Newly-appointed Labour and Social Affairs Minister Nikos Vroutsis has rescinded an encyclical signed by three SYRIZA ministers on 20 June, a bit over two weeks before the general election, which simplified procedures for the issuance of the AMKA social security number for  non-EU nationals and in particular for migrants, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied refugee children.

The June ministerial decision was signed by then health minister Andreas Xanthos, migration minister Dimitris Vitsas, and deputy labour, social insurance, and social solidarity minister Anastasios Petropoulos.

Vroutsis, who had earned a reputation as a hardliner on labour issues while in the same position in the conservative government of Antonis Samaras, has said the issue of social security numbers for third country nationals will be will be re-examined and new detailed instructions will be sent to the competent state services.

The move has refueled opposition criticism and fears that the conservative New Democracy government will institute harsh policies on services provided to refugees and migrants living in Greece.

Human rights groups have already slammed Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis decision to merge the migration and citizen’s protection (public order) ministries.