Migration and Struggle in Greece

Archive for the ‘Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases’ Category

The figure of Xeni: a politics of ideology in the Greek State

Posted by clandestina on 5 January 2015

Analysis on the situation of the “strangers” in Greece, contributed by a Clandestina blog reader

Greece has successfully created a reputation as an unwelcoming environment for asylum seekers at all levels of society and recast Greek citizens as victims. The success of the government and other right wing organisation such as the Golden Dawn has been to create a fantasy where the figure of the immigrant takes the form of a symptom of wider social issues. Although this construction does by no means appeal to all Greek citizens, it is a growing trend that can be seen to justify unofficial immigration policy and policing.

The images of Greek refugee camps are an extreme example of this split of opinion. While it shocked many people, it is believed by some that they were released, like the publicised torture images supposedly leaked from Guantanamo Bay, not to denounce brutality but to advertise it. It demonstrated an active government, who had discovered and could now display a unified and identifiable figure responsible for a variety condensed social antagonisms and frailties.
Yet the condensation of social problems into a identifiable figure is not sufficient to account for the way the immigrant captures desire that drives this politics. To understand its full force we must take into account the way xeni enters the framework of fantasy, in turn structuring a certain patriotic enjoyment or jouissance. For Slavoj Zizek defined as “a scenario filling out the empty space of a fundamental impossibility”, is easily applied to the domain of ideology. A basic social-ideological fantasy is often constructed as a vision of Society without antagonism of any sort. The most popular view in the past and still employed today is of Society as an organism, where all its different parts contribute to the operating of an harmonious whole according to their function.

Read the text: The figure of the “Xeni”

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Luxembourg the 5th of June, 2014

Posted by clandestina on 6 June 2014


See pictures

See video

Today we were brutally attacked by police forces in Luxembourg during our peaceful blockade action against the summit of the European Council. While the Ministers of Interior Affairs of every EU member state were sitting inside behind closed doors speaking about the Mediterranean Task Force, the new Executive Director of Frontex as well as better ways to administrate the Schengen Area. As the agenda of the summit concerns us, the victims of their laws and policies, we wanted to send representatives of the Protest March for Freedom to read out our demands, since our voices – as a group that‘s fighting for the rights of the oppressed – should be the priority topic of such a summit. Our peaceful blockade got violently smashed by the police and security forces in and around the conference building. During their whole operation the police was not communicating with us in any way, even though most of the officers speak three languages (english, french and german). They ignored all our attempts to talk with them in order to explain to them that we want to talk in behalf of the refugees during the summit. Pepper spray attacks, beating with battons, kicks and bites of the police dogs were the only answer we received. The police also told us that in case we move further into the building where the summit took place, they have the authority to use their guns against us. Many of us got injured.

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Pushed Back – refoulement of refugees at the Greek-Turkish land and sea border

Posted by clandestina on 8 November 2013

On the Greek-Turkish land border refugees are systematically refouled with brutal, shocking and systematic violations of human rights: ‘When they left us in the Turkish waters they made waves again and six of us – all men – fell into the sea. The Greeks saw that, but they didn’t help, they just left.’ PRO ASYL documents these systematic pushback in the report “Pushed Back – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and the greek-turkish land border”. With few exceptions, all documented pushback took place in the area of ​​operations of Frontex. PRO ASYL raises the question of the involvement of Frontex on the human rights violations and calls: Frontex must end its operations in Greece.

Summary (in German):

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Wasim’s story and the cruel fate of refugees in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 5 October 2013

Many men, women and children continue to die at the borders of Europe as they flee their homeland. If they survive, they will be treated as criminals.

By Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones

Wasim is a refugee from Syria. In late July he was dropped by boat on a remote, densely wooded and rocky shore of Samos island, with his wife, young son and baby daughter. Without enough water or food, he swam to find help. Ignored by passing boats, he eventually found help, and from there went to the police. He was immediately arrested and held for a subsequent six weeks. Throughout this time and despite, from the beginning, pleas that someone look for his wife and children, he heard nothing from or about them. Six weeks later he would find them dead.

