It was inevitable. The incarceration on the island of Lesbos of twelve thousand refugees in the prison camp in Moria led to yet another tragedy. Locked up in inhuman conditions, the news of 35 positive tests, triggered a rebellion. The only way some of the refuges felt they could prise open their open air prison’s gates was to set fire to the awful camp. Now, Moria is no longer. The twelve thousand refugees have no tents but at least the authorities have to do something.
Moria is an indictment on the European Union. It is an indictment on the Greek governments who built it and turned it into a prison camp. And it is an indictment on Angela Merkel’s misanthropic agreement with President Erdogan that instrumentalises refugees. Europeans must hang our head in shame at what is happening in Moria. At least this fire is giving us a chance to make things right.
MeRA25, DiEM25’ party in Greece’s parliament, have been putting forward concrete proposals for years. Today we shall do so again. Their gist is simple: No more prison camps. No more restrictions of travel for refugees and migrants from the Greek islands to the mainland. Watch this space.
Our press release of 2nd March 2020.
DiEM25 condemns the militarisation of the Greek-Turkish border, the European Union’s violation of every principle of Humanism, the instrumentalisation of refugees both by the Turkish regime and Brussels, the abandonment of Greek islanders to their own devices – the list goes on and on.
DiEM25 calls for an immediate opening of all borders. The Greek-Turkish one and, more importantly, all borders within the EU. It is the only way the humanitarian crisis can be dealt with rationally and humanely, without resorting to military solutions under a cloud of hysteria.
MeRA25 ON THE SITUATION ON THE GREEK-TURKISH BORDER
A virus and the inevitable escalation of refugee inflows from Turkey were enough to heighten xenophobia and cause the right-wing Greek government to embark upon a large-scale campaign of disorienting Greece’s public opinion – so as to mask the reality that the much heralded economic recovery was a mirage given the continuing troika program of attacking labour, fiscal austerity and fire sales of public property.
The fear of others’, be it the Chinese or the wretched refugees, is being instrumentalised so that the people of Greece can no longer discern the true causes of their continuing asphyxiation – that is, the continuing surrender to the troika policies and the permanent subjugation to the EU’s irrational and inhumane policies regarding refugees, the EU-Turkey, EU-Libya relations etc.
Yes, the COVID-19 epidemic is a worry. Yes, the exploitation by President Erdogan of Turkey of refugees as part of his geostrategic gaming (i.e. varying the number of refugees to cross to Greece with a view to increasing pressure on the EU to side with him in Syria) constitutes a violation of basic human rights. However, neither COVID-19 nor the refugees justify the motivated hysteria that Greece’s troika-run regime is cultivating so as to escape its responsibility for the decade-long asphyxiation they have brought to the people of Greece.
MeRA25-DiEM25 will not allow this new Troika-Nationalist Alliance to pull the wool over our people and to bolster xenophobia – whose end result will be to worsen the Greek’s circumstances and rob Greece of its capacity to appeal to progressives across the world.
MeRA25-DiEM25 will not allow the Greek government to legitimise the Golden Dawn – Greek Solution racist narrative that casts the hapless refugees as an “organized invasion force” that Greece’s “heroic” government is facing down on the Greek-Turkish border.
Precisely like the economic crisis that erupted in 2010, so too now refugees and COVID-19 are ridiculing the notion that electrified border fences can solve the problem of ‘contagion’ – whether it is the financial crisis contagion, COVID-19 or refugee flows. That walls and border fences provide security is not only a lie but also a dangerous delusion.
MeRA25-DiEM25 will continue to point the way to the only road to security with prosperity: Radical Internationalism. Our transnational getting together based on a common understanding that all epidemics (economic, financial) and all mass movements of human beings struggling to live are transnational in nature and, thus demand transnational solutions. Solutions that will only come through our constructive disobedience: Resistance to the policies of austerity, militarisation and xenophobia. And constructive, transnational, humanist policies to replace them with.
Photo Source: Reuters.
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