Refugees branded as ‘illegals’ by EU

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THIS week, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, threatened that the EU would deport the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing imperialist war in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Tusk delivered his threat in Athens after a meeting with the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, where he promised EU money to Greece to help deal with the refugee crisis.

Tusk made a dramatic appeal aimed at what he called ‘potential illegal economic migrants’ saying: ‘Do not come to Europe. Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing. Greece, or any other European country will no longer be a transit country.’

Following this appeal was the threat by Tusk the following day in Turkey that only ‘a fast and large-scale mechanism to ship back irregular migrants’ would effectively ‘break the business model of the (people) smugglers’.

Tusk was outlining the plans of the EU for the mass deportation of those deemed ‘illegal economic migrants’, sending them back to the countries they have fled to escape the carnage wrought by imperialism in Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.

The hundreds and thousands of men, women and children who have lost everything and risked their lives in the hazardous sea crossing to Greece, are not ‘economic migrants’.

They are the victims of imperialism which has torn their countries apart to smash up the secular governments of the region to facilitate the domination of its oil wealth by US and European capitalism.

Tusk’s three day visit to Greece and Turkey has set out the murderous plans the EU has developed to deal with the ‘refugee crisis’. With Macedonia sealing its border with razor wire to prevent the 10,000 people stuck there from moving on, Tsipras is being offered £544 million in ‘emergency aid’ to turn Greece into one vast holding camp for refugees – more like a concentration camp.

Or as Tsipras described it – ‘a warehouse for souls’ penned up by army and police, awaiting deportation back to the war zones they fled. In Turkey, Tusk reiterated a previous pledge of EU money and the prospect of that country being fast-tracked into joining the EU on the proviso that the reactionary Erdogan regime, the biggest supporter of the jihadist terrorists in Syria, stop refugees from leaving Turkey and crossing the Mediterranean.

This can only be achieved by shooting down and sinking boats carrying them. While Tusk was demonising refugees and outlining the plans of the ruling class to turn Europe into an armed fortress, in the US the commander of the imperialist war machine, NATO, was telling the Senate Armed Services Committee, that refugees were in fact ‘Russian weapons’.

General Phil Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe and head of the US European Command, told the committee that they were nothing more than weapons of Russia and the Syrian government who are ‘deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve’.

Turning reality on its head, Breedlove claimed that the refugee crisis is a result of Russian bombing and nothing to do with the five-year-long war instigated by US, British and French imperialism intended to repeat the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya through bombing and the use of jihadist terrorist groups armed and supported by the imperialists and their Gulf feudalist allies.

Far from creating the refugees, the Russian bombing campaign, which only started on September 30 last year at the request of the legitimate Syrian government, has dealt deadly blows against ISIS and created the conditions for a military victory over them, stymieing imperialist plans for regime change, and creating the conditions for Syrians to remain in their own country.

The working class will reject these lies that paint refugees as the enemy. The enemy of the working class of Europe and Britain is not the millions of people driven out of their homes by imperialist wars but capitalism which, in its final most degenerate imperialist stage, can only survive through wars to re-conquer the world and its resources.

Only by putting an end to imperialism through the victory of the socialist revolution can humanity advance and put an end forever to imperialist slaughter.