Migration and Struggle in Greece

Archive for May, 2009

…about the uprising of immigrants on Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 of May, in Athens…

Posted by clandestina on 31 May 2009

This a translation of a text we leafletted in Thessaloniki  the last few days.


…about the uprising of immigrants on Thursday and Friday 21 and May 22 in Athens …

… background “snapshots” …

φοτο 1

  • left: refugee camp in Samos …
  • center: Afghan refugee smitten by port police in Patras …
  • extreme right: riot police and “Golden Dawn”neo-nazis during their collaboration for terrorizing refugees, 10th of May 2009 …

φοτο 2

  • left: teenage and children refugees in Patras port run behind trucks in order to board to Italy …
  • center: The 24 year old Mazir who was killed by falling into ditch in Votanikos area in Athen, most likely while chased by police near the Asylum Police in Petrou Ralli (as two more refugees in a few months) …
  • right: the religious debate has only started …

… and “perspectives” …

“It could have been something else, not the pages of the Quran …”

It could have been an old family photo.  Or a crumpled piece of paper with the mobile phones of relatives and friends in Sweden, England or Germany on it.  It could be some few folded banknotes – this, though, the cops would have seized, not torn.   The cops, who are not supposed to treat immigrants as people; the cops, who are indifferent whether immigrants love those pieces of paper of theirs, the ones they move from one pocket to another, the same pieces of paper which count as many kilometers and borders as they themselves do.  The “waste papers” of the“sans papiers”.

Someone tore up a Qur’an volume and stepped on it.  Symbolic violence. Violence confirming the real degradation, the crass devaluation  immigrants are subjected to by the Greek State, violence imposed in a thousand ways, not at all “symbolic”.  By the Greek State, which permeates racist attitudes and rewards voluntary atrocity.

“It could have been nothing other than the Qu’ran …”

“It could have been nothing other than the Qu’ran, what could make immigrants take it to the streets”  since « only religion» could make them confront collectively the cops of the “civilized world”.   Because “these people” are “pious”. And only some insult to their religion could make them surface out of the rapidly growing ghettos in the center of Athens, in order to rally for something – for their religion, which is of course “absolutely respected” in tolerant Greece … as long as it remains in the basements and the back rooms of  fast-foods.  Which is also true for the lives of “these people”, which are “absolutely respected”in Greece as long as they remain expendable among the urban waste.   As long as they stay available for slavery and death…

“They rallied under the dictates of the imams”, they are “steered”, this is the convenient explanation and perspective for the holders of authority, either grand or small.  Imams ,who try to keep and expand their “flocks”… Let the ones who want to become herdsmen see herds… We don’t. What we see is people and communities from the devastated continents of the globe seeking refuge…

For the Qu’ran? Or for all the reasons of the world …

“Did you see what happened in Athens with the Qu’ran;”. Indeed. What happened in Athens was the clash of cultures, discovered in Greece as well with the usual delay! … The opportunity should not be missed…

It is absolutely clear that the people in the photos enjoying the Greek hospitality, they are not immigrants, refugees, poor people, they are not even Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis …“Muslims, that’s what they are”!

They are not reacting to the humiliations, the tortures, the detention-stables, the workplace-treatment, the deportations … No.  They are doing this «because they are Muslims» …

… and those residents kept shouting to the firefighters in Patras “let them burn” during the recent fire in the refugee camp because…becasue they are Christians …

… and the landlords at Manolada shot migrant workers…

…and the Christian Ministry of Interior Affairs announced new detention mega-camps,creates a prison – warship, plans to limit even further the already negligible asylum rates

… and the Greek State cooperating with both the Fortress Europe commissioners in Brussels and the neonazis in Athens…

…they all did and do so essentially on… religious grounds…

The only clash of cultures is the one

between freedom and exploitation.

Thessaloniki, May 24, 2009

Group of Immigrants and Refugees – «o Dromos», Baltadorou 7, Thessaloniki

Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Immigrants march again in Athens despite fascist counterdemo

Posted by clandestina on 31 May 2009

This is a reproduction of a report by  taxikipali  at



On Friday 29 May immigrants and solidarity protesters marched to the greek parliament despite fascist counterdemo and media scaremongering.

