In times of severe austerity things look bleak for Greek people, but they’re far worse for those who have recently arrived. Without housing, legal papers or support, migrants in Greece are faced with increasing and often violent racism at the hands of the growing Nazi party Golden Dawn and the police in Athens. Many are trapped by EU laws and legislation of other EU countries meaning they’d be returned to Greece if they managed to get to another member state, they are desperate to leave the country.
On 21st April Into the Fire has been released online and published on various websites simultaneously. Guy Smallman and Kate Mara went to Greece before the last elections (June 2012) and spoke with refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and undocumented, trying to get an idea of the state of the asylum procedure in this European border country and what it is like to live in constant fear of being attacked – for having the wrong skin colour.
Refugees flee their home countries on the search for safety. Due to it’s land border with Turkey, Greece is one of the main entry gates into Europe, but once there refugees are faced with deficiencies in the asylum procedure, and appalling detention and living conditions. European legislation prevents them from moving on to other European countries and traps them in Greece.
Without housing, legal papers or support, they are faced with increasing and often violent racism. Attacks do not only target refugees, but any foreigner, including immigrants who have been in Greece for years. In spite of incendiary propaganda by the fascist party Golden Dawn and a surge of murderous attacks, state and police seem unwilling to address the issue. Allegations of police sympathizing with Golden Dawn are an open secret. The refugees address their plea for help to Greece and all of Europe: “Let us leave!”