Greece on Wednesday said it will deport 73 illegal immigrants back to the Dominican Republic on a special chartered flight, officials said.
The immigrants, among them 54 women and 19 men, will be escorted by 139 Greek police and two doctors on a special chartered flight from Athens International Airport 'Eleftherios Venizelos' directly to the Dominican Republic. The plane is scheduled to leave Greece on Thursday.
It is the first time that Greece will chartered a special flight to deport illegal immigrants.
Thousands of refugees who try to make their way into Europe have ended up stranded in Greece, as the country struggles to cope with a financial crisis and a huge backlog of asylum applications.
Greece has been repeatedly criticized for being one of the European Union countries that grants the smallest number of asylum pleas.
More than 128,000 migrants - almost 400 a day - entered the country illegally in 2010, according to government figures.
The government has proposed a series of measures to crack down on illegal immigration, including the construction of a 12.5-kilometre- long fence along a section of the Greek-Turkish border, floating prisons and the use of old army bases to detain illegal immigrants.
Source: Monsters and Critters
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