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A migrant camp on the island of Lesvos. Photo supplied

NGOs in Greece told to either register or cease operations

New rules will apply to NGOs in Greece. They now have to register with the government if they wish to continue working in migrant camps. Some 22 have already been asked to cease operations.

Published: June 21, 2020, 10:39 am

    Athens

    The Greek government has announced that 22 pro-migrant NGOs will cease their operations because they had failed to meet the June 14 registration deadline for the “first approval phase”.

    According to the news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) some 70 groups will be allowed to submit to a “second-phase evaluation,” AFP reported. This will allow Greek officials to scrutinize their budgets and staff.

    Greece’s conservative government has been trying to make the country “less attractive” to migrants, according to AFP.

    Greece’s migration minister, Notis Mitarakis, told the Greek parliament in June: “Do you want to hand over the keys to NGOs? I don’t want that… cooperation with NGOs is positive, but the [overall] responsibility is ours.”

    NGOs are unhappy about the new measures. Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) tweeted in response to the new measures that the “new rules stigmatize NGOs working with migrants”.

    The EU Observer denounced the Greek government’s policy as a “politicized effort to curtail asylum” but the Greek government defended the move saying that it was for the sake of “transparency and accountability”.

    RSA told EU Observer that the law gives the migration ministry the power to stop NGOs from registering even if they meet the requirements.

    Since NGO’s now have to “show financial statements dating back two years,” it effectively blocks any new group from entering the country.

    A researcher at Amnesty International said the move in Greece has been done in “the context of a deteriorating public narrative around NGOs and specifically NGOs that work with asylum seekers and migrants and people on the move in general”.

    Of the €1,3 billion in EU funds sent to Greece between 2015 and 2019, more than 80 percent went directly to international organisations and NGOs, according to AFP. The Greek state managed only 1,9 percent of the funds given to sometimes shady pro-migration groups who have a vested interest in the crisis dragging on.

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    • LuciusAnnaeusSeneca

      The Greek government has finally begun to curb NGO activity that has long aided the movement of illegals into Greece, and through Greece and the Balkans to EU countries to the north. On the Greek islands in the Aegean, NGOs have helped foment unrest and activism among the illegals interned at camps there, including riots and destruction of camp facilities. The aim is to persuade the authorities to move illegals to internment camps on the Greek mainland. NGO encouragement is claimed to be behind much of the vandalism, burglary, and assaults on Greek locals who live in the vicinity of the camps. In one case an NGO was active in the illegal construction of a mosque on private land.

      NGOs are also active on the mainland, and encourage activism and other acts of defiance against the Greek authorities by residents of internment camps there. Some NGOs reportedly encourage or otherwise abet the flight of illegals from internment camps, so that they may move throught the Balkans toward Germany or other EU countries to the north. Such movement of illegals is handled by organized criminal networks, and some NGOs are active in supporting such movement on the “Balkan Route”.

      Many of the NGOs that have been either banned or required to register are funded by leftist or globalist groups that support mass migration and open borders. The large number of such groups–almost a hundred–is seen by some observers as a coordinated globalist effort to ensure as much movement of illegals through Greece as possible. Some seem to have been created for this very purpose. At any rate, the Greek government effort described here puts a check on such activity, at least for the time being.

    • honestynow

      I’d rather they all just leave.

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