The story of the Farmakonisi tragedy has gone its rounds on the internet as well as on many of the major media. There is not much to add as far as facts are concerned: the immigrants claim that the port police tried to kill them. The port police state that they did their best to save as many people as possible. In a parliamentary enquiry meeting Mr.Bantias, head of the port police asked for forgiveness for the Farmakonissi events and apologised to the victims’families and to the Greek people.. . Other port police officials stated that Turkish smugglers advise the people they carry in their boats to sink them (!) and throw away all their documents to prevent repatriation. We can draw our own conclusions reading between the lines
This is not an isolated incident: Tragedies like the one in Farmakonissi are not rare, ufortunately… Lampedusa has attained global fame for its inhuman treatment of immigrants. Spain, Malta, Greece, Turkey are the gates of the tortured people of Near and Far East into the relative haven of Europe. Europe of austerity measures and unemployment, Europe of homelessness and starving is much better than their countries of origin, countries where death lurks at every corner and hope does not exist.
Well, Europe must reconsider its policies towards these countries if it wants to stop the waves of immigrants. Europe and the so-called developed world need to examine why these people: immigrants, refugees, economic or environmental victims flee their homes, leave their loved ones behind or decide to endanger their lives in a desperate surge towards freedom, hope, survival…
The European Union’s policies in Africa, for example, have aggravated the economic difficulties while its absence of policies in the east (near or middle or far) allows the US to invade and impoverish nations, to loot their natural resources and control those they cannot loot – like water.
Farmakonisi is the most recent example – the people of Europe who revolt at the sight of such brutal and inhuman behavior should unite and revolt against the policies and not their results. The coming European Union elections can serve as a starting point to turn the poison of Farmakonisi into a medicine for the immigration problem. The people of Europe can show their interest in all European issues by voting massively in these elections, by supporting parties actively promoting new policies for these and other issues. It is our time to register our disagreement with such policies, our strong condemnation of the market driven policies which disregard the needs of society to satisfy the numbers of financial wizards.
Hippokrates used to collect medicinal plants (farmaka) on Farmakonisi thence its name. Restoring the real meaning of healing to the word would be the best justification for the victims.