We first met Wasim Abo Nahi at the beginning of September. He had just returned to Samos island in the eastern Aegean from Athens, where he had been held for processing as an undocumented refugee. He was accompanied by his nephew, Abdalah and Mohammed, a friend from Athens. All of them are Palestinian refugees. Read the rest of this entry »

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Migrants: another political carnage

Posted by clandestina on 3 October 2013

The following one is the English translation of the statement published by the Coordinamento Migranti after the death of hundreds migrants in the Sicily channel on October 3rd, 2013. 

Hundreds migrants dead today add thousands migrants dead in the last twenty years. Besides numbers, these carnages are “normal” since the Europe of Schengen, celebrating the internal freedom of movement, homogenized the system of residence permit while pretending that the countries on the border “filter” migrants’ movement. The true face of Schengen was exposed by the European Council few hours before this carnage took place: Italy is too “sweet” in managing arriving migrants. This discourse is certainly appreciated by the right-wingh parties of Europe but also by the Italian president Napolitano. He is so happy that Italy has a government, that he pretends to govern foreign coasts. The father of the law which paved the way to the Bossi-Fini is consistent with himself, just like the Lega nord – usually racist – and the Movimento 5 stelle, which opposed the jus soli and now reaffirms its State politics by calling an help of European Union in controlling Italian borders. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reuters: Tortured, detained and ordered out: a migrant’s tale in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 7 December 2012

By Renee Maltezou and Deepa Babington

SALAMINA, Greece | Thu Dec 6, 2012 11:57am EST

(Reuters) – Egyptian immigrant Waleed Taleb says demanding his unpaid wages in Greece came at a heavy price; 18 hours chained and beaten by his boss, a stint in jail and orders to leave the country he calls home.

One of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who toil in Greece’s black labor market, Taleb had just finished cleaning the bakery where he worked one November morning on the island of Salamina when he sparked his boss’s fury.

What followed would end up symbolizing how migrants have become among the biggest and most defenseless victims of Greece’s economic crisis, facing racist attacks, police apathy and a system that punishes them rather than their assailants. Read the rest of this entry »

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Racist Violence Against Migrants By Greek Police

Posted by clandestina on 27 November 2012


Dozens of unknown incidents of racist violence, arbitrariness and abuse of office by members of the Greek Police are publish today in Sunday edition of news paper TO ETHNOS. Torture, insulting and even theft are the among the complaints filed by migrants and migrants human rights organisations.

A list of cases records the appalling detains of fascist practices by member of Greek police, practices that are completely ‘harmonized’ with the practices of extreme right Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi).

Among the cases under investigation by the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Police are: torture, insults of sexual dignity, theft, extortion, but also destruction of legal document.

From the preliminary results of the investigation, it looks as if in the majority of the incidents listed, the police officers involved apparently keep -in addition to a common mindset – also ‘loyal’ relations with the Golden Dawn.

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Hunger strike of migrant detainees in Mytilini and racist attacks against homeless newcomers

Posted by clandestina on 24 November 2012


On Tuesday November 20 some of the migrants detained in Mytilini police station for undocumented entry into Greece through the Turkish border started a hunger strike in order to protest against the humiliating detention conditions and the long detention periods. They struggle for freedom. It is not known how many of them continue the struggle and if some have been already released or not.

Arrivals of migrants have started again this summer, fastly exceeding the capacities of detention cells in the local police stations of the island. Due to the general order “to keep them as long as possible in detention” overcrowdedness amongst others has been reported throughout the four months to worsen the detention conditions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Almost daily by now the murderous racist attacks in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 26 June 2012


A report by Infomobile

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A wall against the immigration : Evros river, the oriental gate of Europe

Posted by clandestina on 26 June 2012

A reportage by Mauro Prandelli

Evros river is the 160 km natural borderline between Greece and Turkey, Europe and Asia and since 2007 one of the preferential ways for the immigration to Europe.
Riverside had been planned the construction of a ditch and the first 15 kilometres were ready in August 2011. The initial project, later considered to be too expensive, was then changed into a double barrier of wire-netting and barbed wire. Read the rest of this entry »

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