Police in Athens and Patras, working in close collaboration with Greek fascists, have spent the past 24 hours / week / month / year / decade or so kicking immigrant arse. The most recent actions were cleverly anticipated by a European party person: on June 29, in an address to a conference of the European People’s Party (PPE), “Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis termed illegal immigration … a pressing problem, with Greece being weighed down by it more than the rest European nations”. Helping to shift the burden on to someone-or-something else, today police used bulldozers to clear away some of the human trash polluting the pretty streets of Patras:
Police bulldoze migrant camp in Greek port
PATRAS, Greece (AFP) — Bulldozers escorted by riot police have levelled a camp at the Greek port of Patras where hundreds of migrants had lived in growing tension with city residents, an AFP photographer has said.
Around 100 police took part in the early morning operation in the camp occupied by mainly Afghan migrants that left standing only the migrants’ makeshift mosque and a tent used by volunteer doctors.
The camp was mostly empty as many migrants had apparently been forewarned, but police took away around 100 people including some 30 minors who were boarded on buses and taken to a local hotel according to officials.
A large number of clandestine immigrants mostly aged between 15 and 25 lived at the makeshift camp near the port for months at a time without proper water or hygiene facilities, hoping to sneak onto ferries bound for Italy.
Many were injured in the process or in alleged attacks by police, sparking protests from migrants and left-wing groups.
Clashes also broke out between rival groups of Afghan and Somali migrants, leading to growing tension with Patras residents who have long called on the local authorities and the government to act.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and several non-governmental organisations described the situation as an “emergency” and called on Greece to improve its procedures for claiming asylum and upgrade immigrant reception centres.
See also : Greek police flatten migrant camp, Malcolm Brabant, BBC, July 12, 2009.
Greek police have also been hard @ work in the capital, attempting to cleanse some parts of the city of anarchists and also immigrants. Several days ago, a joint attack was launched on the 19-year-old anarchist squat Villa Amalias. The attack (which failed) was preceded by a joint meeting of (Deputy?) Public Order Minister Christos Markogiannakis and members of a local “residents’ committee” of the Ayios (Aghios) Panteleimonas neighbourhood. The committee is apparently a front group for neo-fascists belonging to the Chrysi Avyi (Χρυσή Αυγή) / Golden Dawn organisation.
For more infos, see : clandestinenglish (featuring parts of clandestina.org in english, as well as other content, related to migration and struggle) | After the Greek Riots (nee Occupied London) blog. (And a revolutionary wave of the balaclava in the direction of taxikipali.)
Greek govt tougher on migrants after EU vote los[s]
June 12, 2009
The conservative Greek government, stung by far-right gains in the European Parliament election, said on Thursday it would get tougher on illegal migration.
“The big issue that Greece and other EU countries face is the uncontrolled entry of illegal immigrants at Europe’s borders, mainly through people smugglers,” Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said after a cabinet meeting on migration.
Greece will build more camps for number of illegal immigrants and will keep them there for up to 12 months, instead of three currently, deputy Public Order Minister Christos Markogiannakis said, detailing the new measures.
People smugglers will face felony instead of misdemeanour charges, which should discourage them, he added.
The ruling conservatives suffered a stinging defeat in the European elections, their first in nine years. The far-right LAOS party took 7 percent of the vote, its best result ever…