On Wednesday evening, 30 March 2016, major clashes occurred in the port of Piraeus. This time, it was not policemen and migrants who fought against each other, and not Greek nationalists and migrants. Two large groups of refugees fought among themselves - people from Syria and from Afghanistan. As it turned out, the cause of the clashes, in which hundreds of Syrians and Afghans took part, was an incident related to the behavior of people from Afghanistan. A group of young Afghans with obscure intentions stuck to a young woman - a citizen of Syria. Her countrymen preferred to intervene for the Syrian. As a result, a scuffle began, in which about thirty people first took part, but then, closer to midnight, several hundred Afghan and Syrian men and boys ran. Syrians and Afghans did not just fight, but took stones, sticks and bottles in their hands. The windows in the passenger terminal of the port of Piraeus were broken. The fight lasted about three hours. Only after a sufficiently long time did police officers and special forces policemen arrive in Piraeus, who were quite serious in their efforts to separate the fighting refugees. After this incident, the Greek authorities are seriously discussing the possible division of refugees along ethnic lines, so that such conflicts will not recur. At least, this applies to Afghans and Syrians, who already have an opposition, at any moment able to resume.
Recall that there are currently about 6 thousands of refugees living in the port of Piraeus. Among them are people from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, a number of African countries. For only one 2015, more than 800 thousand people moved to Greece from the territory of neighboring Turkey. However, the majority of refugees do not intend to remain in poor Greece, but move further through its territory to the countries of Western and Northern Europe. It is there that they expect to find refuge and receive high social benefits. But the temporary stay of refugees in Greek territory also brings many problems and troubles to the authorities and the population of this country. The incident in Piraeus with a fight between Syrians and Afghans is just one example of the negative behavior of migrants. So, at the end of February, 2016, in one of the central squares of Athens, in front of numerous passers-by, two young men of eastern appearance tried to hang themselves. The people who ran up to them literally took the unfortunates out of the loop. As it turned out, two citizens of Pakistan, who, according to them, decided to commit suicide after they were desperate to cross the border of Greece with Macedonia, were unsuccessful suicides. By this way, by the way, the majority of migrants from Greece get to the countries of Central and Western Europe. 22 February 2016 Macedonia closed its southern border, after which it was possible to cross it only after a very thorough check. As a result, no more than 200 migrants per day pass into the territory of Macedonia, the rest are in Greece. What to do with the influx of migrants, the Greek government does not know. Although representatives of the country's leadership have repeatedly stated that Greece does not intend to turn into a “warehouse for migrants”, as long as the situation with the influx of migrants cannot be resolved in any way. As a result, refugee camps are located at Athens stadiums, and hot food distribution points are equipped. However, by itself, this situation cannot be maintained indefinitely.
Meanwhile, the economic situation in Greece and so is not prosperous. The country has been in a crisis zone for a long time, which affects the political sentiments of Greek society and, of course, its attitude to the influx of migrants and refugees. In addition, the Greek public is extremely dissatisfied with how migrants and refugees relate to the assistance offered to them. In particular, it was observed how migrants throw food in food centers, deployed by the Ministry of Defense of Greece. First of all, migrants and refugees from Muslim countries are trying to get rid of products that are considered "dirty" - first of all, those who, in their opinion, may contain pork. In addition, migrants and refugees also refuse from “tasteless” in their opinion, food, including lentil soup. The behavior of migrants and refugees contribute to the further growth of anti-migrant attitudes in Greek society. Against the background of a difficult situation with migrants, the popularity of nationalist organizations is growing in Greece, including the “Golden Dawn” party. Some activists of this organization received life sentences of imprisonment for participating in the murder of a famous singer - an anti-fascist. However, a more moderate part of party activists views the situation with migrants as an opportunity to increase party support from the Greek society. The Golden Dawn advocates the use of army units to block the borders of Greece and expel illegal migrants, including those who pretend to be refugees, outside the country, in reality they are not. The irritation of Greek society is also caused by the fact that migrants and refugees behave as if the Greeks are obliged to maintain them, provide food, shelter and, moreover, still engage in lobbying the interests of migrants - that is, to promote the opening of borders with neighboring Macedonia and etc.
Refugees and migrants penetrate into Greece from Turkey. They cross the Aegean Sea in boats and small boats, often the latter crash, killing several dozen people. So, 6 March 2016, in the Aegean Sea off the coast of the Turkish region Didim (Aydin province) sank a ship heading from Turkey to Greece. At least 25 people who were on board, including 13 children, died. Turkey, like Greece, also concentrated on its territory a large number of Syrian refugees, Afghan and Pakistani migrants. However, trying to solve the problem of refugees, the Turkish authorities are looking at how special buses deliver refugees and migrants to the coast and further, on boats and boats of illegal carriers, refugees and migrants try to cross the Aegean Sea and get to Europe. Although the European Union insists that Turkey pursues a more efficient policy of accommodating refugees on its territory, Ankara is cunning and dodging. As a result, refugees and migrants continue to penetrate into Europe and the Turkish authorities are not building any serious obstacles on their way.
