The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Immigration Clampdown

UPDATE: The latest report on the clampdown from the BBC

Greece has long-needed to formulate a comprehensive strategy on immigration. Asylum recognition is less than 1% (the lowest in Europe). Undocumented immigrants are stranded here mostly without support of any kind, let alone legal assistance. The bureaucracy makes it almost impossible for anyone to obtain any kind of legal status. Detention centres are squalid and inhumane and brutality by the authorities is common. There has been a complete unwillingness to do anything that requires long-term planning, thought or understanding. Money is always given as the reason but the truth is that there is a deep lack of interest or caring about those people who come here seeking a better life.

Recently there has been a flurry of activity, spurred on by the Laos party (far-right) wins in the European parliament. Laos have joined forces with New Democracy (Conservative ruling party) and come up with a “plan” that panders to the fears of the general population that immigrants are taking over their country. A myth perpetrated by the far-right and helped along by the Conservatives and the MSM.

They are bringing in harsher laws that allow undocumented people to be rounded up and held in detention for up to a year (previously 3 months) and then deported.

They plan to hold those that they round up in new detention centres in disused military bases around the country

Via the Global Post

“It’s not a solution to have more and more detention centers. It’s not a solution to the migration or refugee problems,” said Georgia Trismpioti, director of the Greek branch of Amnesty International. “They did not commit any crime. Their only ‘crime,’ so to say, is just to enter another country to find political asylum or to find a better condition of life.”

A recent report by the Council of Europe, based on 2008 visits to a number of detention sites, found that despite some progress, conditions in Greek facilities remained unacceptable and that migrants ran a “considerable risk of being ill-treated.”

Other human rights groups have found similar problems with existing centers.

“The detention centers in the islands of the Aegean Sea, in Samos for instance, in Evros, which is close to Turkey, where a lot of asylum seekers are detained — the conditions are deplorable,” Trismpioti said.

They have bulldozed the camp in the port town of Patras, arresting anyone who didn’t escape before the destruction (including 44 minors) who will be held until they are deported.

I predict that over the coming months, there will be a visible drop in the numbers of immigrants on the streets of Athens and other main cities which will please the 62% of Greeks who believe that immigrants are harming the country and the ruling party can take credit and gain popularity for “solving the immigration problem”.

What most people will not hear about is the fate of all those people who are rounded up and held in internment camps. They will not hear about the abuses that will occur or the conditions that they will live in. They will not hear about the lack of legal access or the nature of the deportations. They will not hear about the children who face enormous hardship without family to support them. It will be a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.

Immigrants are voiceless, powerless and of little interest to the majority of the population. Even a recent conference (July 6th) on “Immigration Policies: Problems and Prospects” held in Delphi, had no immigrant speakers. (Athens Plus 10/7/09)

What can I say ? I am seriously worried about the fate of all immigrants in this country. I am pessimistic about my own future in Greece and I have the “right kind of passport !”. Some of my detractors will be pleased to know that we are seriously considering leaving. Not just because of the current immigration clampdown but because of years of being caught in this general lack of progress in everyday affairs from education to health to even the phone company. After fifteen years of effort and hard work and in the end going nowhere, we are feeling defeated. And this latest show of force against immigrants is just part of that.

This post is not about me and my family though. I just wanted to illustrate a point. We have documents, we are legal, we work, we rent a flat, we have water, electricity, central heating, we pay our bills, we have a social life, we have computers, we go out and eat occasionally, we take small trips once a year, we have family, we have friends and yet we are still feeling defeated. Even some of our closest Greek friends are feeling defeated in their own country. I cannot imagine how those people who have none of our privileges are feeling. How scared they must be. How hopeless they must feel.

I just can’t imagine.

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  1. Xenos
    July 14, 2009    

    I agree with all of this, DD. Basically, Greece has been taken over by a mindless right-wing nationalist mentality (same goes for Pasok and Syriza), as a way of avoiding taking responsibility. Responsibility for what?.. for the complete lack of progress in every area of everyday life, the massive increases in the criminality and corruption of Greeks, and the generally miserable mentality of the population.

    What, more than anything else, makes me personally angry is the illegal behaviour of the entire state and large swathes of the population… along with the hypocrisy, when they dare to complain about “illegal” immigrants. And let’s not forget the appalling disgrace of the Plevris trial, with his fascist son defending (who is now in the European Parliament, God help us).. where it is clear that very many (if not most) Greek judges are racists and have no interest in upholding the laws of Greece. Or the judge who was convicted of corruption but was just released “on health grounds”. Effectively, there is no justice system; in any case, it looks in worse shape than the one in Pakistan.

    This arrogance and fakery is absolutely offensive and demands a reaction from all decent people who have the misfortune to be living in Greece at this time.

