ATHENS' WALL AND EUROPE

27/11/2016



Athens will build a wall. Right on the Turkish border. To what end? To stop immigrants. Does it have a right to do so? Technically it might. Legally it might. But does it have a right from a humanitarian point of view? Should it go ahead with this plan in the name of values which make Europe what it is? Once there were certain people. They said that “there will no longer be walls in the world”. According to them “there should no longer be walls”. Especially in Europe “walls would never rise again”.
That was what they said. For them Europe was a peace and civilisation project. The European Union had been founded for peace and civilisation. For the European Union was a place where “all universal values were protected”, it was also the place where the rule of the law and all rights were maintained fully. The human was what was essential in the EU. It was a place where all human values, rights and responsibilities were known, admired and respected. Those who said all this and insisted that it was correct now want to build a wall at the borders of the EU. Perhaps it will be a fence of barbed wire. The wire may be electrified.
If not enough, they can lay mines in front. For the sake of the European civilisation with its high standards of living. For the maintenance of high values. What is this all for, against what? It is all against those fleeing the violence in Afghanistan, those who barely get out with their lives from Bangladesh, the Ivory Coast, Togo and many other places and are looking for a place where their children will be safe. Bravo! But this cannot be accepted: the EU must be pristine. It must always remain hygienic. Also the financial crisis is also effective in the EU.
If the world should go to ruin, and even if, due to being a “global actor” –also bravo-, the EU meddles in every crisis around the world it should not open its door to immigrants who escaped death to get there. But the EU is right in thinking that if it opens its doors to immigrants, it will have to spend more money on them. To spend more money on immigrants means less celebrating and fewer fireworks at the next Christmas, carnival, fasching, Easter and other occasions. God forbid! There will of course be those who will say: Greece is an independent country. Even if it is an EU member, it has the final say on the matter. For its borders are the case here. Of course... there will of course be those who will believe this.
 
If these are true, or if they are not outright lies, are the borders in question not being protected by the European Foreign Borders Agency Frontex? What is the European Foreign Border Agency Frontex doing there then? What is its function? As Hungary, which was the first country of the Eastern Bloc to open its borders to the west in 1989 takes on the EU Term Presidency, Athens is after a new wall. But take a look at what some people have been saying. Member of the EU Commission in charge of Internal Affairs Cecilie Malmström’s spokesperson Michele Cercone has announced that border security is the individual responsibility of member states.
Cercone has said that Greece needs long term structural reforms in order to better protect its borders and for a more stable immigration policy. Cercone said that in the past, walls and wire fences have been used as short term solutions to stop large waves of immigration and stated “it is the decision of the member state whether to make use of such systems”.
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