“Obvious Success or hidden failure? The change from reactive to proactive policies by countries and organizations involved: Greece as a case study”

“Obvious Success or hidden failure? The change from reactive to proactive policies by countries and organizations involved: Greece as a case study”

Admitting its policies' failure the EU left to individual countries the initiative in order to stem the lines of illegal trafficking

The European Union, the beacon of democracy, proud of its “acquis communautaire” has lately resorted to closing its borders, building walls, fences and trenches and there is a surge of a European fundamentalism which rejects multiculturalism and targets the “other”, especially if it is connected to Islam. Why is that so? In 2015 more than 1,000,000 people entered Europe through the Mediterranean Sea and 3.770 died while trying.[1] From them 850,000 souls crossed the Aegean and almost literally flooded Greece and through Greece the EU. In the beginning of that year the Greek government pursued an “open arms” policy which was on a par with Angela Merckel’s Willkommenskultur.  The German Chancellor stated as late as September 2015 that the right to asylum cannot have a maximum quota[2], which is both benevolent and compliant with the International Law. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann publicly sided with Merkel.[3] Germans and Austrians were in the vanguard of this European hospitable initial reaction. Hence, the humanitarian aspect of the issue was in the forefront. Images of people greeting with joy the migrants and welcoming the refugees showing compassion and solidarity started to subside when they realized the “unbelievable volume of refugees and migrants” that started to enter the EU.

The matter of fact is that the major factor which led to a 180 degrees alteration of course was the change of the European political landscape and not the unprecedented and uncontrolled influx of both refugees and migrants. We ought to remember that the EU has faced a similar crisis during the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia; only from Bosnia-Herzegovina there were 1,200,000 refugees.[4] We should also remember that there are more that 21 million refugees around the world – 5 million only from Syria. Especially as regards the latter, some Europeans claim that Syrian refugees should go to Muslim countries instead of coming to Europe. The answer is that they do so. Half of them reside in Turkey, more than 1 million in Lebanon, almost 630,000 in Jordan and another 360,000 in Iraq and Egypt.[5] Despite the aforementioned facts, the far-right wing parties, euro-skeptics and ultra-nationalists in the EU exploited the migration flows along with the decision of the European leaders in September 2015 to adopt a quota system as regards the resettlement of refugees/ asylum seekers.[6] This quota system, which had been proposed by the European Commission as early as May 2015, was based on four criteria: Most importantly the size of the population of the European country, as well as its GDP, both of them intended to indicate the absorbing capacity of each nation, but also taking into consideration the unemployment rate in these countries as well as the previously accepted migrants, actually the number of asylum applications between 2010 and 2014. In the beginning UK, Ireland and Denmark were excluded from the relocation system, due to their non-participation to the EU immigration policy decision making as stated in the Protocols 22 and 23 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.[7] However, the euroskeptics dramatized the “invasion” of the Muslim, Middle Eastern population and the clear and present danger of each Nation and Europe as a whole to lose their identities.

The media, frequently blood-lusting, since sensation sells, adopted the “burden” and the “threat” cases against the refugees and started to alter the wording/ framing of the whole situation. The refugees became a challenge, later on a problem and in the end the situation was a crisis and not a humanitarian one but rather a security one.[8] In order for this dramatic change to take place, a sinister rewording was preferred, one that pushed the humanitarian aspect issues in the background. After a while the media preferred the term migrant to the term refugee because the term refugee automatically means that these poor people have legal rights and the EU, was obliged to provide them with a safe haven.[9] However, the practical differentiation between the refugees and the immigrants is really hard and the EU insists on protecting only those for whom there is a “well-founded fear of being persecuted”. Technicalities came also to the foreground: Could someone, that fled Syria but has resided in Turkey for a year, be considered a refugee? Could someone that has the option to seek safe havens in his own country and thus become Internally Displaced Person apply for the refugee status? Heaven Crawley suggests that “within academia it is widely accepted that a continuum is a more accurate representation than a dichotomy [between the refugees and the economic migrants], not least because causes and motivations are individual as well as mixed and often changing”.[10] Parenthetically, we need to highlight that more than 80% of the people who illegally crossed the Aegean Sea came from four worn-torn countries. To be precise, almost half of them came from Syria, 27% from Afghanistan and Iraq and another 4% from Eritrea.[11]

