News from Greece

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Greek police fire tear gas at migrants on island of Samos

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Greek police on Thursday fired tear gas at migrants protesting against their detention and living conditions in a migrant camp on the northern Aegean island of Samos, officials said.
About 300 people, mostly Africans, rallied outside the camp in Vathy demanding to be allowed to leave the island, a police official said. The official said there were brief clashes between police and protesters.

The facility has room for up to 650 people but it operates far beyond its capacity, like most such camps in Greece.

Human rights organizations have long criticized Greece, which was the main gateway into the European Union for more than a million people fleeing conflict in 2015-16, for its handling of the migrant crisis and its overcrowded camps.

Greece continues to be on the frontline of Europe’s migration crisis and has seen a resurgence of arrivals through Turkey this year.

The conservative government, elected in July, has taken a tougher stance compared to its leftist predecessor, which it blames for adopting what it says is an “open door” policy towards arrivals.

The government, which has also classed most recent arrivals as economic migrants rather than refugees, has announced plans to shut overcrowded refugee camps on Aegean islands and replace them with restrictive holding centers to process new arrivals.

It plans to move up to 20,000 people to the mainland by the end of the year and expects new facilities will be ready by July 2020.
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Chaos in Greek Island of Lesbos over Killing of a 20-Year-Old Man from Yemen
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Refugees and migrants burn garbage bins and chant slogans as they demonstate outside Moria camp, following the stabbing death of an 20-year-old man from Yemen in the Greek island of Lesbos. (AP Photo/Aggelos Barai
MORIA, Lesvos – There was tension on Friday at the Moria hotspot in Mytilene following the killing of a 20-year old from Yemen.

Africans, mostly asylum seekers, were protesting over th living conditions and demanding to be accommodated in separate areas from the Afghans in Moria. Earlier the protestors occupied the street in front of the hotspot, while Afghans threw stones at them.

Authorities arrested a 27-year-old Afghan migrant in connection with the incident.

Overcrowding at Moria has steadily worsened over the past year as the number of arrivals of migrants and refugees using clandestine routes from Turkey to the Greek islands remains high and totaled nearly 60,000 in 2019.

It is the second suspected homicide at Moria in January.

Migration Min Mitarachi to visit Samos and Lesvos on Sunday

Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi will visit the islands of Samos and Lesvos on Sunday.

Mitarachi will visit the islands’ hotspots in order to form a personal impression about the situation prevailing there.

During his visit he will also take part in a meeting at the North Aegean Region’s headquarters in Mytilene.

Eleven migrants returned to Turkey after being turned down for asylum, Migration Min. announces

Eleven migrants who were turned down for asylum were returned to Turkey from Mytilini on Lesvos on Friday, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi announced on social media.

The 11 include migrants from Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, and Tunisia.

“We are speeding up procedures, implementing the new law we voted recently.”
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Re: News from Greece

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I'd rather go back to Pakistan" - Migrant complains about 'racist' Greece where nothing is free

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Muslim immigrants from Pakistan were interviewed on their way back to their homeland from Greece which they describe as a "racist" Country .

As you can see in the video below they complain about life in Greece where nothing is free and the government does not provide welfare benefits or any help to migrants and refugees.

As you can see in the video below the only thing Greece is willing to give migrants is a one-way ticket back to their homeland.

Many human rights organizations condemn the "non-welcoming" policies towards immigrants of Eastern European countries including Austria, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, etc.

Every country has the right to defend itself and its borders.

The truth is that most European countries cannot provide free housing and welfare benefits to millions of illegal immigrants from all over the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greek govt plans 2.7 km long ‘floating barrier’ to stop migrant invaders

By ARTHUR LYONS

The Greek government is making arrangements to construct a “floating barrier” off the coast of one of its Aegean islands to obstruct the unending stream of migrant invaders who continue to flow into the country.

Greece’s Defence Ministry unveiled the plans for the barrier last week, calling for the installation of an illuminated net which rises 50 centimeters above the surface water near the coastline of Lesbos. The ministry has invited private contractors to bid for the contract which is estimated to cost around 500,000 euros, stipulating that the project must be finished within three months, The Associated Press reports.