Following the intensifying repression against immigrants, especially of muslim origin, across the country, and the greek police’s failure to apologise for the public and humiliating destruction of a copy of the Koran during sweeping operations against immigrants in the coveted area of Agios Panteleimonas last week, thousands of immigrants and solidarity protesters took the the streets of Athens in protest against racism, police repression and parastate white terror. The protest march went ahead with no violence apart from a token destruction of the fascist party’s (LAOS – Popular Orthodox Alarm) euroelection kiosk, despite a counterdemo organised by the Golden Dawn, the notorious neonazi organisation several members of which have been found guilty for attempted manslaughter against left-wing activists.

The fascist counterdemo, numbering less than one hundred parastate elements, was allowed to march in (a parody of) battle formation to the Parliament just before the immigrant march in order to lay a wreath to the unknown soldier monument in memory of the fall of Istanbul to the Ottomans in 1453. The Golden Dawn is primarily responsible for the mobilisation of extreme-right wing elements in the neighborhood of Agios Panteleimonas, forming lightly armed “self-defense” groups purging immigrants from the area’s central square and attacking houses, burning down shops and community places of worship (mosques are illegal in Athens), smashing up public events, and targeting even the church of the parish, the largest in the country, which fell victim to fascist arson attack for providing support and supper for immigrants.

The night before the protest march local anarchists symbolically reoccupied the square of Agos Panteleimonas and broke the chains put by the fascists in order to keep the local playing grounds closed to avert “immigrant children polluting the greek”. Nevertheless the area remains a fascist stronghold, enjoying the subtle backing of the majority of the bourgeois media which on the one hand present an endless spectacle of racist bigotry, and on the other hand cover up the involvement of the neonazis and their support by the police. It is characteristic that Kathimerini, the leading centre-right daily, in a recent long reportage of the situation only referred to the Golden Dawn once, to deny its involvement, although its members had attacked an editor of the newspaper covering the crisis only a few days before.

Protest marches against state repression and fascist terror were also held in Salonica, Patra, Volos, Heraklion and Chania in Crete.


Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Call of the Initiative of Refugees, Immigrants and People in Solidarity for the 29th of May protest march

Posted by clandestina on 30 May 2009



The tearing of the Koran on Wednesday, 20th of May, is the peak of the iceberg that has been growing for years:

With the humiliating treatment of the immigrants by the racist mechanisms of the state,

With their miserable and inhuman living and working conditions,

With the continuous pogroms of the police against them on streets and squares,

With the humiliations and the murders in the queue of Petrou Ralli,

With the land workers in Manolada,

With the thousands of drowned in the waters of Aegean and the thousands of squeezed in the immigrant concentration camps.

With the trample of the Koran on Wednesday, 20the of May, this iceberg has turned into a volcano.

The immigrants have come out on the streets, like they have done before in other western cities, have clashed with the oppression forces of the democracy, have claimed their trampled dignity.

We stand next to them, in solidarity with every struggle they give for dignity and emancipation.

Beyond any religious and national divisions,

Solidarity with the immigrants! 

Initiative of immigrants, refugees and people in solidarity

Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Greek government announces pogrom and ‘ghetto’ for immigrants

Posted by clandestina on 30 May 2009

We copy here the report, analysis and useful explanatory comments by the author taxikipali at


The Ministry of Public Order announced the launching of a post-euroelection massive pogrom of immigrants from the center of Athens, and their displacement in a huge concentration camp off the city.

The Minister of Public Order, Mr Makroyannakis, has announced the launching of a mass-scale pogrom of immigrants in the center of Athens after the euroelections. He pledged to “clean” the center of the city from immigrants and displace them in what he called “a ghetto” at the outskirts of Athens. The camp which will use the old NATO base of Aspropyrgos in the city’s heavily industrially polluted rustbelt, is expexted to hold more than 2,000 ‘illigal’ immigrants. The premises had been proposed in the past as a temporary concentration camp for immigrants, addicts and homeless people during the 2004 Olympic Games but the plan was abandoned after a huge public outcry. A wide range of social and political forces, as well as mainstream media, have been denouncing the new plans as nothing sort of constructing a concentration camp.

