Trieste’s Piazza della Libertà and the nearby Silos warehouses have become a hub for migrants, mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, fleeing violence and seeking asylum. They endure harsh living conditions, with inadequate shelter, facing winter cold and illness. Volunteers provide some aid, while local organizations struggle to house the 420 asylum seekers awaiting placement in the overburdened system. Meanwhile, Italy’s government tries to tighten borders and offshore asylum processing to Albania, but faces legal challenges.
The HELIOS refugee integration project in Greece, managed by the International Organization for Migration and the Greek Ministry, was abruptly halted due to funding shortfalls since early 2024, leaving many refugees vulnerable to homelessness. The suspension hinders access to housing support, language courses, and employment resources. Funding inconsistencies and bureaucratic hurdles have plagued the program, affecting not only refugees but also employees, with many dismissed without compensation or clarity on future job security. Despite its intention to aid recognized refugees, HELIOS has struggled with mismanagement and financial problems, prompting appeals for a comprehensive local housing strategy to address the ongoing crisis.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis boasted about excelling in migration management at a recent conference, but crucial issues were conveniently omitted. Violations of international laws and human rights, pushbacks of thousands of refugees, and a tragic shipwreck involving over 650 lives paint a different picture. European Commission’s silence and financial support contribute to these atrocities. The EU’s border closures and focus on security over rights and welfare further exacerbate the crisis. Activist repression and the drastic spike in arrivals raise concerns about Greece’s migration policies. These are not just numbers, but human lives at stake, revealing a deeply flawed and inhumane system.
In Greece, a “pushback” strategy targeting refugees has led to a systematic environment of violence and arbitrary detentions. One victim, Mehmet Çelik, who sought refuge in Europe after facing legal issues in Turkey, was sentenced to 155 years in prison despite the prosecutor recommending acquittal. He and several other refugees endured a harrowing journey across borders only to face potential deportation and accusations of smuggling by Greek authorities. Critics point to these cases as evidence of Greece’s politically charged approach rather than a focus on human rights.
Mainstream media misrepresents Geert Wilders’ far-right victory in the Netherlands as anti-Islam instead of racist. Rather than promoting a united society, media establishments encourage a fictitious “us versus them” narrative. This narrative benefits liberal-lefts, who ignore authoritarian and ultra right-wing Islamic groups. Meanwhile, right-wing trends in the Middle East exploit this situation to spread anti-western ideas, being mistaken for anti-colonialist forces. This misrepresentation traps society in an ideological divide, often painting opposition against political movements as a form of racism.
From simple friendships to love relationships, common gender stereotypes about people from the Middle East or Africa and, strong colonial and supremacy bias towards them led to some experiences that treating human as sexual and emotional satisfaction resources, then discarded similar to batteries, and seeking out new resource once the current ones are depleted. The dynamics of power and dominance held by citizens, coupled with an excessive emphasis on individualism that leads them to overlook the refugees’ backgrounds and living conditions, contribute significantly to psychological distress.
In September 2022, Homayoun Sabetara, a native of Iran, was handed an 18-year prison sentence for “aiding unauthorized entry into the EU from third countries.” Having driven a car from Turkey to Greece with six others seeking refuge, he was apprehended by the police in Thessaloniki. For the past two years, the almost 60-year-old has remained behind bars, while his daughter, Mahtab Sabetara, has been tirelessly advocating for his release, along with other refugees detained in Greece under charges of “people smuggling.”
In a somber announcement, the human rights monitoring group Mare Liberum has announced its withdrawal from Lesvos island, the end of its operations, and the dissolution of the association. The decision came after five years of operation in the Aegean, during which the group faced multiple forms of sabotage, obstruction, and repression.
As the upcoming presidential election draws near, political parties are making a variety of promises on how to handle the refugee crisis. Unfortunately, one of the topics dominating election news is the potential deportation of refugees back to their home countries in order to stem the flow of movement across borders.
In recent years, Greece has seen a reconfiguration of its migrant concentration camps, with new camps being erected on islands and existing camps being converted into “closed controlled centers” surrounded by walls. These military-style camps are part of a broader racist-colonial system operating within Greece and throughout Europe.
In 2016, the European Union (EU) and Turkey reached a deal known as the EU-Turkey Statement, aimed at managing the large influx of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe from conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa. Under the agreement, Turkey agreed to take back all refugees and migrants who arrived in Greece illegally, while the EU pledged to provide Turkey with financial assistance and visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.
The new Immigration bill. What a fascinating piece of work. It’s like watching a magician perform a sleight-of-hand trick, distracting us with one hand while the other is doing something entirely different. In this case, the government is proposing to overhaul the legal framework governing immigration in Greece, while simultaneously erecting insurmountable barriers to the protection of the rights of immigrants who have been living in the country for years.