Despite the 2016 EU-Turkey migration agreement which saw the EU give billions of euros to the Ankara to curtail the mass flow of migration into Europe, the Turkish government has done little to hold up its end of the deal.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, 73,000 migrant invaders entered Greece in 2019, nearly double the number recorded in the previous year. In the first month of this year, more than 3,000 additional migrants have made their way to Greece.

The unrelenting flow migrants into Greece has caused constant chaos on the islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios, where camps are currently hosting more migrants than they were ever designed to hold.

The largest camp of Moria on Lesbos, a camp that was originally built to hold 2,840 people, now hosts over 19,000 migrants.

Late last month, thousands of Greeks living on Lesbos, Samos, and Chios took to the streets to express their discontent, demanding that the invaders be removed from the overcrowded and increasingly violent camps. Protestors shut down public services and shut down shops as they gathered in the city centers, shouting: “We want our islands back, we want our lives back!”
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Greek minister: Asylum for so-called refugees not ‘indefinite’

Greece will only grant refugee protection for three years as it struggles to integrate foreigners, the conservative government’s migration minister Notis Mitarachi said in remarks published Sunday.

Greece last year was the first EU port of entry for migrants and has struggled to manage the influx, with many kept in overcrowded camps on the Aegean Greek islands near the Turkish coast.

“The asylum we grant has a duration of three years, it is not indefinite,” Mitarachi told To Vima weekly.

“If conditions change in a country [of origin], asylum may not be renewed,” Mitarachi added.

“It is difficult to integrate different populations,” he said.

More than 36,000 asylum-seekers are currently crammed into camps on five islands, where the official capacity is for 6,200 people and in conditions repeatedly condemned by aid agencies.

Overpopulation in migrant camps on Lesbos and other islands near Turkey has led to an outpouring of anger in recent days among island residents and asylum-seekers.

Since the migration crisis erupted in 2015, mainly fuelled by the war in Syria, Greece has granted asylum to around 40,000 people, Mitarachi said.

Another 87,000 asylum applications are pending, he added

Repatriation of asylum seekers whose applications are rejected are to be discussed in an overhaul of EU migration policy next month, the minister said.

“Joint return operations will figure prominently in the new European Commission proposals expected in March and April,” Mitarachi said.

The new government has introduced stricter asylum rules, and last month put out a call for a floating barrier in the Aegean to stop migrant boats.

The system — criticised as unethical and impractical by rights groups and opposition parties — could involve either barriers or nets, 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles) long, and would be used as an emergency measure by the Greek armed forces.

Mitarachi on Sunday said the barrier project would be given a “tryout” and implemented only if deemed effective.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greece: One dead, another injured as rival migrant groups do battle in central Athens

By EVA JANSSEN

Greek police are investigating a deadly incident that left a 23-year-old Afghan man dead from gunshot wounds and another, aged 25, with stab wounds on the streets of central Athens on Thursday.

Investigators say the incident, which occurred in broad daylight on Menandrou Street – one of the busiest areas of the Greek capital – was a part of a larger turf war between rival migrant groups, Greek daily newspaper Ekathimerini reports.

Sources close to the case told the newspaper that the attackers were Pakistani nationals. Mihalis Chrysohoidis, the Citizen Protection Minister, said during a television interview on Thursday night that both victims had criminal records.

While the man who was shot ended up dying at the scene, the other was rushed to the Evangelismos hospital. Investigators believe that the violent clash was linked to the illegal drugs and forged documents trade.

Eyewitnesses say that around 30 men who were armed with guns and knives had approached a group of street merchants peddling smuggled cigarettes near Omonia Square before attacking them.

The group of migrant men is said to have demanded money from the street merchants to “allow” them to sell their cigarettes on the corner of Menandrou and Sapphous streets.

Following the deadly incident, investigators discovered 13 shell casings in the immediate area where the shooting had occurred. Shortly after, police carried out a series of raids in the area which led to the detainment of 129 individuals in downtown Athens.
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Re: News from Greece

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Enough is enough! Greek islanders vow to stop new invader camps

Protest groups on three eastern Greek islands have begun setting up blockades aimed at stopping the government from building new migrant detention centers.

The groups on Lesbos, Chios, and Samos have received broad support on the islands including from municipal authorities and farming associations.

