The face (and the fate) of Europe

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

I was yesterday walking in Victoria Square, in the very center of Athens, looking at policemen who tried to move away some refugees or immigrants. The refugees were peaceful. They were just sitting in the square. “Why you move them, they don’t harm anybody?”, I asked the policemen, one man and one woman. “If we let them here, there will be hundreds of them in some minutes”, was the answer. “Ok, but they will gather in another place”. “I know”, she answers “but those are the orders”. “Where they will go?” I go on asking. “I have no idea, answers the policeman. The man looked more perplexed and confused. He was unable to decipher the logic behind the orders. And he was moving his head in exasperation about the problem refugees face in Greece and Greece is facing with refugees.

In another corner of the square, a woman breastfeeding her new born child. And some forty or more refugees are pushing one another trying to enter a van with only ten places. In the news I hear of one more ship drawn near the Kos island. Eight people are missing, but it seems nobody cares any more. The Erdogan regime continues to fuel in a thousand ways the flux of refugees to Greece, asking for more financial and important diplomatic concessions from Europe, Greece and Cyprus. Berlin, London, Paris were able and willing to impose sanctions against Russia (!), when Washington decided, but they seem completely unable or unwilling to exert any pressure to Ankara. They are just begging Turkey, putting all pressure to their fellow member-state, Greece. Once more, the Athens government seems unable or unwilling to resist.

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It is raining those days in Greece. Thousands of refugees remain where they can, often under the rain, including women and small children. Three thousand unaccompanied children stay among the refugees in Idomeni, potentially a paradise for mafias, after FYROM, a US-Germany semi-protectorate, decided to close the frontier. A woman in Idomeni gave birth to her child under the rain. The first serious illnesses appear among them and the nearby Kilkis hospital is crumbling to face them.

Not only the FYROM authorities closed the frontier, they used chemical gas inside the adjacent Greek territory to disperse the refugees wishing to cross the frontier.

Even Albania, a US-Turkish protectorate, is closing its frontiers with Greece. Twenty five years ago, one to one and a half million Albanians have found refuge in Greece, after the collapse of the previous regime there.

The Greek state does what it can to help refugees in Idomeni, but it does not seem able to do much and, besides, they want to push them back, as they seem accepting now, more and more, the European “rationale”. Nearby villagers and volunteers do what they can, but nobody can predict what will happen if the situation takes a permanent character. There are some NGO’s and European leftists also in Idomeni. But all of them are clearly insufficient to help so many people.

What does the European Union? The refugee problem has had an economic impact of one billion euros for Greece. EU has provided just 30 millions up to now. It is planning to provide 700 millions more during the next three years. But this money will not go to the Greek state, but to various international NGO’s, which tend to take de facto one more piece of Greek national sovereignty, as it is happening already with the “bail out” programs.

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In deep confusion anyway about the problem and any “national” or “human rights” question, the Athens government is keeping retreating. In the same time such things are happening around the country, the “Quartet” (ex-Troika), a group of “economic hit men”, ruling Greece behind its government, on behalf of European governments, institutions and the IMF, are meeting Greek Ministers in the Hilton hotel in central Athens. They discuss
how big will be the 13th consecutive reduction of pensions, among other “humanistic” measures. As the slaughter of their country, by Europe and IMF, goes on, Greek parents are trying hard to find a way for their own children to leave the country.

Citizens of Central, Northern or Western Europe are protesting against the probability of hosting the refugees in their countries. But they did not protest when the French, the British and the NATO aviation were bombing Libya. Or when the secret services of these and other countries were helping the development of ISIS in Syria, in order to get rid of Assad. US and Western European states erased to the earth large parts of the Middle East or contributed to their destruction. Now they are surprised with the consequences, like refugees or terror. Maybe they thought that Europe is an island, from where you can bomb anybody you want, to “protect his rights”, without bearing any consequences.

Now, a “silent majority” among them is accepting the transformation of a European to a Middle Eastern country, hoping probably that this problem will remain in Greece and it will not affect them. As for the financial war launched against Greece, for six years now, this “silent majority” will wake up when it will come to their countries. But probably it will be too late.

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Victoria Nuland, the neoconservative assistant secretary of State, ex spokesman for Hillary Clinton, actively involved in the military campaigns against Yugoslavia, in the wars in the Middle East, in Maidan revolt and the beginning of the new Cold War came some days ago to Idomeni, probably to inspect the result of the policies she herself contributed so much to. After all she must feel satisfied. She seems to have been right all along when she said the infamous, dismissive phrase about Europeans during the Ukrainian crisis. “Fuck the EU…”

Athens, March 14