Lesvos

The Greek island of Lesvos is struggling to cope. The United Nations reports that the island has a total capacity for 3,500 refugees, but in September 2016 it was hosting over 5,300. A fire started at the Moira refugee camp on Lesvos has been blamed on refugees frustrated with poor living conditions and lengthy delays processing their asylum applications.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Greece is among the countries least economically equipped to deal with the refugee influx, despite being on the frontlines of the crisis.  As of May 2017, Greece has a total debt of €344 billion. Yet public spending to absorb refugees is estimated at 0.3% of GDP each year (roughly €600 million). The borders of neighbouring EU countries are closed to the estimated 60,000 refugees currently in Greece, so they are stuck in refugee reception facilities such as the one on Lesvos.

In order to take a closer look at the local impact of the refugee crisis, we launched our ‘Cities & Refugees‘ project – aimed at fostering a Europe-wide dialogue between citizens, refugees and asylum seekers, NGOs, politicians, and European leaders. The emphasis will be on connecting local, everyday life at the city level to decisions made in Brussels and national capitals.

This week we’re looking at the island of Lesvos, Greece. It’s not true that the European Union has done nothing. The European Commission has given Greece €27.8 million in emergency funding to help the government cope with the refugee crisis. Yet this is a drop in the bucket for a country still recovering from the financial crisis and austerity measures from three bailouts since 2010. Greece has an unemployment rate of nearly 25%, and economic output has fallen by a quarter since 2009. Should the EU be offering more financial assistance to Greece?

Curious to know more about Greece, austerity, and the refugee crisis? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

Greece-Austerity

We had a question from Pavlos, who says the refugee centres on the Greek islands, including Lesvos, are cramped and overcrowded. Is this a sign that Greece is struggling to cope with both the refugee crisis and the impact of austerity?

To get a reaction, we spoke to Dr Angelos Chryssogelos, Teaching Fellow in International Relations & Politics at King’s College London. What would he say?

KCL Headshots Oct 2016 at the on the 04/10/2016. Photo: David TettI think Greece is coping better than expected. At least, symptoms seem to be stabilising since the summer of 2015 when we were straight after the dramatic renegotiation effort with the Eurozone on the economic front, but also the beginning of the huge refugee flows was taking place. So, ever since then what you’ve had on the economic front is some kind of stabilisation, albeit under punishing austerity. Eventually, by the end of 2015 to early 2016, you had first a stabilisation, then a reduction, then a containment of refugee flows, basically on Greek islands by virtue of the EU turkey deal.

I think the point about refugees and immigration right now in Greece is not so much coping under conditions of austerity that is taking place, which is currently the problem, but I think it’s more a long-term question about what Greece is going to do the approximately 60,000 people who are effectively stranded in Greece, as well as any new arrivals who will have to be taken care of in Greece, because their onward journey into Europe has to be blocked for all intents and purposes.

So, the questions placed on Greece are more long-term questions of integration and an acceptance that we have to seriously discuss about the place of these people in Greek society in the long-term. Clearly conditions are not optimal right now. From what I know, conditions in the refugee centres both on the islands and mainland Greece are pretty bad. I imagine this can be remedied with more effective administration or if Europe provides more funds to help Greece cope with this. But, again, the longer term problem, which carries a potential for both social and economic repercussions, is how Greece is going to deal with new arrivals in society.

I think any part of a concerted treatment of refugees and immigration by the EU would involve Greece becoming some kind of a stopping station or a welcoming station for some number of refugees coming in. Now the flows have moved towards Italy and the Mediterranean, but they could refocus again on the Aegean. So, the question is more long-term: how can Greece deal in terms of political integration with what seems to be a slow by steady influx of small numbers of refugees in following years. And then, of course, to what extent – if the Greek economy remains in bad situation as it is today – the amount of goodwill shown by Greek citizens towards refugees is slowly going to erode down the way. So, to my mind, while there are current problems, I think the bigger problem is more long-term.

Can Greece cope both with austerity and the refugee crisis? Should the European Union be doing more to support Greece financially as it struggles to absorb over 60,000 refugees? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Des Byrne
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172 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Γεώργιος Δανιηλίδης

    Not austerity but a brutal period from 2010 till today with cuts up to 60% in disposabe income.And the 4th “bail-out” to be voted with new cuts mainly in low and midlle incomes.No relation with 60.000 refugees whom EU States especially Germany refuse ILLEGALLY to accept and forced to temporarily stay in Greece.

    • Uli Czeranka

      I really hope our government (and also others) will accept that its inhumane to act with false claims to appeal to the “hard working” ” exportchampions” citizens of germany.

