Greece requested the European Union to send armed so called Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) to the Greek-Turkish border. This became public on Monday the 25th of October 2010. Greek government statistics state that irregular migration has been increasing in the Evros-Region where the land broder to Turkey stretches over 12 km. According to the Greek Minister of Citizens’ Protection Christos Papoutsis only during the first October weekend of this year 1,400 refugees have been intercepted in that region.
Rough translation of the Network for social support to migrants and refugees announcement on RABIT’s operation at Evros:
The development of Frontex’ Rapid Border Intervention Team in Evros region is not a blessing, European help or “solidarity”. A modern military unit to confront not an opposing army but of the fugitives of poverty, imperialist wars and climate change, is not only a threat for asylum rights in Europe, a fact that raises the risks in migration routes and the possibility of deportation to a country where migrants’ lives are threatened. It is a threat to the whole society, a society even more addicted to “state of emergency” policies, policies of stigmatization and collective responsibility, mass deportation and detention, policies emanating from the darkest periods of European history. It is clear: the “solidarity” of European governments is on exporting repression mechanisms, on rights restrictions and on enforcement of anti-social policies. It proves the ideological proximity between Papandreou, Berlousakoni and Sarkozy, a common effort to redirect social rage on immigrants, who are becoming scapegoats of economic crisis. We insist: it is not migrants who threaten the income, employment and security of local people. It is the illegalization and precarization policies which make migrants vulnerable to labor exploitation and social exclusion. It is the denial of any reception fascilities and the dismantling of existing hospitality structures. It is the violation of the right to political and umanitarian asylum proceedures. It is the policies which assign immigration policy to police and repressive mechanisms. That’s why we resist to the efforts of the government and the media to create the image of immigrants as a threat. We resist Frontex, the most developed part of european militarism which directs against the “new enemy” created by the European neo-racism.
Unwelcome migrant hunters of Frontex!
Solidarity with migrants!