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Imperialism gives birth to immigration

In the meeting yesterday 9/2/2011 with the Prime minister of Greece, G. Papandreou, concerning the question of immigration the GS of the CC of the KKE, Aleka Papariga, submitted a memorandum containing the assessments and proposals of the KKE.

“Prime minister,

As you are well aware, an explosive situation has been created by the policies which have been implemented in relation to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees who reside in our country.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees and immigrants, the majority of whom come from countries that have suffered military invasions, have been occupied, torn apart by civil wars and despotic regimes or from countries where they have been persecuted for their views, remain trapped in Greece- although they have as their final destination other EU member-states- due to the Dublin Regulation II of the EU, without rights, in unacceptable and inhumane conditions,. Their living conditions in Patras, Igoumenitsa, both in the centre and suburbs of Athens , as well as the tragic shipwreck in Corfu, bear witness to this contemporary form of barbarity.

Tens of thousands of refugees, who live, work and wish to remain in our country find themselves trapped as hostages in the pink card regime and are worried about their future. They are correct to fear that the new system of asylum will lead to their applications being rejected at a similar rate to the shameful 99% which has been the case up until now.

Hundreds of thousands of economic immigrants, most with families and children, cannot renew the highly expensive permits (due to the fines, fees etc.). They are in danger of being deported in line with the new law that was recently passed, because the stringent preconditions of the immigration legislation, which require them to have 150-200 social security points and a contract with an employer, drive an increasing number of unemployed immigrants into “illegality”.

For others, who have lived and worked in our country for many years, there has never been an opportunity for them to be legalized or to have access to the asylum procedures or they were not able to meet the very strict deadlines for applications.

Hopelessness and anger are on the rise

As a result of all of this, many immigrants are forced to work without social security, with humiliatingly low wages, literally for a piece of bread, as hostages of the employers, exposed to the anti-immigrant mechanisms and various criminal circles.

The unacceptable and viciously nationalistic decision of the D Section of the Council of State which cancelled the law 2838/2010 concerning nationality and the participation in the local elections of a small number of immigrants, provides legal cover for the continuation and intensification of the repressive policies against the immigrants. It was published at exactly the same time when the government insisted that it would not legalize more immigrants and when the Interior Minister, in an act of indescribable cruelty in order to demonstrate his iron stance against the hunger-striking immigrants, cancelled the government regulation which allowed for their legalization on humanitarian grounds.

The hopelessness and righteous outrage of the immigrants themselves is on the rise. This has been tragically demonstrated by the increasing number of hunger strikes, especially by the immigrants who have recently arrived from Crete.

This situation has a massive impact on the lives of Greek and immigrant workers, who do not wish to see their already deteriorating neighbourhoods ghettoised, before they are handed over to the big business interests. They are worried and concerned about the targeting of immigrants, the activity of racist groups against immigrants and against Greeks who stand by them, who protest so that their neighbourhoods or border towns do not become laboratories for the implementation of new methods and mechanisms of repression.

Imperialism gives birth to immigration

The government instead of dealing with the problem and finding solutions which fit the seriousness of the situation, has chosen repression, despite the fact that it is aware that repression-aside from being inhumane- is a dead-end. Indeed it went as far as characterising the upcoming demonstrations of immigrants in this period as a danger to “internal security”, due to the serious events taking place in Egypt and other African countries.

Our party repeats, yet again, the obvious: as long as the causes of immigration remain and intensify, the waves of starving, wretched and persecuted immigrants and refugees will be created and will increase, as they seek a way to save their lives through immigration.

The causes, which are deliberately concealed or downplayed, are the continuation and intensification of the imperialist aggression, wars, interventions, fomented civil wars which are unleashed by the USA, NATO and the EU with the participation of the Greek governments, the plundering of the wealth of the peoples by a gang of monopoly businesses. The struggle of these people to survive is not only just, but is also stronger than any repressive measure. No Frontex, barrier, concentration camp-on land or water- can impede them.

As a Party, we have repeatedly highlighted and condemned the causes of modern mass immigration. We are against the entirety of the anti-immigration policies and legislation of the EU and the Greek governments, which selectively seek immigrants for the needs of capital, as cheap and easy-to-manipulate labour, while throwing the others into the “waste bin”. We are of the opinion that workers and persecuted people cannot be separated into foreign and local, legal and illegal. We struggle for another radically different policy which will assist us to deal with the causes of the immigration issue, and will blunt the consequences for our country.

The proposals of the Party

In the face of the unacceptable and suffocating situation which has been created for both the immigrants and all the workers who reside in our country, our Party, understanding fully the seriousness of the problem has elaborated specific measures to relieve the situation. Their adoption is a matter of urgency.

These are:

  1. The end of the compliance with the EU mechanism known as the Dublin Regulation II, which holds hundreds of thousands of immigrants hostage. These immigrants have as their destination other EU countries. They must be provided with travel documents so that they can enter their destination countries legally and safely
  2. The immediate provision of asylum or other forms of international protection to the victims of imperialist wars and interventions (e.g. Those who come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia)
  3. That the renewal of residence permits no longer be linked to social security and work contracts, that they be granted to the unemployed, that the procedures be simplified and that the reunion of families be facilitated.
  4. The immediate legalization of all immigrants who live and work in our country, particularly those who have been here for a long period of time, have a family or have created strong connections with our country and wish to stay. We consider that these measures serve the interests of both Greek and immigrant workers and refugees, satisfy their just demands, are both realistic and ripe to be implemented. They will contribute, if only temporarily, to a way of dealing with the immigration question in our country, which the government –as well as the other political forces- have recognised and constantly invoke. To the extent which the government continues to follow the road of repression in order to face the problem, it will bear the responsibility for the further sharpening of the situation in the future.”


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