    • Katerina Kyriazi

      Why the heck should Germany accept more? They already got a million of them. All of EU must immediately close borders and deport the vast majority of those coming illegally

    • Giwrgos Filippatos

      I am not fond of Germany financial handlings towards us but saying Germany hasnt taken enough refugess is an apsolute lie. THey are the only country that has taken almost a million refugess while countries like Spain/POland /HUngary have barely taken 2-3 thousands

    • Γεώργιος Δανιηλίδης

      Has Greece get enough migrants? Τhis is the point.And can other EU countries deny FREE movement of migrants INTO EU? Then in Greece will remain only a few of them.

    • Antonios Forlidas

      Katerina Kyriazi I think you should go back to the elementary school to learn about human values, principles, dignity and rights. Only the nazist, fascist origin countries build fences and close the borders.

    • Juan Perez Perez

      Antonio, Katerina tiene razon.
      Antonio, Katerina is right.
      Los refugiados deberian estar alojados en paises de su mismo credo religioso y ambiente cultural
      Refugees should be protected in countruyies like Arabia thar has the same religion and culture.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Γεώργιος Δανιηλίδης

      It is clear that Greece has been well and truly PUNISHED by the German EU via a relentless and unreasonable AUSTERITY BLITZKRIEG!

      On your German refugee point – doesn’t international law state that asylum seekers must be sheltered in the first hospitable country they reach?

  2. Panayotis Moutafidis

    It’s time Europe no build walls and respect agreements about the numbers countries of refeguses can take , if some countries not accept the principal for free moving around Union or not respect the agreements must banned

  3. Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    It’s very difficult i hope not impassible. .anyway lets see the facts.
    We all agree that the Greek economy is not at its best. .
    We also agree that probably the 90 % of the refugee crisis was fallen to the shoulders of Italy and Greece
    So we have a government who is forced to cut expenses and at the same time is asked to deal with a problem without any kind of help
    Workers need money to work
    Builders also
    Food companies
    Security personnel
    Equipment
    Doctors
    Who is going to pay?
    You can’t ask two different things at the same time!
    An other thing the original agreement was to share the cost of the crisis,by sharing the refugee population to the entire eurozone instead the majority of the refugees are forced to stay in old overcrowded barracks which is the recipe for catastrophe!that’s the reason why people are starting to think that EU isn’t care about it’s people
    That’s the reason why anti EU voices are growing stronger
    EU bureaucrats start care about the people or the people will start NOT to care about YOU

  4. Bobi Dochev

    No it cant! Nobody can! And when EU officials report over 60% are illegal economical migrants I would like to know why they are not returned back to their home countries in a week and why European Border and Coast Guard Agency act like the biggest smuggler and offer illegal migrants free transport?!

    • Erik Jakub Citterberg

      Because they wont take them. They need to first force people to take their citizens even if EU is not able to provide their identification.

    • Bobi Dochev

      Lets force them! This is why we pay taxes, our institutions and our politics to force other people and institutions to work as they should! – right?

    • Katerina Kyriazi

      There are thousands upon thousands of people from Asian and African countries that won’t accept their people back. They know you can’t keep them locked up for ever so they will eventually be freed and start sending income back in those countries. Greece has been dealing with this since early 2000s but because the rest of EU had their borders protected the media outside Greece was not reporting on it.

    • Bobi Dochev

      Here is the place of EU and the member states governments – even if we should threaten countries, even if we put sanctions for those who refuse and funding for those who accept their people back.
      I don’t mind to help other countries to improve the living conditions and economies but I’m not agree with the uncontrolled acceptance of migrants – and we have just that – anyone can pass trough the borders unpunished. Illegal migration should be stopped at any price!
      What Australia does is keeping the migrants isolated on islands providing quite bad conditions, so any potential migrant is familiar with the situation and knows that it could be much worst then the conditions of his own country so the number is relatively low.
      Even for the refugees, which in my own opinion we are obligated to help because our criminal governments ruin their countries, we should provide free and safe zones in their countries instead getting them here where our cultural differences become a huge problem. Islamization of Europe is fact and we should react before it is too late!

    • Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      There is no European coast guard. ..just a small task force..if we really want to close our sea border we need a navy a big one ready to fight if it takes with the Turkish navy seems the moment you stop accepting those boats the Turkish will attack “for humanitarian reasons “…

    • Bobi Dochev

      But it seems that this “task force” is there to provide secure transportation for the illegal.

