Summertime in Greece is traditionally a period of letting sleeping dogs lie, a time when most people retreat into the slumber associated with the holidays and the general slowdown across the spectrum.
This is the time when unpalatable facts and figures are generally removed from broadcasting the “news”, with program schedulers going en masse for inane “human interest” topics; the latest on the price of ferry boat tickets; and such volcanically important announcements as the latest trysts of popular female reality television hosts and the saucy developments in the bottom feeder “glamour” sub-culture populating Greece’s “glittery” islands.Choosing to wear a hood over your head though, even if it is silky, reassuring and smooth, hardly affects reality. And the reality of illegal immigration in Greece is growing more dramatic, more pressing, and more threatening by the day, summer slumber or not.
The current Greek government, stung by a June Euro election defeat and associated indications that its placid approach to the onslaught of illegal aliens was hurting its poll results keenly, was suddenly shaken into action.
In early July, police in the Greek capital went out in force to begin search-and-sweep ops, to paraphrase a much more ominous term of the now forgotten Vietnam War. Helmeted police squads descended on a burgeoning downtown ghetto to evict throngs of illegal immigrants from derelict buildings in an effort to reclaim once quaint territory that has become a sordid blotch in the heart of the city, oozing lawlessness and threats of disease and sending local residents and business people to depths of despair.
In Patras, Greece’s main gateway to Italy by ferry, an unusually determined police op quickly dismantled a shanty town built by mainly Asian illegals right next to the seaport to offer precarious shelter to those trying to get clandestinely on trucks bound for Europe. Elsewhere, authorities seemed to pick up speed in rounding up undocumented persons for delivery to the sole re-admission point into Turkey on the Evros river frontier.
While these efforts may be commendable and better late than never, results “on the ground” remain paltry. Cleaning up downtown Athens is a must, but what do you do with those being pushed out of their squalid rooms and broken down apartments? The throngs are “spatially” relocated, but their presence and the ease with which they keep arriving have hardly been addressed in any satisfactory manner. Similarly, putting eighty illegals on the plane to return them to the motherland leaves several thousand of their compatriots behind; busing sixty back to the Greek-Turkish border for deportation still leaves nearly nine hundred angry, protesting desperadoes at the overwhelmed detention facility of Pagani on the island of Lesvos.
The numbers are simply so overwhelming that the current government “surge” against the illegals amounts to no more than a harmless swat at the cloud of locusts steadily expanding over the horizon to bring darkness at noon, to invoke a somewhat forced biblical simile.
This page has repeatedly addressed illegal immigration as primarily a national security threat. Unfortunately, our governors remain far from committed to a zero tolerance policy that would attempt to salvage what can still be salvaged. Options are limited. And “humanitarian compromises”, asylum options, and open door policies are not among them.