The government says it is determined to build detention centers on recently appropriated land to replace overcrowded camps on the island — announcing that construction would resume Monday after a brief break for consultation.

But many islanders fear that new facilities will only increase the number of migrants and refugees after the government failed to deliver on a pledge to ease overcrowding over the winter months.

“We are guarding the (appropriated) area, and if they start building, everyone here and from the surrounding villages will join the protest — because we don’t want this,” Stephanos Apostolou, a protest organizer and municipal council member from the village of Mandamos on Lesbos, told The Associated Press.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greek residents clash with police to block construction of new invader camps


LESBOS, Greece (AP) — Clashes have broken out overnight on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios, where residents tried to prevent the arrival of riot police and excavating machines to be used to build migrant detention camps.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds that gathered early Tuesday to try and prevent the ships from docking.

The government says it will move ahead with plans to build the new facilities on appropriated land and has promised to replace existing camps where conditions of severe overcrowding have worsened in recent months.

Many island residents and the local authorities vehemently oppose the plan, arguing that the migrants and asylum seekers should be moved to the Greek mainland.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greek Orthodox church in Lesvos vandalised by refugees

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Images are emerging of a Greek Orthodox church in Lesvos which was vandalised by refugees.

On Monday, more than 500 refugees grouped together to head down to the port of Mytilini from Moria camp.

The group were confronted by members of MAT (Tactical Police) along the way, and resorted to stoning the Greek authorities in order to continue in their journey, only to be met with chemical and flash grenades.

Residents on Lesvos remain united and are trying to maintain a strong front against the situation unfolding on their island.
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Re: News from Greece

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Migrants gather at Lesvos port amid evacuation rumors
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More than 2,000 refugees and migrants, holding their belongings, gathered at the main port of the island of Lesvos on Tuesday afternoon, following a rumor that a passenger ferry would transport them to the mainland.

The group walked the 10 kilometers from the overcrowded camp of Moria to the town of Mytilene, filling up the quay and surrounding streets, state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported.

Police forces were called in to push them back towards the camp, however manyof the protesters returned to the port believing the ferry will arrive in the coming hours.

It was not clear how the rumor started and how it spread among the migrants residing in Moria.

At the same time, ANA-MPA reported that numerous young Greeks gathered at the port to “defend themselves” after a separate rumor circulated alleging that asylum seekers armed with wooden bars would descend on Mytilene.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greek Troops Open Fire
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Re: News from Greece

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More fires set at migrant camp on Greek island as tensions boil over

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A fire broke out at a refugee center on the Greek island of Lesbos, Greece’s firefighting service said Sunday, causing considerable damage to a warehouse but no injuries.

It was the second fire at an installation built for migrants, after a reception center was burned down by unknown perpetrators last Monday. The warehouse, which contained furniture and electrical appliances, was completely destroyed, a firefighting spokesman told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, because an investigation into the fire is ongoing.

The blaze at the refugee center came amid a tense standoff between Turkey and the European Union over who is responsible for the millions of migrants and refugees on Turkish territory and the thousands who have massed recently at the Greek border.

Thousands of migrants headed for Turkey’s land border with EU member Greece after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government announced earlier this month that it would no longer prevent migrants and refugees from crossing over into EU countries.

Greece has deployed riot police and border guards to repel people trying to enter the country and the Greek border area has since seen violent confrontations between them and the migrants. On Saturday, youths threw rocks at Greek police and tried to break down a border fence.

In Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan called on Greece to open its borders and allow the migrants to move on to other European countries.

“These people won’t stay (in your country), they will move to other European countries,” Erdogan said. “Why don’t you open your gates too, let them go to other other countries, and rid yourself of this burden.”

In a speech marking International Women’s Day, Erdogan asserted that woman and children were bearing the brunt of the crisis.

“Is the West’s heart breaking over all of this? No. Is it raising its voice? No,” Erdogan said.

Meanwhile, Cyprus announced it will send security forces to the Greek-Turkish land border to help protect it. Greek government spokesman Kyriakos Kousios said in a statement that the decision to send the force was announced by Cypriot President Nicos Anastassiades to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a telephone conversation the two had Sunday morning.

“The president’s proposal was gratefully accepted by Greece’s Prime Minister and, therefore, a force from Cyprus’ security forces will travel to Greece immediately to defend and guard Greece’s, and Europe’s, borders,” the Cyprus spokesman’s statement said.

