OVER 1,000 mainly Syrian and Afghan refugees marched last Wednesday through the Athens city centre to the EU Offices in Greece demanding free and safe passage to central Europe.
They carried placards stating ‘we want to leave’ and ‘freedom’. They were joined by Athens University students and refugee support groups. There are now nearly 6,000 refugees at the port of Piraeus and another 2,500 put up in an Athens suburb. They live in appalling and extremely crowded conditions.
Tensions and pressures have resulted in occasional fighting between young men in the port of Piraeus. Early this week there were clashes between the Greek riot police and the refugees at Idomeni, on the border with the Republic of Macedonia.
The Greek government announced that as on Wednesday there were 3,950 refugees placed in ‘detention centres’, which are in fact military and police-controlled concentration camps, on the Greek Aegean islands of Khios and Lesbos. In accordance with the EU-Turkey agreement all these refugees – who are being called ‘migrants’ by the Greek authorities – will be deported back to Turkey.