Gradually, in country after country, the mild reaction gave way to the talk about the need to create “Fortress Europe”, an expression first used by the Austrian Minister of Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner.[12] Chancellor Fayman for example changed his own stance and rhetoric and started building a “border management system”, with a fence that described as “a small door with side parts”.[13] The closure of the borders between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece, the gateway to the notorious “Balkan route”, was also hailed by most leaders.[14] The rationalization of this policy change had to be explained, not only in sentimental reasons but also logically and thus financial arguments were used. Suddenly the refugees had become the “others”, the ones putting pressure to the education system, the labour market and the welfare system, the ones that were bringing along diseases and costing millions of euros. They could never be integrated or assimilated; they had to be stopped. We need to highlight again that in the beginning this was the narrative of some minority xenophobic, islamophobic, ultra-nationalist groups. As time went by the extreme right-wing parties as well as euro-skepticism dangerously increased and the aforementioned framing became the prevailing narrative of the situation. For example in France, ex-President and leader of Union pour un mouvement populaire Nicolas Sarkozy has been for a long time harsher in his comments about the refugees and the relocation plans than Marine Le Pen, leader of the extreme right-wing party, Front National.[15]

This policy change of most countries and the EU as a whole is also based on misinformation, prejudice, islamophobia, xenophobia and racism of a big part of the European audience. In order to support this argument we will prove that the targeting of immigrants and their use as “scapegoats” is neither a result of the refugee flows per se nor of the financial crisis. It simply worsened because of these phenomena. Regarding the public perception of immigrants, the findings of two interesting surveys in six European countries along with Canada and the US in 2010 and 2011[16], before the peak of the economic crisis and the Syrian refugee flow, enlighten us about widely held fallacies. Firstly, an alarming 56% of those surveyed in Italy and over 40% of those in Germany, Netherlands and France considered legal – not irregular – immigrants responsible for the increase of criminality.[17] Furthermore, immigrants were accused of usurping the jobs of the locals, of not participating in the social security system and of driving wages down with the meager pay they are willing to accept.[18] Of course, this is partly true, because there are menial jobs that many Europeans are simply unwilling to do and are more than happy to have illegal immigrants do them instead and of course in this case the locals are to blame for the rise of unemployment through labor exploitation.[19]

However, the misconception that immigrants (both legal and illegal) steal the natives’ jobs permeates collective perception. In the United Kingdom two out of three held this view, while in the rest of the aforementioned EU countries this percentage ranged between 25 and 40%. Three out of four British and almost two out of three French were of the opinion that illegal immigrants impose a huge burden on social services, while this percentage was lower in the rest of Europe but still close or slightly above 50%. Furthermore, 30 to 50% of the same sample surveyed considered immigrants’ integration an unattainable goal. Regarding Muslims’ integration, the percentage was even higher: from 50 to 65%. These statistics, especially in the UK, can help us understand the absurdity of the Brexit vote and Nigel Farage’s UKIP success.

If these had been the perceptions of many Europeans before the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels or before watching the atrocities that the self-proclaimed Islamic State has been committing, we should ask ourselves what is the present day situation. Electoral successes of parties like Jobbik in Hungary, Geert Wilders PVV in the Netherlands, Flemish Interest in Belgium, Freedom Party in Austria, National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, DPP in Denmark, Italian Northern League, Front National in France, AfD and NPD in Germany, Finns in Finland, Sweden Democrats, People’s Party in Slovakia, CPP in Estonia and Golden Dawn in Greece are undeniable. Undoubtedly it is a pan-European phenomenon and the aforementioned were only the parties who have won in recent elections, at least once, more than 4% and sometimes more than 25% of the popular vote. The only two things all the far right, euro-skeptic movements in Europe have in common is their rejection of the EU (by definition) and their declared war on immigrants and especially Muslims.[20] Their idea of how Europe should be or the level of adoption of the free market economic model, widely differ; yet they are adamant concerning their perceived struggle against migrants.[21]

