Migration and Struggle in Greece

Archive for the ‘Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research’ Category

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 »

Posted in Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Leave a Comment »


Posted by clandestina on 1 October 2012

The manufacturing of a populist ultra-right “movement”
and 6 myths about migrants in Greece

Α lot has been written about how we decide to discuss political affairs without falling into the trap of simplifying facts and taking power structures for granted. Power structures are for granted however until they are challenged. A few years ago Greek Universities and the bar culture were still a paradise for Erasmus students, the islands an agreeable yet maybe increasingly expensive place for vacation.

And it was plain to see, almost everywhere, that a significant part of the population, and that does not only include youth, subscribed to a kind of rhetoric of anti-authoritarianism and vague social justice. Public spaces in the cities were often used as commons, and it was much more fashionable to be an anarchist than a neonazi.

This has changed. We will try to merely outline, rather than to explain, this change, and will point to a simple fact: That today we are experiencing a devaluation of labor and life in Greece and that this seems to be part of a larger picture. This larger picture has been described in different ways… Subcomandante Marcos declaring, in 1997, that the 4th World War has begun, has given a lucid account of it:

“…[T]here is a proliferation of “regional wars” and “internal conflicts”; capital follows paths of atypical accumulation; and large masses of workers are mobilised. Result: a huge rolling wheel of millions of migrants moving across the planet. As “foreigners” in that “world without frontiers” which had been promised by the victors of the cold war, they are forced to endure racist persecution, precarious employment, the loss of their cultural identity, police repression, hunger, imprisonment and murder (…) The objective of neoliberalism’s migration policy is more to destabilise the world labour market than to put a brake on immigration. The fourth world war – with its mechanisms of destruction/depopulation and reconstruction/reorganisation – involves the displacement of millions of people. Their destiny is to wander the world, carrying the burden of their nightmare with them, so as to constitute a threat to workers who have a job, a scapegoat designed to make people forget their bosses, and to provide abasis for the racism that neoliberalism provokes…” (Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, The fourth world war has begun, 1997)


The place: Greece, the time: 2012

Some stills of an undeclared war

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | 1 Comment »

Human Rights Watch report: Xenophobic Violence in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 10 July 2012

Hate on the Streets

The 99-page report documents the failure of the police and the judiciary to prevent and punish rising attacks on migrants. Despite clear patterns to the violence and evidence that it is increasing, the police have failed to respond effectively to protect victims and hold perpetrators to account, Human Rights Watch found. Authorities have yet to develop a preventive policing strategy, while victims are discouraged from filing official complaints. No one has been convicted under Greece’s 2008 hate crime statute.

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

Almost daily by now the murderous racist attacks in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 26 June 2012


A report by Infomobile

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | 2 Comments »

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 »

Posted in Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Leave a Comment »

907 kilometres from Orestiada to Athena

Posted by clandestina on 26 June 2012

A reportage by Mauro Prandelli

907 kilometres is the distance to reach the Omonia quarter, in the centre of Athena, leaving from the Greek-Turkish border. This is a political border represented by the Evros river, the 160 km natural borderline between two countries, Greece and Turkey, but also between two worlds, two cultures. This river is the gateway for many migrants who try to enter into Europe from the East, it is the oriental gate of Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Leave a Comment »

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:

Posted in Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Leave a Comment »

Europe needs migrants despite the crisis, says commissioner

Posted by clandestina on 26 July 2011

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Migrants are often an unexploited asset that national governments should be using to help lift their economies out of crisis, EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstom has said.

“Many member states have failed in migrant integration. There is so much competence around us, trained physicists, engineers cleaning our stairs, doing jobs they are clearly overqualified for,” Malmstrom told reporters when presenting the results of an EU-wide survey on the integration of migrants.

Noting that integration is firstly a matter of local and then national authorities, with the EU able only to facilitate the sharing of good practices, she recalled how the region of western Sweden recruited 65 doctors among existing migrants who were working as bus drivers and in other jobs for which they were over-qualified.

“With one year of language training and a little updating of their skills, these people were able to be hired as doctors. In the end it was much cheaper than educating for six-seven years someone, giving him or her training and waiting to have enough experience to be hired,” she said.

But Malmstrom admitted that things have changed in the past ten years and that xenophobia is on the rise even in the traditionally migrant-friendly Scandinavian countries.

“We can see out of the analysis that there is a fear of migrants. The scepticism towards migration is there and big,” she said about the results of the first Eurobarometer on migrant integration.

Some of these negative feelings are related to bad integration, the feeling that migrants don’t make enough effort to learn the national language, the study shows.

“But it’s also because people knew very few migrants. They live parallel lives, they have no Swedish friends, their kids have no Swedish classmates.”

Malmstrom invoked economic and demographic arguments – that migrants are needed to fill the gap of a national working force going abroad, as is often the case in eastern European countries, and that of an ageing population in western Europe.

