Greece: migrants abandoned on a raft at sea

The New York Times has published a video showing the forcible expulsion or "pushback" of asylum seekers by Hellenic coast guard officers. The footage, provided by a humanitarian worker, shows asylum seekers - including women and children - being transferred from the shore to a boat on the sea and then being abandoned on a raft. What does this say about Greece and Europe?

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Infowar (GR) /

New unequivocal evidence

The Greek government's lies can no longer be covered up, writes web portal Infowar:

“Journalists comment on how Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently defended his government's 'tough but fair' immigration policy in a speech on Lesbos, boasting that he had lowered the number of 'illegal immigrants' by 90 percent. It has long been clear from journalistic revelations, records of NGOs and EU institutions, but also from the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), that the way to achieve this result is to violate the law - international, Greek and European law. The New York Times report is new proof beyond any doubt that the Greek government is lying outright when it denies implementing pushbacks.”

Jornal de Notícias (PT) /

Inhumanity taking over

Jornal de Notícias questions why the publication hasn't sparked a public outcry:

“The release of the video just two days before the general elections in Greece has shaken up the election campaign in its final phase. But this is likely to go relatively unnoticed in other countries, including Portugal. It doesn't matter that this is European Union territory and that the problem and the shame are ours. We are numbed by the froth of daily life, by the soap operas into which we turn many of our most serious problems, by the excess of instant information and quick judgements, and we are in danger of no longer stopping to think and feel. Of becoming inhuman.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Europe allowing the asylum problem to escalate

Greece is being let down by the EU, criticises De Volkskrant:

“The member states have done too little to distribute refugees within the EU and put an end to the wretched conditions in the refugee camps on Lesbos. For the most part, Greece has been left to take care of the problem on its own. If Europe really believes in regional reception, it's high time for it to tackle this seriously. First of all, by ensuring that refugee camps in the regions of origin are provided with more than enough money. Then we need a European policy on labour migration. ... Without a common asylum and migration policy, the asylum problem will only get bigger and Europe less humane.”

Polityka (PL) /

Centres surrounded by barbed wire and walls

Polityka sees migration policy as a significant factor:

“Mitsotakis won mainly because of his promise to tighten migration policy. Under his government Athens has forced the European Union to increase its spending on temporary refugee camps and care centres for asylum seekers. Moria, a camp on the island of Lesbos and a testament to the EU's inability to deal with the challenges of migration, has been transformed into a tightly regulated centre for processing asylum applications, surrounded by barbed wire. There has been a significant drop in the number of migrants, although this is mainly due to pushbacks and the wall on the border with Turkey.”