Do you believe that Greece followed the right policy for dealing with this problem, from the decade of 90 till now? In your opinion, did Greece understand, in time, the real proportions and the dynamic of this phenomenon?
Greece is not dealing the problem with consistency in neither its foreign affairs nor its domestic policies; in Greece there’s a constant lack of consistent and coherent policy making in all levels in all post 1974 (after the military regime) governments. In such a framework Greek authorities and politics do not seem able to realize in time the dynamic of immigration and hence design a competent or adequate policy to address and meet the “problem”. In short, Greece has always been an easy territory for complex geopolitical experiments and under the influence of bigger and important players in the Southeastern Mediterranean chessboard, like Great Britain till the 1940s and the USA right after the end of the World War II and the Civil War in Greece (1944-1949).
What will be the repercussions, in your opinion, of this big movement of populations towards Greece and Europe? Is there any danger of breaking down of the national and social cohesion of the European societies and of their national identities?
This displacement or relocation or movement of populations from Asia and Africa to Europe is the result of war, violence, famine, inequalities of various forms and lack of political and social stability in the areas of their origin. Fortunately, the western Cultural (and societal) Paradigm is far more fascinating and appealing to the African and Muslim women since it promotes women equality, acknowledges women’s individual and civic rights, and citizenship. I believe in the feminine power and the virtual vindications of a women’s lib movement. Furthermore, the national cohesion in Europe was never extremely homogenous since most European countries have been colonial powers with colony-states in Asia and Africa. The cultural osmosis in their “metropolitan nations” due to interrelations with their colonies was rather a given after the 19th century; the national and social cohesion was not broken down. I claim that the interrelations with the “other” have always been a source for fruitful inseminations and broadening of the value spectra in all cultures.
What is, in your opinion, the role of Turkey? Is, actually, using refugees and illegal immigrants as a geopolitical weapon against Greece, as a mean for promoting the influence of Islam in Europe and as a bargaining chip, in order to extract concessions and rewards from Europe, some of them at the expense of Greece?
Traditionally, Turkish foreign policy and international affairs is always been dictated by a profoundly proficient diplomacy; they use all kind of “weapons” and means to trigger their demands in an efficient way, against their diplomatic interlocutors, either Europeans or others; so it comes easy to think that they take advantage of immigrants as an auspicious opportunity to promote their geopolitical perspectives and goals. Their inherent prospect to promote Islam in Europe and as a lever to implement their pompous, though effective, geopolitical plans; effective in the sense that their bargain efficiency, offers gains and rewards to them at the expense of their neighbours, Muslims or others.
How this problem should be dealt with, in your opinion, both by Greece and Europe?
The immigrants issue is very complicated and as I previously mentioned Greece, unlike Turkish handlings, is not adequately equipped in designing effective solutions to its benefit. Europe, of-course, should acknowledge the significance of the immigration flows, should take immediate Pan-European political measures to deal with it and in the same time enhance the control mechanisms in the vast and penetrable Greek border line, especially to the East and the Aegean Sea. The immigration issue will likely have another impact on the everyday life of Europeans and maybe other western societies: It will allow for measures similar to the air-travel procedures that will shrink individual and political rights. These measures will be eagerly accepted by the citizens since they will be seemingly protect their own lives, and will secure the life of their children and families. Would a future prospect of an intercultural society be a realistic option for the west? Under which preconditions and in what a time length such a prospect could be possible? This certainly sounds like a utopic quest for mankind when the ways to everyday happiness, to eudaemonia, happiness and human flourishing vary immensely between religions and cultures. And we all know that these processes are not directed by religions or cultural values; these processes are products of economic interests implemented by huge aggregations of capital and cannot be managed by mere governments, either in Greece or even in Europe.
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