When in March 2016 the so-called Balkan Route was closed, over 40,000 migrants from poor African and Asian countries were left stuck on Greek territory. Overnight, an order from “upstairs” arrived that the gates of Gevgelija should no longer be open to those that without a single document, but with a suitcase full of wishes and dreams, plan to reach the wealthy Western European countries that have already accepted as many people as they needed.
Three years later, probably none of those 40,000 migrants are still in Greece, because they have certainly tried their luck to illegally get to where they were supposed to. If they were lucky enough along the route full of uncertainties and temptations, they are now surely following the events with their “heirs,” and among them probably there are their fellow citizens and relatives who left their own yesterday to have a fresh tomorrow. A peaceful and decent tomorrow.
It’s just unbelievable how the history and events in this region repeat themselves. When you hear the testimonies of the thousands of migrants who have gone to Thessaloniki in hopes of reaching Macedonia, you realize that nothing has changed in the consciousness of those unfortunate people, neither in the traders with their fates, nor in the politicians.
One “naively” spread news on social media that the southern border is open turns into a stampede in which people across the world are treated as objects that are forbidden to cross the border.
And now, the question of who is the one who is so cruelly playing with human lives, gives false hope to these poor people, and in the end, in fact, again and again disappoints them, pushes them to the wall and makes them ask themselves – Is it worth it?
No, these are not human traffickers; they have no benefit if the borders are open for a day, because then what would they do? Someone will say that representatives of non-governmental organizations from Western European countries do so for some reason as they did in one of the past routes towards Gevgelija that ended tragically. There is some logic in the notion that the problem with migrants is always resurfacing when there is need for gaining political points. What’s even worse, the migrant issue is used as a scarecrow, and what’s even more tragic, the migrants themselves are used as a concept for spreading fear and panic among the citizens that will have to face them if the authorities show that they are incapable and fail to stop the attack.
In this context, the government itself should not join in and give “calming” statements that the country is ready to tackle a new refugee crisis that we had several years ago. By doing so, the government is indirectly heating up the mood that this “Goddamn and dangerous” wave will happen to the country, but we can sleep peacefully because the country will know how to handle it and will not allow those “dirty” people from some distant countries come closer to us and steal our piece of land.
The April episode of the campaign to the southern border ended infamously for hundreds of migrants who had no choice and started to leave the area around Thessaloniki. This has happened a lot of times during this period, and will probably happen in the future.
Especially before the elections. It may be accidental, just like the fires that burned the entire country down in March. The country’s duty is to adequately respond in every situation, to prevent and punish. Only then we will know what we are dealing with, who are the people that do these things and why the do them. And also why they use these unfortunate and tortured people coming from who knows where.