The Greek government released a video purporting to show a Turkish armored vehicle trying to pull down part of border fence with a rope. It claimed the vehicle was partly purchased with EU border funds. The Associated Press could not verify the authenticity of the video. There was no immediate comment from Turkish officials.

Greece also arrested five migrants overnight.

Turkey is accusing Greece of mistreating the migrants. Many migrants have reported crossing into Greece, being beaten by Greek authorities and summarily forced back into Turkey.

Erdogan will travel to Brussels on Monday to talk with top EU officials about a 2016 Turkey-EU agreement on containing the refugee flows to Europe that has now collapsed. Each side has blamed the other.

The deal called for Turkey to halt the flow of Europe-bound migrants and refugees in exchange for up to 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in aid for Syrian refugees on its territory, fast-track EU membership and visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens.

“I hope that we will return from Brussels with a different result,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan has demanded that Europe shoulder more of the burden of caring for refugees, accusing the EU of failing to disburse the money. He announced that Turkey, which already houses more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, would no longer be Europe’s gatekeeper.

EU foreign ministers have criticized Turkey, saying it is using the migrants’ desperation “for political purposes.” EU countries are still dealing with the political fallout from a wave of mass migration five years ago.

Thousands of migrants have slept under terrible conditions in makeshift camps near the Greek border since the Turkish government said they were free to go, waiting for the opportunity to enter Greece.
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Re: News from Greece

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Iranian granted asylum by Greece urges illegal migrants to fight Greeks “bullet for bullet”

An Iranian national who was granted political asylum by the Greek authorities has posted a provocative, hate-filled message on an anarchist website which calls for a movement to arm migrants held up at the Greek-Turkish border with weapons so they can violently engage Greek border authorities.

In his message that was posted on March 9th, Abtin Parsa, a self-proclaimed “anarchist refugee” said that the “most useful solidarity to the immigrants who are at the border is to arm them because the answer to bullets should be bullets back and this is the only way to open the border for all the immigrants. We as immigrants should fight for what we need and at the moment, our first need is survival, so we must destroy those who are killing us; we have nothing to lose but our fear.”

The hate-filled message, written by an immigrant who was generously granted asylum by the Greek government, is particularly infuriating and is likely to make anti-immigrant feelings among Greeks and Europeans worse than they already have become, the Greek City Times reports.

Abtin Parsa’s full statement reads:

We are in a war situation, some of us were killed, some of us are in prisons, some of us were pushed to escape and are being hidden and many of us are under a lot of pressure. We should accept that resistance against state and capitalism is not the easy way of life but we have no choice: either we resist together and survive, or the state and capitalism will kill all of us one by one.

After months of being under watch, follow and harassment by anti-terrorist unit, on February 13, when the oppression did target me and those who have contact with me more than in the past, I did take a political decision to be hidden. I am not in a safe place and no one is in a safe place because in this neoliberal capitalism system, there is no safe place, so being hidden inside 4 walls does not mean you are safe.

In this period of time, there is a historical and political responsibility for the movement to defend the armed resistance. The goal of state repression is first to pacifize and in the end to destroy any kind of resistance, because the state does not want the oppressed to fight back. The state talks about peace but this peace is nothing but monopolizing the violence in the hand of state. The state is trying to make us unable to return the violence, but the oppressed should defend themselves by any means that they understand; otherwise there is no survival.
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Re: News from Greece

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First case of coronavirus hits Lesbos as Greeks fear virus may spread in migrant camps

The Greek island of Lesbos, which hosts 20,000 migrants in the Moria refugee camp, has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, raising fears that the virus could spread among migrants living in poor sanitary conditions.

The island, one of the top destinations for migrants attempting to reach Europe by boat, sees more migrants landing on its shores nearly every day.

Over the past week, the security conditions at the Moria camp have deteriorated to such an extent that many NGOs withdrew from the camp.

As a result, poor sanitary conditions prevail in overcrowded camp, which currently features no medical assistance. About a month ago, some doctors were already warning that an epidemic might happen in the camp.

Overall, volunteers working in the refugee camps on the Greek islands face increasingly aggressive attacks, and many of them have decided to leave.