  2. AshvaIkkosHorsie
    July 14, 2009    

    The first part of this:

    “the massive increases in the criminality and corruption of Greeks”

    is overblown (also as regards illegal immigrants; that’s a point that ‘anti-immigrationists’ very frequently take into account, though false).

    Corruption is a problem and I also agree with your (ridiculously worded) last paragraph.

    “Some of my detractors will be pleased to know that we are seriously considering leaving.”

    Sorry to hear this. Did a similar “lack of progress” force you to leave the UK?

  3. Travlos Konstantinos
    July 14, 2009    

    Diva I would advise you to persevere. Things are going to be a lot worst in the rest of Europe(were state are more efficient in everything, as well as prosecution). We all know what is going to happen here. ND will clamp down on immigrants until the polls show that it has 1% or 1.5% advantage over Pasok if elections were to be declared the next month. Then it will declare new elections. It is the old story once more. LAOS will poll worst then it thought it will in the national elections, as the ND anti-immigrant measures will take some of the wind from it’s sails. Then it will be a question of whether Papandreou and Pasok can actually persuade that they are able to win elections (I doubt it). Then it will be back to usual with no real immigration reform (one way or another). Even if Pasok wins you won’t have immigration reform. So just persevere a little bit longer. Remember this is going on in all of Europe and it will intensify, and coming to the US in this economic climate ain’t a smart choice.

    Anyway, do you really wanna give Edmund (Nemesist) the satisfaction :)?

  4. Xenos
    July 14, 2009    

    AshvaIkkosHorsie: I cannot speak for DD, but one of my several reasons for leaving the UK was the lack of control of extremist politicians (e.g. Thatcher)by the educated population. The populism which essentially started with Thatcher, but resumed very starkly with Blair, was manipulative of ordinary people and insulting to educated ones. The resulting collapse of moral and social standards along with increased violence (as many people became more and more desperate) was chilling. We need not mention the increased riches of the friends of politicians…

    Greece is going in exactly the same direction, although of course it never had many of those standards. Regardless, it is clear it never will have any real standards now, and no economy to speak of, to boot. Furthermore, all the paraphernalia of the “Big Brother” state are now in place in Greece, which they are not in the rest of the EU. By this, I mean CTV cameras on the streets, DNA databases, ID cards of course were priginally imposed by the Nazis but the Greek church loved them…

    On my point about the increased criminality and corruption of Greeks, are you seriously claiming that it has not blown out of all control? This is not the Greek consensus, which I actually agree with. Greece has become an international haven for money-launderering, drug trafficking, mafia activities, forced prostitution, false accounting and embezzlement, systematic large-scale fraud…

  5. Travlos Konstantinos
    July 14, 2009    

    Look people are desperate with stagnant economies,fearmongering, and crazies everywhere. They will give a chance to the nationalists and they will muck it up as they always have (hopefully it won’t cost Greece half it’s territory and population). Then the people will once more understand that only liberals, classical and reformists, are viable choices for a future. Furthermore some years for the old mainstay politicians in the margins, may lead to a revatilisation of the Center and re-marginalization of the right and left.

    This is going to happen to most of Europe, so you just need to decide were the situation will be more mild.

  6. Stassa
    July 14, 2009    

    Xenos, the difference between you and DeviousDiva, is that while you speak of the same things, she manages to do it without being offensive to anyone, while you manage to come across as an arrogant prick with an axe to grind.

    DeviousDiva, I can understand why you’d want to leave. I just hope you really know of a better place to go ‘s all.

    I left Greece because I wanted to see how “abroad” is, not because I didn’t like it back home. The truth is though that once I return, I’ll be back in the same old shit, nothing for me to do but back in the gutter again. Over here, I just got an application for work accepted today, for some programming work. The kind of job I’ll never get in Greece.

    But I have no other place to call home, it’s my country even though it hates my guts and it has no place for people like me. I wish you that you have better options. But every time people like you give up and leave, our lives become a little less beautiful.

  7. July 14, 2009    

    Anyway, do you really wanna give Edmund (Nemesist) the satisfaction :)?

    lol ! Nothing to do with him. Just tired and thinking about what’s best for the family. I know the rest of Europe is a mess too so that’s not really an option.

    Anyway, this current negativity I feel will probably pass. It happens to us expats from time to time! I am so lucky that I have options.

  8. Xenos
    July 15, 2009    

    Stassa: fuck u. You are the arrogant prick and I find you as offensive as the political mafia. OK?

  9. bfp
    July 15, 2009    

    this is SUCH a power packed post, DD…I think half the reason politicians world wide don’t do anything long term to solve immigration problems is because then who would they have to scape goat when their fucked up policies piss off the citizenry?

  10. July 15, 2009    

    new BBC story on Patras and Efeteio

  11. Los Angeles just as bad
    July 15, 2009    

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two major advocacy groups for the homeless on Tuesday ranked Los Angeles as the “meanest” city in the United States, citing a Skid Row police crackdown they say has criminalized poverty and homelessness there.