Since Greece is our case study, the rise of the ultra-nationalist and purportedly Neo-nazi party of Golden Dawn is important because it is a proof of the immigration policy failure. Golden Dawn is not simply a far right euro-skeptic party. Its symbol is a Greek meander with a striking resemblance to the Nazi swastika and its members have adopted the Nazi salutation. Moreover, it used to have a dangerous and strong paramilitary structure. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that for more than a decade the Golden Dawn has avoided any reference to Nazism or Adolf Hitler and presents itself as a nationalist patriotic movement. Some years ago, it was an obscure party that could not dream of reaching the level of 1% of the popular votes.[22] Golden Dawn has nowadays a steady support of more than 6% of the popular vote, despite that following the murder of an anti-fascist rapper by Golden Dawn members, there was a crackdown from the government that led to many arrests and the functional disruption of the party. The reasons behind the rise of Golden Dawn are very clear if someone examines the Golden Dawn phenomenon as a direct product of “illegal immigration”. Taking advantage of the huge inflow of immigrants in Greece and especially Athens, Golden Dawn used them as scapegoats. The first electoral breakthrough of Golden Dawn took place in the 2010 Municipal elections. It received more than 5% of the votes in Athens, which ensured its leader a seat in the capital’s local council, having almost only one issue in its agenda: Immigration. In the sixth district of Athens, where there was a high concentration and therefore explicit concern pertaining to migrants, it received an alarming 8.4% of the votes. The anti-immigrants rhetoric turned to violence and there were vigilante-type activities which instead of alienating the people gained the party more support. Most people welcomed the Golden Dawn as effort to substitute for the police in dangerous inner suburb areas. Golden Dawn was waging a “crusade” to “clean” Athens according to its voters. Even today, immigration is probably the only issue for which Golden Dawn has a detailed policy and agenda. As Ellinas points out “it demands the deportation of all illegal immigrants. Illegal entry into Greece should be a criminal offence punished with compulsory social work. Anyone renting property or employing immigrants illegally must have their property put on hold by the state”.[23]

Greece was not the only country that failed regarding its migration policy. The EU failed in its efforts to agree on an asylum policy despite the organization of five emergency migration summits to solve the issue.[24]  Moreover, some countries like Poland defied the clearly stated Article 80 of the Lisbon Treaty and its supranational approach of the immigration and asylum policies asking to keep “refugee and immigration policy instruments in the hands of the Polish state”.[25] Viktor Orban’s Hungary, the country that raised fences in its borders with Serbia and Croatia, even organized a referendum in order to officially reject the refugees despite the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. The question Hungarian people were asked is as follows: “Do you want the European Union to be able to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of Parliament?”[26] Nevertheless the referendum was practically invalidated despite the fact that more than 98% of voters opposed Brussels’ relocation plan, as less than half of the country’s voters went to the polls. But we need to highlight that no country has the right to ask such a question from its citizens, if it belongs to the EU.

Admitting its policies’ failure the EU left to individual countries the initiative in order to stem the lines of illegal trafficking. Frictions occurred, human and civil rights were allegedly violated and NATO was called upon in order to assist with the ongoing crisis. This was possible only because the discourse changed its course and the Europeans were discussing about halting a threat to the EU; especially the architects of the NATO involvement, the Germans could not and would never have called, an organization that was built solely for defence to engage in patrolling at the eastern part of the Aegean Sea, the sea border of Greece and Turkey or if you prefer of the EU and the Middle East. Paradoxically, Germany convinced Turkey and Greece and the three countries together asked for NATO’s assistance, which was reluctantly granted.[27]

The first months of NATO presence in the Aegean were fruitless, but after the EU – Turkey Agreement, the closing of Greek northern borders, in conjunction with the cooperation of the Turkish Navy, Coastguard and Police for the first time, led to an impressive result: From 150,000 refugees that crossed the Aegean during the first semester of 2016, less than 6,000 were able to do so in the second one. We need to be very careful when we analyze this obvious “success”, because in reality it is a “hidden failure”. The EU – Turkey agreement was conditional not only as regards the €3 billion in return for Ankara’s co-operation in receiving back a big number of immigrants, but had also political implications, including granting a visa waiver for Turks travelling in Europe.[28] After the failed coup d’ etat in Turkey, Erdogan’s stance turned to be quasi-dictatorial and the EU could not tolerate an unprecedented crackdown on institutions, including the academia and the media.[29] This resulted to friction between Ankara and Brussels with both parties accusing the other for not abiding by the agreement. Suddenly the migration flows started to rise again[30], just as a reminder that Turkey is the key player that could limit the number of people arriving in Europe through Greece or not.

