Via the Athens News
Greece has been actively rounding up undocumented people including unaccompanied minors) in recent weeks, transporting them to various detention centres around the country and preparing to deport them. Having decided to simply rid the country of large numbers of immigrants and failing to implement any kind of comprehensive and workable asylum and immigration policy, Greece has now secured 18 million euros over four years from the European special fund aimed at
pulling newcomers out of the margins of society and combating the rise of xenophobia and racism in the 27-member bloc
Forgive me for being cynical but I wonder where this money is going to be spent ?
The objectives of this multi-year programme cover the entire breadth of immigrant-integration policies,” Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos told an Athens news conference on July 28.
“Emphasis will be given to initiatives targeting those [immigrant] groups that need additional support, like women, children, the disabled and elderly. We will also promote programmes and actions that will allow third-country nationals [non-EU immigrants] to work and study here at the same time.”
Greece has already received 8 million euros from the EU since 2007 to spend on immigrant integration. According to Pavlopoulos, the bulk of this funding has been spent on public awareness campaigns aimed at promoting diversity.
Yes ! I recall seeing some cute adverts and posters saying that in Greece there are “no foreigners only people”. Eight million for that ? Is anyone else aware of any programs set up for immigrant integration ? Perhaps I am being too harsh and there are some interesting projects that we don’t hear about (though I doubt it) but I think most of us who live here are aware that millions of euros of European Union funding for various initiatives across the country have “disappeared” over the years. Not just for immigrants but for infrastructure and other projects that would benefit the entire population.
The demonizing of immigrants over recent years has done so much damage and given rise to a level of xenophobia and racism that I doubt any amount of money can combat. The majority of the population will be content to see less immigrants on the streets (it’s fine for them to be in the fields harvesting crops or doing other unskilled labour) and I am seeing a significant decrease in numbers in Athens. I am also aware that securing more funding from the EU for “helping” immigrants can raise the anti-immigrant sentiment. This is not money to combat illegal entry into Greece which is what the country wants.
Where is this money going to be spent ? What kind of programs are going to be put in place ? I am anxious to find out. Is it going to be the usual “window-dressing” so that politicians can point to it and say “You see ! We are doing something for the immigrants” or is it going to be the frittering away of the funds on useless projects where no-one benefits apart from those who run them ? We have seen that there is no real desire to integrate foreigners in Greece or work on any real immigration policy. Do you think 18 million euros is going to change that ? I don’t think so…
Read the full article here