Clashes continue in Eidomeni while Ms Mogherini and the European Parliament relegate the asylum seekers stuck between Greece and Macedonia border as a non-problem, a problem in the solving, Turkey´s next destination. And Erdogan cashes in.
What is utterly upsetting, disturbing, in this infernal scenario is that Macedonian Police have taken the habit to shoot tear gas and rubber bullets at close range, eye level (or lower, child´s level) and that the bullets are out of date. Expired in 1996. Twenty years old.
Manufacturers of rubber bullets are obliged to put an expiry date as the coating on the bullet – which can be of metal or wood – hardens with time and the projectile becomes fatal.
We use out of date weaponry on people with no legal status, 20 years old rubber bullets on children.
License to kill. Refugees. Mothers, children, people running from wars and desperation.
We tear gassed women and children and babies and elderly in Eidomeni today.
We used helicopters and rubber bullets. We beat them.
Refugees have been stranded since February asking for the border with Macedonia to be opened.
We do not want them in Europe, their country of origin wants them back as slaughter meat.
We set up ´detention camps´ which is a term used for criminals.
What is the crime of refugees?
The real criminals are those waging wars and sitting at the EU Parliament closing borders. Same criminals who pay Turkey to set up additional detention-transit-camps.
The real criminals are those who silently approve and claim ´These people should go back to their country and fight´.
The real criminals are those who do not even know there is an Eidomeni.
I agree with my friend when he says: I thank Allah we Yemenis cannot escape from our war.
” My dear volunteers , my dear children .
I am a grandmother from Heraklion, Crete.
I am 87 years old and I admire you for your daily efforts to help these people who are suffering , those young ones .
I send you my best wishes and hope that the Almighty God gives you strength to help the world .
I send you these handmade woollen caps I knitted with all my strength and soul, to keep the children warm , even if just for a little while , the suffering children.
I love the whole world and I love you too.
All my best wishes and much but much affection
Atalanti Giakoumaki Heraklion Crete , March 8, 2016 ”
Atalanti Giakoumaki has been sending her work to many agencies helping refugees, especially those dealing with children
She loves the whole world, even us, I am sure.
Let it sink in: she is 87 and helping with strength, love and soul.
(news circulated via Enrico Sitta, Italian blogger)
Eidomeni, Greek-FYROM border, March 2016
A baby was born at the border, in a tent, in the mud. Can it get any worse than this?
Of course. You can come to life, still trapped in Syria, in the middle of the street under the infamous barrel bombs. Or crossfire.
Or while the building is collapsing.
Or die soon after because of a barrel bomb, crossfire, collapsing of a building.
As in Yemen, you can come to life in a cave, because the airstrikes are so bad your mother cannot reach hospital.
Hospital, that is: favorite target of this war. Not worth an unsafe ride to an unsafe hospital.
There is no limit to how bad it can get. Our imagination seems not to be evil enough. Reality is unbeatable.
Life continues in Eidomeni. A baby was born in a tent, in the mud, in the cold.
And now what?
The borders continue to be closed.
We will have children, even newborn ones, surrounded by barbedwire and cold, mud. Stomachs filled with hunger, children taking care of younger brothers and sisters to help collapsing parents. Broken shoes, stringless. Filthy clothes, no water. No food, no toys, no medicines.
Keep the borders closed. Have a police officer defending us, just like this.
I wonder where do all the tears of the children go, once they evaporate?
Photograph by Iker Pastor
Our Continent of 550 million people cannot absorb 500.000 refugees.
Greed and racism know no math.
Nizar Ali, Syrian artist
To Federica Mogherini
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
in Eidomeni, Greece, on the border with Macedonia, you queue for anything.
For a piece of bread, for some water, to go to the bathroom.
In the mud, in the cold, in the pouring rain.
The conditions are extreme, outrageous and those who pay the price are always the youngest, the weakest.
We wonder why during these months of catastrophic humanitarian disaster you have never found half a day to go there.
Or to Lesbos where every day children drown.
Or to Athens which has turnt into a refugee camp.
We are writing asking you to remedy as soon as possible, to give meaning and dignity to your institutional role, to intervene with all the means available on the Commission and the European Parliament for the immediate opening of humanitarian corridors and take a clear position condemning the closure of the Balkan route.