    L.A.’s so-called Safer City Initiative was singled out in the groups’ report as the most egregious example of policies and practices nationwide that essentially punish people for failing to have a roof over their heads.

    Others include making it illegal to sleep, sit or store personal belongings on sidewalks and other public spaces; prohibitions against panhandling or begging; and selective enforcement of petty offenses like jaywalking and loitering.

    Such measures are widespread in the face of a deep economic recession and foreclosure crisis that have increased homelessness over the past two years, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless.

    Their report examined laws and practices in 273 cities across the country, with Los Angeles topping the list of the 10 “meanest cities” for what the study called inhumane treatment of homeless. A previous report, issued in early 2006 before the crackdown began, ranked L.A. as the 18th meanest.

    Under the Safer City effort, thousands of L.A.’s most destitute residents have been targeted for harsh police enforcement, routinely receiving tickets for minor infractions such as the failure to obey crossing signals.

    As a result, the study says, many are jailed and end up with a criminal record that makes it more difficult for them to find a job or gain access to housing.

    A spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a statement dismissing the report as “short-sighted and misleading.”

    Los Angeles officials have touted their Safer City effort for sharply curbing serious crime in Skid Row, a 50-block downtown area inhabited by the biggest concentration of homeless people in the country. “The city’s first priority is to protect our most vulnerable residents from violent crime,” the mayor’s statement said.

    But homeless advocates say a promised strategy to ease homelessness there, including new housing and services to go with the Skid Row cleanup, have largely failed to materialize.

    An estimated 40,000 people live on the streets, in abandoned buildings or in temporary shelters throughout Los Angeles, more than 5,000 of them in Skid Row. Another 8,000 make their home in that area’s short-term residential hotels, or flop houses as they were once called.

    Becky Dennison, co-director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, said the homeless population in Los Angeles has ballooned due to a lack of affordable housing, a high poverty rate and “long-standing lack of local resources.”

    Tuesday’s report cited a 2007 University of California study that found L.A. was spending $6 million a year to pay for the 50 extra police officers who patrol Skid Row while budgeting just $5.7 million for homeless services.

    By comparison, Dennison said, New York City has a “right to shelter” policy and invests about $200 million a year in housing and other services for the needy, resulting in a homeless population half that of Los Angeles

  12. Travlos Konstantinos
    July 15, 2009    


  13. Xenos
    July 15, 2009    

    My guess about some of the posters here (no names) is that they are receiving psychiatric treatment, and will disappear from time to time…

  14. Scarlett Macalcrass
    July 15, 2009    

    Xenos, who are you referring to?? DD’s article clearly shows that in the UK, we are even 10X worse. We racists in the UK wrote the gospel on this type of thing.

  15. Xenos
    July 15, 2009    

    Well, I wasn’t thinking of UFCs (unidentified flying cows) or MOD (mad object disease or Ministry of Defence). But you’re right, it’s the same sort of logic as going from articles about racism in Greece to concluding that things are much worse in the UK…

  16. July 15, 2009    

    AlJazeeraEnglish story

  17. Stassa
    July 16, 2009    


    Xenos! I… I thought we… I thought we had something!!!


  18. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    



    I can assure you that I’m not “Scarlett Macalcrass” or “Los Angeles is just as bad” (lol) – DD can verify this with a quick IP check.
    I always post under my real name and I notice that you do the same (unlike some cowardly and spineless racists I could mention…such as the misery guts who posts under the anonymity of the pseudonym “Xenos” who wanted to sue me for bringing his pseudonym name into disrepute, LOL.

  19. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    


    Stassa: fuck u. You are the arrogant prick and I find you as offensive as the political mafia. OK?

    Charming. What a nice bloke. Is this the same cry baby who demanded i be banned for “personal attacks”. The hypocrisy from this imbecile is absolutely astounding. Not to mention his snide sexism.

    the generally miserable mentality of the population

    Everything is miserable to you, misery guts. You were even miserable in the “positivity thread” LOL

    This arrogance and fakery is absolutely offensive and demands a reaction from all decent people who have the misfortune to be living in Greece at this time

    Your arrogance, fakery and hypocrisy is absolutely offensive and demands a reaction from all decent people on this blog who have the misfortune to be reading your crap at this time.

    By the way, you choose to live in Greece. So does DD, and hundreds of thousands of other ex-pats. According to you, you must all be suckers for punishment for choosing to live a life of misfortune and misery. Or it could be that Greece is not as bad as you make out 😉

  20. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    


    Some of my detractors will be pleased to know that we are seriously considering leaving.

    Sorry to remind you DD, but you said that back in 2005!
    I bet you that you’ll still be in Greece in five years – you’ll still be in Greece because in all honesty, we know that southern Europe is a much better place to raise a family and enjoy a wonderful quality of life than just about anywhere else in Europe, especially broken Britain (unless you’re loaded).