Since Turkey has opened its borders and allowed migrants to head for Europe, Lesbos locals have been expecting an even greater influx of migrants.

If the coronavirus spreads among migrants, the situation could spiral out of control.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greece transfers 450 illegal migrants to facility on mainland near Athens

Greece is transferring 450 migrants recently detained for trying to reach the island of Lesbos illegally to a facility near Athens, authorities said Sunday.

A ship with the migrants landed at a port near Athens and the migrants will be transferred to a facility just north of the capital pending deportation, an official at the Ministry of Migration policy told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the matter. The transfer to the facility was still underway Sunday morning.

All the migrants have been detained since March 1, just days after Turkey said it was opening its borders to the millions of migrants on its soil. In response, Greece has toughened its stance, suspending all asylum applications for a month and jailing migrants, and refugees, who tried to cross the land border from Turkey.

Although the migrants had been taken to the ship several days ago, the whole operation had been shrouded in secrecy, with officials refusing to comment on the ship’s destination even after it left Lesbos early Saturday afternoon.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greek Invasion: Ship with nearly 200 illegal migrants runs aground on Greek island

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A cargo ship carrying 193 illegal migrant invaders from Turkey ran aground in rough weather conditions not far from the port of the Cycladic island of Kea (Tzia), near Athens, early Monday morning, according to the Greek coast guard.

The ship began its journey from the Turkish port of Canakkale and is said to have planned to head for Italy when rough weather conditions in the maritime area forced it to run aground on the Greek island, the Greek City Times reports.

According to the Greek coast guard, all illegal migrants were able to disembark from the cargo tanker after it hit the outside of the breakwater at the port amid gale-force winds and rough seas.

Authorities say that three human traffickers were discovered among the illegal migrants and that the illegal migrants were being housed at a local hotel.

The vast majority of migrants – most of whom are fighting-age men – make their way to Greece’s eastern Aegean islands from their nearby Turkish coast by way of inflatable dinghies. Although not unprecedented, cargo ships or tankers are generally not used to smuggle illegal migrants to Greece.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greece: Fire at migrant camp on Lesbos island leaves 1 dead

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Authorities in Greece say a minor has died in a fire that damaged an overcrowded refugee camp on the island of Lesbos.

The Fire Service said the migrant, who was not further identified, was found dead inside Moria camp after the fire broke out Monday.

Moria is Greece’s largest camp for refugees and migrants and remains severely overcrowded, with thousands sleeping outside the perimeter in tents, despite a government pledge made before the winter to improve conditions and move thousands to the Greek mainland.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greek-Turkish border returns to normal — but for how long?

The number of migrants attempting to cross illegally from Turkey into Greece returned to normal levels on Monday and Tuesday following the efforts of the Greek security forces, aided by officers sent from other European countries, to halt them. But it’s unclear how long this respite will last.

“The last few days, the situation at the borders was very stable,” a spokesman for Greece’s Foreign Ministry told EUobserver in a report on the situation. “We had very few attempts from migrants to enter.” Similar statements were made by representatives of both the EU and the UN.

Tens of thousands of migrants have been attempting to forcefully enter Greece since the end of February, when Turkey’s President, Recep Erdoğan, announced that the country would no longer stop migrants from crossing Turkish territory in an effort to enter Greece, and through them, the European Union. The migrants, many of whom are fighting-aged men, even employed weapons such as incendiary bombs and tear gas against the Greek border guards, and were being aided by the Turkish police, as reported by Voice of Europe. Several other European nations, including Austria and the Visegrád Group countries, either sent or had promised to send police to reinforce the Greek units.

Greece has claimed that most of the migrants were stopped at the border. Turkey has countered that more than 130,000 made it into Greece in recent weeks.

Over the past few days, some migrants have been seen leaving the area of the Greek border, and The New York Times reported that the Turkish government had been sending buses to bring migrants back to Istanbul. The International Organization for Migration told EUobserver that thousands remain, however, and are likely waiting to see how Turkey’s ongoing negotiations with the EU regarding migrants develop.

In spite of the lull, however, migrants again clashed with security forces along the Greek border early on Wednesday morning, as reported by Voice of Europe, and attempted to break through the fence. It remains to be seen if this was a temporary setback or if the respite from violence is already over.

