European Union pressure on Greece for yet harsher anti-refugee measures

This video says about itself:

Drowned Syrian Boy Symbolizes Refugee Crisis Sweeping Europe

2 September 2015

A 3-year-old Syrian-Kurdish boy from Kobani who drowned in the Mediterranean last night has come to symbolize the tragedy of the refugee crisis sweeping Europe. #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (“Humanity washed ashore”) went viral as the harrowing photo was shared.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

EU threatens to expel Greece from Schengen

Today, 15:59

Gwen ter Horst, Editor Brussels Office

If Greece does not take swift measures to control its borders better, the country risks to be expelled from the Schengen area. With that threat, the European Union puts the Greek government under pressure to finally work now on guarding the European external border. This year alone an estimated 700,000 migrants entered Europe from Greece.

On Friday the EU Ministers for Home Affairs will meet in Brussels. According to insiders involved in the preparation of these consultations the patience with Greece is running out. There are said to be serious attempts to pressure Greece. …

[Dutch] Prime Minister Rutte is also irritated by the inability of Greece to monitor the external border of the EU. He blamed Greece repeatedly that the border between Turkey and Greece is “totally porous”.

That is another one of your many lies, Mark Rutte. At the land border between Turkey and Greece, near the Evros river, there is a big cruel anti-refugee barbed wire fence, similar to the one the Hungarian government erected recently at the border with Serbia, and later at other (European Union internal) borders.

The rest of the Turkish-Greek border is not land, but sea water. I never heard about a sea being ‘porous’. I myself was privileged to cross the sea from Turkey to the Greek island Lesbos sitting on a seat on a ferryboat. I then saw beautiful bottlenose dolphins. I saw beautiful Scopoli’s shearwaters. I have fond memories of this.

Why, why does not a refugee from bloody war in Syria have the same right as I then had to travel in this comfortable way, trying to forget the horrors of bloodshed? Why does a woman refugee from the re-started Iraq war not have the right to enjoy wild bottlenose dolphins? Why does a boy, fleeing from the drone war in Pakistan, not have the right to admire the Scopoli’s shearwaters? Why should a girl refugee from the massacres in Somalia drown in the Mediterranean in some leaky inflatable vessel, rather than to have better experiences than when she was raped by Pentagon-allied ‘peace soldiers’ in her homeland; according to the ‘logic’ of Mark Rutte and of other NATO and European Union bigwigs?

Reportedly, Rutte at an EU summit last month in Malta attacked his Greek counterpart Tsipras directly for his refusal to accept help. Athens refuses help from the other EU countries and the European Frontex border authority in the management of external borders.

European Union (EU) heads of government and state agreed a shameful deal with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the EU-Turkey conference on Sunday in Brussels. Turkey has pledged to prevent refugees from entering the EU and in exchange will receive €3 billion in financing and a commitment to speed up negotiations for EU membership and visa-free travel: here.

European Council President Donald Tusk called for interning refugees for 18 months after their arrival and sealing off Europe’s borders, in an interview with six leading European newspapers including the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the British Guardian: here.

Up to 50,000 workers marched in Athens Thursday, in a one-day general strike that was one of the biggest mobilisations to protest austerity in Greece in recent years. The strike testifies to explosive anger in the working class at the austerity policies now being imposed by the Syriza (“Coalition of the Radical Left”) government: here.

Refugees die in Evros river Greek-Turkish border: here.

36 thoughts on “European Union pressure on Greece for yet harsher anti-refugee measures

  1. Wednesday 2nd December 2015

    posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

    BLOOD flowed outside the Home Office yesterday when LGBT activists cut themselves in a symbolic protest against the Immigration Bill.

    Five Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM) campaigners shed their own blood through cannulas in their arms into a pond outside the department to create the invented “rivers of blood” Tory racist Enoch Powell hyped in the in the 1960s.

    “The real rivers of blood flow from the Home Office,” spokesman Morten Thaysen told the Star.

    The Bill — which had its third reading in the Commons last night — would restrict welfare services to asylum-seekers and their children.

    It would also force landlords to check tenants’ immigration status and place harsher penalties on those caught working without papers.

    “With the Immigration Bill, the government seeks to turn ordinary people into border guards and create a divided society,” Mr Thaysen said.

    “This Bill is not just an attack on migrants, but will increase discrimination against minorities, especially ethnic minorities.

    “As queer people we stand in solidarity with people who face the repression of the state and the media, having faced similar repression only a few decades ago.”

    Labour, Lib Dem and SNP MPs were pushing last night for the introduction of a limit to detention periods and the inclusion of the right to reunion for immigrant families.


  2. Wednesday 2nd December 2015

    posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

    FEMALE refugees and asylum-seekers marched into Parliament yesterday to tell MPs that the Tories’ immigration policies would separate them from their children and put their lives at risk.

    Dozens of women from countries as diverse as Nigeria and Albania confronted politicians before the third reading of the Immigration Bill in the Commons.

    The All-African Women’s Group (AAWG) organised the lobby against the Bill which would force people to appeal their immigration cases only after being deported.

    Ghanian Elizabeth Qaino told the Star: “I’ve been here for 15 years.

    “When I came from Africa I went through a lot in political and family life.

    “I went through hard problems because normally some families force us to marry the wrong people.

    “If you don’t accept it they take you somewhere and cut your body — if you see my body, all over I’ve been cut.

    “So when I came, I came to have life.”

    Ms Qaino said she felt “dumbstruck” by immigration laws that don’t allow her to work and make money to support her family and her community.

    Home Secretary Theresa May has said the Bill aims to create a “really hostile environment” for those living in Britain illegally.

    AAWG co-ordinator Cristel Amiss, who has helped hundreds of women navigate British immigration law, said the problem lay with the Tories’ “perspective on human life.”

    Labour Edmonton MP Kate Osamor was one of the few MPs who came down to meet the women, hugging many of them on the way.

    Tory member for Croydon Central, home to UK Border Agency HQ, Gavin Barwell suggested merely that the women write down their complaints on the detention and deportation process.

    Inside the chamber, shadow home office minister Keir Starmer said: “One of the problems with this Bill is that if it’s tested against its objective it doesn’t meet the objective.

    “If it’s tested against making the UK simply appear a more hostile environment, that is the only sense in which the government is able to advance some of these provisions.”

    MPs were due to vote on the Bill after the Star went to press.


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