  5. Stefania Portici

    Come si può aiutare gli immigrati se non si è nenache in grado di provvedere a se stessi ? Gli aiuti in denaro consistono nel dare denaro per poi riaverli con gli interessi. Meglio non ricevere nessun aiuto che fatto in questo modo. L’Unione Europea o sono gli Stati Uniti con una politica comune e una moneta SOVRANA degli Stati o va distrutta , in questo modo sta mettendo in ginocchio TUTTI i Paesi che hanno l’euro ( chi prima, chi dopo ma non vi preoccupate che arriva per tutti ) Chi ha inventato l’euro è stato un grande criminale

  6. Michael Paraskevas

    The EU just sucks Erdogan’s dick, while he pushes masses of illegals through the sea who are not even refugees of war and on the other side the austerity offers no chance of recovering so the situation is worse than having had a war. Long live the 4th Reich and Merkel. All it takes is corrupt governments and a genocide through economy.

  7. Stefania Portici

    l’Italia ad esempio ogni anno paga alla UE molto più di quanto riceve. Abbiamo avuto il terremoto e 6 Paesi dell’Unione europea diciamo pure i nomi cosi lo sanno tutti Germania, Olanda , Austria, Svezia , Danimarca e Finlandia hanno detto NO alla ricostruzione finanziata dalla UE. Paghiamo e non si vede niente neanche nel bisogno di catastrofi naturali . Ma che esiste a fare l’Unione Europea ? A derubare i popoli ?

    • Stefania Portici

      se poi torniamo al problema dell’immigrazione ….si verifica questo .. Noi italiani diamo il nostro denaro alla UE. La UE ce li restituisce in parte dicendoci dove dobbiamo spenderli e se non facciamo come ci dicono veniamo multati ( pagare altri soldi oltre quelli che abbiamo già dato ) . La UE ci dice che dobbiamo spenderli per l’accoglienza dell’immigrato. L’immigrato viene e noi tutti a lavorare per farlo stare bene perchè se ci sono delle mancanze la UE ci multa. In sintesi il popolo italiano paga in prima persona per l’immigrato , il popolo italiano dopo aver pagato può anche morire ,si salva solo l’immigrato in questo modo.

    • Stefania Portici

      con questo non ce l’ho con l’immigrato, è gente che va aiutata ma mi devi mettere in condizioni di aiutare . Razzismo no ma neanche autorazzismo . Quando un popolo è messo in condizioni di provvedere a se stessi allora può provvedere per gli altri

    • Stefania Portici

      vi racconto anche questo . In quei giorni del terremoto ,mentre tutti stavamo cercando di dare soccorso alle persone sotto le macerie riceviamo la letterina dalla UE ……che dovevamo darci da fare di più per l’immigrato altrimenti sanzioni. Se non vi fa schifo …..io non lo sò dove è finita l’umanità. Poi ci chiedete perchè ce l’abbiamo con l’Unione europea !? Paragonarla ad un mostro criminale è dir poco

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Stefania Arcades
      Sorry, but when EU money flows into Italy, corruption often follows.

      PS: Italy has the greatest of all European histories but it seems that in current times it cannot look after itself?

  8. Dino Boy Mican

    Greece is peculiar case where people moan a lot. Everybody curses the government, the EU and NATO, yet you don’t see huge demonstrations. Everybody is frustrated with this crisis, but people enjoy the café life, filling smoke-filled joints or strawling down the street at a casual pace midday midweek. As far as the refugees go: we re talking of a mere 60-70,000 folks!!!! That’s all!!!! Greeks make a piecemeal of everything and to solve the minutest of problems seems to be damn hard for them

    • Katerina Kyriazi

      How many has your country Poland taken then? The number is zero. If 60k sounds so little to you why not start hosting them yourself?

    • Katerina Kyriazi

      So shut up and start doing your bid instead of MOANING you idiot

    • Katerina Kyriazi

      Then again your country men have flooded Europe with millions upon millions of polish people so start taking the poles back to Poland as well.

    • Paschalis Bourletsikas

      People like you is why the EU is in sh*t…. For you everything is sugar coated regardless if it is not. Crime in Greece has dramatically increased by illegal immigrants of which Greek prisons have a capacity of 91% illegal immigrants. Yes, the Greeks have a peaceful lifestyle and we are not Germans who work like slaves. We are all different so you need to live with it

    • Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      Dino boy mican you talking too much but don’t know a shit about Greece or how to make a molotof to my eyes you are a stupid child how speaks too much about things that don’t know if you ever visit Athens during a march you going to piss your self

    • Goulis Stathis

      60-70Ks….and you think that’s ok…but anyway…it’s a matter of attitude….You see you have given us the right to say something about you but I won’t say anything about your country. It’s not fair.