    To be perfectly honest, many years ago I contemplated selling up and leaving Portugal because the excessive bureacracy drove us up the wall and the “maniana” attitude meant that we couldn’t get anything done faster than snail’s pace. But we eventually got into the ryhtm of life there and accepted that there is a reason why people in the mediterranean live much longer and have much more fullfilled, family-oriented lives than Western Europeans.
    Sure, southern Europe has it’s negatives and you’ve pointed out many, but in our heart of hearts, we know that the positives far outweigh the negatives. We would never swap the excellent quality of life we enjoy in southern europe, i.e. the warmth and friendliness of it’s people, the beautiful weather and health benefits of the meditarranean lifestyle, the wonderful food and freshness of ingredients, the amzing feeling of total freedom where you can swim or walk to your heart’s content, go for walks at any time of the night without the fear of being mugged or stabbed, the security of knowing that your kids won’t join a gang through peer pressure or forced to carry knife to be cool (and use it on somebody or get stabbed themselves by teenage wanna-be gangsters) – you wouldn’t swap the wonderful mediterranean lifestyle and rich culture with the depressingly grey, dreary, inhospitable, stressful, crime-ridden, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, institutionally-racist, war-mongering, terrorism-prone, increasingly islamophobic, corruption-ridden, high tax, expensive-living, knife-ridden culture of the UK.
    That’s why you’ve lived in Greece for fifteen years and likely to stay for fifteen more. it’s the reason why I’ve lived in Portugal for yonks. We know it makes sense :)

    Anyway, this current negativity I feel will probably pass. It happens to us expats from time to time!

    See, i told you! It took you all of a few hours to reconsider leaving the beautiful southern med. We ex-pats might have our hissy-fits from time to time but we know which side our bread’s buttered :)

  21. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    


    Regarding the Global Post article which you posted, it’s an excellent article but I noticed you omitted a lot of it.
    I read the article (all three pages of it, I don’t blame you for not posting all of it, and i know the onus is on the reader to click on the links you provide to read more..) but the overall impression I get is that the article highlights the problems faced by EU countries such as Greece which are on the frontline of immigration.
    The article was very balanced but you only posted the parts which dealt with the demolition of the camp and this gives a rather distorted view of the article – you didn’t give the holistic approach of the article which dealt with the real problems faced by frontline EU countries in dealing with huge immigration which the article alluded to.

    My point that the Global Post article isn’t as scathing against Greece or condemnatory of the Greek government as you portray in your post – the article is more of an an analysis and appraisal of the real problems faced by southern Euopean countries on the forefront of unprecented and uncontrolled immigration. It tackles the reasons why smaller and poorer countries of the EU need help finacially and in the form of European-wide legislation so that they are not forced to enact their own drastic legislation.
    I hope you don’t mind me pointing this out but i think it’s important to have some sort of balance when highlighting such complex issues.

  22. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    

    And BTW, welcome back!

    Thanks, it’s good to be back (although Xenos may feel even more miserable to know i’m back)

    Let me have my “hissy fit”. I’m sure it will pass. lol

    Haha, it always does. We ex-pats may love a whine and a moan, but we know life in our own country is much worse than practically anywhere in southern Europe.
    I got that sinking feeling yesterday when i touched down at Heathrow. Miserable people, p*ssing down, grey, angry skies, dreary, moody people, miserable faces etc etc…Xenos would’ve loved it.

  23. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    

    Going back to the Global Post article and the harsh immigrant laws enacted by Greece, the article is much more than a critique on Greece’s on human rights abuses. The article highlights how smaller countries such as Greece are unable to cope with the huge influx of immigrants onto it’s shores and highlights the knee-jerk reactions of the governments in trying to deal with such a huge problem (as much 150,000 immigrants last year. Blimey, we can’t even cope with a fraction of that in Britain).

    The article suggests that the southern Euopean countries like Greece, italy and Spain are bearing the brunt of the immigration problem and that Greece is following a Europe-wide trend to use long-tern detention, such as Italy’s example. As the article says:

    “But Greece’s new policy is also part of a Europe-wide trend to use long-term detention to address illegal immigration. Italy also recently passed new legislation that criminalizes illegal migrants and increases the length of time they can be held to six months.
    “Most definitely in the case of illegally staying migrants, countries are detaining more frequently and some are even starting to deport more frequently,” said Philip Amaral, policy and advocacy officer at the Jesuit Refugee Service, which opposes the detention of refugees and illegal migrants.”

  24. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    

    The harsh approach to immigration by frontline countries like Greece and Italy are used as “bargaining chips” to force the EU into providing more help for immigration problems and sharing the burden of immigration throughout the EU.

