Thursday, 12 July 2012

Downtown Athens Is An "Expanding" Time Bomb That Is Ready To Explode - Says Greek Gov't

Minister of Public Order Corfiot MP Nikos Dendias on Thursday described downtown Athens as an expanding time bomb. The Minister said the situation is intolerable. "It makes no sense to me to remain on as Minister of Public Order and witness this (time) bomb constantly expand" said Dendias, adding that he can not sit around any longer and watch "city centers being taken over one after the other".

After visiting the areas of visits Omonia, Kipseli and Agio Panteleimona where thousands of illegal immigrants are Dendias was horrified to witness a real tragedy in the making. The incredible influx of illegal immigrants over the past few years, especially after 2009, has literally transformed the historical city of Athens which was once home to Socrates and Plato into a rubbish bin. Entire neighborhoods have transformed into a "no-man's land," where prostitution -especially from Nigerian girls-, and general lawlessness is rampant.

Most of the immigrants that enter Greece illegally end up at the center of Athens, and in no time resort to crime in order to survive, while many also do it to maintain their drug habits.

This has literally terrified residents throughout the city and the surrounding areas who have now added more pad locks on their doors, steel bars on their windows or have invested in expensive alarm systems in order to feel safe. But this has not decreased crime, and this year alone we are already witnessing an explosion. Most robberies are made on private homes, because many people, especially the elderly, have lost faith in Greek banks and are keeping large amounts of money in their homes. Most of the criminals even use Kalashnikov guns in these robberies and in some cases blind killings have been reported as well.

But this is just image of how the downtown area has transformed into the "expanding bomb" Dendias was talking about. In other areas of downtown there are illegal casinos with slot machines, Albanian clubs (that also offer the company of women) and there are illegal brothels everywhere. Most of the people roaming the streets are involved in car-jacking, the buying and selling of stolen merchandise, human trafficking, weapons, narcotics and God knows what else!

"We have a security problem and we can not operate as we did five years ago," noted Dendias and he referred to the problem of immigration and the efforts that are being made ​​by the Greek government on the issue of the Dublin Treaty which he expressed the hope would not close.
According to Wikipedia - The Dublin Regulation (Regulation 2003/343/CE; sometimes the Dublin II Regulation; previously the Dublin Convention) is a European Union (EU) law that determines the EU Member State responsible to examine an application for asylum seekers seeking international protection under the Geneva Convention and the EU Qualification Directive, within the European Union. It is the cornerstone of the Dublin System, which consists of the Dublin Regulation and the EURODAC Regulation, which establishes a Europe-wide fingerprinting database for unauthorised entrants to the EU. The Dublin Regulation aims to “determine rapidly the Member State responsible [for an asylum claim]”[1] and provides for the transfer of an asylum seeker to that Member State. Usually, the responsible Member State will be the state through which the asylum seeker first entered the EU.
The Dublin Regulation was adopted in 2003, ostensibly replacing the Dublin Convention. The Dublin Convention was signed in Dublin, Ireland on 15 June 1990, and first came into force on 1 September 1997 for the first twelve signatories (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom), on 1 October 1997 for Austria and Sweden, and on 1 January 1998 for Finland. Recently, the treaty has been extended to some countries outside the Union, such as Norway and Iceland. Switzerland has become a signatory to the Regulation and on 5 June 2005 voted by 54.6% to ratify it; it came into effect on 12 December 2008. - George Papandreou had signed this treaty on behalf of Greece under the Simitis government.
Since then the European Commission has proposed amendments to the Dublin Regulation, creating an opportunity for reform of the Dublin System, and this is what we believe Dendias was referring to.

One other solution he added would be to continue to build the wire fence at the Evros boarder, and the next step after this would be to increase the amount of detention centers around the country. At the same time Dendias said that given this situation and society's demands on the police and fired department, there could be no further cuts in the salaries of policemen and firemen.

On the contrary, he announced a streamlining in other areas, noting characteristically that checks would be made into why the police spend 36 million euros a year in fuel, 19 million euros a year in rents and 13 million euros a year for the maintenance of its 13,768 vehicles. He announced that a committee of senior officers would be set up that will also examine the issue of guarding targets and individuals, for which 3,500 policemen are assigned. (Some parts of this article were used from a Greek report on protothema)

Editor's Note - Let us hope that the statements by Dendias, or any Dendias, is not more political mumbo-jumbo... but will soon be supported with action.

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