    • Nikolas Lodakis

      Wrong the total immigrants in Greece is arround 5 million including Albanians my friend.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Paschalis Bourletsikas
      The German EU has treated Greece abysmally over the last decade with its AUSTERITY BLITZKRIEG – nonetheless, its not the ‘peaceful lifestyle’ of the Greeks that is an issue, it is the ‘corruption lifestyle’ that is a cause for concern.

  9. Katerina Mpakirtzi

    Its fantastic to get you out of your home and makes you migrand and our leftist call migrands to the hotels that we should pay. When you have 25% unemployeds what jobs you can offer? All over are criminals and criminality is like Chicago. People from Albania selling drugs…from Georgia and Pakistan women. Daily we have suicides and murders and they are all …happy in their own world of love and peace. Goldman sacks and bankers control the leaders or makes them leaders,they took our money our homes our jobs but we are Europeans(?) at least(!)! This is not europe for our people but an awfull economic game. Turkey trying to give us more problems and terrorize us as -terrorists- as usual and they put on boats million women childs ungun men. Of course they used Islam to ask for some pieces or some islands that violates daily but Bruselles give loans in high prices in a state that is more known for the scientists and academics and other values than big factories.
    We are near the Beast…..and from Skylla to Harivdi.

    • Katerina Mpakirtzi

      Σκυλλα και Χάριβδη. Είναι.. στο κοινοβουλιο. Σκύλλες ασυδοτες και χάρυβδες που ευθυνοντε για χιλιαδες νεκρους αλλα ο νεοελληνας ζει εκτος πραγματικοτητας γιατι δε τον νοιαζει τι γινεται γυρω του. Φυγοπονος

    • Mena Abreu

      We should help Greece.

  10. Monique Taxhet

    The EU should be given the power to get border officers onto Greek soil and help to cope with all the refugees coming in. This should be negotiated with the Greek government as no such force can enter Greece without its consent. It should really be the uttermost priority,

    • Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      A good start for EU could be to stop sucking erdogan’s dick WEAK UP the problem isn’t at the Greek coast guard,it’s merkel that refuses to see the Turkish aggressiveness the moment that the Greek coast guard try to break the “law of sea” the Turkish will attack with the excuse of “humanitarian reasons ” so stop making stupid proposals that are both offending and fascistic

    • Monique Taxhet

      Sorry, can’t write your name on my device. I do believe you need to wake up. I’m hundreds of light years from a fascist. But given your comment you must be very close to that ideology, so we don’t have a lot in common I’m afraid.
      As for Erdogan, he is Turkey’s problem, not the EUs and Turkey will never be part of the EU unless they are a real democracy, so that’s that sorted :-) and I maintain my opinion :-)

    • Παναγιώτης Καράμπελας

      The EU has already been given the green light to bring help and they have already agreed to do so since 2015, only…they didn’t. They were supposed to bring 200 specialists from Germany alone and only ~75 ever came. Most of them have already returned to Germany… And the only thing FRONTEX has been doing is documenting the immigrants/refugees who enter Greece. So that they can send them back to Greece if they are arrested in any other European country. It is not a push-back operation… Our “allies” are just covering their asses…

    • Monique Taxhet

      But FRONTEX has no other powers. They are not a force that can control the borders of Greece. For that to happen the Greek parliament would have to give a foreign force IE. Border officials and maybe even military from other EU countries to come to Greece, stay there as officials to vet the refugees who come in. That power has not been given for fear of some kind of “invasion” I guess. Or loss of “sovereignty” as some would say. The EU is doing what it can within the legal framework it has been given. As for money, why would that be given without strict control of how it would be used ? Sorry, you need help to get this sorted, yes, but that help cannot be delivered without guarantees.

