Global Independent Analytics

Refugee crisis grows in Greece as EU looks on

While the European Union leaders are taking their time fighting refugee crisis, Greece continues to accept immigrants.

In his article for Deutsche Welle Pavlos Zafiropulous writes: despite EU summits and agreements, Greece still has to anticipate significant support with the migrant crisis.

Greek Interior Ministry did not fail to rejoice when for some reason the influx of refugees emphatically crossing harsh Mediterranean waters slowed in the middle of November. However, the joy did not last long: it was discovered that neither border closures nor tougher rhetoric was enough to affect the steady stream of desperate immigrants on their small rubber boats; instead, the lack of the boats influenced the migration process. When new supply of boats was shipped, the arrivals picked back up.

Even the onset of winter did not manage to slow down the arriving of new refugees, both those who are fleeing from war-torn countries and those whose lives are not under direct threat; the flow of arrivals still remains at its historical maximum. Regardless of bad weather conditions thousands of people continue gathering on Turkish shores, hoping to cross into Greece and the European Union. As reported by the head of the Greek office of the International Organization of Immigration, people are striving and giving away the shirts off backs to get to Europe. Luckily, the smugglers cater to their needs and drop the prices when the weather is bad.

Zafiropulous provides statistics: According to the International Organization of Immigration (IOM), an average of 3,300 people have made the crossing per day in December compared to July's average of 1,700. And on December 21 - ironically the first day of winter - 2015 officially became the year when over 1 million irregular migrants and refugees entered Europe. The vast majority (802,000) entered through Greece. But not all of them made it: in total 3,695 people are thought to have perished in the Mediterranean in 2015”.

However, in the face of such shocking numbers, the EU’s responses appear rather incompetent: the latest relocation scheme suggested by the EU implies conveyance of only 160,000 refugees in the next two years. Furthermore, EU leaders plan to launch intervention operation and border control strengthening. The main aim of these measures would be to ensure that no refugee already arrived is left without registration and screening and that the number of arrivals is under control. However, there are not many options left for a boat, laden with refugees set off from Turkey shore, other than to be drowned by coast guard vessel.

“Meanwhile the Greek authorities, already ill-equipped and under-funded to manage the enormous flows moving through the country, find themselves continually on the back foot as new variables change the facts on the ground. The irregular flows of primarily Syrian and Afghani refugees has attracted migrants from other countries and particularly Iran, Morocco and Algeria, Yet in late November, Slovenia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) shut their borders to all those not from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, stranding the rest in Greece,” continues Zafiropulous.

The story of transferring rejected migrants within Greek cities is quite terrifying too: hundreds of refugees were transported to Athens and located in two stadiums of the city. The stadiums and their surroundings have been repeatedly cleared of immigrants before, and now they host migrants again, with Moroccan and Algerian natives sleeping out in the open. Many of them say that despite the toughened border control, they will continue their journeys to western and northern parts of Europe.

Now authorities report of new alternative smuggling routes into EU through Macedonia and Albania. Although many immigrants are persistent in their wish to achieve prosperous European life, for some of them the struggles on the way are too much: the IOM office in Athens is crowded with people patiently waiting to proceed with voluntary return to their home countries. The lack of funding of the voluntary return program also contributes its mite into the current crisis.

“After a dramatic summer of economic brinksmanship between the Greek government and the EU that resulted in the near collapse of the country's banking system, many Greeks now view Europe's lukewarm assistance in dealing with the refugee and migrant crisis as par for the course in a union where short-term national interests are often seen to be trumping ideas of humanitarianism and solidarity,” assumes Zafiropulous.

Despite all good intentions borne by EU leaders, the implementation of migrant flow control programs would take months and meanwhile refugees will keep arriving by any means even through the winter.

EXPERT OPINION

Van Gelis

EU has no pushback policy so it's 'everybody welcome.' They agreed to give Turkey €3b so it must have received an advance and bought some new boats. They are obviously aiming to get their numbers up to 10k daily so target of 3m can be reached for 2016. 

Engineering an immigrant crisis in Greece has as the added aim to force migrants on all EU states which is Merkel's real agenda.

