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

Greece To Build A Fence?

There is talk of a fence. Along the border with Turkey. Some 205 kilometres long. To keep out the “unwanted”. Like the border between the US and Mexico, it would be long and high and would solve a “problem”. As with all short-term short-sighted solutions, it has been harshly criticised by people who can understand that walls and fences are not the answer.

The plan for this barrier to keep immigrants out have since been toned down.

The only comments on part of the EU executive so far, the European Commission, have come from Michele Cercone, spokesman person for Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malstroem.

“Fences and walls have, in the past, proven to be really short-term measures that don’t help to address and manage migratory challenges in a more consolidated and structural way… [Greece] needs sound and long-term structural reforms and measures in order to better manage its border, address the challenges linked to migration flows and create a sound and efficient asylum system,” he said.

Please read the full article via Phantis here

The EU is also sending 10 million euros and two teams of experts

to help the country deal with a tide of asylum seekers, EU officials said Wednesday.

Greece in recent months has sent out repeated pleas for EU help after the number of asylum seekers entering the country rose sharply. The EU has already deployed border patrols to help guard the frontier, but has criticized Greece’s asylum system.

‘The humanitarian situation of migrants and asylum-seekers in Greece is extremely worrying. Improving the reception facilities is very urgent,’ EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement published in Brussels.

The EU is sending Greece 9.8 million euros in aid and dispatching two expert teams to ‘assist the Greek authorities in supporting the reform of the national asylum system,’ the statement said.

The funding will ‘focus on increasing the accommodation capacity, including the provision of basic services to the persons in need, setting up mobile medical units, and institutional support to process asylum claims,’ it said.

Greece has a poor reputation for dealing with asylum seekers and has regularly been criticized by human-rights bodies for the conditions in which it detains them.

The Greek government is currently overhauling the asylum system, but is faced by massive budget cuts triggered by its financial collapse earlier this year, making reforms difficult.

 via Monsters and Critics

14 Comments

  1. Dean Marney
    January 5, 2011    

    Crikey, i can’t really suggest a solution but i don’t think building a wall is the answer.

  2. deviousdiva
    January 5, 2011    

    I believe a comprehensive and fully-functioning asylum process would be part of the solution. The almost non-existent one here in Greece is obviously not helping. Negociations with Turkey which is obviously a transit country for people trying to enter Europe. Not a popular option for Greece, given its history with Turkey, but something that has become essential. The building of proper reception centres, using the millions of euros given by the EU, instead of the appalling prisons they are using at the moment, where people are detained indefinitely, with no access to legal representation. There are probably many long-term solutions including EU investment in the countries where they have had a direct hand in causing this exodos. Building a wall is a short-sighted, short-term reaction that satisfies only those who wish to see all foreigners kept out of the country. The same people who want all non-Greeks that are already here thrown out too.

    I never expected Greece to become so hostile and negative to others. I understand that the financial crisis has caused terrible misery here for almost everyone but striking out at immigrants is abhorrant. Every single day I hear it. When anything goes wrong, it’s the foreigners. I even heard one lady blame immigrants for the traffic problems we’re experiencing due to the strikes. Very sad.

  3. January 5, 2011    

    But it seems like the financial crisis has not been such a terrible misery since the construction of the wall will cost a lot of money. Let’s hope they won’t ask for some more financial resources from the support packages of the EU.

  4. Soula
    January 6, 2011    

    An electrified fence and landmines will stem the flow for sure.

    Immigrants..you mean illegal immigrants..
    Asylum seekers..we do not have the budget for them.

    Please Diva why do you force your sense of charity and concern on the rest of us.

    Anybody who wants to can go out and help these people with their own pockets.

    the majority either do not care or do not want them around.

    last I checked in a democracy majority rules and its not unreasonable to not want to be trampled on by others.

    already natives Greeks lost ground and are less than 85% of the population (if you include illegals and socalled asylum seekers).

    Do any rich Muslim countries consider taking them in?

    We want Greece to remain Greek dear.

  5. January 8, 2011    

    @Soula
    I am not forcing my “sense of charity and concern” on anyone. You are free to read what I write/post or to dismiss it.

