Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


A few years after the migratory flow from southern European countries to central and northern European countries had ceased, including the returning wave of permanent returnees, the first immigrants began arriving to southern Europe from less developed countries. Their numbers did not, however, become significant until later on, and at different times for the different countries. In fact, the migratory currents in southern European countries take two different forms. In the larger, richer countries, relatively large numbers of immigrants arrived first (since the late 1970s in Italy, in the early 1980s in Spain), accelerating towards their peak from the mid-1980s until 1991. After this, immigration continues, but at a slower pace, although there is a difference: immigration drops first, and most markedly, in Spain rather than Italy. In the two smaller and poorer countries, the immigration trend lags behind. In both Greece and Portugal, immigration reaches significant levels only in the late 1980s and reaches its highest levels in the early 1990s. The numbers stay high until 1997, when the governments of these countries also decide to strengthen border patrols and take measures against illegal migrants.

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