    Even the lawyers of the refugees themselves recognise
    Greece’s tough new laws are intended to pressure other EU countries to give more assistance to Greece and other frontline European countries. As the article says:

    “It is a reality that this is a country on the border of the EU, and as in Italy and Malta, they face a tremendous problem,” she said. “Now the attempt is to penalize migrants. I think this is to try to bargain on a European Union level.”(Yiota Masouridou, from the Greek Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants)

    So, even the lawyers of the refugees recognise that Greece and other frontline countries face a with the passage of so many people through these countries. A fact which is often overlooked by some people on this blog who are more concerned with criticising the culture of southern Europeans and suggesting that they are inherently racist rather than dealing with the reality of such a complex issue.

  25. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    

    Sometimes, I get the impression that there is a refusal by some people in this blog to accept that Greece, Italy and other southern European frontline countries face a tremendous problem with immigration and it’s effects.
    Much larger and richer countries are struggling with immigration, imagine what the poorer smaller countries are having to deal with. So let’s attack the source rather than the symptom and let’s hope that the EU answers the pleas of smaller countries such as portugal, italy, Greece, Malta, Cyprus for help in dealing with such a huge influx of people.

    And slowly but surely, there are signs that the EU is responding, as the article states:

    Last year, the European Parliament passed legislation allowing member states to detain illegal migrants for up to 18 months under certain conditions. The law also sets out the conditions under which illegal immigrants can be deported from the EU.

  26. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    

    The whole situation is summed up perfectly by a contributor to that article:

    david wayne osedach on July 13, 2009 12:16 ET:
    If Greece doesn’t get any help or even sympathy from the European union they should help the illegal immmigrants on their way to western Europe.

    ^ Couldn’t agree more mate.

  27. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    


    new BBC story on Patras and Efeteio

    Intersting video, thanks for posting. It’s interesting to hear that although Greece has been criticised for the razing of the Patras camp, the EU commissioner Jacques Barrot acknowledges that the Greeks have to do something to preserve Greek democracy: “The uncontrollable flow of immigration into Greece poses a major threat to the equilibrium of Greek democracy” (Jacques Barrot). (Can be heard on the video at 2min20secs).
    At least there are some prominent people who acknowledge that there is a real problem in uncontrolled immigration in smaller countries such as Greece. Not like some people on this blog who think it’s an inherent “Greek xenophobia” that’s the problem.

    Truth be known, we Brits are just as capable as anyone of xenophobia against immigrants (so let’s not suggest Greeks are any more prone to being xenophobic than anyone else):

    Race hate horror: Romanian immigrants flee homes after attacks.
    Terrified immigrants have been forced to flee their homes after racist attacks.

  28. July 16, 2009    

    I know Michael ! :-)

    We are contemplating leaving for many complicated personal reasons! And yes, I know I’ve said it before :-) and ended up staying. I will probably still be here in another 15 years. Who knows? Going back to miserable England is definitely NOT on the cards.

    Let me have my “hissy fit”. I’m sure it will pass. lol

    And BTW, welcome back!

  29. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    


    My guess about some of the posters here (no names) is that they are receiving psychiatric treatment, and will disappear from time to time…

    LOL, Xenos hopes I will disappear. No mate, I just went away for a couple of weeks, you should take a break too Xen, all that hating, ranting and raving against those inferior Greeks can’t be doing you much good. Oh, and you’ll be glad to know that I won’t be disappearing anywhere – I’m here to stay :)

  30. July 16, 2009    

    You are right. I left out much of the article and only posted the bit that was pertinent to the post. I DO expect my readers to click on the links and read for themselves. And sometimes they actually do. The issues are really complex but my focus is on the abuses of Human Rights that occur not pointing out how wonderful Greece is (although I have written about that too!)

    No, I don’t mind you letting me know. I am always happy about positive feedback. Again, my focus on this blog is really narrow…Human Rights abuses etc in Greece. I have said that I am going to present more positive stories out of the country but right now the situation for immigrants is getting really serious and I feel it’s important to post about it.

  31. July 16, 2009    

    I got that sinking feeling yesterday when i touched down at Heathrow. Miserable people, p*ssing down, grey, angry skies, dreary, moody people, miserable faces etc etc…Xenos would’ve loved it.

    Tell me about it! I get that especially when I touch down in Luton!

  32. Xenos
    July 16, 2009    

    Short-term treatments for psychiatric conditions are often a few weeks of internment, I believe. Of course, a characteristic of people with mental disorders is that they overestimate their capacity to understand, even to the extent of talking about countries which they don’t know anything about and have no relation with.