    Greece has received a lot of money in the past for setting up and running a proper asylum procedure which it has absolutely failed to do. This is breaking international and European agreements on asylum. You can’t just use or “lose” funds and then turn round and say you have no budget.

    As part of the EU, Greece does have obligations (as do all the other European countries) to fulfill and it is quite right that the country should be criticised for not fulfilling them.

    We want Greece to remain Greek”

    The demographic of Greece is changing as it is in all of Europe. This is a very normal state of affairs as human beings migrate to where there are better resources and to escape starvation and conflict. We have done it ever since we appeared on the earth and no amount of walls, fences or hostility from the locals is going to stop it. This is what human beings do and have always done.

    Greece has a very strong culture and sense of identity and I don’t believe it is in any danger of being changed in that respect. The vast majority of us “foreigners” just get on with it and try our hardest to fit in. I don’t think you have anything to worry about if you just allow people to do that.

  6. Dean Marney
    January 9, 2011    

    Lorne Marr,

    “But it seems like the financial crisis has not been such a terrible misery since the construction of the wall will cost a lot of money.”

    I don’t think it’s very nice to downplay what the people Greek are going through – alot of people have lost their jobs, their pensions, their livelihoods.
    The financial crisis which Greece is going through IS a MISERY which may eventually befall us too. I’m sure you’d like some help too if you were finding it hard to make ends meet so please be a little more understanding and compassionate.

    “Let’s hope they won’t ask for some more financial resources from the support packages of the EU.”

    Support packages? I think they’re called loans. Loans which the children of Ireland, Greece and no doubt others will be paying in the future. With all due respect, what’s it got to do with a Canadian who we Europeans give our money to anyway?

    Let’s hope they won’t ask for some more financial resources from the support packages of the EU.

  7. Dean Marney
    January 9, 2011    

    deviousdiva,
    “I never expected Greece to become so hostile and negative to others…I even heard one lady blame immigrants for the traffic problems we’re experiencing due to the strikes. Very sad.”

    Nothing like anecdotal evidence to taint a whole nation…

  8. Soula
    January 9, 2011    

    Yes, Diva, but those funds still would not have been enough to handle 100,000 people.

    You even admit there is a back log now of applications..
    So the first thing one does. is stop any new applications and deal with the ones here already…otherwise its just going to get worse for both the natives and the asylum seekers.

    My other question is why are they only seeking to get in to the EU/Greece, why not Kuwait, Saudi Arabia…oil rich wealthy nations that have a similar religious heritage as themselves…why are those countries not contributing to the solution but foisting it exclusively on Europe.

    i.e and why dont the asylum seekers seek asylum in Kuwait etc. why only euorpe.

  9. Soula
    January 9, 2011    

    The demographic of Greece is changing as it is in all of Europe. This is a very normal state of affairs as human beings migrate to where there are better resources and to escape starvation and conflict. We have done it ever since we appeared on the earth and no amount of walls, fences or hostility from the locals is going to stop it. This is what human beings do and have always done.

    ……………

    Yes but look at the native americans today.. we are not interested in having our descendants land in the same place.

    100,000 people in 1 year in 10 yrs at that rate we loose another 10% of our weight in the population plus these people are more fertile..in no time our children and grandchildren will be a minitority in a Muslim Country…

    And as you say migration went on in the past…but people did put a stop to it with wars and fences etc.

    Unfortunately, only cruelty may stop this flow of people.

    Vlad the impaler scared off his enemies by his incredible cruelty so if they the migrants thought they could get in illegally but only risking severe consequences that would stem the flow.

    The asylum agreements came from the top down , not from the general public up.

    We do not want to be overwehlemed as we are.

    So the EU gave funds and someone miss used them…now what tax the poor and working class greeks to help poor illegal aliens!!! thats your justice?

  10. Dean Marney
    January 10, 2011    

    I read somewhere that Greece had 130,000 immigrants entering the country illegally in 2010. Is this true?

    That’s like 705,000 illegal immigrants entering the UK per year. Wow. That’s a huge number per head of population. I’m not sure if we in the UK could cope with that to be honest.

