.) Irregular Migration in Europe: Myths and Realities. Aldershot, UK: Aldgate.
Maroukis, T. (2012) Update Report on Greece: The Number of Irregular Migrants at the end of 2010 and 2011 Database on Irregular Migration, Update report, http://irregular-migration.net/, accessed 16 June 2013.
Ministry of the Interior (2013) Elections 2012, Athens, http://ekloges.ypes.gr/.
Mudde, C. (2007) Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Mudde, C. (2010) The populist radical right: A pathological normalcy. West European Politics 33 (6): 1167–1186.
Odmalm, P. and Bale, T. (2014) Immigration into the mainstream: Conflicting ideological streams, strategic reasoning and party competition. Acta Politica.
Papadopoulou-Kourkoula, A. (2008) Transit Migration in Europe. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Triandafyllidou, A. (2009) Greek immigration policy at the turn of the 21st century. Lack of will or purposeful mismanagement? European Journal of Migration and Law 11 (2): 159–177.
Triandafyllidou, A. and Ambrosini, M. (2011) Irregular immigration control in Italy and Greece: Strong fencing and weak gate-keeping serving the labour market. European Journal of Migration and Law 13 (3): 251–273.
Triandafyllidou, A and Gropas, R. (2009) Constructing difference: The Mosque debates in Greece. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35 (6): 957–975.
Triandafyllidou, A. and Kouki, H. (2013) Muslim immigrants and the Greek nation: The emergence of nationalist intolerance. Ethnicities 13 (6): 709–728.
Triandafyllidou, A. and Maroukis, M. (2012) Migrant Smuggling: Irregular Migration from Asia and Africa to Europe. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Triandafyllidou, A., Maroufof, M. and Nikolova, M. (2008) Immigration towards Greece at the Eve of the 21st Century Athens: ELIAMEP, http://www.eliamep.gr/en/migration/idea/idea-immigration-towards-greece-at-the-eve-of-the-21st-century/, accessed 16 June 2013.
Verney, S. (2012) An exceptional case? Party and popular euroscepticism in Greece. Southern European Society and Politics 16 (1): 56–79.
Official and Party Documents (last accessed 16 June 2013)
Chrysi Avgi (2013) Positions, http://www.xryshaygh.com/index.php/kinima.
Democratic Left (2012) Our positions, http://www.dimokratikiaristera.gr/oi-theseis-mas/1o-synedrio-oi-theseis.
Hellenic Parliament (2001a) Parliament Gazette, 6 March 2001, pp. 5623–5659.
Hellenic Parliament (2001b) Parliament Gazette, 6 March 2001, pp. 5594–5621.
Hellenic Parliament (2005a) Parliament Gazette, 2 August 2005, pp. 637–680.
Hellenic Parliament (2005b) Parliament Gazette, 3 August 2005, pp. 680–705.
Hellenic Parliament (2008) Parliament Gazette, 4 February 2008, pp. 4194–4249.
Hellenic Parliament (2010a) Parliament Gazette, 17 December 2010, 2868–2891.
Hellenic Parliament (2010b) Parliament Gazette, 9 March 2010, pp. 4684–4756.
Hellenic Parliament (2010c) Parliament Gazette, 8 February 2010, pp. 3208–3236.
Hellenic Parliament (2010d) Parliament Gazette, 10 March 2010, pp. 4757–4826.
Hellenic Parliament (2011a) Parliament Gazette, 12 January 2011, pp. 3459–3710.
Hellenic Parliament (2011b) Parliament Gazette, 11 January 2011, 3412–3457.
Hellenic Parliament (2012a) Parliament Gazette, 7 July 2012, pp. 49–104.
Hellenic Parliament (2012b) Parliament Gazette, 8 July 2012, pp. 105–212.
KKE (2007) Class solidarity between Greek and Foreign Born Workers, 21 April 2007, http://www.kke.gr/metanastes/taksikh_enothta_ellhnon_kai_allodapon_ergazomenon?morf=0.
