Not many Greeks see a genuine attempt to solve the problem of illegal immigration in the measures applied by the government last month and in particular, by the Minister of Citizen Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis. The majority of them believe that everything has been done in order to attract or bring back the voters turning to the far right. After repeating his belief that the first reception centre for illegal immigrants near Amigdaleza in Athens will receive the first 1,000 of them by the end of May, today Michalis Chrysochoidis announced a new measure. Actions against the owners of apartments in the centre of Athens, which shelter dozens of illegal immigrants, are expected to begin tomorrow. The houses will be emptied and criminal persecution will be initiated against the owners.
Today, some of the immigrants gave their response to the Minister, which was not less politicized. Left and far left organizations and parties, such as SYRIZA and ANTARSIA, which will participate in the election race, held together with migrant organizations a procession against the construction of the centres.
Immigrants and activists gathered in Omonia Square, where "revolutionary" songs were echoing. Young people were uttering fiery speeches against the government measures, the crisis, and the memorandum. They were followed by representatives of organizations and parties opposing the measures announced by the authorities, saying they are seriously violating their rights.
"We live in a period of political hypocrisy, during which the two-party system is doing everything it can to resurrect on the political stage. The main communicative part of its policy is to remove the usual problem of immigration and present it as a major problem. The goal is to awaken the right instincts and the sense of insecurity in people," said the lawyer and participant in the procession Konstantinos Papadakis for GRReporter. He pointed out that these government actions are strengthening the "gangs" of Golden Dawn and their criminal activity. All this is done with electoral purposes and to show that the implementation of laws and procedures is being recovered."
"It has occurred to the minister to seek the owners of the houses but it is too late as he and his policy are chasing the immigrants away from hospitals, depriving them of treatment that is necessary to prevent diseases from spreading."
He described the responsibility of Greece for taking part in wars and the violation of environment protection agreements that make migrants leave their countries and seek a better life elsewhere. He also noted that under the Dublin 2 regulation, they cannot go to other European countries. "We are here today to expose the attempted distraction of people's attention, racism, the dangerous policy that is "arming" criminal gangs. Immigrants are not to blame for the crisis; capitalism and memoranda are to blame for it," the lawyer said in conclusion.
The procession began with a delay of nearly an hour and a half, after the speeches of organizers. In the beginning, a large poster reading "No to concentration camps" was being held up. Calls like "Out with neo-Nazis", "Never again fascism", "United workers cannot be divided" and others dominated the posters of participants.
After a few stops along Stadiou Street,the demonstrators came to the parliament, where they shouted slogans against racism, Golden Dawn and the policy of PASOK and New Democracy. They did not even try to reach the police that were guarding the side entrance. The procession set off along Panepistimiou Street to return to Omonia Square, where the participants dispersed.