    • Yema Ya

      Dear Monique Taxhet I understand your intentions are good. First though I would like to fill you in the picture as to why Erdogan is not (only) Turkeys problem. Turkey is breaking international rules on a daily basis while crossing the borders to Greece without admission with military jets between 20 to 140 (yesterday) times per day. Those jets are flying attack manoeuver -“excersises”, since a few months sometimes even equipped with actual weapons – which by international law justifies to shoot them. You can say it equals a declaration of war. Also, Erdogan and his ministers openly deny the rightfullness of the greek borders. They claim certain areas of the Aegean sea which are Greek to be theirs and unrightfully taken from them. This is known among EU-politicians and NATO. Greece is obviously expected to keep the ball low here to avoid …what? War? More refugees? But threats are piling up and Greece is bleeding out. If it would come to a war now, they could not win because they lack the materials because of Austerity. And why believe, anyone would help them? Who is actually helping now with a refugee crisis in a country which has been drained down to almost third world standards? I can tell you: mostly NGOs. This country cannot deal with refugees right now. It cannot. This can’t be discussed, it’s a fact. There are no means existing in Greece to assimilate these people. Feeding them and sheltering them with European money, as it is happening right now, is a slap into the faces of the majority if the Greeks as they don’t know how to pay all their bills and eat. What a Greek has today, he might lose it tomorrow. That’s how they live. You cannot give to the refugees the homes which Greek families had to move out because they lost their jobs. That though is happening now. I don’t see, what European officers could change about the situation.

    • Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      Nope when EU accepted Erdogan’s blackmail he became EU problem to.actually EU does the same mistake that the allies did with Adolf Hitler just before WWII. What reason he has to stop when he sees that his blackmails work? ??you think that someone just doesn’t know how to do his job? You think that if you send 100 or 200 people the flow will stop?how you going to send those people back to Turkey? How is going Erdogan to be forced to accept them?ps im from a family that fought against the Nazis. .fascism it’s not my favorite color

    • Monique Taxhet

      Dear Yema Ya, I understand that Greece has a big problem, like any other country with Schengen area borders, more so because of the Turkish problem. I also know that Greece/Turkey “war” is going on for decades and that part of Cyprus are being claimed by both Greece and Turkey. I also know both are part of NATO but given Erdogan’s dictatorial stance I wouldn’t be surprised if he would do something very stupid. But don’t worry, if he ever does, NATO would most probably help Greece rather than Turkey.
      As for refugees, unfortunately you are very close to Turkey and it is easy to come over by boat. I do believe that sending a message to Turkey telling them to stop the traffickers has already been sent by the EU. Also, if Greece wasn’t in the EU, I still believe that refugees would come over in the same proportion, except that in such a case there wouldn’t be any help whatsoever coming from the EU, like taking on some of those refugees into other EU countries. And I still believe that having the Schengen boarders officially controlled with a clear message saying that any one caught would be cared for as required but sent back to their country of origin as soon as they are fit enough to go back (from a medical point). There is no other solution I’m afraid.

    • Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      NATO didn’t helped in 1974 didn’t in 1987 didn’t in 1996 who tells as that they ill do now? Also you are mistaken about Cyprus half of the island is occupied by the Turkish army and is been run like a Turkish province since 1974 and ones again NATO doesn’t do anything

    • Monique Taxhet

      NATO didn’t do anything because the problems were/are between two NATO allies. But now, if Turkey was to really attack Greece, which I very much doubt, by the way, Erdogan is not that stupid, then I’ll bet Turkey would be sacked from NATO.

  11. Yanni Sfyrides

    Both are matters concerning EU.Not only Greece.But Germany and Mr Schauble think that EU is a Super Market the profits of which should be gathered in Germany.

    • David Tough

      Greek financial incompetence!

    • Ivan Burrows

      David Tough

      Which is dictated by Brussels and the ECB..

      Basic route cause analysis = EU dogma of ‘ever closer union’ is the problem.

    • Stefania Portici

      non è stata incompetenza , sono proprio criminali. Uno degli ideatori dell’euro e della UE è venuto a farci conferenza dicendoci che il più grande successo dell’euro lo si vedeva in Grecia . Se quello è un successo non è errore, sono proprio criminali

  12. Nando Aidos

    That is not the right question!
    The right question is:
    – Can we, in all honesty, leave Greece to deal with austerity AND the refugee crisis? Is it fair? Is it right?
    That is the right question!

  13. nando

    That is not the right question!
    The right question is:

    – Can we, in all honesty, leave Greece to deal with austerity AND the refugee crisis? Is it fair? Is it right?

    That is the right question!

  14. Luca Del Vecchio

    Greece should have a right wing Government so The Refugee problem would be Solved I don’t see other solutions

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Luca Del Vecchio
      I hope you are not proposing another ‘FINAL SOLUTION’!!

  15. Christina Kler

    Refugees are not Greece’s problem !! the ones who created the war should take them . Greece has no space nor money ! They are not refugees . most are illegal immigrants .