With migrants having contributed, for instance, to 30 percent of Spain’s economic growth before the crisis hit, the commissioner insisted that migrants continue to be needed even as the crisis forced many Spaniards into unemployment.

“Why should people pay for the collapse of the boom? Many businesses still say we can’t find people to do jobs such as picking strawberries,” she noted.

Amid budget cuts all over Europe, social programmes for migrant integration are often a preferred target.

“Here is where EU money could help. I’ve proposed to the European Parliament for only two funds to be set up in the big home affairs area – security and migration – to replace the existing six funds with six different legal bases,” the commissioner said.


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

Last winter Corfu shipwreck sans papiers death toll: a 16-year-old afghan refugee testimony

Posted by clandestina on 23 July 2011


Dublin-Deaths between Kerkyra/Greece and Bari/Italy

The following testimony of Amin Fedaii, a 16-year-old afghan refugee, is alarming. On January 15th 2011 more than 20 refugees (mainly from Afghanistan) died while trying to flee from Greece and to reach their relatives and friends in other European countries.

The asylum system in the crisis-ridden Mediterranean country has entirely collapsed. Refugees cannot find protection neither any income and often even no accommodation. Against this background deportations to Greece according the Dublin II-regulation have been stopped in many European Countries, but the affected persons got stuck in unbearable conditions in Athens or in the harbour-cities of Patras and Igoumenitsa. While EU-citizens can travel without any problems, refugees are trapped: a regular exit is refused, although they have – particularly if they come from war-zones like Afghanistan – good chances to receive a residence permit on humanitarian grounds in many EU-countries.

Amin survived and is now living in an accomodation for minor refugees in Hessen, Germany. But he had to experience the meaningless death of 20 persons by drowning, because firstly entry and afterwards their rescue has been refused: 20 more victims of a merciless european border regime, which obviously is calculating with the death of refugees. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Interviews and Testimonies, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Greece: Detention centres make migrants more ill

Posted by clandestina on 20 June 2011

Athens, 15 June 2011 – Inhumane living conditions in migrants’ detention facilities in the Evros region of Greece are causing major health concerns for detainees according to a new report published today by the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières MSF (Doctors Without Borders).

According to MSF medical data, more than 60 percent of the medical problems faced by detained migrants – who have attempted to cross the border between Turkey and Greece – are directly caused by or linked to the degrading conditions in which they are being held.

Out of the 1,809 patients treated by MSF doctors between December 2010 and March 2011, 1,147 were diagnosed with respiratory tract infections, body pains, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disorders, psychological complaints and skin diseases.

“Most of the migrants we have treated were not ill when they first entered the detention facilities. They fell sick having being held in overcrowded cells lacking proper ventilation, with water and sanitation problems, no quality food and no possibility to spend time outdoors,” says Ioanna Pertsinidou, coordinator of MSF’s project for migrants in Greece.

During the first two months of 2011, at least 22 people died in their efforts to cross the border in Evros.

From MSF’s experience working in the detention centre at Filakio and border police stations at Tychero, Soufli and Feres, there is no evidence indicating that migrants entering Greece pose a public health risk to Greek society, as recently stated by Greece’s Minister of Health.

On the contrary, it is the inhumane living and hygiene conditions in these facilities – where some migrants are kept for up to six months – that are causing significant deterioration to their physical and mental health. These conditions increase the risk of communicable disease outbreaks, as was also stated in a report published in May 2011 by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization.

MSF urges Greek authorities to ensure dignified living conditions in detention facilities, including appropriate accommodation, sufficient distribution of food, clothing and personal hygiene items, and adequate periods of time outdoors.

It is essential to ensure migrants receive adequate medical care and mental healthcare, to initiate systematic medical screening for new arrivals, and to support timely follow-up of chronic diseases. The Ministries of Health and Citizens Protection should ensure coordination among the involved stakeholders – locally, nationally and at EU level – and maximise the timely use of existing funds and resources.

In early March 2011, MSF handed over its medical activities to teams deployed by the Ministry of Health, but continues to distribute relief items to detained migrants. Despite the availability of European funds, conditions in the detention facilities have not improved.


For more information or interviews, please contact Alice Klein on 020 7067 4230 or via

Notes to editor

To download the full report, click here.

MSF has been providing medical care and psychosocial support to migrants and asylum seekers in Greece since 1996. Since the beginning of December 2010, MSF teams have been providing healthcare and working to improve living and hygiene conditions in the border police stations of Tychero, Soufli and Feres and in the detention centre of Filakio. MSF doctors have treated 1,809 migrants, 18 of whom were under five years old. MSF psychologists have provided mental health support to 75 migrants. MSF staff have distributed over 8,480 sleeping bags, over 15,500 pairs of socks, 4,500 pairs of gloves, 4,500 hats and 10,000 hygiene kits.

Posted in Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Leave a Comment »