Migration and Struggle in Greece

Archive for December, 2011

Three more dead immigrants (including a child) in Evros

Posted by clandestina on 27 December 2011

The dead bodies of a 59-year-old woman with her 12-year-old son were found yesterday near the village Ferres in Evros area. According to documents found on them, they were from Iran. Another dead body, of a 25-30 year-old man of African origin was found near the village Petrades.

On December 22 another dead immigrant was found near village Peplos.

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Some news from Greece

Posted by clandestina on 25 December 2011

On the morning of Friday December 23, a demonstration was held in the city of Patras. It was organized after a 16-year old Afghan was left severely injured during a police operation in an informal settlement set up by Afghan refugees in the near-by town of Rio.  The demonstration started from at the deserted building of Piraiki Patraiki, a former factory, used by Afghan refugees for shelter. About 400 people, mainly immigrants and people in solidarity participated in a demonstration that lasted 2,5 hours and went through various neighborhoods as well as through the center of Patras, all decorated for christmas.
The immigrants held up four banners, saying:
– What about our future and our destiny?
– We too are humans and we have the right to live
– Stop police brutality, we want to live with security, we need human rights (this banner was in both Greek and English)


  •  One of the 300 hunger strikers (of the immigrants’ victorious hunger strike between January and March 2011)  was deported. The police claims that he had a Schengen warrant pending in Italy. Lawyers and solidarity groups tried to help, but could not prevent the deportation.
  • On December 22 the corpse of a man, probably between 25 and 30 years old, was found near Peplos, in the Greco-Turkish border region of Evros. He died attempting to cross the border by swimming through the river Evros/ Maritza.
  • For two months, since October 2011, a building in the center of Thessaloniki owned by the French Catholic Church, which had been deserted for almost a decade, was squatted  by over 40 homeless Greeks, immigrants and activists.  EPIVIOSI (=”Survival) was the first such experimental occupation in Greece: It was an open place with a general assembly, where anyone without shelter could fix themselves their own room and benefit from the construction workers’ collective in the squat, as well as enjoy common meals and language lessons. It was evicted, under pressure by the French State, on December 13th.
  • On December 12, the general assembly of street vendors from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Senegal, Nigeria, Turkey and other countries entered Thessaloniki town hall during city’s council weekly meeting and addressed the mayor. One of them read out their text, demanding the city council end police attacks against street vendors and stating that they will not become scape goats for the crisis.
  • On the 7th of December, one day after the anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a cop in 2008 and the demos that were held all over Greece, a group of African street vendors on the central street of Patision in Athens, were attacked by municipal police. Such attacks are not uncommon, neither are the reactions. This time the street vendors fought back furiously, forcing municipal police to leave the spot and call riot police forces for help. The immigrants counterattacked again and managed to push away the riot police squadron. Shocked with what they saw, some right-wingers recorded the retreat of the riot police and uploaded it on youtube for all to enjoy:

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Witness to immigrant’s murder is beaten up by policemen

Posted by clandestina on 18 December 2011

On Saturday December 3, 2011, a 33-year-old Kurd immigrant was beaten up by policemen of the Pyrgos Monofatsiou police department (Crete, Greece). Ahmed Salin has the “misfortune” to be the sole prosecution witness against the port police officers who in 2009 beaten to death Kurd immigrant Arivan Osman Aziz in Igoumenitsa. Read the rest of this entry »

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More immigrants deported by EU-funded flights

Posted by clandestina on 16 December 2011

A charter plane carrying 42 Pakistani and 41 Afghani nationals left Athens for Islamabad and Kabul on Thursday (December 15, 2011). The same day 24 Egyptians, 1 Sudanese, 1 Ukrainian and 1 Rumanian were deported by cargo planes and 7 Albanians were deported by police vans. All deportation were funded by EU.

A similar deportation took place on December 1, 2011, one more on November, 10, 2011 and another one on October 19, 2011. Since March 2011, when Greece deported some 73 Dominicans, expulsion flights are taking place on a monthly basis.

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50 immigrants on hunger strike

Posted by clandestina on 8 December 2011

On Saturday, December 3, 2011, 50 immigrants held at the Alikarnassos Police department in Heraklion, Crete, started a hunger strike. They did this to protest against their imprisonment conditions: they are let to starve, with no medical care. They leave their prison cells only to go to the toilets. When they protested about these conditions in the past, they got beaten up by police officers. So their only solution was the hunger strike. Most of them are refugees from countries like Syria, where the repressive regimes force them to migrate seeking for a better life. The hunger strike ended on Friday, December 9.

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“Migrants needed to fill job shortages in the EU”

Posted by clandestina on 3 December 2011

AFTER years spent trying to build “Fortress Europe” to keep undocumented migrants out of the European Union, Brussels now wants to make it easier for immigrants to get in and boost the 27-member bloc’s economies.
The European Commission is now proposing a new policy on migration and mobility which will benefit both sides of the immigration fence – the EU and the source countries.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s home affairs commissioner, said migrants should be able to get visas faster, find jobs matching their skills more easily and send money to family members back home more cheaply.
Her plan calls for closer cooperation with non-EU neighbouring countries, as well as those in Africa and the East, in order to attract more short-term students, researchers and business people and families.
The EU needs immigrant workers to fill gaps of a shrinking workforce.
Cracking open the EU’s door to legal immigration has been on Brussels’ table since 2005 when the commission unveiled plans to lure highly-skilled migrants to the 27-member bloc. In 2007, the commission warned the 27-member bloc will need millions of new workers to compensate for an ageing population.
A common policy on migration will contribute to the EU’s economic growth and competitiveness, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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16-year-old sans-papiers killed in FRONTEX-aided police pursuit

Posted by clandestina on 3 December 2011

A 16-year-old boy from Syria, trying to enter Greece from Turkey, lost his life in a police pursuit in the border region of  Evros on Thursday, December 1, 2011. The boy was found dead when the vehicle driven by a smuggler lost control and was overturned in the area of ​​Makri, Evros.
The incident happened when Greek border policemen and officials of FRONTEX tried to immobilize two vehicles carrying sans papiers immigrants, moving on Egnatia Odos towards the city of Komotini. The smugglers speeded up and managed to escape.
After a while there was a second attempt by the police to stop the vehicles, at the Makri junction.  One of the vehicles crashed, while the second managed to escape. In the vehicle, policemen found a 36-year-old smuggler, two injured immigrants and the dead 16-year-old boy from Syria.

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Immigrants deported by EU-funded flight

Posted by clandestina on 3 December 2011

A charter plane carrying 33 Pakistani and 43 Afghani nationals left Athens for Lahore and Kabul, police said on Wednesday (December 1, 2011), noting that deportation orders had been issued for the immigrants.

A similar deportation took place on November, 10, 2011 and another one on October 19, 2011. Since March 2011, when Greece deported some 73 Dominicans, expulsion flights are taking place on a monthly basis.

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Germany: Dublin II deportations to Greece suspended for another year

Posted by clandestina on 3 December 2011

The German Ministry of Interior informed in a letter that deportations to Greece under the Dublin II Regulation will be suspended for another year. The letter states that despite initial changes in the treatment of asylum seekers in Greece the asylum system still does not comply with European standards.
The moratorium is valid until 12th of January 2013.

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