  16. David Calado

    Completely crazy. The European politicians are destroying Greece, Italy and Sweden, just to start with. Why do Europe ought to be destroyed? What do we have to do with the huge 3rd world demographic explosion? Just the population in sub-saharian Africa increases in excess of 30 million people every single year. In Saudi-Arabia the population increased by 700% during the last 50 years and in the other muslim countries is not very different. Is all this people to migrate to Europe? This will be the end of our civilization. Are our politicians blind?

    • Demokritus ( Sentikiotis Phaedon )

      Here it is. Somebody that has the total view.The economy of petrol allowed all these populations to grow up. Several years of peace made europeans not understanding where a situation from blessing is turning to curse .Greece according to open theaters once had the 20% of the global population and the more advanced civilization . Now Greece has the 0,02 % of global population. The geopolitical position of Greece is to stop all the barbarian populations to come to Europe. The insolvency of Greece happened because European Union is not a Union but Europe a la cart .Loaded with military weapons for defending the territory the governments were passing the expenses to one another. The hedge funds of USA wanted to gain the losses from the insolvency of Lehman Brothers and were gathered to o hotel in New York to attack to EURO . The weak ring was the Greek bonds and this way happened the elimination of Greek economy . Even Hillary Clinton came to Greece to earn money for her son in law from this attack . From the other hand Merkel end Trichet “declared” that time that European Central Bank wouldn’t back off these attacks and this money should be given by the Greeks. Merkosy were responsible for exporting companies and techno knowledge to China . China developed its competitiveness . Germany covered its competitiveness with the treaty of Maastricht and the only areas left to chinize their citizens working conditions were the south of Europe. Moreover Greece and Italy have the invasion of immigrants. The solution for all the planet will come again from Greece with the economy of Hydrogen but for the benefit of the planet and not the benefit of every miserable human being of earth that cannot control birthing ability and let the other creatures feeding his “creations”

  17. Akis Muto

    No Greece cant do that. Greece could only do it with international help(since its an international issue)

  18. Heba Elshazly

    They already been cooperating for years, and Greece have been working to recover it’s economy and settle the debts ,till they’ve reached the 4th agreement ! ;)

  19. Luis Terra

    Stop the austerity, it’s the wrong measure. Portugal just proved that economy can recover and reach a 2% budget deficit without austerity. The center right that rules Europe for years is wrong, wrong wrong. Less taxes, more wages is the solution.

    • David Mcphail

      Sorry but here in France it is the Left that has increased taxes dramatically, and can’t stop themselves spending….

    • Luis Terra

      Of course, and in Greece and the Netherlands, the same, but thats because the orders from Brussels and the Popular party are very clear. Or you comply with the austerity or you’ll be destroyed. Do you know the threats and attacks Portugal received since our left coalition came to power and started to reverse the austerity measures? The pressure is still so high, Schauble will not rest til he makes Portugal bend the knee again. So, if the Popular party rules Brussels austerity will always be visible.

  20. GonEprata Megarp

    EU is a freak show disguised as a not so big freak show. It shots you and then asks how are you doing.

    • David Mcphail

      these people are for the most part NOT refugees, they are illegal economic immigrants.. there is a shit load of difference..!

  21. Nikolas Lodakis

    I wonder what the hell NATO is doing they are doing nothing. Actually they are spying on us in case we buy arms from Russia. The fact is that Greece is under German and American occupation. The fact is that for 40 more years because of our mentality plus rotten politicians we have become slaves again.

    • Chris Pavlides

      Το πρόβλημα είναι και ευκαιρία πατριώτη.

  22. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    The Greek politicians are all full of money The people of Greece is suffering this terrible austerity I am in favor of the referendum in Greece

  23. Antonios Forlidas

    Europe has to pay the price of its mistakes in foreign policy , by participating militarily in the destruction of the countries where the refugees come from. Before our intervention with the stupid americans in Middle East we never had such problems as death, destruction, terrorism and uncontrollable refugees and migrants influx. No use crying over spilled milk. ΣΚΑΣΜΟΣ.

  24. Nikolas Kontogiannis

    Greece is the borders of Europe. The gate of the continent. ..if the Europeans neglect that the Greek island are not Europe the refugees will end up to there doors. …financially the country is passing difficulties but the natural gas and the oil that Greece and Cyprus has can provide energy independence in Europe for the next 200 years …Europe must help Greece cause Greece is too important to let as side helpless. .

    • Chris Pavlides

      Νικόλα ο κλέφτης και ο απατεώνας δεν βοηθάνε. Αρπάζουν και σε αφήνουν σύξυλο.

    • Chris Pavlides

      The disgrace belongs a) to you b) euro citizens who accept all kind of crimes against this key member country & the area c) the interests generate the whole trouble in the name of a new geoeconomic & geostrategic status quo.