Read more

POPULAR ARTICLES

Not Found

OPINION

Vladimir Golstein

Vladimir Golstein

The Danderous Acceptance of Donald Trump

James N. Green

James N. Green

Politics in Brazil: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Barbara H. Peterson

Barbara H. Peterson

Health officials confirm spread of Zika virus through sexual contact in Texas, first in US

Danny Haiphong

Danny Haiphong

WHY IS OTTO(SUPER)MAN ERDOGAN LOSING HIS CHARISMA?

Miray Aslan

Miray Aslan

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Navid Nasr

Navid Nasr

How relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a breaking point

Writers

chief editor

Joshua Tartakovsky

Analysis should serve as a method to better understand our world, not to obscure it.

Materials: 42

Specialization: Israel and the Middle East, US politics

Materials: 7

Specialization: Balkans, NATO and EU policies, Strategic communications

Materials: 3

Specialization: Foreign politics, Immigration, Human rights.

Materials: 2

Specialization: Political Science, Social Anthropology

Materials: 3

Specialization: Eastern Europe

Materials: 14

Specialization: Industrial Safety, Corporations

Materials: 12

Specialization: Eastern Europe, Labor movement

Materials: 3

Specialization: American history, way of life, and principles

Danielle Ryan

Ireland

Materials: 10

Specialization: US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias

Materials: 20

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

Materials: 8

Specialization: Modern Japanese History, Modern Chinese History, Military History, History of Counterinsurgency, History of Disobedience, Dynamics of Atrocities in Wartime

Dovid Katz

Lithuania

Materials: 3

Specialization: Holocaust Revisionism and Geopolitics; East European Far Right & Human Rights; Yiddish Studies & Litvak Culture

Materials: 20

Specialization: History, Catalunya, Spain, Geopolitics, Nationalism in Europe, Islamization, Immigration

Materials: 5

Materials: 3

Specialization: migration, international relations

Materials: 1

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy and strategies, BRICS/SCO

Materials: 19

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Materials: 10

Specialization: Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism, Global Security

Materials: 4

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 4

Specialization: Media and government relations

Materials: 2

Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Jay Watts

Canada

Materials: 2

Specialization: History, Marxism-Leninism, Imperialism, Anti-imperialism.

Materials: 2

Specialization: International Relations, Sociology, Geostrategy

Materials: 1

Specialization: civil rights

Lionel Baland

Belgium

Materials: 22

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Maram Susli

Australia

Materials: 3

Specialization: Geopolitics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights, Racism, US politics

Materials: 1

Specialization: geopolitics, economics

Max J. Schindler

Palestine-Israel

Materials: 9

Specialization: Politics

Miray Aslan

Turkey

Materials: 12

Specialization: Media, Politics

Materials: 5

Specialization: Politics, International relations

Navid Nasr

Croatia

Materials: 13

Specialization: Global security, Politics

Materials: 9

Specialization: Development of European Union, Non-governmental organizations, Politics and economics in Baltic States

Materials: 9

Specialization: Greece, Crisis of the US hegemony; Israel / Occupied Palestine, Oppression of Black people in the US

Materials: 4

Specialization: geopolitics, Russia, USSR

Pedro Marin

Brazil

Materials: 17

Specialization: Latin America, Ukraine, North Korea

Materials: 13

Specialization: Sustainable development, International relations, Comparative European politics, European integration, Eastern European politics and EU-Russia relations

Materials: 8

Specialization: Politics

Materials: 16

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

Seyit Aldogan

Greece

Materials: 3

Specialization: ISIS, Middle East, Globalization, Migrant crisis

Materials: 1

Specialization: Head of "Srebrenica Historical Project"

Materials: 3

Specialization: Economy, Social politics

Stevan Gajic

Serbia

Materials: 1

Specialization: Full time researcher at the Institute for European Studies

Materials: 5

Specialization: Geopolitics, Geoeconomics

Materials: 2

Specialization: Civil rights

Tobias Nase

Germany

Materials: 8

Specialization: Syria, US Foreign policy, Ukraine

Valerijus Simulik

Lithuania

Materials: 2

Specialization: Politics and economics in Baltic States, education and science, non - governmental organizations, globalization and EU

Van Gelis

Greece

Materials: 17

Specialization: Middle East

Materials: 1

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Materials: 5

Specialization: international relations, Russia

toTop