As part of the post-election plan of “cleaning Athens”, the Ministry of Public Order has also announced mass sweeping operations against addicts, which will coincide with the closure of Athens’ central methadone center, moving the facilities to hospitals.

Also the Ministry of Public Order announced that a third leg of the operations will include “sweeping operations” against anarchist and anti-authoritarian squats and social centers across the greek capital.

Public tension over issues of immigration has been accentuated by malicious media reporting on areas hosting immigrant workers, and especially the neighborhood of Agios Panteleimonas where fascist parastate groups have been imposing a reign of terror in the last weeks [Agios Panteleimonas is a down-town area of Athens whose local police station was found guilty a few years ago of torturing underage Afghan immigrants]. Locals claim that the neonazis with the backing of the police have been threatening anyone who does not take part in their anti-immigrant stunts. Even the priest of the local church has announced that he has received life-threats for his unwavering support of immigrants [The local church of Agios Panteleimonas, whose priest is supporting the local immigrants in defiance of fascist threats fell victim, to a parastate arson attack last night which destroyed its ‘food for immigrants’ resources. Fascist elements who are now permanently stationed in the square and enjoy the protection of riot policemen also exercised physical violence against a member of the Communist Party (KKE) when he tried to stop them from beating an immigrant. As of last week all public happenings in the neighborhoods square held by local groups (puppet theater, book presentations etc) have been canceled after attacks by fascist thugs who even locked the local playground so as not to let “greek blood be polluted by afghans”. The wave of fascist terror in the area has reached its peak after the mobilisation of immigrants in response to a police racist incident the previous week which targeted the Koran.

The official repression of immigrants has been stepped up since December, due on the one hand to a general strategy of counterinsurgency and the imposition of a quasi-police state by a weak and staggering government, an on the other hand because of the participation of many immigrants in the uprising. In contrast to what the bourgeois media have been presenting, immigrants did not only partake in rioting and looting, but also engaged in a critique of the system, as evident in letters and articles featured in the three issues of REVOLT, the magazine published by the occupied Athens School of Economics during the uprising. As far as the unofficial or parastate repression of immigrants, there are several analyses of the stepping up of fascist racist attacks, which started to pass through the public attention threshold in spring 2008. Some analysts in the movement believe this to be a targeted attack of Pakistani and Afghan immigrants, especially ones politically involved in the left, as part of the Greek state’s involvement in the war in Central Asia, and its secret ‘war on terror’ commitments. Others simply detect an opportunistic tour de force of the usual marginal fascist elements, enjoying the cover of a favorable government with a clear anti-immigration agenda. Others again believe that parastate attacks on immigrants and mass propaganda in Agios Panteleimonas forms part of an effort by so-called junta droplets and allied ‘patriotic’ elements in the so-called ‘deep state’ to create a social basis for organised fascism of the post-civil war type, i.e. semi-armed nationalist ‘self-defense’ groups enjoying a half-fearful half-profiting local consensus in strategic enclaves of the urban structure, thus providing with a reserve civil army for operations that the police cannot legally undertake, such as attack on university grounds, breaking up of strikes, attack on social centers etc. A simple but perhaps simplistic answer to it all often heard in Athens is that this is all part of a ‘strategy of tension’ badly designed and performed by a generally incapable regime.

Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Asylum seekers in Netherlands to be extradited back to Greece

Posted by clandestina on 30 May 2009

 Less than a year has passed since a Dutch Court had blocked the return of refugees to Greece under the Dublin agreement because of the mess of the Greek Asylum (rejection) System (see here about other countries whoch had already done so).  Now, although things are even worse, the Dutch authorities say they will return refugess to the Greek horror.  “Humanism” is provisional in Fortress Europe.  

The source of the following article is this.



Asylum seekers to be extradited back to Greece – Over 1,000 asylum seekers will be sent back to Greece in the following months.

The Netherlands – The Netherlands will resume the extradition of asylum seekers who entered the European Union via Greece.

