Cash-strapped Greece showed its dark side over the weekend when some 2,000 police in Athens and surroundings arrested 1,100 undocumented immigrants and held another 4,900 for questioning, according to Clandestina blog. The action is a disturbing example of how the Greek government is trying to blame immigrants for the country’s financial problems.
It is estimated that Greece has close to one million undocumented immigrants mostly from Asian countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and others.
Apart from having no legal protection, one of the most worrying aspects of the clampdown by Greek police is the silence of European politicians. This is not only shameful but a clear indication that matters are going to get worse in Europe for immigrants before they improve.
Adding salt to injury, the police named the operation Xenios Zeus, which was the ancient Greek god of hospitality.
Two thousand police were mobilized in Athens and 2,500 on Greece’s eastern border with long-time enemy Turkey.
The massive crackdown, which will continue, took place before the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and European Central Bank representatives were set to meet Greek officials concerning a 31.5-billion-euro tranche of aid next month.
Writes the Los Angeles Times: ”Public Order and Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Dendias defended the roundups as necessary to keep Greece from unraveling, arguing that the country faced the biggest “invasion” since the influx of the ancient Dorians thousands of years ago. Dendias had earlier claimed that “unbelievably high” numbers of immigrants were involved in crime, according to Greek news reports.”