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Nea Alikarnassos

The Municipality of Nea Alikarnassos has the third biggest population in the Providence of Heraklion (12.542 residents according to 2001 census). It is placed at the north middle side of Crete, including the areas of Agios Ioannis, Karteros, Prassas and Kallithea. The city was founded in 1925 from Minor Asia refuges and today is an important developing centre, part of the wider urban area of three Municipalities (Gazi, Heraklion, Nea Alikarnassos). At the location of Two Aorakia in the Municipality of Nea Alikarnassos, between the national roadway and the industrial area of Heraklion, during the late 1980s and through the initiative of Heraklion Providence Authority, a Roma camp was founded. It is estimated that about 500 people live at the specific area, having the Greek citizenship. Also 551 migrants have been recorded for the Municipality of Nea Alikarnassos, a number which is dynamic concerning the fact that the city of Nea Alikarnassos is part of a bigger urban area. During the last years many efforts have been made concerning the total development of the area into a contemporary urban center. Many programs have been established for the local economic, social and cultural development.

According to the official records from the Migration Department (Region of Crete) there are 29.664 legal migrants living in Crete, about 4,26 percent of the entire migrant population in the country. As it is noticed, the total number of migrants cannot be estimated, while it is not possible to monitor a migrant after his/her legal residence permit expire. The largest group of migrants (36,39% which refers to 10.795 individuals) is placed in the Providence of Heraklion. According to the issue of citizenship, Albanians are the biggest group of migrants (51,00% according to data from year 2003), followed by Bulgarians and Rumanians. It is noticed that the most significant reason (68,55%) for the migrants’ presence in Crete is the work in one employer (dependent work permit) mainly as unskilled workers, rural workers and builders. Family reunion has been recorded as the second most important reason (16,68%) and the work in more than one employer (independent work permit, which refers to house cleaners, craftsmen and others) as the third reason (5,17%). It is noticed that a very small amount of migrants is interested in making its own enterprise (independent economic action permit), as there many obstacles concerning Greek legislation.

At the location of Two Aorakia in the Municipality of Nea Alikarnassos, between the national roadway and the industrial area of Heraklion, during the late 1980s a Roma camp was founded, but it doesn’t have any organized substructure concerning housing, water supply, sewerage and electricity. It is estimated that about 500 people live there, having the Greek citizenship. It is useful to notice that there are many other Roma people, some of whom are Muslims or Albanians, living in houses of Nea Alikarnassos city and also in Heraklion, but their location is very difficult. Almost all Roma (90,00%) are illiterate and the participation of their children in public education is very low.
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