Protests in Greek islands and the sad reality of economic migrants

Greek Islands Protest

Last updated on February 17th, 2020 at 10:34 am

LESBOS – The Greek islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios organized a general protest, closing public services, with street demonstrations scheduled later in the day, to request the immediate removal of thousands of migrants hosted in their large centres of collection. We want our islands back; we want our lives back is the main slogan of the protest. In the largest camp of Moria in the island of Lesbos there are more than 19,000 asylum seekers in a camp with a capacity of 2,840 people.

Becky left Mali because his family had a hard time surviving. In his village, Becky had organized a school for children who could not afford to go to public school. He had reached the city by bicycle, more than twenty kilometres from the village, to ask the mayor to grant him free access to electricity for one hour every evening, to be able to take lessons, and the mayor granted him. But one day his father asked him to leave, to go to Europe and find a good job, which could allow the family to go on.

To the Territorial Commission that examined his request for protection, Becky said that he had to leave because part of his village attacked his family and forced him to flee, following some disputes over ownership of land. After a series of vicissitudes, Becky found himself alone to cross the border of Mali and took the road to Libya, on the advice of some people who had assured him that the country, recently emerging from the war, was in full reconstruction and the chances of finding work there were many. The Commission believed, or pretended to believe, the story narrated by Becky and granted him humanitarian protection.

In the same reception center, however, the Commission did not grant refugee status or subsidiary or even humanitarian protection to many of Becky’s friends. Still, the stories they told were often similar to the one mentioned, and sometimes even identical. The Commissioner who listened to them was simply not the same. In the responses to their requests for protection we read phrases such as: “The story raises many perplexities”, “The alleged Catholic faith appears pretext and not credible”, “Considering that what the applicant narrated appears unlikely”. “The claim that we do not have any family members at home is not supported by objective and detailed elements”. Becky’s friends are therefore classified as “economic migrants” and will not receive a residence permit.

An economic migrant is the one who has been able to lie worse at the Territorial Commission and represents more than half of the migrants who make a request for protection in Italy and Greece. An economic migrant is also the one who, after crossing the Niger desert and seeing the people who fell from the overflowing truck on which he was traveling die in the sun, after spending months in the Libyan detention camps, defined by some as an insult to the ‘humanity’, after embarking on a 30-seater zodiac dinghy, which contained 140 people, after crossing the sea, at night, and being shipwrecked and spending several hours in the water before the rescue arrived, after waiting for a year in a reception center the moment when the Territorial Commission would have decided on his future, well, an economic migrant is the one who, after going through all this, is heard to say that his request has been refused. After the last card of the appeal has also been played, the economic migrant will be told to leave the room in which he has lived for over a year and a half, and will find himself directly on the street, without documents, without house, without money.

The Greeks, like the Italians, have enough of this stepmother Europe that forces only these two peoples and these two States to bear almost all of asylum seekers who are actually 90% economic migrants.To watch more news Human Rights Latest News

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