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Greece Announces Initiative to Repatriate Illegal Migrants

Greece’s Citizen Protection Ministry announced a 10 million-euro ($13 million) initiative to help repatriate illegal immigrants to their home countries.

Non-government groups will be able to submit proposals for the voluntarily return of migrants, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

The announcement comes amid a clampdown on illegal immigration ahead of May 6 elections. Last month, Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoides unveiled a plan to establish 30 detention centers to hold migrants, and police conducted sweeps of central Athens, rounding up hundreds of migrants.

As many as 90 percent of illegal immigrants in the European Union entered through Greece in 2011, according to Greek police statistics.

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