  33. Xenos
    July 16, 2009    

    On the specific points of this thread, I should point out that Greece has a non-functioning asylum system, which it does not intend to remedy. See the public letter from human rights groups to the Minister on the draft law and also the denunciation by UNHCR “Greece’s new immigration policies based on ‘dangerous generalizations'”

    Contrary to the propaganda mounted by the Greek state, and supported by some foreign idiots, the numbers arriving in Greece would be controllable if there were a proper asylum system. Irregular migration into Greece occurs partly through genuine asylum-seeking and partly through migration to escape poverty: the numbers would be lower if Greece actually had an asylum process instad of the Pink Card mess that currently exists.

    Now, the idiot Greek politicians think that Berlusconi’s illegal activities in association with Libya are a wonderful example for them to follow — despite UNHCR’s condemnations.,-greek-asylum-policies/65494.aspx There are also reports (I cannot confirm them) that the Minister of Public Order is meeting with fascist groups and allowing them to attack immigrants with impunity.

  34. Xenos
    July 16, 2009    
  35. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    

    You seem to know an awful lot about psychiatric treatments, personal experience by any chance?

  36. Xenos
    July 16, 2009    

    Yes, I have had a few close friends with mental conditions and I recognise the symptoms in others quite easily now.

  37. Michael Scowcroft
    July 16, 2009    


    See the public letter from human rights groups

    Human Rights groups tend to write non-flattering reports on countries. Did you see the Human Rights reports on Guantanamo?

    Britain has been complicit in the human rights abuses committed by US authorities at Guantanamo Bay prison camp, according to a report released today.

    How about the report on the rendition flights from Scotland?
    British Complicity in Renditions and Terror, is a scathing indictment of the British government’s “systematic violations of international law” over its co-operation with the US authorities

    You talk as if our own country is somehow some sort of guardian of human rights and other southern European countries such as Greece and Italy should follow our British example . But as usual, your superiority complex has no basis in fact:

    “But Britain is never going to resume its rightful position as a guardian of these fundamental freedoms until we get our own house in order. Developed nations will never regain their moral legitimacy unless they themselves can respect and value the rights of all peoples, including their own.”$1253864.htm

    And this is how our country treats immigrants to UK:

    Britain’s Immigrant Holocaust:
    Torture and Dehumanizing Treatment in Britain’s Immigration “Detention Centres”
    They are detained for the longest period imaginable until death, forced deportation, or God rescues them. – In conditions that would make a Billy goat ill. – Starved, roasted, or frozen in non-ventilated cells – Castigated, defamed, and persecuted by agents of Reich like the tabloid press, e.g the all ignorant NEWS OF THE WORLD. – Detained in contravention international conventions, and the rule of law. – Discriminated against, routinely in the interpretation of laws, and policies. – Detained at the furthermost distances firm their families and legal representatives, to prevent their contact with outside world.

    What a shining example for all countries to follow…

  38. July 17, 2009    

    No. 32/09

    17 July 2009

    UNHCR will not participate in the new asylum procedure in Greece unless structural changes are made

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees notes with great concern that the structural changes introduced by the new Presidential Decree 81/2009 do not sufficiently guarantee efficiency and fairness of the refugee status determination procedure in Greece as required by International and European legislation.

    The new PD decentralises asylum decision making at first instance to over 50 police directorates across the country which are faced with serious shortcomings related with expert personnel, interpretation services and legal aid. It also abolishes the existing appeals’ board, which was the decision-making body at second instance, and only maintains a limited judicial review before the Council of State, thus not guaranteeing the right to en “effective remedy”. Furthermore by designating the Alternate Minister of Public Order as the decision-making authority for the pending appeals (backlog), it would not be compatible with EU Legislation that requires an independent organ from the first instance decision-making body.

    “These new developments are likely to make protection in Greece even more elusive for those who need it,” stated Laurens Jolles, UNHCR Regional Representative.

    In light of the above, at the present stage UNHCR cannot participate either at the Advisory Refugee Committees for the examination of the asylum claims at first instance or at the Advisory Appeals’ Committees for the examination of the backlog of some 30,000 pending appeals.

    Should Greek authorities in the future move towards structural changes that guarantee a fair and efficient refugee status determination procedure, UNHCR would be ready to be fully involved and to play an effective role in the context of the asylum procedure in Greece.

    UNHCR will continue its close collaboration with the Greek authorities in terms of training, provision of technical expertise and legal advice, observing the refugee status determination procedure as appropriate and submitting suggestions and recommendations to the Government for future improvements.


    For further information you may contact:

    Ketty Kehayioylou, Public Information Officer, e-mail:, mobile: 6972287618

    Website: (English) (Greek)

  39. Michael Scowcroft
    July 17, 2009    

    I wish all the EU governments got the message that refugees are vulnerable and they are “not a threat, but are threatened”…..:

    The UNHCR representative wrote to candidates for the UK parliament this week asking them to “show political leadership and social responsibility by working towards reversing the atmosphere of intolerance that has been fostered towards refugees and asylum seekers.”

