14 January, 2004
One of America's most distinguished experts on migration policy told an Athens audience on Tuesday evening that Greece was transformed ''in a mere decade'' from a country hosting ''a low-digit'' number of foreign-born nationals into one ''more immigrant-dense than the United States''.
While terming the Greek model since 1990 as ''extraordinary'', noted Greek-American scholar Demetrios G. Papademetriou nevertheless said the percentage of people defined as ''immigrants'' world-wide has remained at more-or-less steady levels for the past few decades, namely, 2.5 percent of the planet's population at any given time.
Papademetriou, the co-director and co-founder of the D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute and Washington's convener of a top US-Mexico migration panel that devised the framework that recently prompted the US and Mexico to re-examine their migration relationship, said the total number of foreign born people in the United States and Canada stands at 38 to 40 million, as opposed to 40 to 45 million in Europe.
However, the former senior Carnegie Endowment associate stressed that the lion's share of immigration world-wide was centered in Asia (40-50 percent), whereas the west only hosted a 'miniscule' of the world's refugees -- which he said were 5 to 10 percent of the approximately 150 million people defined as immigrants.
As per his native Greece, Papademetriou told an audience at the Hellenic American Union’s roof garden hall that foreign-born people make up anywhere between 8 to 12 percent of the country's general population.
Papademetriou spoke on the issue of ''Europe and the New Age of Migration: Capturing Benefits and Managing Costs'', a lecture sponsored by the Kokkalis Foundation.
Source: Athens News Agency