Our enemy is not the refugee – our enemy is fascism

Statement on the current crisis from the European Left Party

The Party of the European Left is deeply concerned by the recent refugee emergency at the Greek-Turkish borders.

Thousands of people, victims of war and persecution, are once again used by different factors in a game of power and profit.

The EL strongly condemns :

– the Turkish government for manipulating the refugee population, heming them in at the border, in order to blackmail the EU political leadership and obtain profitable results, concerning Turkish involvement in the invasion of Syria, the oppression of the Kurdish struggle for independence, the upgrading of EU-Turkey relations and multiple economic assets.

– the Greek government for handling the refugees as invaders, choosing to push them back or illegally imprison them in closed camps or detention centres, ignoring the international legislation that assures the rights of refugees, the Geneva Convention, the established procedures that have to be followed towards asylum seekers, the fundamental human rights of safety, respect, decent accomodation, health care and education. On the contrary, the immediate or silent encouragement of nationalistic and xenophobic rhetoric by governmental officials facilitates the uprising of racist and fascist forces that are threatening the lives of refugees, NGO and solidarity network members and democratic citizens.

– the EU political and economic elites for their immeasurable cynicism when dealing with the refugee issue. The EU is playing a significant part in the war zones of the Middle East and Africa, while it is intolerant towards the victims of their resulting effects. The strategic choice of squeezing the refugees in the EU frontiers and financing governments in order to keep them away from European territory cannot be tolerated.

The EL demands significant changes in the EU policies towards refugees:

  • respect towards human lives and rights

  • assurance of safe passages to Europe

  • respect for the Geneva Convention and the international law

  • abolition of the Dublin treaties

  • ending of the militarisation of the EU borders

  • immediate EU planning for all EU members to welcome and integrate refugee populations according to each state‚Äôs capacity

  • amelioration of the procedure dealing with asylum seekers

  • concrete measures against racism, fascism, xenophobia and hate speech in all EU member states

  • severe measures against human trafficking and exploitation of refugees and migrants

  • political initiatives in order to promote a culture of tolerance, solidarity and social coherence in all EU member states.

The EL invites all democratic forces to demand an International Summit Conference on the issue as well as the immediate handling and resolving of the emergency situation in Lesbos, Chios and other Greek islands. The EL calls for an uncompromising struggle against the current EU political choices that are threatening not only refugees and migrants but also the future of democracy, culture, prosperity and social progress in Europe itself.

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