Greece

Syriza: dark at the end of the tunnel

Author: 

Theodora Polenta

Participants in the Second Congress of Greece’s once-left party, Syriza, on 13-16 October, were reduced in the role of applauders of the Syriza-Anel government’s memorandum doctrines.

Since the eruption of the financial crisis in 2008, Greece’s economy has shrunk by almost 30 per cent — a decline unparalleled in peacetime, outside the collapse of the economy of the former Soviet Union amid the restoration of capitalism in the 1990s. The three austerity programmes imposed on Greece since 2010 have led to a 40 per cent cut in pensions and wages, as taxes have been hiked by around 25 per cent.

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Labour needs new policy of solidarity with migrants

Author: 

Theodora Polenta and Hugh Edwards

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will defend freedom of movement in the negotiations around Brexit. He has declared: “I have visited the camps in Calais and Dunkirk, which are in an appalling state. Those people are in a very perilous situation. They are all humans, to whom we must reach out the hand of friendship and support”. He has called for Britain to admit more refugees.

A Pan European solidarity movement, internationalist and anti-imperialist, will be built only if each anti-racist movement in each country wins battles against the policy of forcible exclusion of refugees at their “national borders”.

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Tories plan Great Wall of Calais

Author: 

Theodora Polenta

On 7 September, Britain's immigration minister, Robert Goodwill, announced that the government will build a four-metre-high wall for about one kilometre along the main port highway in Calais, France, to prevent refugees or immigrants boarding lorries to cross the Channel.

Construction will cost about £1.9 million, will start this month and is to be completed by the end of year. "Many continue to pass [the border]," said Goodwill, speaking to a parliamentary committee. "We have raised fences, now we will raise the wall."

Britain's immigration minister, Robert Goodwill, has announced that the government will build a four-metre-high wall for about one kilometre along the main port highway in Calais, France, to prevent refugees or immigrants boarding lorries to cross the Channel.

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Inside a Greek detention centre

Thousands of refugees are now trapped in Greece. Recently the Greek government broke up the makeshift camp of 12,000 people at Idomeni on the Macedonian border, forcibly moving people to warehouses in Thessaloniki. Many families have been split up, people are missing. Solidarity spoke to Dashty Jamal, Secretary of the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, who recently visited a camp on the island of Samos in search of missing Kurdish refugees.

Thousands of refugees are now trapped in Greece.

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Varoufakis’ plan to change Europe

Author: 

John Cunningham

During the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, the Athenians captured the small island of Melia, considered to be friendly to their rival city state.

The Melians, powerless before the might of Athens, pleaded for mercy but to no avail. The Athenians stated that justice belonged to the strong, they would do as they pleased “and the weak suffer what they must” (note that the original quote is a statement, not a question — a subtle but important difference).

A review of And the Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yanis Varoufakis (Bodley Head, 2016).

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Let them in!

Author: 

Angela Driver

On Sunday 10 April 2016, the Macedonian authorities brutally suppressed an attempt by Syrian refugees to cross the border into Greece.

Tear gas, plastic bullets, stun grenades and water cannons were used against the refugees, including children, when they tried to scale the fence to cross the border. Médecins Sans Frontières reported seeing 200 people suffering from breathing problems, and another 100 suffering injuries The tear gas used reached camps near by causing families to flee with children to nearby farms to escape the effects of the chemicals.

On Sunday 10 April 2016, the Macedonian authorities brutally suppressed an attempt by Syrian refugees to cross the border into Greece.

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Refugees not safe in Turkey

Author: 

Rosalind Robson

On Monday 4 April Greece began deporting migrants. After making a perilous journey across the Aegean sea, they are being sent back to Turkey.

Under a deal with and within the EU, and with the agreement of the Syriza government, all migrants who arrived in Greece prior to 30 March and deemed not in need of international protection are to be deported.

On Monday 4 April Greece began deporting migrants. After making a perilous journey across the Aegean sea, they are being sent back to Turkey.

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A Europe of borders and resistance

Author: 

Theodora Polenta
For as long as the war in Syria lasts and chaos prevails, refugees will try by every means possible to get to a place that is safer, however many summits the governments call and however many fences and borders they erect.

Here’s what the “Fortress EU” of ever increasing land, air and sea fences and more actual and conceptual borders says to us all, and not only to the refugees of Syria’s war: There is no place for you to live, because I want to grab your resources and check your routes. There is no other place for you to go to breathe. There is no way to walk. The only option to endure, to endure, to adapt, to live with the annihilation of any planning for a better future. And, to a large extent, those messages represent the broader social, economic, and cultural values of today’s capitalism.

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Calais: police have attacked 73%

Author: 

Phil Grimm and Gemma Short

Research by the charity Help Refugees and the Refugee Rights Data project has revealed the shocking extent of the police brutality, racist attacks and poor living conditions faced by migrants at a the Calais “Jungle” camp.

According to the research, three-quarters of refugees in the “Jungle” camp near the French port have been the victim of violence at the hands of police. The charity also says it believes nearly half of the Calais’s refugees have also suffered violence directed at them by citizens, mostly carried out by far-right groups.

Research by the charity Help Refugees and the Refugee Rights Data project has revealed the shocking extent of the police brutality, racist attacks and poor living conditions faced by migrants at a the Calais “Jungle” camp.

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6500 people waiting at the border

The Greek left tries to help refugees any way it can, by collecting goods and organising marches and demonstrations against ″Fortress Europe″.

Nikos Anastasiadis of DEA, the Workers’ International Left in Greece, spoke to Solidarity.


Greece has accepted tens of thousands of refugees. Refugees came to Greece. Then they travel to Europe. But now the borders have closed and so most of the refugees are going to remain in Greece. There are now 6500 people waiting at the borders, which have been closed for a little more than a week. They were closed because central European countries do not want to accept more refugees.

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