    • David Coughlan

      Bit unfair to say myself and all EU citizens. Many in Europe do not support the criminal austerity forced on Greece. They want to see an EU for the people of Europe, not for the banks and big business.

    • Alexander Apazoglou

      No Chris. It belongs to US. To the Greek people. We are the fucking sheep that do nothing and allow em to fuck us. Don’t be so eager to seek for help when you do nothing to help yourself. People all over Europe are on our side politically, but what do you want em to do? Unless we put our criminal politicians to jail or worse, so act outraged.

  25. Stathis Stathopoulos

    Greece should exit the Imperialist blocs – both NATO and the EU with a people’s government. The parties governing after 1074 and the ones before are committed to capitalism with the well known results. The military Junta (1967 – 1974) was the one that gave the Souda Bay facilities to the US and a big part of Cyprus to Turkey. All for NATO objectives. Tomorrow on May 17th the Greek workers will put down their tools and together with the refugee workers will fight for a better society. See you there!

  26. Martha Tsika

    I mean, really now !! You’ve got a leftist government imposing “open-market-preservation-plans”…. would this ever work??? and then you’ve got a “welcome everybody” policy but no means to support it and no plan to follow regarding their movement to other eu countries… It’s obvious Greece cannot solve the planet’s humanistic crisis – and nor should it!

  27. Alexander Apazoglou

    Let me fix that for ya. -Can’t Greece cope both with austerity and the refugee crisis. There, all done. We’re FUBAR. Nothing more to discuss. Especially since the it’s been a couple of days since the latest memorandum came and of course will be signed. K?

  28. Χρήστος Καράπαλης

    Εντάξει ,εντάξει,ξέρουμε ότι αδημονείτε να εγκατασταθείτε στα σπίτια μας,ενώ εμείς θα ζούμε με επιδόματα σε τίποτα κατσάβραχα σαν τους ινδιάνους.Μην ανησυχείτε,όλες οι κυβερνήσεις σας και (μας;;) δουλεύουν γι αυτό το σκοπό,και η αδημονία σας φαίνεται απο τα στοιχήματα που παίζετε στην αγγλία όπως π.χ κατά πόσο θα αυξηθεί η θνησιμότητα με τα μνημόνια..Κάντε υπομονή,μην καρφώνεστε τόσο πολύ,δεν πεθάναμε ακόμα..

  29. Alan Featherstone

    Greece could make all their problems go away easy……
    Sell EU Passports to refuges for €10K each.
    =NO REFUGES + NO DEBT

    • Maria Alexandre

      Greece voted no … but the presidential sock puppet seems to have used “google translate” in his “demands” -_- shame on Greeks for letting the sock puppet and his clowns get away with it

  30. Κωνσταντίνα Τσαντουλή

    EU should help more Greece. This ammount of money isn’t enough for refuges. A high percentage of greek GDP is depending in tourism. Tourism in Lesvos and other islands decreases due to refuges crisis. Greece can ‘t cope with economic crisis and refuge crisis. We need a hand from EU!!!

    • Paolo Ortenzi

      EU is the rope that is strangling you. Asking for more EU is asking for more rope…

    • Tatiana Mavropoulou

      There’s not refuges!!! We don’ t want help, we must get out them from our property! They’re came illegal in our country!!! No one of them is refuges!!! No one!!!
      But, we have more stupid people and traitors government!!!!

  31. Luciano Martinelli

    NO. Unfortunately, because The EU intents is to destroy Both Greece and Italy intead to rerurn then th many tons of gold that their father took from the gold reserves of these two countries.

    • Sven Silcher

      The EU and other creditors are certainly not providing the best recipes against the crisis but that they intend to destroy both Greece and Italy is bullshit – why should they want to, cui bono? This are sick conspiracy fantasies !

  32. Maria Alexandre

    give 10 loan , can not pay back , no worries , take another 10 , to pay 5 in interest and have 5 more to do some more “pocketing” jobs , can not pay back 20 , take some more , buy German sub marines you do not need , USA F 16’s you do not want , and Siemens for every occasion you do not have … now owe 40 …. and on and on and on …IMF ..conquers countries with debt … and the ONLY ones who actually enjoyed IMF funding are those that did not need in in the first place …… and sadly enough those where NOT the “Greeks” … Of course Turkey get’s a few billion from EU to “deal” with the “refugee crisis” , buys some rusty tubs, and ships them of to Greece, where they strand cause all of EU DOES like to BOMB Middle East and African countries , but does NOT like to deal with the people who would prefer NOT to be bombed -_- Are YOU kidding ME ? HOW are Greeks supposed to handle the crisis which leaves pensioners with less money in a month than Germans take in a week as it is , and which is said to go LOWER , with wages for people, for which Dutch would not even get out of their beds , with prices for everyday items HIGHER now than for most of EU , with so many who do not even know how they will feed their OWN , and to then expect them to be able to feed others :(