KKE (2010) KKE’s position on naturalisation of migrants and participation to municipal elections, 24 January 2010, http://www.kke.gr/metanastes/oi_theseis_toy_kke_gia_thn_kthsh_ithageneias_apo_metanastes_kai_th_symmetoxh_stis_dhmotikes_ekloges?morf=0.
LAOS (2007) Framework of Positions, http://www.laos.gr.
Ministry of Citizen Protection (2012a) Press release with statements of the Minister of Citizen Protection Mr Michalis Chrysochoides on the pre election period, the illegal housing of immigrants and his participation to the European Council and the Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs in Brussels and Luxembourg, 24 April 2010, http://www.yptp.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&lang=GR&perform=view&id=4232&Itemid=540.
Ministry of Citizen Protection (2012b) Press release: Statements of the Minister of Citizen Protection Mr Michalis Chrysochoides about combatting irregular migration in the centre of Athens, 29 March 2012, http://www.yptp.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&lang=GR&perform=view&id=4186&Itemid=536.
Ministry for Citizen Protection (2012c) Press release of the political leadership of the Ministry for Citizen Protection and the leadership of Hellenic Police on their meeting with representatives of migrant organisations, 9 April 2012, http://www.yptp.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&lang=&perform=view&id=4215&Itemid=540.
Ministry for Citizen Protection (2012d) Extracts from the interview of the Minister of Citizen Protection Mr Michalis Chrysochoides to the newspaper ‘Axia’, 7 April 2012, http://www.yptp.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&lang=&perform=view&id=4214&Itemid=540.
Ministry of Citizen Protection (2012e) Press release regarding the meeting of the Minister of Citizen Protection Mr Michalis Chrysochoides and the Junior Minister Eleftherios Oikonomou with the President of New Democracy Antonis Samaras 20 March 2012 Ministry of Citizen Protection, http://www.yptp.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&lang=&perform=view&id=4163&Itemid=536.
Ministry for Citizen Protection (2012f) Today’s statements by Minister for Citizen Protection N. Dendias regarding operation Xenios Zeus, 4 August 2012, http://www.yptp.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&lang=GR&perform=view&id=4322&Itemid=551.
New Democracy (2000a) Rule of law with public safety: crime threatens, citizens ask for protection, http://www.apodimos.com/nd15.htm.
New Democracy (2000b) Employment - unemployment, http://www.apodimos.com/nd08.htm.
New Democracy (2004a) Speech by New Democracy President K. Karamanlis to the Thessaloniki regional assembly, 14 February 2004.
New Democracy (2004b) Speech by New Democracy President K. Karamanlis to the Municipality of Aharnon, 11 February 2004.
New Democracy (2007a) Modern state, Closer to Citizens, http://www.nd.gr/web/press-office/archive.
New Democracy (2007b) Immigration policy with respect to the individual, http://protovoulies.nd.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=45.
New Democracy (2009a) Speech by Prime minister and New Democracy President K. Karamanlis in Iloupolis, 1 10, http://arxeio.nd.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47681&Itemid=436.
New Democracy (2009b) Speech by Prime minister and New Democracy President K. Karamanlis in Athens, 2 October 2009, http://www.nd.gr/web/press-office/archive.
New Democracy (2010) The new post-dictatorship regime: the revolution of common sense, http://www.nd.gr/web//secretary-politikou-sxediasmou/press//journal_content/56_INSTANCE_1wmJ/39762/723322.
New Democracy (2011a) 21 Timely answers, http://www.nd.gr/web//secretary-politikou-sxediasmou/press/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_1wmJ/39762/723322.
New Democracy (2011b) Greece and Immigration Policy, 9 July 2009, http://www.nd.gr/web/10154/press/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_c6UH/61130/719792.
