NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • New Documentary Exposes the Mistreatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Greece


    Kate Mara and Guy Smallman: European governments impose austerity demands in Greece but fund detention centers in Greece for refugees. Xenophobic views expressed even by centrist parties -   May 19, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook




    Real News simply has no entertainment value. But its news value puts CNN,MSNBC,ABC& BBC to shame! - Santhip
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. Hever researches the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, some of his research topics include the international aid to the Palestinians and to Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. His work also includes giving lectures and presentations on the economy of the occupation. He is a graduate student at the Freie Universitat in Berlin, and researches the privatization of security in Israel. His first book: Political Economy of Israel's Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation, was published by Pluto Press.

    Transcript

    New Documentary Exposes the Mistreatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in GreeceSHIR HEVER, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. The film Into the Fire has been broadcast. And it is a film about the situation of immigrants, of refugees, asylum seekers in Greece. And it talks about the kind of treatment that they receive in Greece and the kind of problems of racism and discrimination against them.

    I've spoken to Kate Mara and Guy Smallman from the Reel News Video Collective (not to be confused with The Real News Network). The Reel News Video Collective is an independent media collective that produces video coverage, documentaries, and slideshows on issues of social justice.

    So I'd like to maybe start by asking you, why did you decide to make this documentary, Into the Fire?

    GUY SMALLMAN, FILMMAKER: We were in Athens making a series of short films about the effects of austerity in Greece. And throughout that trip we did a sort of internet callout for help with our funding and contacts. And we got contacted out of the blue by a young Somali kid who was living in a hostel in quite bad conditions. We went to meet him and his friends, and we did a brief interview with them. But we really--what we heard made us think that the situation needed looking at in more detail. So we got funding to go back and shoot just on that one subject.

    HEVER: One of the interesting things in that film is the rise of the Golden Dawn Party. And what you're saying in that film is that this is not just a new phenomenon just because of the austerity, but it actually is a continuation of something from a previous time. Is that right?

    KATE MARA, FILMMAKER: Well, Greece was one of the last dictatorships in Europe. And what people say, Greek independent journalists say in the film is that [incompr.] there was a transition from the dictatorship into a democratic state. The police force and other authorities didn't still have this kind of dictatorship [incompr.] currently inherent in them.

    You have to also say, though, that Golden Dawn has been around since the '80s and it only recently got big. It got big with the austerity measures that were implemented. And that's something you've seen over and over again in history, that during times of crisis, fascism gets stronger again.

    HEVER: So this is--there are two things that are happening now in Greece at the same time. One of them is the austerity and the new cuts in the budget by the government as a result of the crisis. And at the same time, you're describing a situation in which many asylum seekers, refugees, are coming to Greece as a sort of stepping stone in the process of trying to enter Europe. And what--is that just a coincidence that these two things are happening at the same time?

    SMALLMAN: It's happening very deliberately, because the richer countries in Europe, like Britain, Germany, France, are pretty much blackmailing--they're using their power to blackmail countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain, where the asylum seekers and refugees tend to come through just because of their geographical location.

    MARA: Most refugees we spoke to are trying to get to other European countries. They're trying to transit Greece. But due to the Dublin II regulation, they're not able to move on to other countries but get stuck in Greece. And you have to say--I think Frontex estimates about 90 percent of illegal entries, entries of people who are undocumented, happen through Greece. And Greece has to deal with all these people because there's no allocation within Europe. The Dublin II agreement says they have to apply for asylum in the country that they arrive in.

    But he also--it's important to point out, I think, that the asylum system in Greece had problems before austerity, before the crisis, that the asylum system in Greece has never functioned properly, and austerity or the great crisis has made those problems worse and made the issues bigger. But, yeah, they predate that as well.

    HEVER: So why does the Greek government cooperate with the Dublin II agreement and why don't they allow these immigrants to continue on their journey into other European countries?

    MARA: What [incompr.] told us is that Greece was almost kicked out of the [incompr.] agreement because too many immigrants made it through Greece into other European countries. So Europe puts pressure on them to do this and to keep people there and to keep the border controls intact.

    HEVER: So the right wing inside Greece is blaming the financial situation in Greece on the immigrants?