In the coming months 1,100 people will be sent back to Greece, following a Council of State decision that doing so is legal, Deputy Justice Minister Nebahat Albayrak told reporters in Rome.

Earlier this week, Albayrak offered to help Greece with its asylum policy while on a visit to Athens.

Following a meeting with Greek officials involved in monitoring the border, the minister said it is important for European countries to work together to combat illegal immigration.

In an interview with Dutch public broadcaster NOS, she said: “If we do not invest in cooperation with countries on the southern European border, we will never solve our own migration problem.

A mission of asylum experts made up of Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND), the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the Repatriation Service, will travel to the southern European country to share their knowledge on the matter, reports press agency ANP.

The Greek authorities plan to use a cruise ship to pick up asylum seekers who arrive on the Greek islands in small boats.

Albayrak said the key issue is to determine whether an asylum seeker is entitled to protection or whether the person is an economic migrant.

Refugees from Northern Africa regularly cross the Mediterranean on rickety vessels to land in European coastal countries such as Italy and Greece. The refugees then travel on from their landing spot to other EU member states.


Radio Netherlands / Expatica


Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Act of immigration war “Thracia 2009”

Posted by clandestina on 27 May 2009


The military exercise “Thracia 2009” has ended

The military exercise “Thracia 2009”, which the Agency “Frontex” organized on the Bulgarian-Turkish border and the Greek-Turkish border, has ended, announced the Ministry of the Interior. The exercise was designed as a training session for the coordination, which “Frontex” has for its groups for Rapid Border Interventional Team (RABIT). “Frontex”, the EU agency based in Warsaw, was created as a specialised and independent body tasked to coordinate the operational cooperation between Member States in the field of border security. “Frontex” complements and provides particular added value to the national border management systems of the member states. In the course of a week 40 members of RABIT from 20 member-countries of the EU “helped” the Bulgarian and Greek border police in “make believe” situations, connected with migration pressure. The boundary between Bulgaria and Turkey is one of the “hottest” points of the outer boundary of the EU. The same is true of the Greek-Turkish border, where the migration pressure is even stronger. This was said by the Deputy executive director of the agency Hill Arias at a briefing in front of Bulgarian and Greek journalists at the “Capitan Andreevo” border check-point.

Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Undeclared War news | Leave a Comment »

No to racism from the baby’s cot… the first child born in Greece to migrants to be registered so she can gain Greek nationality

Posted by clandestina on 26 May 2009

Kukua Williams, born in Athens to Ghanaian parents 17 months ago, yesterday [Sunday] became the first child born in Greece to migrants to be registered so she can gain Greek nationality. The Municipality of Kaisariani attempted to highlight the gaping hole in the country’s legislation, which effectively leaves such children with no legal status, during a public registration yesterday. The ceremony was of symbolic nature and Kukua faces a battle to gain full citizenship.

Kathimerini Article


Below is the invitation to the event by the United African Women Organization – Greece (



Under the initiative of the Municipality of Kaisariani and in collaboration with the campaign “No to racism from baby’s cot,” an unusual event is before us!

In fact, on Saturday 23 May at 7 o’clock in the afternoon in the central square of Kaisariani an event will take place, a symbolic ceremony, the registration of a child of an immigrant from Africa in the municipality’s registrar. The child is a 17 months old girl, born in Kaisariani, that cannot be registered in Municipality Roll and as a result it is essentially non-existed, as it is deprived of its rights and does not have a birth certificate neither in Ghana, nor in Greece. This is a well known fact for all immigrants’ children born in Greece. The symbolic registration will be made by the Mayor of Kaisariani, Spyros Tzokas.

