Greek-Turkish border crisis: Shame on the EU, shame on Turkey, shame on us

by , under Enrique Tessieri

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

Shame on Greece. Shame on Turkey. Shame on Europe. Shame on President Sauli Niinistö as thousands of migrants are massing at the Greek-Turkish border.

The pictures that Europeans are witnessing the humanitarian crisis through their local media are scary.

Yesterday, Monday, it was reported that a child aged 6 or 7 died off Greece when a boat capsized, according to Euronews.

An invisible Alain Kurdy? Remember the little boy called Alan Kurdi who drowned and whose lifeless body was found washed up on a beach? You know, the boy that exposed our shame for a while until we pushed it away.

Read the full story here.

Too many of our politicians, like the media, spread fear as well.

President Sauli Niinistö appeared on television Monday using terms such as “uncontrolled” immigration, a favorite term of the far-right, and in some conservative circles. He said that the situation at the Greek-Turkish border is pretty much the same as in 2015.

“It (the situation) is very awkward,” he was quoted as saying in Yle. “I do not see much difference in the situation that took place in 2015. It was then, mainly with the help of smuggling people [to Europe], that a lot of people appeared and came to Europe. Then I would call it uncontrolled immigration wave, and this is not the second one.”

How does President Niinistö know that we are facing a so-called second wave of immigration from the Middle East region and Afghanistan? Why doesn’t he speak of the suffering that Europe, Russia, and the United States have brought to the region?

Reaction from opposition parties like the Perussuomalaiset* and the National Coalition Party convey the same message. They do not offer any viable solutions except for closing borders and taking harsh measures.

The situation is pretty simple: the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and destabilized the region. Europe and Russia are involved in bombing and selling arms to the region, causing a humanitarian crisis and millions of displaced people.

A shameful video is showing how Greece and Europe are paralyzed in finding a solution to the conflict in Syria. Is turning back asylum seekers illegal and a breach of human rights?

Alberto Alemanno, a professor of EU law at HEC Paris, said that Greece’s decision to close the border may be illegal and a breach of international agreements. “[It] represents a manifest breach of both European asylum law and international humanitarian law by creating an unprecedented mechanism that will likely condemn deserving asylum applicants to deportation and death,” he said in Euronews.

He said that the action by Greece would be challenged “at national, EU and international level.”

If we are fair and honest, Europe is a wealthy region, and tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of migrants, will not force our countries to go bankrupt.

Europe has seen worse.

The only thing that is bankrupt now is the EU’s sense of justice and values.