  11. deviousdiva
    January 10, 2011    

    @Dean Marney, I quote one incident out of hundreds I have personally experienced. I apologise if it read to you differently but this country, in general, is becoming more hostile to foreigners. I live here and I experience it on a daily basis. And I am one of the “acceptable” foreigners because I’m British. Goodness knows how it must feel to non-Europeans. I am one of the fortunate people who can choose to stay or leave and is generally free to move about the world. This is not the reality for most immigrants to Greece.

  12. gurmit
    January 10, 2011    

    These are my opinions, though I sometimes do change my opinions.

    While it may be true that Greece doesn’t have a good system for processing and dealing with refugees, even if did, there are still too many people people coming in for it to handle. Considering that it has a very small native population that has an extremely small birth rate also makes fears of ts people being made a minority on their own lands natural.

    Canada is a good example of a place where the native population was taken over by the immigration of other peoples. Many natives lost their lives due to diseases brought by Europeans, many lost their lives due to the weapons brought by Europeans and the wars they caused, whether with intention or not, between native tribes over the fur trade, and then they also lost their cultures, languages, and economies. They lost their lands as well and several generations of children were taken away to residential schools so they could lose their culture and be forcibly assimilated (the last such school in Canada closed in 1984).

    Fiji, apparently, is another place where the natives became a minority, at least for some time. People from India went there as indentured labourers and one point formed 51 percent of the population. The population has decreased now due to people leaving as there is unrest based on racial politics. Even though I am of Indian background, I can totally understand the viewpoint of the native people there. Within India, some Indian states have rules about what ethnicity can or can’t own land in particular states. For instance, Sikhs are no longer allowed to own land in a lot of states even though they are a tiny minority of less than 2% and growing less all the time. They also fear being made a minority in their state by government policy and recently made hundreds of thousands of other Indians flee in one district by getting really violent. As long as people keep their distinctions and most love these distinctions , these things will keep on happening. They may not be right, but that is how a lot of people think.

    The governments of the world need to find ways to stop the overpopulation of the earth by human beings in so many nations. The resources of the earth can’t keep up with such growth. A lot of the problems on earth such as poverty are caused by overpopulation. China has taken excellent steps with the one child family. However, I think even one child in ten families or even a thousand would be a good idea for it (and India and other nations as well, for the good of these nations). Of course bad stuff could happen in enforcing it, but something needs to be done to halt this rapid population growth for the earth can’t sustain the exponential growth of billions of people.

    Maybe a place needs to be found where refugees could enter instead of Greece. Perhaps a law can be made that those who come to Greece need to go there to get their clams processed, maybe even some island Greece can lend for the purpose. It could be open for the EU to monitor.

    Entire nations can’t be moved to other countries due to wars, not that all people try to leave during a war. Putting the burden on any small or poor nation of accepting every refugee that comes to it is just too much. Something else needs to be done, but while there is greed it probably won’t be done. As long as there is nationhood, ethnicity, religion, and history, populations will resent other populations coming into their territories in significant percentages. I can’t see these things disappearing anytime soon.

  13. Dean Marney
    January 10, 2011    

    deviousdiva, i think you may be confusing foreigners with illegal immigrants. You might not like it, but every country is “hostile” to illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean they “don’t like foreigners”.

    And i don’t think your “tarring everyone with the same brush” attitude is particularly helpful. I can quote you “hundreds of incidences i have personally experienced of hostility” to blacks in the UK. To use your own words, “i live here and I experience it on a daily basis”. Should i therefore conclude (like you have done) that the UK is becoming “in general, more hostile” to blacks?
    Of course not.
    Using anecdotal evidence to taint a whole nation is absurd.

  14. deviousdiva
    January 10, 2011    

    @Dean Marney,
    There is no distinction between foreigner and illegal immigrant made in the comments I hear but you are probably right that generalising on that scale is wrong and I apologise. I experience what I experience here and I feel the tension and hostility. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed by it. Not all Greeks are hostile to foreigners but there is a general feeling of resentment that is building, especially as the financial crisis deepens.

LEAVE A COMMENT HERE