clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Archive for June, 2009

Update on mass media crisis, urban guerillas and anti-immigrant & repression laws in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 30 June 2009

This is an article submitted by the author taxikipali on Jun 30 2009 at libcom.org covering much of what is going on in the country now.  Originally appeared here.  Emphasis on the recent police state regulations added.

clandestinenglish

Press and media strike in Greece in midst of repression and urban guerrilla flareup

The entire press and media world goes on 24h strike across Greece in response to the closing down of a major daily and radio station, in a context of rising repression and urban guerrilla warfare.

On the 24th of June 2009, the entire press and media apparatus of Greece came to a standstill due to a 24h strike of press and media workers in response to the surprise shutting down of Eleftheros Typos, one of the country’s oldest right-wing newspapers, and the popular City Radio, both owned by the tycoon and president of the 2004 Olympic Games, Mrs Angelopoulou. The closing down of the daily and radio station came with no previous warning and are considered to be the first major effect of the global economic crisis in the country. The industrial solidarity action that took place on the 24th and deprived the entire country of newspapers and news broadcasts on both radio, TV and the Internet is a first response to the sacking of 450 workers of the joint business. At the same time workers occupied the offices of the newspaper and the radio station.

The press-media crisis and labour struggle come at a time of renewed tension across the country despite the summer holiday season. Social polarisation, which is seen by many as a result of the December Uprising, peaked again last week with yet another urban guerrilla attack by the Sect of Revolutionaries, a group that had attacked a police department and a TV station with automatic weapons last winter. This time the country came to a standstill as guerrillas executed an officer of the elite and secretive anti-terrorist bureau who was guarding the only accusation witness in the so-called Revolutionary People’s Struggle (ELA) trial. The trial, which is going through the appeal court, has been accused by the vast majority of the legal world as a sham (the accusation witness is in fact the ex-wife of the chief accused), putting innocent people through a long and painful ordeal on non-existent evidence regarding their involvement in the urban guerrilla group that disbanded in 1995 after 20 years of action. In their much-publicised communiqué, the Sect of Revolutionaries promised to make Greece bleed, targeting journalists, politicians and fascist leaders, while putting forward a new class theory positing at its epicentre as an archenemy what the guerrillas call the Lumpen Petty-Bourgeois Class. The assassination and the communiqué have created havoc in the government, which has been trying to introduce a series of tough ‘Law and Order’ laws of disputable constitutional validity and judicial applicability.

The new police-state legislation introduced by the frail 1-MP majority right-wing government, which secured the backing of the tiny fascist party (LAOS), include: a) immediate extradition of any ‘foreigner’ (non-greek citizen, including EU citizens) who is accused (not convicted) for a crime that can receive a penalty of more than 3 months; b) up to 10 years imprisonment for any greek citizen who ‘helps or harbours’ ‘illegal immigrants’, doctors included; c) up to 10 years imprisonment of committing any crime or felony (from spitting on the street to murder) wearing a hood, or otherwise ‘disclosing one’s characteristics’, including heavy make-up; d) compulsory DNA sampling of anyone convicted to three months of prison or more; e) free and unlimited use of blast flash grenades by the police in dispersing crowds. The new dictatorial measures have been met with hostility of all the political world, fascists excluded, and by the Lawyer’s Union who has pledged to challenge their validity both in national and international courts.

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The Greek – Turkish diplomatic gaming with refugee lives continues while Jacques Barrot cruises the Agean…

Posted by clandestina on 30 June 2009

source:

http://www.ekathimerini.com/

Ankara snubs migrant repatriation pact

Asked about Greek calls for the reopening of the Orthodox Seminary on the island of Halki near Istanbul, Bagis said he backed it in principle but linked it to the thorny issue of the Muslim minority in Thrace. Meanwhile, Turkey’s Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay indicated, in an interview with the Turkish mass-circulation daily Milliyet, that Ankara was leaning toward reopening the seminary. “Both my personal and the general inclination is that the school will be opened,” Gunay was quoted as saying.

While Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday pledged to work together on bilateral issues in their first meeting on the sidelines of an international summit on Corfu, Turkey’s Minister for European Union Affairs revealed, in an interview published in yesterday’s Kathimerini, that Ankara would not be honoring a bilateral repatriation pact with Greece.

“We refuse to become the world’s biggest refugee camp,” Egemin Bagis said, noting that bilateral pacts such as the one signed by Athens and Ankara should only be honored if similar pacts are agreed between so-called transit countries for would-be migrants, such as Turkey, and countries of origin, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Bagis also reiterated Ankara’s opposition to the idea of a special partnership for Turkey with the EU. “We will accept nothing less than full membership. There is no alternative.”

source: http://www.ana-mpa.gr

Visit to Samos migrant centre

European Commission Vice-president Jacques Barrot, responsible for justice, freedom and security, on Monday paid a visit to reception facilities for illegal immigrants on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, accompanied by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. In statements afterwards, he acknowledged that Greek authorities faced a difficult task but also stressed Greece’s obligation to provide a refuge for immigrants arriving on its shores.

