A short documentary, by Irish activist Caoimhe Butterly, filmed at the makeshift refugee camp in Idomeni last month – the camp which the Greek authorities began to evacuate yesterday.
The Border — الحدود is one of three short films directed and created by Ms Butterly.
Two more films, about the Piraeus port and Eko camp will be released soon.
Meanwhile, earlier today Taoiseach Enda Kenny fielded questions in the Dáil about his most recent European Council meetings.
The EU-Turkey deal and the humanitarian crisis regarding refugees were raised.
Readers may wish to note that a) there is video footage which seemingly shows the Turkish coastguard attempting to sink boats crossing the Aegean Sea; b) it’s generally understood that smugglers are not present on the vast majority of boats that arrive in Greece but would rather be found on the shores of Turkey; and c) concerns have been raised about the camps to which people who have been subsisting in Idomeni are being moved.
Mr Kenny said:
The real argument at the European Council was because of the endless flood of people coming from Turkey, in particular, due to its proximity to Greece. Be they from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria or elsewhere, these people have paid large amounts of money to get on inflatable rafts.
It is fine until one hears the Prime Minister saying that they are loaded onto these boats and as soon as they are out on the sea and the first ship appears, in many cases the inflatables are knifed and sunk so they end up in the water and have to be rescued. That is why there is a NATO operation under way off Turkey. It has been successful to an extent but not in the way it should be.
The reason for the European deal with Turkey in the first place was because they wanted to focus on dealing with people smugglers. One can deal with them in an effective way by patrolling offshore while being able to return people entering Europe illegally to where they came from, whereas others who have arrived in Turkey and are based in camps but who wish to be relocated to a European country have whatever the categorisation might be to say they want to be legitimately recognised as refugees or asylum seekers and they want to live and go to Europe.
Those who have paid money to people smugglers and are sent across the short distance to the Greek islands do not have the same intent, whether they are in a camp in Turkey or wherever.
In addition, Fine Gael TD David Stanton also spoke about the humanitarian crisis – after he was asked about the evacuation of the camp at Idomeni by Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace.
The Deputy [Mick Wallace] also referred to the closing of the refugee camp in Greece. It is my understanding that no official camp exists in Idomeni. Exploitative people smugglers have encouraged desperate asylum seekers to congregate on the Greek border with Macedonia by spreading misinformation to suggest the border crossing will soon re-open and allow them continue their journey to destination countries, including Germany and Sweden.
The Deputy pointed out that the conditions where many vulnerable women and children have gathered are unsanitary and unsafe. I understand from Greek authorities that their intention is to move asylum seekers to reception centres, where their needs, including food and medical care, may be adequately met.
Yesterday: Meanwhile In Idomeni