February 28, 2020
The situation on our islands in the Aegean Sea has reached a very dangerous point, due to the refugee and illegal immigrant policy of the Greek government and the EU.
The construction of additional accommodation centers on the islands would make sense only if the Greek government had stopped the flow and needed reasonable accommodations for refugees and illegal immigrants who are already on the islands, until a decision was made as to who would be deported and who would be entitled to asylum. But that has not happened. The flows continue with the help of NGOs and the European Border and Coast Guard (FRONTEX).
What is the government’s long-term solution? As soon as the new buildings are filled, where will those who keep coming be housed? It is obvious that the transfer of immigrants from the islands to the mainland, which is already plagued by crime, is not a solution, especially considering that if this happens, they cannot be returned to Turkey (https://www.ethnos.gr/ellada/58418_osoi-prosfyges-metaferontai-hanoyn-dikaioma-epistrofis-stin-toyrkia?amp).
Therefore, there is only one solution: A declaration must be made to the European Union and all international organizations that Greece’s maritime borders are closed because our country is unable to sustain these human flows. The sea borders should be closed immediately with the Greek Coast Guard patrolling them, not in order to show the immigrants the way to our islands, but to return them to the waters of Turkey, making a Turkey responsible for their rescue if the immigrants risk sinking their boats.
With the borders closed, more time will be available for identifying immigrants already on the Greek islands, and separating those who are entitled to asylum from those who must be deported immediately to their country, or Turkey, from where they came and where they should have applied for asylum.
As border closures will not be fully effective immediately, for those arriving on the islands by whatever means, the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on mass repatriation of immigrants should be applied; immigrants should not enjoy the benefit of individual examination of their documents since they illegally entered into the territory of another country. How did this ruling by the ECHR apply to Spain but is not being applied to Greece?
The Greek government should prohibit NGOs from acting without prior State authorization and without being given clear instructions by the State.
A state of emergency should be declared on pthe most heavily affected islands.
The Greek government should make it clear that all immigrants who are already in Greece must abide by the laws of the host country; otherwise, they will be immediately deported.
Greece must not vanish as a nation because of wars and difficult living conditions in other countries of the world, for which Greece bears no responsibility or blame.
Finally, let us not ignore the additional recent danger of the coronavirus, which may spread in Greece and other parts of Europe, entering via the migrant flow from Asia and Middle East to the Greek islands.