    UNHCR is terribly worried as among some quarters the crisis rhetoric and lumping of asylum with migration issues continues, often fuelled by thinly disguised xenophobia and political opportunism,” UNHCR Representative Anne Dawson-Shepherd said. “The number of people claiming asylum in the UK has dropped 61 percent over the last two years, back to levels not seen since the early 1990s.

    Refuting false and negative stereotypes and promoting a climate of understanding in regards to the reasons why people must still flee murderous regimes will help ensure that asylum seekers and refugees get the support they need while also fostering better community cohesion. Refugees are extremely vulnerable, having experienced violence in their homelands, and arrive in the UK without family or other support networks. They are not a threat, but are threatened, and thus deserve Britain’s support and understanding.

  40. July 17, 2009    


    17 July 2009

    Greece: UNHCR walks out of “unfair and ineffective” asylum procedures

    Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) highlights today’s United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees decision to withdraw from the committees examining asylum applications so as not to legitimize with their presence the new procedures that it “do not sufficiently guarantee efficiency and fairness of the refugee status determination procedure in Greece as required by International and European legislation.” Greece is now in breach of the international law and the opinion of the competent and authoritative UN agency is expected to form the basis for future convictions of Greece by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Unless, Greece’s Council of State based on the same opinion quashes related rejections by the administration of asylum applications.

    (see UNHCR text above)

  41. Xenos
    July 18, 2009    

    Yes, Panayote: there is a big difference between being ungenerous with the adjudication of asylum applications (a general European problem) and abject failure to observe EU rules on asylum or basic provisions of the Geneva Convention. It is the difference between a law-abiding state and a lawless state.

  42. Post Disagreement
    July 18, 2009    

    why does a British Jew care so much about Greece? Hate Greeks and Greece so much?

    Perhaps your affiliation with Britishness and Jewishness should encourage you to focus your critique on the corresponding states of UK and Israel.

    i.e., take the plank out of your own (ethnic/nation/religious group) eye and then you will see clear to remove the one in your neighbors.

  43. Xenos
    July 18, 2009    

    PD: you seem to be very confused about the difference between citizenship and ethnic origins. In the modern world (i.e. post-Byzantine) there is something called the “rule of law” which most Europeans try to live by. Unhappily, Greeks think that the law is always for others to obey, and generally ignore it.

    So, I am a Citizen of the Union who exercises his legal right to live and work in other EU countries. I am also entitled, as a Citizen, to participate in local and EU elections and express my opinions on social and political issues in my country of residence.

    In a professional context, my expert opinions are also widely disseminated, but that is not relevant for your arguments. So, I suggest that you do something about your hatred of Jews, because this is unacceptable to the rest of Europe. I do recognise that Israel (like Greece) has the same lack of respect for law and human rights, and may well end up in the international courts for its warcrimes against Palestinians.

  44. Post Disagreement
    July 18, 2009    

    So, I suggest that you do something about your hatred of Jews, because this is unacceptable to the rest of Europe.


    is that a threat? are you going to get the KGB on me?

    In my homeland its unacceptable to me that someone not native to the land and dominant culture shows nothing but contempt for the natives and wishes for us to become a minority in our own house to please his NWO view of the world.

    first of all I do not hate Jews but even if I did its my right to feel think and believe whatever I like towards anyone or any group and hold any opinion I wish Mr. STalin… sorry mr. lover of george orwells 1984 world, read that novel…its you and divas perfect world..

    BTW hatred of Jews according to ADL and EJC is accepted in Europe by much of the populous.
    so which is it, are Jews under threat of growing antisemitism or is antisemitism unacceptable. you can not have it both ways.

    I am not saying I think its right to hate any group carte blanche and I do not believe I do you can think what you like.

    But a religion is up for criticism..especially one that teaches its people are somehow more sacred and special than anyone else….you feel free to screed about Orthodox Christian bishops and our religion/culture so why is your religion/culture not fair game?

    BTW Christianity may teach Christians have the truth but it does denigrate the humanity of others, in fact it tells us to love our enemies…(not lie to ourselves that we have no you are my enemy cause you want me dead and my people decimated and swamped out by hordes of africans, middle easterners, Indians etc. and to make Greece into something other than the homeland of the Greeks…so thats your hate..and makes you my enemy…but I am loving you by telling you the truth that you are the one full of hate.)

    I suggest as a resident of Greece you stop hating Greeks and Christianity.

    YOU took it as hate that I referred to you as a British Jew when by your own admission that is what you are…I did not call you a name.. so I can only assume you felt offended because I implicitly criticized you and Israel. so now we get to it the old I can hate gentiles but if you criticize me or just identify me as being a jew your an antisemite routine..its getting really old.

    Thats a trick..but you dismiss my assertion that you hate Greeks and Greece when you clearly want and desire for us to become a minority in our homeland.