“I understand the difficulty facing the Greek government, which finds itself having to deal with an ever increasing number of migrants, as well as the obligation for Community solidarity, but also that there is an obligation on the part of the Greek government to offer refuge to the foreigners that come here,” Barrot said.

The Commissioner, upon his arrival on the island, was given a tour of the French vessel belonging to the EU Frontex agency and visited the Migrant Reception Centre on the island, where he talked with immigrants detained there.

In statements to reporters, he said that this was a more general problem that cost human lives and required cooperation with non-EU countries of origin or transit in order to be solved.

Pavlopoulos declared himself satisfied with what he had seen at the Samos centre and what the Commissioner had witnessed regarding Greece’s efforts to tackle a problem that concerned all of Europe.

“It can be understood that Greece is currently receiving the greater number of illegal immigrants. It is making huge efforts to accelerate asylum processes but, as I explained to Mr. Barrot, and as he has himself acknowledged, this does not solve the more general problem that concerns illegal immigrants who are not seeking asylum,” the minister said.

According to Pavlopoulos, coping with the economic migrants required solidarity between EU nations.

“We must carry out the agreement for migration and asylum, which means signing readmission treaties and putting pressure on countries such as Turkey to honour those agreements that exist. The solution, as Mr. Barrot will explain in Athens on Tuesday, is to look at the root of the problem, and this means that we must stamp out all this illegal trafficking of migrants that exploits human lives,” he stressed.

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The police strategy of gradually evacuating the old Court of Appeals Building

Posted by clandestina on 25 June 2009

This a rough translation of a  http://filoxenoi.wordpress.com/ report. More photos there.

clandestinenglish

dscn1639Torturers’ maneuvering

With the aim of evacuating the old Court of Appeals Building, the police do not take the risk of a public manifestation of brutality which a full blown assault on the buiding entails.  Instead of that, every day for almost a month now they keep the building surrounded by 4 patrol  vehicles, 2 on the front entrance at Socratous str. and 2 at Menandrou str. (the rear entrance). Immigrants who appear to be related with the building and those who attempt to enter or leave it are taken to the Omonoia police station, for which there have been made public many cases of  torture (this is the police station where a video was shot, and then leaked, of  some fascist in uniform forcing an immigrant to beat his friend …[clandestinenglish note: the horrendous video can be seen here].  In this way the state spreads its violence in a molecular and invisible from the public eye level.  The building  is being gradually evacuated, and this prevents effectively organized and united action against this to be taken .

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Photos from Nea Manolada – immigrant workers conditions of living

Posted by clandestina on 25 June 2009

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These are last summer photos, reproduced at: http://garizo.blogspot.com/2009/06/blog-post_25.html

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Protest march call today in Thessaloniki – “Greek and Immigrant workers united”

Posted by clandestina on 25 June 2009

poreia_metanastes_iounis_09

Down with Racism by Nea Dimokratia, PASOK, LAOS and EU
No to immigrants’ repulsions
No to concentration camps

Capitalists to pay the prices

Work and Rights for Everyone

Gathering Thursday 25th of June 7 pm

Venizelos Statue, Aristotelous square

Social, Political and Syndicalist associations

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

EU group deportations by charter flight

Posted by clandestina on 25 June 2009

“Sweep operations”, mass arrests, mass detention, group deportations with charter flights.  The Greek Government seems determined to turn this cascade of events into a routine this summer.  This is an article about the last step – charter flighsts – we found at no-racism-net.

clandestinenglish

EU group deportations by charter flight – Hamburg as forerunner

On the 29.4.2004, the European council decided to organise group flights for deporting migrants and refugees who “are required to depart”. The “rehearsal” for flights like this took place from 25 to the 26.5.04 in Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel.

The ban on night flights was lifted, the airport turned into a prison and at around 2am eight refugees from four different states were flown to Amsterdam in a KLM plane to be deported to Togo and Cameroon along with 44 other refugees from five EU countries. Since then, there has been at least seven such group deportations to Africa, not only to Togo and Cameroon but also to Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria. Further charter flights took place from Düsseldorf (see overview at :: Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg)
In July 2005 at a meeting in Evian, the so-called G5 states (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain) reaffirmed that they would plan deportations together in future. Shortly afterwards the airports in London and Paris were the setting for the joint deportation to Afghanistan. Further flights followed.