New Democracy (2012a) Speech of the President of New Democracy A. Samaras at the cultural Centre ‘New World’ – New Democracy’s 12 key points on security- illegal immigration 12 June 2012, www.nd.gr.
New Democracy (2012b) Speech of the President of New Democracy A. Samaras in Egaleo 07 April 2012, www.nd.gr.
New Democracy (2012c) Interview of the President of New Democracy A. Samaras to TV Channel Antenna, 22 March 2012, http://www.nd.gr/web/12001/press/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_Rb5c/36615/928105, accessed 23 May 2013.
New Democracy (2012d) Current Affairs issues: Greece will not be a fenceless vine, 4 April 2012, http://www.nd.gr/web/12001/press/-/journal_content/56_INSTANCE_Rb5c/39762/937509.
New Democracy (2012e) Press release, 29 February 2012, www.nd.gr.
New Democracy (2012f) Press Release, 23 May 2012, www.nd.gr.
PASOK (2000) With people for people in a society of solidarity: This is the aim of PASOK for the new electoral term, as stated by K.Simitis in his speech in Zappeio, 15 March 2000, http://archive.pasok.gr/portal/resource/contentObject/id/fd219c6e-76be-452d-9b41-fb5a8eb442b2.
PASOK (2001a) Our Character and strategy in new times, http://archive.pasok.gr/portal/resource/contentObject/id/02aeb572-e26c-4b67-ab41-1cc20ed72f11.
PASOK (2001b) Statements by K. Simitis following the cabinet meeting on illegal immigration, 05 December 2001, www.pasok.gr/portal/gr/41/1530/7/print/135/1/showdoc.html.
PASOK (2003) Immigration for and against, http://www.pasok.gr/portal/gr/-1000000/13573/print/135/1/showdoc.html, http://archive.pasok.gr/portal/resource/contentObject/id/b9f25ca6-ec46-48dc-bc61-1dd3aed950bb.
PASOK (2004a) Election Manifesto: Five Targets for the New Four Year Term 2004-2008; Five Targets for a New Greece, www.arheio.pasok.gr.
PASOK (2004b) Final draft of the sub-team on rights for migrants, gypsies and returnees, www.arheio.pasok.gr.
PASOK (2007) Party Programme: Just Society, Strong Greece.
PASOK (2008) The axis of our policies for immigrants, http://tm.pasok.gr/anthropina_dikaiomata/?p=343#more-343.
PASOK (2009) Our Programme, www.pasok.org.
PASOK (2011a) National Security Policy: Foreign Policy and National Defence, www.pasok org.
PASOK (2011b) Current Affairs Commentary: ND with lies and deceit as their weapon, 11 October 2011, www.pasok org.
PASOK (2012a) 12+1 points for National Renaissance, 24 April 2012, http://archive.pasok.gr/portal/resource/contentObject/id/92167a5c-9c9f-4110-bdc8-692184e0a8ac.
PASOK (2012b) Speech by E. Venizelos, President of PASOK, to a cultural event of Nafplio Worker’s Centre, 26 May 2012, http://www.pasok.gr/portal/resource/contentObject/id/a1a89ea7-95eb-4a65-9661-000dfddd13e9.
PASOK (2012c) Interview of E. Venizelos, President of PASOK to TV channels in Zappeio, 2 May 2005, http://archive.pasok.gr/portal/resource/contentObject/id/26948189-c3b1-4d60-b378-b18f2ea100f8.
Prime Minister’s Press Office (2008) Statements by the Minister for the Interior P. Pavlopoulos to journalists after meeting the Prime Minister, www.minpress.gr.
SYRIZA (2012) Aim 10: For a new policy for immigrants and refugees, http://www.syn.gr/programma/b10.htm.
About this article
Cite this article
Karamanidou, L. Political parties and immigration in Greece: Between consensus and competition. Acta Polit 50, 442–460 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/ap.2014.31
- immigration policy
- political parties
- immigration discourse
- far right