Greece has also accused Turkey of sending its own citizens to the border disguised as refugees with the intention of creating fake news to support Turkish propaganda regarding the migrants, as reported by Ahval News.

The Turkish government is sticking to the stance it announced in February, however, and says that migrants are still welcome to attempt to enter Europe through their territory if they wish. Turkey is using the migrants as a bargaining chip in an effort to pressure the European Union into supporting it in its conflict with Syria. Syria is being backed by Russia, which has been conducting bombing raids that are causing millions more migrants to cross into Turkey.

Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, told The Guardian that the real issue clearly wasn’t the migrants, but geopolitics.

Unless the international community can find a solution to the Syrian problem, it seems inevitable that sooner or later, the flow of migrants towards Greece will resume.
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Re: News from Greece

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Greek authorities discover tunnels packed with military-grade weapons; extreme-left Turkish terrorists arrested

Greek authorities have arrested several members of an extreme-left Turkish terrorist organization following a series of raids which led to the discovery of a tunnel in Athens filled with military-grade weapons.

A total of eleven members of the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (DHKP-C) – all of whom are Turkish citizens – were rounded up during sweeps carried out by Greece’s National Intelligence Service and Anti-Terrorism service, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reports.

During the sweeps, which were conducted at various properties in the Sepolia and Exarchia districts in Athens, security forces found a 47-meter tunnel filled with a cache of military-grade weapons which included an anti-tank rocket launcher, grenade launchers, AK-47 rifles, and other firearms and firearm parts.

In the apartments that were raided, police discovered and confiscated several digital journals, mobile phones, laptops, hard drives, tablets, and digital data storage devices, among other things.

The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the Turkish government have all classified the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (DHKP-C) – an extreme-left revolutionary communist organization – as a terrorist organization. The group has been involved in several attacks in Turkey, and wish to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government and install a communist regime in its place.

The terrorist organization is also believed to have been involved in a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara in 2013

Among the 11 men who were arrested was a 60-year-old man who was arrested in 2013, along with a Kurdish man and two Greeks, for possessing anti-tank weapons and other weapons on a boat on the Greek island of Chios in the Eastern Aegean.

The 60-year-old, whose code name is “Kotas”, is believed to be the leader of the group of terrorists.

15 others were arrested during the counter-terrorism operation, one for interfering with Interpol’s international search warrant and for his alleged involvement in the terror cell and the other for not holding legal residence documents.
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Re: News from Greece

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NGO accuses Greek government of violating migrants’ human rights

The New York-based non-governmental agency Human Rights Watch has charged Greece with violating European Union law by denying migrants the right to apply for asylum.

At the end of February, Turkish President Recep Erdoğan announced that his government would no longer stop migrants who are camped in Turkey from attempting to illegally cross the Turkish-Greek border. Since then, the Greek security forces, being reinforced by police from other parts of Europe, have been besieged by tens of thousands of migrants attempting to violently break through the border fence, in some cases even being aided by the Turkish police, as previously reported by Voice of Europe.

In response, Greece announced that it would no longer accept new requests for asylum from migrants as it fights to resist the invasion, and enacted a policy of immediately deporting any migrants who made it across the border. The Greeks have reported that they have stopped more than 50,000 migrants from entering the European Union during the latest crisis thus far.

Even before the latest migrant crisis began, Greece was already holding approximately 100,00 migrants in welcome centers. Nearly half are camped out on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

Since the end of February, Greece has detained an additional 625 migrants on the island of Lesbos. Human Rights Watch is accusing Greece of denying the newly arrived migrants their right to apply for asylum, and also claims that 200 of the migrants are being held in “unacceptable conditions,” according to a report at The National Herald..

Red Cross personnel have also been testing all of the migrants for the coronavirus (COVID-19). There are fears that illegal migrants could be bringing disease into the detention camps.

Belkis Wille, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, said that the Council of Europe’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture recently sent a rapid reaction team to Greece to investigate how the migrants are being treated by the authorities.

“For up to two weeks, the authorities have been holding women, men, and children – many of them fleeing war and persecution – in the open in cold temperatures, denying their right to seek asylum and preventing them from getting the humanitarian and legal assistance they need and are entitled to,” WIlle said.
The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left.

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