In Greece, the country that had been afflicted the most, the situation was really dramatic, since the government was and still is, for the first time in its history, a radical left one. Humanitarian rhetoric, activism and solidarity have literally been the flags and banners of this party for decades. How could this government call for NATO in order to stop refugees entering the EU from the Aegean Sea? The party tradition as well as the national tradition of hospitality could not allow for this to happen. As regards the national tradition, Greeks, having been refugees after a lost war[31], or emigrants (both legal and illegal) after a brutal civil war and two world wars[32], they have always been sympathetic to any human being, suffering the same fate. Therefore, we had to reinvent ourselves, discovering the power of conformity: Since everyone else does it, it is the right thing to do; even if it is not right, it is acceptable and we will do it despite our principles. Then the rationalization process in Greece focused on means and outcomes. The goal has always been to help those poor people. No alteration whatsoever. But Greece had no means to do it alone and the result of the European non-solidarity could produce an outcome that could not be borne by a small Nation. We need to highlight that the Syriza radical left government in the beginning facilitated the move of the refugees to the EU, by ending any prolonged detention. According to Eurostat the average EU asylum applications per 100,000 local populations in 2015 was 260 and there were countries receiving more than 1,000 (1% of their population) while Greece had only 122, since it was clearly a transition and not a destination country.[33]

Greece had to face the migration crisis and the refugee influx, amidst a huge financial crisis. The Greek Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister, Nikolaos Dendias, the same person who led the crackdown against the Golden Dawn, said on August 6, 2012 that “the immigration problem is maybe even bigger than the financial one…it’s a bomb at the foundations of the society and of the state.”[34] Nonetheless, several months later in 2013, while there was still a Center-Right government Greece, a “First Reception Service” was set up to assist refugees at the border, offering them medical and legal aid upon arrival. The refugee treatment was good and it was suggested as a model for other countries to emulate.[35] Greece was against building waiting zones and camps and Syriza Party when in Opposition fought against the construction and use of any Hot Spot or Refugee Camp. Nonetheless, a Syriza minister, the Greek Alternate Minister of Immigration Policy, Yannis Mouzalas said in June 2016 that “Greece wants to send thousands of migrants back to Turkey in coming weeks”.[36] The Minister knew too well that by labeling all people arriving as migrants, he might include refugees on those denied asylum and thus a Radical Left Government could possibly turn a blind eye in a violation and abuse of the refugee rights, always under the pressure and directions exerted by Brussels.

Having seen the change of policy in countries, especially Greece, the EU and NATO, we need to assess the situation; by all accounts, it is not a “success story”. We have a hidden failure as regards the influx of refugees from the Aegean Sea, which was only temporarily and conditionally halted for all the wrong reasons and an open failure as regards the overall European policy. We will try to assess the situation and provide policy recommendation and possible SAFE solutions, which is the acronym of Suitable, Acceptable, Feasible and Enduring.[37] Furthermore, policy recommendations will be made regarding the handling of this delicate situation, without exchanging our democratic values for a more secure environment.[38]

First and foremost, the refugee flows have amplified the political incoherence in Europe. The political crisis is more dangerous than the economic one. Brexit has already been a game changer, even if it has not materialized yet and therefore EU has nowadays two options. The first one is Abandoning Federalism and the dream of a United Europe by disarming or even abolishing certain EU structures; this is a solution proposed by certain right wing and nationalist governments, like the Polish and the Hungarian one. The second option, which we advocate as the only solution to the political crisis is moving towards a truly United Federal Europe, especially since the UK, which has traditionally been considered as the “troublemaker”, will move out of the picture. More Europe, requires more solidarity, which pertaining to the migration issues translates into accepting the agreed quotas of refugees while changing or abolishing the Dublin Regulation. For those who are not familiar with the Dublin Regulation, the refugee or migrant should seek asylum in the first EU country he/she enters; hence when being arrested in another country he/she should automatically be transferred to the country of entry. Countries like Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have officially stated their opposition to any possible revision or enlargement of the Dublin Regulation, specifically referring to the eventual introduction of new mandatory or permanent quotas for solidarity reasons. Nonetheless, if this hideous Regulation remains in effect, the Southern countries should be reimbursed for every Hot Spot, every patrolling and every Search and Rescue operation they conduct. The EU Parliamentary Assembly adopted in 2013 a Resolution[39], highlighting both the need to revise and implement the Dublin Regulations in a fairer way and the need to maintain “a moratorium on returns to Greece of asylum seekers” under this unfair regulation.