Saving costs and business

Such deportation flights are carried out with chartered aeroplanes from different airines e.g. Hamburg International (see box), Aero Flight (the company has since registered concourse), Hello (Swiss company), LTU, Westtours or the Austrian airlines Asylum Airlines founded especially for this purpose. They fly from country to country to round up detainees without valid residency permits, usually in late-night stings and with brutal violence. Or refugees are brought to the place of departure with loading planes, sometimes in small private jets. Around 140 000 euros is what a group deportation costs, and around 70 percent of this is reimbursed by the EU. “If I get the machine full, one deportee costs around 1000 Euros.
From 20 people and up, the cost per head sinks below the price of a scheduled deportation flight”, explained a leading employee of the Hamburg Immigration Authorities to the magazine “Leben” in the newspaper :: “Zeit”. But saving costs through a large number of deportees is not the main reason for carrying out group deportations. An example: In March 2008 the first charter deportation flight from Ireland took place – with only six refugees in the 110 seat machine. What is essential, is that a charter flight carrying only deportees is occupied with more than twice as many policemen, a doctor as well as employees of the involved immigration authorities and the European border protection agency Frontex, and so publicity is completely excluded and resistance is hardly possible.

Protests on charter flights with inhumane measures

In charter flights in recent years it often came to protests from passengers and some of them are on trial, for example in France. If passengers refuse to sit down then a flight cannot take off due to safety reasons. It is also possible for flight attendants to refuse to
carry out deportations. Air France had a one such a campaign with union workers in Summer 2007. The German pilot union, Cockpit, recommends its members to ask people affected by deportations whether they want to fly and if they answer “no” to refuse to transport them because otherwise, in case of death or injury from deportees, the pilot could be sued. Specialty deportation charter flights cannot expect such problems since the staff is specially chosen and mistreatment could occur unnoticed. Only afterwards, in reports from deportees, facts about the operation like medication used to “calm” them, being tied up, gagged, and hit and other illegal measures on board the charter machines were leaked to the public. The authorities justified this mistreatment by claiming that the deportees were “criminal offenders” and “violent”. It’s a fact that for authorities, “illegal” residency is a criminal act and cries of protest or resistance against being tied up or gagged are labelled as “violence” – but not what is done to the refugees.

Dieser Artikel ist mit leichten Änderungen dem :: Camp08 Reader entnommen.

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

Immigrant workers degradation practices: boss’ thugs assault Pakistanis asking their wages in Nikaea, Athens

Posted by clandestina on 24 June 2009

Two Pakistani builders in Nikaia, Athens, fell victims of their employer on Sunday. When they went to get the wages a cafe owner owed them, theywere  faced with … shooting and a wild beating!

These are Waseem Akram and Imran Qaser, who have been for long claiming their wages from the owner of the café.  On Sunday at 3.30 pm, they had an appointment in some square of the area , in order to get the money.

Instead, however, for the money, the bosses thugs appeared, firing into the air.  They assaulted and brutally beat the immigrants, shouting «lousy pakistanis, go back to your country».  They even threatened that they would report   Ouasim Akram to the police to deport him for not having documents.

info: tvxs article

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“Sweep operations” continue in the center of Athens

Posted by clandestina on 24 June 2009

According to tvxs article 400 policemen stormed once more the center of Athens.  110 people were arrested.  60 of them were “sans papiers”.

Posted in Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Charter flights to Afghanistan – the Greek state to continue deportations the whole summer

Posted by clandestina on 24 June 2009

A charter flight to Afghanistan deported Afghan immigrants yesterday, according to the newpaper Eleftherotypiatvxs.gr reports that the number of deportees was 25.  This was done in the frame of the deportations programme implemented by the ministry of interior, under which 55 Pakistanis were deported. The ministry leaks that these deportations flights will continue after agreements made with “various embassies”.  tvxs.gr reports that the number of deportees was 25.

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New law increases threat of deportation – deportation without trial over misdemeanors

Posted by clandestina on 23 June 2009

source:

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100006_23/06/2009_108300.

Emphasis added.

New law increases threat of deportation

“It is absurd for foreigners who have been in the country for a long time, including those from the European Union, to face the danger of deportation simply if they are charged with minor infractions,” said the http://www.diavatirio.net site lawyer Vassilis Chronopoulos, who foresees a backlog of cases building up in the courts.

“It is totally unacceptable in a just state for someone to face devastating consequences before it has been established in a fair trial whether he is guilty and before he has exercised every legal right to defend himself,” said an organization called Greek Action for Human Rights.

The provisions of the proposed law have prompted a backlash from human rights activists.

An amendment to Greece’s existing legislation, which could be passed through a reduced summer session of Parliament later this week, may lead to foreigners living in the country legally as well as those who are here illegally being deported over misdemeanors even if they are not convicted.

With immigration becoming a pressing political issue, the government has embarked on an effort to adopt a series of measures that will stem the flow of illegal migrants arriving on Greek shores.

Sources told Kathimerini that the amendment would allow authorities to classify as “dangerous for public order and safety” any foreigner who is charged with committing a crime that carries a prison sentence of three months or more.

This means that the person can then be deported to his homeland before even standing trial, as long as that country has signed a bilateral repatriation agreement with Greece.

Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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