The NATO command decided to deploy the combat duty of warships in the Aegean Sea to curb the activities of criminal groups organizing the illegal delivery of migrants. However, the Greeks themselves are dissatisfied with the results of the NATO special operation - it did not bring the expected results. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that the special operation conducted by the forces of the alliance did not lead to a significant change in the migration situation. In addition, the dissatisfaction of Athens causes a blatant disregard for the EU’s decisions by the Turkish side. Despite the fact that the Greek government has repeatedly stated that all transports with migrants will immediately turn back to the shores of Turkey, attempts to penetrate the territory of Greece through the Aegean Sea continue and are massive, not episodic. 21 March 2016. The Greek government announced problems with Turkey’s compliance with the agreements on the issue of combating migrant penetration. Only on the day of March 20, 900 landed on the territory of the Greek island of Lesbos, who arrived in boats from the Turkish coast. The island of Lesbos is also called the “cemetery of nameless migrants”. In the past year alone, at least 3700 migrants from Asian and African countries sank off its shores, and about 2015 thousands of people landed on Lesbos in 500. They come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia and a number of other countries with a dysfunctional political or economic situation.
After the agreement was signed on the return of migrants from EU countries to Turkey, 31 March 2016 in the center of Athens, about a thousand migrants took part in a protest action organized by local human rights and left-liberal organizations. They demand the opening of borders and emphasize that they do not want anything from Greece and the Greek government, but are counting on the help of large and richer European countries. The main demand of the protesters is to open the borders of Greece with other countries of the European Union. Meanwhile, migrants and refugees in the Idomeni camp on the border of Greece and Macedonia blocked the railroad tracks. They require the immediate opening of borders in order to follow from Greece to Austria and Germany. At present, only those who leave the belligerent Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria who have sufficient grounds for refugee status pass through the border along a special corridor. Residents of the rest of the “third world” countries, who are not refugees from the war, do not fall into this category and, accordingly, they are expected to repatriate to their homeland. However, this does not suit migrants, especially since many of them paid decent sums of money to illegal carriers by the standards of their countries in order to reach the shores of Europe.
Migrant groups began to throw stones at the police cordons. As in Athens, activists of human rights organizations, whom the Greek authorities simply call provocateurs, acted as “shotrs” of protests on the Greek-Macedonian border. Human rights organizations are actively taking advantage of the protest sentiments of the refugees in the Idomeni camp, and here, at least 12 thousand people gathered from the countries of the Near and Middle East. But the population of the village Idomeni is only 150 people. By the way, the riots in Idomeni are far from the first case of hooligan actions by migrants and refugees in camps in Greece. So, in January, 2016 in the center of temporary accommodation in Corinth, a group of several dozen migrants staged a riot, throwing stones at police officers and setting fire to mattresses in the premises of the camp. With these actions, migrants protested against the impending repatriation from the territory of Greece. 28 March 2016. Mass protests began on the island of Lesbos, where a large number of foreign citizens are housed in migrant camps. Recall that on the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Rhodes and Kastelorizo, according to the Greek authorities, there are 4289 migrants, of which more than half are on the island of Lesbos. The US State Department also intervened in the situation in Lesbos, which reminded the Greek government about the “inadmissibility of the violation of the rights of refugees”, even if Turkey violated the agreements with the European Union.
Given that Turkey is not taking any real action to curb the illegal entry of migrants from its territory into Europe, the Greek government does not know what to do to successfully resolve the current situation with migrants. To contain a large number of migrants on its territory is a very problematic task for Greece, which is experiencing far from the best of times. The financial assistance of the European Union also does not give the desired results, since there are still not enough funds for all migrants. In addition, migrants create a lot of problems for residents of the country, affecting the social and criminal situation in Greek society.
There is also great doubt about the practical side of the implementation of the agreements between Turkey and the European Union on the expulsion of migrants. Firstly, it is very difficult to carry out legal support for deportation, since the case of each migrant must be considered individually, which requires a very large number of lawyers and considerable time. Secondly, the expulsion of migrants is a very large material costs. Thirdly, the implementation of the expulsion will require tough actions by law enforcement agencies and special services, which will cause a negative reaction from human rights organizations, and most importantly, the same United States, which is the main “lobbyist” of the presence of refugees and migrants in the European Union. But the main problem is that the flow of refugees and migrants cannot be stopped without ending wars and normalizing the political and economic situation in the countries of Asia and Africa, which are the main sources of migration. While European countries are concerned only with the placement or deportation of already existing refugees and migrants, more and more new groups of immigrants arrive, and bloody wars continue in the latter’s home countries, the population lives in extreme poverty, political chaos reigns.