Especially as regards the EU agreed relocation quotas, we cannot but agree with Crawley that “most striking in this regard has been the failure of European member-states to deliver on a scheme to relocate 160,000 of those arriving in Greece and Italy, the countries in which arrivals have been highest due to their geographical proximity to the Middle East and North Africa respectively, to other countries in which arrivals have been very much lower. As of 4 February 2016, just 481 people had been relocated, 279 (out of an agreed 39,600) from Italy and 202 (out of an agreed 66,400) from Greece”.[40] Obviously this has to change if we want to keep the EU together and protect the basic human rights of the refugees. An excellent description was given by Carras who noted that “as long as other countries remain unwilling to make fundamental changes to the framework for migration into the EU, articles accusing the Greek state of institutional racism will continue to miss the point. The institutionalized racism described should not be considered exclusively Greek, but in large part a consequence of European policies towards peripheral states and migrants. And the EU as a whole should share in the opprobrium”.[41]

As regards the perception of immigrants and refugees, first of all we need to wage a European public awareness campaign as regards their differences and especially their faith, the mainstream Islam.[42] Muslims themselves should be at the vanguard of this effort. We should explain theologically that Muslims have a divine direction and duty to respect the Jews and the Christians; that the aforementioned religious communities have peacefully co-existed and thrived for centuries with Andalucía, Spain being the foremost example; that the Muslims who come to Europe as refugees, probably are persecuted by other Muslims, namely ISIS this terrifying hybrid which is quasi-state and quasi-terrorist organization and has not hesitated to raze mosques to the ground or attack the holy city of Medina during the month of Ramadan. Actually, some refugees have been eye witnesses of abominable acts in the name of Islam, rendering them the best advocates of moderation and prosecutors of fanaticism. Consequently, if we stop portraying the migrants as a threat, we might understand that we can co-exist.

The European public ought to also become aware of the fact that if the EU successfully handles the flow, the refugees and migrants could be revitalizing the aging European continent. As Merritt points out “unless EU countries open their doors wider to immigration, the current ratio of four working-age people for every pensioner will fall to 2:1 by mid-century, if not earlier. Pension and social security systems are already under severe strain”.[43]

Concerning the refugee flow, we should find the resources to facilitate the fast processing of new arrivals so as to distinguish the refugees from the migrants[44] despite the difficulties such procedures entail and not use their complexity as an excuse in order to characterize all of them as “immigrants” and refrain from our moral and legal obligation to provide them with safe haven. Particular attention should be given to the children, irrespective of their status; refugee or migrants. As UNESCO points out we should strive to secure access to quality education for every child, boy or girl, as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development.

We should also combat the traffickers of refugees and irregular migrants. There is no room for misunderstanding; irregular migrants’ trafficking is a lucrative business, which can easily profit-wise, be compared to the smuggling of drugs or guns. The penal laws in most countries are extremely harsh for drug dealers but more lenient concerning human traffickers. Therefore, harsh punishment for traffickers, including the confiscation of their properties, should be adopted. We also have to define who we consider traffickers and thus we need to include counterfeiters who falsify documents, corrupted members of local bureaucracies and not only lower members of the food chain like the crews of small boats or some truck drivers. We need to remember that these traffickers put the life of the poor refugees and immigrants in extreme danger; they are not activists or NGO members trying voluntarily to help some people escape from the horrors of war. They are villains, not heroes.

We should highlight that the building of walls or fences does not protect the European borders. A step in the positive direction is the empowerment of FRONTEX which will be eventually expanded and transformed to a European Border and Coast Guard Agency.[45] FRONTEX will therefore act as the coordinating body for the Schengen Area with personnel which will reach the level of 1,000 people and a budget that in 2020 will exceed €300 million. This “new FRONTEX” was officially launched on October 6, 2016 at the Turkish-Bulgarian borders in order to monitor the influx, carry out risk analysis, support national search and rescue operations or other operations carried out by national authorities, provide operational and technical assistance and play an enhanced role in migrants’ returns.

Last but not least as regards the refugees, we should always bear in mind that desperate people function in a “do or die” mode. Hence, we cannot solve the refugee problem if we do not fight the root causes of the phenomenon. By intervening to stop the war in Syria, by raising the standards of living in third world countries, by using European expertise and resources to establish law and order in lawless areas or countries and by providing the local population with an alternative, we can really “save ourselves”.