The symbolic ceremony that will take place under the campaign “No to racism from  baby’s cot” seeks:

  • to reveal the problem of immigrants’ children born on the Greek territory who cannot be registered in the municipality, and as a result they are deprived of elementary citizen rights deriving from this registration.
  • to inform and sensitize the Greek public opinion and develop a feeling of solidarity with the big human and social problem of hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their children, who, while living among us in the cities and the neighbourhoods, are deprived of the most basic rights.
  • to reveal the long-term unwillingness of the Greek State to grant the rights that each citizen in the country enjoys, to our immigrant neighbours.
  • to show that the citizens themselves and some democratic institutions have decided not to be fatalistic and wait until the State decides to include the immigrants in our society, and thus they begin to carry out exemplary initiatives.
  • to start the campaign at the level of local government in order to terminate this scandal towards the immigrants who remain without any rights.

Moreover, this campaign aims at protecting and supporting the immigrants in this period of economic crisis, which may even get worse. With the use of the economic crisis and its sweeping consequences, the first that will be called (by the state and by the political establishment) to pay for it will be “obviously” once again the immigrants and, particularly, their children who remain unprotected due to lack of legislation.

Consider participating in this event, an initiative of the Municipality of Kaisariani and the campaign “No to racism from baby’s cot.”

 There will be a cultural program and celebration with music and dance from migrant groups after the ceremony.

 Our demands are: 

1. Attribution of Greek citizenship to immigrants’ children born in Greece or having completed three years in the Greek education system.

2. Attribution of residence permit of indefinite duration to all children and youth born or to be born in Greece or having attended the Greek education system, independent of the status (legal or not legal) of their parents.

3. We demand the amendment of the Greek Nationality Code from the ius sanguinis principle (law of bloodline, current foundation) to a ius soli principle (law of soil) for all individuals born in Greece or for any minor who completes three years in any level of the Greek education system (and with the possibility of reaffirmation of the demand by the claimant when reaching adulthood).

4. In any case, institution of the residence principle as a base for the acquisition of citizenship, founded not on origin or place of birth, but on the person’s special bond with the place where his domicile and work are situated.

5. We demand both the article 27 of Greek Nationality Code and the article 14 of the Municipal Code’s amendment so as the acquisition of status as a member of the municipality will be dissociated from the acquisition of Greek nationality and will be linked with the reality of the permanent residence. The immigrants’ affiliation to their municipality should be established independently of nationality status (see the examples of Spain, Finland, Slovakia).

6. We demand the establishment of Local Immigrants Councils with a consultative role in the municipal decision and policy making.

7. Attribution of voting rights to municipal elections for anyone who can prove a 5-year legal residence in Greece.

Contact us:

Laureta Macauley: 693-8387351/ Sonia Mitralia: 693-2295118,


Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Events, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Police campaign to intimidate struggling immigrants and communities in Chania, Crete

Posted by clandestina on 23 May 2009

The two-day event by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete was a succesful one, allowing for the voicing of various issues in the pro-migration, antiracist movement and for the networking and coordination of initiatives.  One of the campaigns launched during the event was the intitiative for the utilization of a deserted public service building for the needs of homeless people in the city of Hania and various other community uses.  This was met with a furious reaction by the police, who attempted to embed a feeling of insecurity, xenophobia and apathy in the community, by launching a campaign of prosecution against immigrants.  The action of the Forum of Immigrants in Crete since last November’s hunger strike is obviously disruptive for the cemetery silence and intercommunity violence the authorities want to cultivate.

This is the translation of an announcement of the now forming initiative in which the Forum of Immigrants in Crete participates and a call for a demo in the Town of Ηania.


Recently in the town of Hania we have been witnessing an increase in the levels and the intensity of police “surveillance”. It is plain that the Police have adopted the approach of pointing the finger towards enemies instead of pointing out solutions to the problems affecting us all; it has also assumed “wholesale” the role of the conversant with the local community. A community that, despite finding itself increasingly cooped up, has reacted, asserted, claimed. In the face of this community, in the face of us all, intense attempts to impose new mores have been taking place; the more inspired by the panopticism of the infamous – for his ethos and friends – minister of order enforcement Markogiannakis. By raising the specter of economic crisis, a crusade has been launched to convince the public that for unemployment the immigrants are to blame.

