clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘zero immigration’

Zero tolerance terror against immigrants once more in Igoumenitsa

Posted by clandestina on 2 February 2010

In recent days, a wave of police terror has swept the port town of Igoumenitsa on the Ionian sea side of Greece. This is one of the main gateways to Italy and immigrants o try there to get into ferries to Italy. This is the town where one year ago the Kurd refugee from Iraq Arivan Abdullah Osman had been severly injured on the 3rd of April at Igoumenitsa port by Port police men – he died in hospital a couple of months after.

Zero tolerance terror was implemented once more against sans papiers of the area. As athens indymedia users report, in the last days of January police operation tried to clear up the makeshift nylon huts immigrants had to protect themselves from the harsh winter conditions. The police not only destroyed the huts but also burnt people’s clothes and blankets.

After the barbarity was made known people of the area and near cities provided immigrants with clothes and necessary things, but this was not the end of the story.

The police, some days after the destruction of the settlement, raided once more towns’ spots where immigrants gather, they beat and arrested dozens, who were then kept in detention cells of the police stations, under “Guantanamo” conditions. There has been rumour that gunshots could be heard during the operations.

A solidarity committee has been formed in the town and is working on practical solidarity issues. Their next meeting is on Thursday, February 6, at the Igoumenitsa Technical University premises.

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On the much discussed bill on citizenship

Posted by clandestina on 26 January 2010

The proposed legislation to grant citizenship to some second generation immigrants puts partially an end to their chronic status of being hostages in the country where they were born and have lived so far their lives .   However, this bill, which is ostensibly  introduced to correct at least partially an injustice,  does hold many pitfalls:

1) Children’s “legalisation” depends on the “legality” of their parents. As has been repeatedly stressed, no sans papiers can benefit from the proposed naturalization process.

2) The proposed conditions for granting citizenship turn the latter into a “certificate of social conscience” [as the one issued by post-civil war police or army authorities certifying that its owner was not a communist – thereof employable in the public sector and entitled to various other rights]; those eligible and finally granted citizenship will be under the constant threat of having their citizenship removed; moreover, one to be eligible for the naturalisation process ”must have not been convicted to a prison sentence of at least one year for a period of ten years prior to the application, must have not been convicted of offences against the state, (…) of resistance to authority [for instance, resistance to arrest], of slander” as well as “of facilitating the transfer or the provision of shelter to illegal immigrants or of breaches of legislation concerning the settlement and movement of aliens in Greece.”

3) Proposed army recruitment of immigrants (a relief for the army ranks in view of the growing reluctance among Greek youth to draft) adds to the exploitative blackmail that makes legal residence dependent on work revenue stamps (immigrant active workforce’s contributions with no pension claims so far have been so far the Greek administrations preferred approach for dealing with the ailing public insurance funds); the unacceptably high fee (1,000 euros per person which means millions of euros for the state ) is maintained.

4) The much debated bill is merely an integration regulation for immigrants mostly from Albania, after two decades of overexploitation and in exchange for votes.  On April 28, 2009 Albania formally applied for EU membership. This prospect might seem remote, but wasn’t it the same with Romania and Bulgaria some years ago? Thus, although it now seems that the naturalization process applies and is of interest for the majority of immigrants in Greece, in a few years, when the Albanians will be EU citizens, the now proposed regulation will only aplly to a very small minotirty of immigrants. In fact, those in the worst position now will be then further devalued. The division into ‘goods’ and ‘bads’, ‘useful’ and ‘superfluous’, ‘legal’ and ‘clandestine’ immigrants is being petrified as the global system of exploitation deepens.

Alongside with the proposal of the “benefactory” bill the Greek state has been all the more stressing its commitment to “zero tolerance” policies, the “sealing” of the borders, deportation camps, the Pact on Immigration and Asylum, the Dublin II Regulation, the Schengen Treaty, the Outrageous Directive. Finally, we should remind that the law provision for deporting immigrants charged (not convicted) of minor misdeeds on “public order and security” grounds is still in effect.

Clandestina network, January 2010

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PASOK: scary “zero illegal immigration” fantasies…

Posted by clandestina on 14 June 2009

PASOK ‘s plan for winning the next elections with the majority needed for forming a government with no need for coalitions: bargaining on anti-immigrant sentiments to attract xenophobic voters.

source: ANA-MPA.gr

clandestinenglish

PASOK: 8-point plan for zero illegal migration

Main opposition leader George Papandreou outlined an eight-point plan for zero illegal migration in Greece, in an article appearing in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper.

According to Papandreou, the New Democracy (ND) government, in its five years in office, has lacked a migration policy. “The lack of such a policy by ND has made our society an open field. And we are all living this anomy. In Omonoia square, in the historic center of Athens In Kypseli and in Patras, from Agathonissi island to Aghios Panteleiomonas and so many other areas of our country,” Papandreou wrote, adding “this can’t go on”.

He charged that, instead of having a serious and responsibile policy on the issue, ND had opted for “spasmodic policies” for the sake of impressions, with vote-attracting aims, “which are based on intolerance and racism” rather than “a well[governed democratic state that guarantees the just state for every person”.

PASOK, he continued, has a specific plan regarding the phenomena of migration, political refugees and illegal migration, “a plan that ensures that the migrant in our country, the political refugee, will creatively contribute to our country’s development, prosperity, culture and its presence in international affairs”.

PASOK’s plan comprises eight points: zero tolerance for illegal migration, aimed at 0 percent illegal migrants; reinforcement of guarding of the country’s borders and strong demand in the EU for further funding and support for the protection of “our common borders”; implementation of the international and bilateral agreements, and particularly the Illegal Migrant Readmission Protocol that has been signed and was in the past applied with Turkey; drafting of a common humanitarian policy by the EU that will guarantee the equal assumption of the burdens regarding political refugees by all the EU member states, and not only by the countries of entrance of the refugees; clarification of Greece’s policy on refugees, speedy ruling by the Greek authorities on who is eligible for political asylum and on who is a non-legal migrant and should be readimitted to the country of origin; assimilation of legal migrants into the Greek society through serous policies on education, combatting black (uninsured) work, granting of citizenship to those who fulfill the requirements, and especially to second-generation youths; formulation and implementation of a planned policy to attract workers in sectors with large seasonal or more permanent needs, and a comprehensive approach to migration policy in Greece by a ministry with specialised services; and a special program for the reorganisation of the country’s cities and neighborhoods, with special focus on the neighborhoods that are turning into ghettos, through substantial public investments, a systematic housing policy for migrants, and guarantees for peaceful coexistence and social cohesion in the Greek society.

PASOK, Papandreou concluded, will continue its initiatives in that area. It will continue to unfold its polices on the issues faced by the Greek society, aiming at a well-governed state and the security and protection of the citizens’ human rights.

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