Monday, March 2, 2020

KKE slams Greek government: "Demonstrate your strength to EU and NATO, not to refugees"

Greek riot police forces behind the fences at Kastanies
border crossing, 29 February 2020 EPA/EFE.
After a meeting on Sunday chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s Government Council on National Security (KYSEA) decided to step up the level of deterrence to the maximum point at the Greek-Turkish borders in Evros. 

The conservative ND government also decided to suspend new asylum applications, while the presence of army units and police forces across Kastanies border gates has been strengthened. Additionally, Athens has requested from EU border agency FRONTEX to provide additional aid in the protection of the borders.

In a statement published on 902 portal, the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) points out: “As long as the government does not contest the policy of the EU and NATO, who uproot people, orchestrate the entrapment of the refugees in islands and borders and support Erdogan for their own interests, the problem will be exacerbated. The refugees and immigrants will simply seek for new, more dangerous ways of escape and will be the victims of traffickers and governments which play various geopolitical games on their backs”.

The KKE statement adds: “The Greek government must now exercise the greatest possible pressure, in every way, to the EU so that the refugees will travel to the countries of their destination. So that there will be a fair distribution of refugees, against “Dublin Regulation II” and the EU-Turkey agreement which has been utterly bankrupted”. 

During the last three days, the situation in the Greek-Turkish borders, at the Kastanies/Pazarkule border crossing has been tense, with thousands of refugees being trapped in the “buffer zone”. In order to keep the refugees away from passing the borders, Greek police forces used tear gas bombs and flash grenades. 

On Saturday, commenting on the stance of Greek police forces against the refugees, the Press Bureau of the KKE called the government to stop the repression against migrants and show “its bravado to NATO and the EU who both encourage Turkey’s intervention in N. Syria and cause the entrapment of the refugees as a consequence of their agreements with Erdogan, that has been scrupulously respected by all governments”. 

The 2016 EU-Turkey agreement and the EU's
Dublin Regulation II have led to the entrapment
of thousands of refugees in Greece.
At the same time, the flow of refugees from the Turkish shores to the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos has been increased. According to media reports, groups of local nationalists in Lesvos gathered in several places, preventing the disembarkment of boats carrying refugees. 

In the port of Thermi, about 50 refugees including children were not allowed to disembark, while some locals verbally assaulted the representative of the UNCHR (UN’s refugee agency) as well as Niki Tsirigoti, KKE’s elected councillor in the city of Mytilene. 

In a statement published on 902 portal, the Lesvos Sectoral Committee of the KKE demanded from the government to proceed immediately to the extrication of all the entrapped refugees and migrants who are in Moria refugee camp, as well as those who will arrive in the island in the coming hours. 

Additionally, the KKE calls the people of Lesvos to avoid being drifted by far-right groups which seek to turn the inhabitants against the refugees and immigrants.