    MARA: Yes, but not only the right wing, also mainstream parties. The prime minister, Samaras, has been talk--what's already a year ago talking about cleaning the streets up, immigrants, like they were dirt.

    HEVER: What kind of policies is the government using against the immigrants?

    SMALLMAN: Recently, since we completed the filming of this film, there's been a huge roundup of refugees and migrants from the streets of Athens [incompr.] but it's called Operation Zeus or something similar to that.

    MARA: [incompr.]

    SMALLMAN: And during that, a lot of them were detained, put into camps. Old military bases and old police barracks are used for this kind of thing. So they've been doing that. And again, you know, sadly, it's [incompr.] the political mainstream do use sort of, you know, racist language and imagery to pander to the media and, you know, to try and win votes. And [incompr.] it's sadly something that the far right do very well at.

    MARA: This operation was ironically named [incompr.] after the name of the Greek god of hospitality. And during the past weeks, 2,000 detained immigrants have gone on hunger strike in the detention camps. And just recently there were several reports released about the conditions in those detention camps. And I think Amnesty said something like it's incredible that these conditions exist at this time in a European country.

    HEVER: So what is the purpose of these policies? Do they think that if they make the lives of immigrants miserable enough, then other immigrants will not come to Greece in the future?

    MARA: I don't know what they're thinking.

    SMALLMAN: I certainly don't think anyone can control how many migrants will try and come into Europe. Unless they've got a lot of money and they can fly, they're always going to come by land or sea, which means that they will be coming through places like Greece and Italy. I mean, as one of the people we interviewed in the film pointed out, you know, a few years ago they had no migrants at all from places like Iraq or Afghanistan, yet that's doubled, you know, and [incompr.] in the past few years alone. So, you know, Greece has no control over what's happening in the rest of the world.

    MARA: That's the big problem with the whole regulating immigration. If people need to move, if they can't survive, if they want to move, they are going to find ways to move. And if that means paying smugglers or doing it illegally, that will happen.

    HEVER: Greece is now in the process of massive budget cuts. And one wonders why are they willing to spend all these resources, all this money on the police, on creating those detention centers that you were talking about, and where do they find the resources for that. And also, assuming that these immigrants are protected by the Dublin II agreement to some extent, is there any kind of obligation by the Greece government to provide them with certain services, some kind of welfare, until their situation is clarified?

    SMALLMAN: Every country in Europe has obligations, every country in the world, in fact, that's even signed up to the Human Rights Act has obligations to care for vulnerable people who need shelter within--inside their borders. I mean, that's not unique to Greece.

    MARA: And what--yeah, what we're pointing out is that the detention camp [incompr.] funded with European money. And Europe, Frontex, the European border agency, is also financed through Europe. So Europe has a very high responsibility for what's happening in Greece right now.

    HEVER: So though we see this kind of very obvious violence by the Golden Dawn and by the Greece police, actually it is also funded by European countries that are able to hide behind this sort of--these policies and not take responsibility for them.

    SMALLMAN: Yes, and that they're blackmailing--the rich countries are blackmailing the poorer countries to secure their borders.

    HEVER: Thank you very much for joining us, and goodbye.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Affirmative Action Ruling Will Further Racial Inequality
    Evidence For Russian Involvement In East Ukraine Based On Shoddy Journalism
    Ivy League Study Says The General Public Has Virtually No Influence On Policy
    The Modern History of Venezuela and Popular Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (9/9)
    An Asia "Pivot" Should Mean Cooperating with China to Solve the Global Environmental Crisis
    Assessing the U.S. Environmental Movement
    Intimidation and Political Interference Goes Unpunished in UAW Case
    Exclusive Investigation Uncovers How BP Uses Bribes To Do Business
    The Modern History of Venezuela, The Protests and Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (8/9)
    Greek Politics 4 Years After The Financial Crisis
    CBO Report Confirms U.S. Deficit Back to Normal Level
    Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
    Who Will Pay for Climate Change Disaster?
    Canada Shifts to Right Under Harper, Mimicking the United States
    The Savings and Loan Crisis Demonstrates the Importance of Glass-Steagall
    South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Challenges ANC Leadership
    TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    Hundredth Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre
    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting