Of migrants, detention centres, of refugees and multiculturalism

Posted by Antonis D. Papagiannidis 07/10/2019 1 Comment(s) Economia Blog,

An interesting turn – one could even term it fascinating, but in Mediterranean politics one should always show self-restraint – was marked when Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis chose the Parliament tribune to formulate his (and, supposedly, his country’s) position over the burning issue of rising refugee/migratory flows.

 

Mitsotakis decried any racism or xenophobia in todays’ Greece; he said that, whenever attending school parades he saw migrant children carry the national flag he felt pride; he added that all refugees who decide to stay in Greece after being granted asylum, should send their kids to (Greek)school. At some point he even said – and he got applause over this from around Parliament benches – that he was proud when he saw Greek society shift to a multicultural pattern.

 

For a political environment where “smuggled immigrants”(λαθρομετανάστες) are becoming a term of aggressive talk, where reference is made to “invasion” of the national territory, such positions as the ones espoused by Mitsotakis come as a reassuring surprise. Τruth be told, though, that this very same Prime Minister was fast to (also) declare that a tougher stance was to be shown by Greece for those immigrants who would not prove their being entitled to protection as refugees (according to humanitarian and European law). Such migrants would be kept henceforth in closed detention centres – for how long? this chip of the overall mosaic is missing – before sent back – how and to where? one more missing piece.

 

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