Migration and Struggle in Greece

The need of oppressive states to share the risk of social unrest – “Immigration Is A Threat To Greek Democracy” says EU Commissioner

Posted by clandestina on 3 July 2009

The antagonism between states is the game under which the share of the fear or the risk of social unrest due to harsh economic and social conditions becomes itself something to be negotiated between players.   Migration “flows” are a parameter of this risk – certainly not the only one, and not the severest one , since non migrant populations have also many reasons to resist.

Notwithstanding the inter-state antagonism,  though, the best strategy for all states to have their powers unchallenged is to scapegoat someone for the domestic problems, and the best way to do that in the case of Greece is to blur preemptively any social reaction – by immigrants and non-immigrants – in the national threat / political “destabilisation” discourse.   Barrot, thus, mingles the traditional external enemy (Turkey) with the novel internal one (immigrants) for the Greek government and offers a service of disorientation. 


Source of the article.

Immigration Is A Threat To Greek Democracy – EU Commissioner

Thursday, 2 July 2009 – 17:09

BRUSSELS (AFP)–A huge flow of migrants through Turkey could threaten social unrest in Greece, European Union Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot said Thursday.

“There is a major threat to the equilibrium of the Greek democracy because of the uncontrollable flow of immigration,” Barrot told a press conference in Brussels.

Greece has accused Turkey of failing to stop clandestine immigration through Turkish territory which the Greeks say has pushed their resources to the limit.

Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos Tuesday said the number of migrants detained in Greece tripled to 148,000 in 2008 from 40,000 in 2006.

Europe’s asylum legislation puts pressure on the first E.U. country that receives applicants to handle their claims, but the rules could change in the next six months.

Immigration is causing social tension in Greece and is used as an argument by the extreme right, which saw its share of the vote rise to 7% in recent European parliamentary elections.

Barrot visited Greece this week and called on Turkey to do more to tackle clandestine immigration.

“Turkey has to help us fight the facilitators and the traffickers who push people to make risky journeys,” he said in Brussels.

“We can’t simply remain motionless. We have to get much firmer control from the Turkish government. We would also encourage the Turks to sign a readmission agreement,” the French commissioner said.

He added that he would like to see readmission agreements with Pakistan and other Asian nations, from where some would-be migrants begin their journeys.

Barrot said he intended to relaunch debate on immigration during an informal meeting of E.U. interior and justice ministers in Stockholm July 15-16.

E.U. nations Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta are in the frontline of the battle against migrants without papers and are gearing up for the summer wave of arrivals by sea.

Other E.U. nations refuse to be constrained to accept numbers of asylum seekers to help the four, with some stressing that they have to concentrate on the E.U.’s eastern borders in the former Soviet Union.

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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