Greece ordered to pay damages to fruit pickers

The European Court of Human Rights has issued a landmark judgement against Greece on the disastrous conditions for day workers at a strawberry farm. The court ruled in favour of 42 migrant workers from Bangladesh who were hired to work on a farm near the Greek village of Manolada. Their fate drew international attention in the summer of 2013 after foremen at the farm shot at the helpers. Greece's press points out that it is a disgrace for the country that the fruit pickers are only being vindicated now.

Open/close all quotes
Avgi (GR) /

A disgraceful affair for Greece

The way these people have been treated in Greece is scandalous, writes the daily paper Avgi:

“The government, the authorities and society closed their eyes to avoid witnessing the slaves working in the greenhouses. And they, the 'illegal immigrants', as they have been commonly been called for years, the modern slaves of Manolada were guaranteed their rights not in the country where their ruffian bosses shot at them but in the European courts. This is even more shameful for Greece. The socialist and conservative government that was in power at the time remained silent and allowed the laws to be broken. The deportation of these victims of slavery was only prevented back then because the affair provoked an international scandal.”

Blog Pitsirikos (GR) /

Proof that justice has failed miserably

The fact that the European Court of Human Rights had to step in to defend the rights of the fruit pickers is proof that the Greek legal system has failed, blogger Pitsirikos stresses:

“Seven years after the country's bankruptcy for which no one has been held to account, the Greek justice system has ceased to exist. But the Greeks are still paying dearly for it. ... We are still part of the EU, but the situation in Greece harks back to the 1950s and 1960s. ... Some get angry when others say that the only solution for people here is to leave the country. Yet our country's justice has also emigrated. ... We can live with less money, but without justice we are doomed. Just ask the migrant workers from Bangladesh!”