Over the coming weeks the Greek authorities will attempt to ship to Turkey hundreds of refugees who have been earmarked for deportation under the illegal EU-Turkey deal. Ferries have been commandeered for the task. But the Greek police are overstretched and may not be able to cope if riots and other protests by refugees and their supporters erupt. Already several contingents of riot police from across Europe have been drafted in: this is unprecedented and an admission of failure by the Greek authorities as well as a clear abuse of Greek sovereignty. The situation could be explosive, particularly if those of the ‘Other Europe’ – people who are diametrically opposed to these and other authoritarian measures – take direct action to halt this madness and restore a sense of morality.
On Friday, after rioting, several hundred refugees broke out of the Vial detention centre on Chios and made their way to the harbour to demand a ship to take them to Piraeus (see photo above).
Altogether it is estimated that more than 50,000 refugees are stuck in Greece – refugees who risked their lives to reach safety. More than 10,000 are still stuck at Ideomeni.
Tomorrow, a total of 750 refugees are expected to be deported from Lesvos alone. Officers from Frontext will be on board the ships that will be used to transport the refugees. The vessels to be used will be a Turkish catamaran, Nazli Zale, and a Turkish ferry boat, the Lesbos.
The catamaran will do two trips each day with 100 migrants and 100 police officers on board. The Lesbos will transport 50 migrants and 50 police officers per trip.
The first ships will leave the port of Mytilene at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Monday). The refugees will be transported from the detention centre to the harbour by buses. There will be a mix of Pakistanis, Afghans and Syrians who have not applied for asylum. All will be refugees who arrived on Greek territory after the March 20th EU-Turkey agreenment deadline.
Every refugee will be handcuffed. It’s unknown if children will be handcuffed too.
As well as large numbers of Greek police drafted in from elsewhere in Greece, several hundred police have been drafted in from all over Europe – 50 French riot police, a similar number from Italy, 17 Dutch police officers and scores more from Estonia, Germany, Portugal and other countries. More non-Greek riot police are to be based on Chios.
Unprecedented measures have been taken by the authorities on Lesvos with all ferries to the Greek mainland cancelled in case hundreds of refugee supporters arrive to show solidarity. Some believe this amounts to a defacto ‘state of emergency’.
In Turkey the ‘reception’ centre in Dikili, opposite Lesvos, is not ready and so arrivals there will be fingerprinted at the local sports centre before being transported to camps or detention centres.
Meanwhile, the Greek Government is undergoing a crisis after the publication by Wikileaks of a conversation between two senior IMF officials, two weeks ago.
Below is a response in the form of a letter by Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras to German chancellor Angela Merkel (in Greek and English).
(Note: a reminder that UndercoverInfo also published the infamous Greek section of the Lagarde List on the eve of the Greek national elections, 2015.)