[1]                      Actually, according to the International Organization for Migration in 2015 an estimated 1,011,712 people crossed the Mediterranean to Europe. See Crawley Heaven, Franck Duvell, Katharine Jones & Dimitris Skleparis, Understanding the dynamics of migration to Greece and the EU: drivers, decisions and destinations, Unraveling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis (MEDMIG) Research Brief No.2, September 2016.

[2]           Bennhold, Katrin (2015). “As Germany Takes in refugees, It Also Rehabilitates its Image”, The New York Times, September 22, 2015.

[3]           Baumann, Meret (2016). “What a Difference a Year Makes”, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, September 6, 2016.

[4]           Ramet, Sabrina. (2015). Thinking About Yugoslavia, Cambridge: CUP.

[5]           Official statistics by the International Organization for Migration. See IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, 2015 Global Migration Trends Factsheet.

[6]           European Commission Press Release on Refugee Crisis, September 22, 2015.

[7]            The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Lisbon 2007. Consolidated version, Official Journal of the EU, C 326, October 26, 2012.

[8]           Berti, Benedetta. (2015). “Syrian Refugees and Regional Security”, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 5, 2015.

[9]            According to Article 1A of the Geneva Convention (1951) pertaining to the status of refugees, in order for someone to be considered one, he needs to have “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of its nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear is unwilling to return to it”. See Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Geneva, 1951.

[10]          Crawley, Heaven. (2016). “Managing the Unmanageable? Understanding Europe’s Response to the Migration ‘Crisis’ ”, Human Geography 9/2, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University, p. 17.

[11]          Data from the official site of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) http://data.unhcr.or/mediterranean/country.php?id=83.

[12]          Editorial, “Austrian Minister Calls for ‘Fortress Europe’”, The Local At, October 23, 2015.

[13]          Bender, Ruth & Valentina Pop, “Austria to Build Fence on Slovenia Border to Slow Flow of Migrants”, The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2015.

[14]          Mikl-Leitner said that this was a “chain reaction of reason”.

[15]          Borrud, Gabriel. “Sarkozy Intensifies Anti-immigration Rhetoric”, Deutsche Welle, March 12, 2012.

[16]          Immigration Survey 2010, Transatlantic Trends Immigration Topline Data & Immigration Survey 2011, Transatlantic Trends Immigration Topline Data. The entire “Transatlantic Trends: Immigration” is a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Compagnia di San Paolo, and the Barrow Cadbury Trust, with additional support from the Fundación BBVA.

[17]          Immigration Survey 2010, Transatlantic Trends Immigration Topline Data, p. 12.

[18]          Not all analysts agree. A recent research concludes: “Our findings contradict hypotheses based on economic competition and in particular, employment competition within the low-skilled, manual workforce” Markaki Yvonni & Simonetta Longhi, What Determines Attitudes to Immigration in European Countries? An Analysis at the Regional Level, NORFACE MIGRATION Discussion Paper No. 2012-32

[19]          “In step with economic development, improved living standards and higher levels of education have led many young Greeks to reject low-status and low-income jobs”. See Kasimis Charalambos, Greece: Illegal Immigration in the Midst of Crisis, MPI, March 2012, p. 2-3

[20]          An interesting analysis is given by John Palmer in Palmer, John “The rise of far right parties across Europe is a chilling echo of the 1930s”, The Guardian, 15 November 2013: “Marine Le Pen, leader of the French NF, plays down the anti-Semitic record of her party. The Dutch far-right leader has ploughed a slightly different furrow, mobilizing fear and hostility not against Jews but Muslim immigrants. Like Le Pen, Wilders focuses on the alleged cosmopolitan threat to national identity from the European Union. It is a chorus echoed in other countries by the Danish People’s party, the Finns party and the Flemish Vlaams Belang, among others. For now, the French and Dutch populists are carefully keeping their distance from openly neo-Nazi parties such as Golden Dawn, whose paramilitary Sturmabteilung has terrorized refugees and immigrants in Greece, and the swaggering Hungarian Jobbik, which targets the Roma minority”.

[21]          Heuermann Christoph, “Why the left is responsible for the rise of the far right”, Open Democracy, April 29, 2014.