  33. Andrew Christou

    Greece needs to change as a country in most ways if it has any chance at all . ..it’s tax system is ancient and the constitution needs changing urgently . ..politicians have screwed the country with no accountability . ..plus many many things . ..including understanding that a NATO and European country has it’s responsibilities . ..which means no friendly relations with Russia the way it has always had . ..and rooting out it’s infamous Socialist past which have bankrupted the country …privitisation of utilities to bring jobs and growth and competition . Needs to totally modernise it’s thinking and ways before it’s literally too late . ….and definitely shrink it’s public sector by at least half of what it is . ..whole system is 40 years behind leading European countries . .

  34. Rosy Forlenza

    of course it can’t, and shame on the EU for allowing this appalling humanitarian crisis to go on – and that is coming from a firm pro eu person, but i am disgusted ii have to say. positive eu interference in terms of the greek economy structures and processes could have taken place but instead they got austerity, more austerity, more taking responsibility for merkel’s invite and no help…yes disgusted ..may the big wig liberal dutch guy could have some reflection on how this ongoing situation with no end in sight is commensurate with the EU liberal values he espouses on his pulpit?

  35. Barry Martins

    When you have the EU sending shipts to so called “rescue” the immigrants a few miles off the coast of Lybia amd bringng them ten times the distance back to Italy and Greece then these are not rescues they are an invasion being implemented by the EU . Rescue would be to take them back from whence they came. If i was in a LILO at a beach and the wind took me a couple of miles out to sea a “rescue” boat would not take me to France it would bring me back to the place i was . So all this rescue rubbish is just B/S.

    • Karolina

      Agreed. These people are being encouraged to come over here.

  36. Tenia Christopoulos

    Francesco, yes there were people who destroyed Greece. Past tense. And those were our politicians and those around them. The reason that there is no blood in the streets after so many years is that Greeks finally realise that we all brought this on, by electing crooks who promised our sons and daughters and nieces jobs in the civil service in return for votes. Corruption is rampant. Always was.

  37. Robert Tokarski

    It could if other countries in EU showed more solidarity. They should bail Greece out and accept more refugees in quota system

  38. kevin

    We must stop the migrants crossing the seas and entering Europe in the first place . Humanitarian aid is one thing , put money in to make the refugee camps better in Asia and even take some refugees from these camps .
    All those in Greece should be sent back to Turkey or wherever they come from in North Africa , Europe doesn’t owe the World a living , Greece should be left to deal with its financial problems (outside the EU if they had any sense) without the burden of illegal migrants

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Sentikiotis Phaedon
      Pray tell dear sir.

  39. Dimitris Stamiris

    Wen Germans have all media in all eu what you really except ?
    This government we all vote was the only one who says that “enough is enough” ….. But after many eurogroups magically they change ….

    So let’s all eu make German Rich !!!!

    Let’s give the real name to eu ….. “Germans Europe”

  40. Sheila Hildebran Raptopoulou

    The EU is not a democracy and the austerity measures being imposed on Greece are not based on sound economic theory; they are simply a form of economic terrorism in order for big business, including banks, to get hold of Greece’s assets. We all agree that Greece’s leaders were not honest and that Greece had a debt to pay, but Greece has repaid the money by now. Being forced to pay the interest on the money loaned to Greece will never allow Greece to get out of debt and develop the Greek economy. The way Greece is being treated is against all sound economic advice by worldwide economic experts. Germany is killing Greece and all Europeans should speak out against it!

    • catherine benning

      Sheila Hildebran Raptopoulou

      You have it so right….. What you are missing is, the lenders, whoever they may ‘really’ be, do not want Greece out of debt. Not until they have taken into their ownership all it has in assets.

      It will be a slave country with all the mouths of illiterate and violent immigrants feeding at its breast.

      This is what would have become of the British had they not been wise enough to dump the lot of them.

  41. Alex

    Hm … without strong opposition from GERMANY Greece would have been out of Eurozone for yrs with an African currency scenario. For sure all aknowledge that further hair cuts is the name of the game Yet:) someone should keep pressure on a country with (former) irresponsible politicians in order to allow it maintain its club membership.

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