I’ve passed comment on the situation in Greece in previous blog entries but I was unaware of the full scale of what exactly was going on until today. In March 2012 it was announced that Greek Officials had given the go ahead for up to 30 detention style camps to be opened to house illegal immigrants who would be processed for eventual deportation. The move came as a means to control the social chaos consuming Greece after the collapse of the country’s economy. The official justification for the move is that with an influx of immigrants came a huge jump in crime figures and that a fast response is the best way to deal with the crisis. At the time the move was criticised as resembling Nazi Concentration Camps and the rhetoric was seen as a means to raise a climate of hatred and fear against immigrants and Foreigners. That was in 2012, now in 2013 the situation has gotten far worse with the scope of these camps far increased.
Greece has undoubtedly been on the countries hit hardest by the economic downturn that has affected the planet and the governments inability to get a handle on the crisis has led to rapid rise of the far right in the country. Golden Dawn; the openly Neo Nazi party has further pushed an agenda of hostility and open hatred against those who are not in line with the true “Greek ideal.” The so called Liberals and Centre Left parties have played along or turned a blind eye to what is happening in the country either out of fear or blatant inability.
The Concentration Camps are a small part of what is happening in Greece. What was originally a move to round up illegal immigrants has become a witch hunt against a variety of minority groups. Everyday police routinely check the papers of people in the country; those who do not have their papers or should the police deem there to be an issue with said papers are carted off to internment camps where the people can be held indefinitely without trial or due process. The police are targeting immigrants, foreigners, non whites, sex workers, homosexuals and transgender people; these groups form the majority of people currently being held in these camps. Below is a short video of what one of these facilities looks like:
Currently the situation in Greece is that there are 6 main camps which are said to hold 5000 people. Once in the camps the people are unable to leave and are denied the basic needs including proper food and medical care. As I have already mentioned are being held without due process, they have not been put on trial and they have more importantly not been convicted of having committed any crime. The people held in these camps are absolutely being targeted because they are non Greek or they do not fit into what is considered Greek.
The situation in Greece continues to deteriorate on a daily basis with the Fascist party becoming more and more powerful and with their ideals becoming increasingly more popular throughout the country. The supporters of Golden Dawn patrol the streets as an unofficial police force with government officials powerless to stop them and the party has sympathies within the police. The state news provider was recently shut down, freedom of the Press to report the situation has been completely curtailed and news of the situation is not getting out to the rest of the world. The people of Greece needs International help, this situation is the love child of austerity and unless Europe changes it’s current course this could serve as a template for the less able countries throughout the Eurozone.