[22]          In 1994 in the European elections it received 0.11%; in 1996 National elections had an even smaller percentage with only 0.07%. In 1999 within a broader coalition in the European elections reached for the first time 0.75% receiving 0.11 and 0.07. Yet, this success was temporary and throughout the first decade of 2000, the Golden Dawn remained a very marginal party. In 2009 in the European elections received a 0.46% and in the National ones an even smaller 0.29%. For further analysis see Ellinas Antonis, “The Rise of the Golden Dawn: The New Face of the Far Right in Greece”, Selected Works, January 2013, available on Line https://xaviercasals.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/amanecer-dorado-ellinas.pdf.

[23]          Ibid Ellinas, p. 9

[24]          Gotev, Georgi. “Tusk calls migration summit number 5”, Euractiv, November 4, 2015.

[25]           Potyrala, Anna. “Poland towards the migration crisis of 2015-2016”. Przeglad Politologiczny-Political Science Review, 2/2016, 84.

[26]          Domonoske Camila, “Hungary’s Referendum On Refugee Resettlement Is Overwhelming — But Invalid”, NPR, October 3, 2016.

[27]          Statement by the NATO Secretary General on NATO support to assist with the refugee and migrant crisis, February 25, 2016.

[28]          Rankin, Jennifer. “Turkey fails to meet criteria for visa-free EU travel”, The Guardian, June 15, 2016.

[29]          Parkinson Joe & Emre Peker “In University Purge, Turkey’s Erdogan Hits Secularists and Boosts Conservatives”, The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2016.

[30]          Dogan, Zulfikar “How Turkey’s coup turmoil has fueled migration flurry” Al-Monitor, August 12, 2016.

[31]          In total there were more than 1,200,000 refugees who settled in Greece. For details on the refugees and the hundreds of thousands who perished from 1912 to 1923 see Shirinian George (ed), The Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Ottoman Greek Genocide: Essays on Asia Minor, Pontos, and Eastern Thrace, 1912-1923 (Bloomingdale: Asia Monor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center, Inc, 2012).

[32]          Greek Diaspora has more than 2,500,000 members, mostly third generation citizen of USA and Australia of Greek origin. For the Greek immigration and Diaspora in general, see Tziovas Dimitris, Greek Diaspora and Migration since 1700 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2007)

[33]          Reported by BBC. See also Usenko Anastasiia, Fady Khleif, Marianna Pastore & Evgeniy Solodovnyk, “EU ‘In-Security’: Migration and Refugee Crisis”, Project in University of Macerata, 2015/2016.

[34]             Dabilis Andy, “Greece Being “Invaded” by Waves of Immigrants, Detains 6,000”, Greek Reporter, August 6, 2012. Available on line  http://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/08/06/greece-being-invaded-by-waves-of-immigrants/#sthash.2BUlP8DA.dpuf

[35]          Psaropoulos John, “Greek immigration policy: A lesson for Eastern Europe?”, Al Jazzera, December 9, 2015.

[36]          Ratcliff, Kester. “Open Letter to Y. Mouzalas, Alternate Minister of Immigration Policy”, Analyze Greece, June 22, 2016.

[37]          Bruce, Andy & Ken Langdon. (2002). Putting Customers First, London: Dorling Kindersley

[38]          An interesting analysis provided in Posner Richard, “Security Versus Civil Liberties”, The Atlantic, December 2001.

[39]          EU Parliamentary Assembly Res 1918/2013

[40]          Ibid Crawley, p. 17.

[41]             Carras Iannis, “Is Greece a Racist State?”, Open Democracy, December 21, 2012.

[42]          See Kyriakidis, Kleanthis & Aref Al-Obeid. “Islamophobia” Foreign Affairs Hellenic Edition, Issue 13, March 2013.

[43]          Merritt Giles, “Europe Still Needs the Migrants”, Project Syndicate, November 17, 2015.

[44]          First of all we need to reach a consensus about who can be deemed “irregular migrant”. Undoubtedly, the non-refugees who cross the borders illegally or the ones who enter legally into a third country but with falsified documents, belong to this group. How about the ones who are born into irregularity or have not renewed their visas or temporary residence and work permits? In most cases, they are considered irregular migrants. See Morehouse Christal & Michael Bloomfield, Irregular Migration in Europe, MPI Report, December 2011, p. 4

[45]          According to EU Regulation 2016/1624.