Thus, when the society of Hania claimed the conceded by the pertinent ministry Markopoulos military camp, the police forces came to the festivities to demand that the raising awareness panels be taken down from the yard’s wall… When the workers celebrated the Labor Day, police squads were sent to the spot to observe. When immigrants called the local community to join a celebration of solidarity and claim the deserted IKA building for the homeless of the town, his special forces came in all their oppression equipment to hand out ultimatums asking the dissolution of the event.

More generally, what is taking place is an intense effort to turn into a routine the heavy and disturbing presence of the police force, with dozens of policemen in uniforms and jeeps roaming furiously the city center with no apparent reason, with consecutive degrading “stop-and-search”controls of Greeks and immigrants.

The most worrying about their logic and intentions is the systematic terrorizing of the most precarious among us, the economic migrants who live in this town, especially the ones most active in the struggle for equal rights. They are the ones disrupting the police’s work. Having been denied the the opportunity to crush on a ridiculous pretext the day of the celebration (17th of May 2009) outside the old IKA building, organized by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete, the police leadership has launched a vengeful campaign of targeting and terrorizing immigrants, by attending them outside their houses, arresting them and threatening them with deportation. The police now leaves no room for misunderstandings of their intentions: they present the arrestees with photos featuring them during the hunger strike and asking them about their reasons for taking action and joining the solidarity campaign.

Those in power hope that their logic of repression against every reaction to their power, every protest, every claim for a decent life will be tolerated or go unnoticed if applied first to the most vulnerable of us. They forget, however, and thereby fill us with anger: what they forget is that these people are now our own people. These people won our hearts with all their struggles of the recent period; they earned themselves respect and solidarity. The police forgets that the local community as a single body supported their magnificent struggle in November, the harsch but victorious hunger strike 15 of them subjected themselves to, to be able to live a life with dignity, against the perverse desire of those who want people amidst our communities to suffer from being “illegal”.

The new mores of these wannabe-Masters with all their questionable morals do nothing more disrupt life in our communities and provoke us. They won’t be tolerated, they will not pass. For as long as it is necessary while our society goes through increasingly difficult times, we will not leave no one struggling for a better future unprotected. We will not allow this perverse logic that wants a man in uniform above the head of each and everyone of us to be embedded.




Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“The growing threat of radical Islam […] encroaching also on the Western Balkans” said the Chief of Greek para-state administration in warmongers exchibition

Posted by clandestina on 23 May 2009

This is a Kathimerini article.  More to the point, as regards “terrorism” and “illegal migration”,  this is the State Department talking.  And this is a war, a war proper.  This article has it all, both ” innovative ““green projects”, and restructuring of the nation’s defence industry”..



Director of Greece’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) Ambassador Ioannis Corantis speaking on the threats of international terrorism and illegal immigration.

ATHENS– With international terrorism thriving, Greece should be prepared to tackle new and more potent forms of terror, exchanging intelligence information with other nations and combating illegal immigration, Greece’s Director of National Intelligence said Friday.

Ambassador Ioannis Corantis made the remarks during an unprecedented conference staged on the sidelines of Athens International 2009, an exhibition focusing on defence, security, energy and civil aviation in Southeast Europe.

“Terrorism remains the main international threat, but it is continuously evolving, with new methods of operation that require new means of response,” Mr. Corantis said. “Greece must be prepared to react [because] the magnitude of prospective attacks may increase.”

The head of Greece’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) did not elaborate, but he underscored the growing threat of radical Islam spreading across Europe, encroaching also on the Western Balkans, including Bosnia, Albania, Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

He said there were growing trends of European-based militant jihadists returning to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq for training, while radical religious leaders in Europe and the Internet were facilitating the growing reach of religious extremism.

“The Internet has become an ideal means for spreading radical Islam,” Mr. Corantis told an audience of Greek and foreign diplomats, defence officials and politicians. “It is a cheap and undetectable tool terrorists use to disseminate their propaganda.”

With growing numbers of people fleeing Iraq, Afghanistan and the Caucasus, Mr. Corantis stressed the need for Greece to grapple with the rising tide of illegal immigration.

“We are doing everything to guarantee that those coming in are nothing more than what they claim to be: illegal refugees seeking a better life,” he said. “It’s not an easy task. But that Greece remains safe and untouched by radical forms of Islam bears proof of our hard and effective work.”

