Friday, October 14, 2011

Young refugee kids soon to be evicted from Thessaloniki Refugee Reception Centre, Greece

For over 20 months Greece's second largest city has been threatening to close down town's only refugee reception centre. For 20 months the 15 families in residence have survived due to the efforts of local volunteer grouops who have been paying for the centre's bills and the families food supply. The Greek ministry of health and the local Thessalonikicity council have refused to support the enterprise even though it was set up by them to deal with Greece's refugee crisis.

However, even that indifference as been replaced by active attempts by the local authorities to evict the familes with no thought given to the future of those people. With the Greek economy in dire straits and the .local police department stepping up harassment of immigrants those inside the reception centre face the prospect of being kicked out into the streets.

The residents along with local supporters decided to stage a small protest march fromthe centre to the local ministry building, a move which threw thr riot squad protecting it into action. Immediately the central gates were closed and police took up position in case the eight year olds present made an attmept to topple the government. As a result negotiations between the officers in charge and representative who wanted to present their case to the local politicans had to be conducted through the bars ofthe padlocked gate.

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