Dendias says migrants ‘tragic’
Hundreds of people took part in an anti-racism protest in central Athens yesterday. The event was co-organized by United Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KEERFA) and groups representing Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Egyptians living in Greece. The protesters were calling for a relaxing of immigration controls and the disbanding of the European Union’s border agency, Frontex. The protest came after 12 migrants drowned off Farmakonisi last week in circumstances that are under investigation. The rally was held a few hours after Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias lamented the “quality” of migrants that come to Greece. “The quality, the difference in cultures of migrants that we receive is tragic,” he said. “I do not denigrate anyone but they are people who come from a totally different world,” he told Skai TV. “The migrant from the ex-Soviet Union that goes to Sweden has some kind of level,” he added. “We have to deal with migrants from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have a different culture, who come from a different world. That is our misfortune.”
Doctors, nurses and dentists will strike on Thursday, February 6, to protest the overhaul of primary healthcare. The strike is being held to coincide with Parliament voting on the draft law submitted by the government. Doctors at state hospitals along with those who work with healthcare provider EOPYY will be taking part in the action. The unions representing the healthcare workers said in a joint statement that the bill would “destroy healthcare and create indescribable difficulties for patients.” The protesters are to gather in front of the Health Ministry in central Athens at 11 a.m. and march to Parliament.
The former chairman of Larissa soccer club, Costas Piladakis, was arrested yesterday in connection to debts that have allegedly been run up by two companies that he owns. Police said the debt to the state amounted to 4 million euros. The 48-year-old was taken to a prosecutor after he was arrested in Glyfada, southern Athens. He was one of four people arrested in Athens over unpaid taxes yesterday. The other three were a 69-year-old managing director who owes 2.4 million euros, a 55-year-old with debts of 362,000 euros and a 54-year-old who has not paid some 360,000 euros in tax.