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THE TRAPPING of refugees in the Aegean islands and on the Greek-Turkish border exposes the “barbarism” of the “imperialist” EU and Nato, Greek trade unionists said today.
The All-Workers Militant Front (Pame), which represents 415,000 workers in Greece, said that the two organisations were responsible for destroying countries, uprooting their people and then trapping them in prisons.
Earlier this week a Syrian man was shot dead and refugees were tear-gassed and beaten on the Greece-Turkey border after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he would flood Europe with refugees.
Pame accused the EU and Nato of “pushing the Turkish ruling class and the Erdogan government to use the refugees of each country as a tool to advance their own interests and play their own geopolitical games in the region.”
It said that the Greek government and the Syriza opposition were promoting “reactionary, xenophobic, racist and fascist elements that seek to turn Greek workers against migrants and refugees, the victims of capitalist barbarism.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) urged the EU to do more to support refugees and relocate them to other member states rather than using Greece as “a shield.”
Greek authorities have been accused of breaching international law over their heavy-handed response to the numbers massing on the border with Turkey.
Despite this, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has pledged €700 million (£607m) to help Athens crack down on refugees.
The NRC said that the EU has so far promised support for border management, additional funding and some humanitarian supplies, but has avoided the most urgent issue: supporting Greece through the relocation of asylum-seekers to other member states.
NRC spokesman Edouard Rodier said: “Europe needs to take responsibility for what is happening now at its external borders. It cannot suspend people’s right to seek asylum.”
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