    I do not wish for Jews to become a minority in Israel or to accept hordes of non-Jews into Israel and I do not expect Britain to continue to accept mass migrations from far flung places of the world..on a small island with 60,000,000.

    BTW notice you got upset about me calling you a British Jew , the British part was not what upset did not accuse me of hating Brits and that is some how unacceptable…well in the politically correct world it is acceptable to hate Whites/Europeans and Christians and promote anything that removes Christianity from public life or influence of any kind.

    Likewise, Its unreasonable to expect Greece to absorb masses of people its a small country with small native population and not much industry and plenty of its existing domestic problems such as high poverty and under-employment etc.. why should we be asked to take in hundreds of thousands of people.

    BTW I think the EU is a terrible idea just like the Euro.
    its centralization of power by one central bank.

    Or perhaps my reference / paraphrase from a quote from the New Testament was offensive…to you…from “that man” as orthodox jews affectionately refer to Jesus, that my friend is unacceptable to a higher authority than the EU.

    I was simply pointing and you correctly admit that Israel has its human rights problems…why not scream about those. why complain about how terrible Greeks and Greece is?

    and btw Israel human rights issues are with natives to that land…not uninvited invaders/ illegal immigrants from the other side of the world.

    BTW I believe Israel has a right to exist but I do think she should treat her Palestinians better and let them have a state.
    And I know many Jews do not embrace the orthodox extremes in terms of attitudes towards non-jews. Nonetheless, the fact is I have heard it from the mouth of Jews raised in orthodox Judaism that Judaism at least the orthodox kind is a supremacist belief system…i.e. Jews are better than Gentiles.

  45. Post Disagreement
    July 18, 2009    

    what would u have greece do, just accept asylum claims blindly?
    people are not dumb…economic migrants will claim they are asylum seekers to get a toe hold into europe…of course that sucks for true asylum seekers. and in any case these people need jobs, medical cae etc…there are limits to the number of even legit asylum seekers that a country can absorb.

    something you and DD and panayote ignore.

  46. Michael Scowcroft
    July 18, 2009    


    In a professional context, my expert opinions are also widely disseminated, but that is not relevant for your arguments.

    Your bigotted and hate-filled opinion is not relevant for any argument. Unless you post your opinion on Stormfront, in which case your kind of stereotyping is relevant among the like-minded knuckle-draggers you’ll find there.

    Your “expert opinions” are so “widely disseminated” that everybody seems to have missed them. They may have been disseminated too far and too wide 😉
    The fact of the matter is, your opinions are so wide of the mark that nobody has ever read such offensisive views and generalisations in any scientific publication or journal.

    So, I suggest that you do something about your hatred of Jews, because this is unacceptable to the rest of Europe.

    Substitute the word “Jews” for “Greeks” and you’ll be close to understanding what we’ve been saying about your offensive views!

    Basically, we’ve been saying this to you:
    So, I suggest that you do something about your hatred of Greeks, because this is unacceptable to the rest of Europe.

    Only a first class idiot will fail to see the glaring contradiction above.
    You advise others to “do something” about their hatred of a specific ethnicity/group/nationality (Jews) but you find nothing wrong in harbouring and disseminating offensive diatribes against another group of people, namely Greeks. You are a first class hypocrite. “Expert opinion” hahaha..what a joke. Expert bigot, more like.

  47. Xenos
    July 18, 2009    

    Remember to take the medication, Scofield.

  48. Michael Scowcroft
    July 18, 2009    

    Post Disagreement,

    there are limits to the number of even legit asylum seekers that a country can absorb.

    I agree, especially when there is finite accomodation and limited infrastructure to cope with such a level of immigration, it’s not fair on the immigrants and it’s not fair on the poorer frontline countries. T
    hese countries need help and financial assistance, not just our condemnation…

  49. Michael Scowcroft
    July 18, 2009    


    Greece: UNHCR walks out of “unfair and ineffective” asylum procedures

    It’s always unfortunate and sad when countries don’t adhere to the treaties and charters they sign:

    The United Nations yesterday condemned Britain’s “shameful” policy of jailing asylum seekers and treating them like criminals while they wait to have their cases heard.

    The United Nations yesterday condemned Britain’s “shameful” policy of jailing asylum seekers and treating them like criminals while they wait to have their cases heard.

    Responding to the revelation in last week’s Independent on Sunday that more than 1,000 refugees are detained in prison alongside convicts, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, demanded an immediate end to the policy.

    A spokeswoman for Mr Lubbers in Geneva said yesterday that Britain’s behaviour is in clear breach of international guidelines. “Asylum seekers should not be detained,” said the spokeswoman. “Many of them have survived unspeakable trauma, and the experience of jail may increase their suffering.”

    Britain is the only country in Europe to put innocent asylum seekers in jail. They are subject to prison discipline, with many confined to cells for 20 hours a day or more.