A new video on the fate of Afghani asylum seekers in Greece. As the country is plummetting into dramatic economic depression, unemployment standing at 24% (among youth at 50%) and as the lines at soup kitchens become longer and longer, Greece is faced also with a humanitarian and refugee crisis. Afghani asylum seekers in particular but also other southeast Asians and sub Saharan Africans have become the preferred target of far right groupings. The neo Nazi party Golden Dawn is testing the democratic reflexes of Greek society – those democratic reflexes that are still there when the ordinary citizen sees no light at the end of the crisis tunnel. Indeed as a citizen and as an academic living and working abroad, as much as I can be concerned about my family, friends and the country in general and its future, I am mostly concerned about Greek society not losing its humanity and belief in democracy.
This video, one of several over the last few years, seeks to bring the question to the forefront – answers are hard to come by and the EU does not seem to care too much as long as the asylum seekers and irregular migrants are not crossing the Greek border to any other EU country. Naturally the responsibilities of Greek administration are high but the European character of the problem (Greece is the ‘doorway’ to other EU countries) cannot be refuted either! A revision of the Dublin II Regulation is out of the question while also all issues of irregular migration appear to have been ‘settled’ by the Directive on the common standards and procedures for returning illegally staying aliens. Greece has transposed the Directive but is not implementing its own law properly partly becuase of the crisis and its dire economic situation partly of course because the government lacks the political will to implement it. The current government, under acute popular pressure, mainly cares about winning the voters’ sympathy by chasing asylum seekers and irregular migrants off the streets of Athens and restoring ‘public order’ than seek a sustainable answer to the question. As mentioned the crisis is both a reason for not providing appropriate policy answers and a good justification for this failure. In the meantime, Golden Dawns seeks to take the law into its own hands.