Earlier this month, the US State Department expressed concern over the “drastic increase” of illegal immigration, suggesting that Greece “could become a transit route for terrorists traveling to Europe and the United States.”

Mr. Corantis said Greece was open to exchanging intelligence information with allies but denied any existence of Al-Qaeda terror cells in the country.

“The concern may be there, but there is not a single kernel of proof, that militant Islamists have either entered the country or that Muslims residing here are turning radical.”

Last year, more than 140,000 illegal immigrants arrived in Greece, mostly via Turkey, up from 118,000 in 2007 and 96,000 in 2006.

Thousands more are said to arrive undetected.

Once caught, however, undocumented migrants are fingerprinted, held for a few days in overcrowded detention centers and then released with orders to leave the country within 30 days.

Most, though, end up in the Greek capital because Turkish officials no longer respect a bilateral agreement to return illegal refugees, according to Greek police officials.

“We need a concerted effort of cooperation among various agencies to grapple with illegal immigration,” Mr. Corantis told the conference.

Organized in cooperation with the Constantine Karamanlis Institute for Democracy, the Andreas Papandreou Institute of Strategic and Development Relations (ISTAME) and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), the conference touched on a range of security and defence-related issues.

A keynote speaker, Deputy Defence Minister Yannis Plakiotakis underscored the need for regional cooperation in Southeast Europe.

“The Balkans are no longer the powder keg of Europe,” he said. “Still, the state of affairs in the region is fluid and volatile.”

“We believe that regional cooperation and joint action operations can afford tangible solutions to a string of problems plaguing the region; it can help countries focus on a host of issues that unite rather than separate them.”

Earlier, Louka Katseli, the shadow finance minister of the socialist opposition PASOK party, warned of the need for “qualitative government reforms” to safeguard stability, security and development in Greece.

“The need for quality government is so much more pronounced now within this period of economic turmoil,” she told the conference. “Swift and efficient government intervention is the only way out the crisis… enabling social cohesion and promoting social prosperity.”

Mrs. Katseli also called for measures to improve Greece’s competitiveness, including investments in innovative “green projects,” and restructuring of the nation’s defence industry.

“With the necessary planning, Greece’s defence industry can focus on new and select activities and markets that can guarantee financial gains and a competitive edge,” she said.

Drastic spending cuts and a new regulatory system in defence procurement projects were also required, Mrs. Katseli said, to increase spending in social security, education and investments.

Held at Athens International Airport’s Metropolitan exhibition center, Athens International comes at the height of Greece’s 2006-15 military procurement programs.

Defence spending in Greece runs at around 3 percent of GDP, one of the highest levels in the EU and NATO, partly because of a policy to keep an arms balance with neighboring Turkey.

Though both NATO allies, Greece and Turkey remain at odds over air-and-sea boundaries and flights in the Aegean Sea.

Despite longstanding differences, relations between the two countries have improved significantly in recent years, cementing strong energy links with the creation of the Greece-Turkey-Italy Interconnector, a project that entails the creation of a pipeline that will transfer natural gas from Caspian countries to Western Europe, Minister of Development Kostas Hatzidakis told the conference.

Athens International kicked off last year focusing almost exclusively on defence. It has since then come to encompass Greece’s key infrastructure industries, including energy, security and civil aviation.

The exhibition runs until Sunday

Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gas attack on Athens Muslim prayer centre injures three

Posted by clandestina on 23 May 2009

Athens – At least three people were hospitalized in Athens Saturday morning with breathing problems after unknown assailants ignited a gas canister and threw it through the window of a store that doubles as a prayer centre for Muslim immigrants.

Media reports said none of the injured was in mortal danger.

The attack came a day after serious clashes between Muslim protesters and Greek police. Those clashes were prompted by Muslim allegations of police brutality and charges of desecrating the Koran.

According to Athens Indymedia the injured are 5 immigrants from Bangladesh.    This certainly looks like “retalliation” work by fascists for muslim immigrants’ reaction to the last weeks “sweep operations” and the desecration of a Quran by police.  


Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »