Political operations in Greece in October and November 2019


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Political operations in Greece in October and November 2019

Political Event: Shutting down of refugee camps

Timeline: November 20, 2019

The Greek government announced the closure of the camps in Aegean Islands and would try create new centers as the camp was now intensely overcrowded. The Greek government expressed how the new camp was becoming an inhumane place for the refugees to stay. However, despite these actions they also want to restrict the number of people flowing in as there has been an influx in the number of refugees coming in especially from Turkey. The new conservative government are trying to tighten migrant controls but at the same time addressing the deplorable conditions that the migrants are living in the camp including Moria and Vathi camp. Greece has often been widely condemned by UN for inability to handle the refugees in a more humane manner. The government is trying as much as possible to move the refuges from the island to the mainland but keeping up is a problem as new arrival are recorded daily. The Greece government have attributed their situation to Turkish failure on reneging an agreement that was made with the EU that Turkey would crack down human smuggling across Aegean and thousands of human continue being trafficked to Greece making the problem of immigrants difficult. Turkish coastguards have refused to work with the Greece coast guards and the prime minister unacceptable. There have been growing tension between Greece residents and the immigrants and earlier on the month of November, a nationalist group expressed their unhappiness on the growing number of Muslim immigrants and they protested by cooking barbecue pork and drinking alcohol next to a refugee camp as they knew that Muslims are against it

Enactment of new Asylum law on refugees

Timeline: 31st November 2019

Since the 1970s, the international community has been aware of the effects that a large number of refugee populations can have on the economic, social, and political life of the host citizens and country.

Large refugee population causes competition between the local citizens and the refugees for local resources that are scarce like water, food, housing, medical service, and education. Therefore, refugees create difficulties in the provision of appropriate housing facilities. The host country finds it difficult to plan for the refugee children’s proper education system since refugee families can move to another member state hence, such children cannot be enrolled in local schools. Refugees also cause strain on the local budget and finance in a country (Kassimeris. 15). Therefore, due to these negative effects, the host country can enact a law to regulate the inflow of foreigners from other countries.

On 31st November 2019, Greece government passed new asylum laws to speed up the process and facilitation of the return of more Turkey refugees under the new terms of the European Union. Turkey signed a deal back in March 2016. The signed deal was to serve the purpose of curbing or preventing migration of people across the Aegean. Greece’s new democratic government that took over power in July 2019, argued faster procedures that will allow all refugees to smoothly move to integrate into Greece’s society and be a hesitance to return to Turkey. On the other hand, human rights defend the refugees because the law is against and violation of human rights hence, making it cumbersome for people to access the right of protection and leaving many people in confusion and nothing is being done to improve the situation, therefore, leaving thousands of migrants in Greece (Bigorajski et al. 130). Statics indicate that almost ten thousand refugees are living in dismal conditions on the Greece islands which are termed as the explosive by the council of European commission for human rights as per the recent visit. Therefore, the refugee’s issues have led the battleground in Greece between the ruling government and the far-right opposition group and this has led to an unending nationalist and racist attitude amongst Greece citizens.

Enactment of asylum law on refugees in Greece has resulted in both positive and negative impacts. Negative effects of the asylum law on refugees in Greece. The introduction of this new law has led to division in Greece amongst the political class. It has fueled the battlefields between Greece and the opposition group. This misunderstanding has increased the levels of nationalists and racist attitudes amongst Greece citizens. Furthermore, the misunderstandings have led to disruption in both the economic and social setups in Greece. The enactment of the law has also led to an increased level of protest of people in Greece every week against refugees’ relocation in rural parts of Greece.

Positive effects of the asylum law on refugees in Greece. The new asylum law on refugees in Greece was to serve the purpose of returning the refugees to Turkey. Therefore, this law will reduce the negative effects that a large number of refugees have on both the economy and politics of Greece. It will reduce the competition on scarce resources like water, housing, medical services, food, and land.

Greek Politics after the 2019 Elections: prospects

Political operation: Future prospects conference

Date: 29 October 2019

After the general election in Greece that was held on 7th July 2019, all the 300 seats in Greece parliament attracted contestants (Sakellaropoulos. 55). Results were announced and the new Democratic Party led by Mitsotakis won the election for garnering 158 seats and the party took almost 48 of the popular positions. After an election, there was a conference on plans or prospects hosted by the Hellenic Observatory. Invited speakers were Maria Karaklioumi, Spyros Kosmas, and Spyros Economides. They gave their presentation on matters of national cohesion, education, security, good governance, and economic growth.

Prospect conference after the general election in Greece was one of the fundamental agendas in Greece to bring people after an election contest. The conference helped to create a peacefully after a period of the election. The conference brought people from different political divide together and it enhanced national cohesion.

Political Event: Greece and Turkey showdown over maritime borders

Date: 30th November, 2019

Turkey and Greece over the last few months have had a tensed relationship due to boundary issues. In trying to resolve the issue, the Greek Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsokatis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to have talks on sideline of NATO summit. According to Turkey in a map they presented, it indicates Turkish and Libyan Exclusive Economic Zones that meet midway on the Mediterranean Sea and Greece too are also laying claim to this location. Athens have had success in getting oil but the Turkish- Libyan agreement seem to be encroaching on these areas. Egypt and Greece waters border Turkey more than Libya and thus the Greece minister of foreign affairs has pointed out why the brokered deals over oil and gas drilling is causing tension. For so long the relationship between the two nations has been so strained and occasionally their fighter jets engage in mock dogfights because of the Greece’s eastern borders. Last December because of these conflicts a Greek Mirage pilot was killed in aviation accident as they were intercepting Turkish Jets. Although the tension between the two nations have always been there, things have escalated a little bit too far after discovery of rich oil and gas deposits on the eastern Mediterranean by Greece changing a balance of power in the region.

Over the past years, Greece, Cyprus and Israel have conducted military drills which the aim of improving their cooperation between their naval as well as air forces. These three countries have also come together and are advocating for the building of a pipeline that will transport the oil and gas that has been newly discovered to the European market. The allies want to strengthen their relation and also to reduce Europe’s dependence on the Russian energy resources. Turkey however does not recognize Cyprus as a country with the latest show down being how Turkey dispatched drill ships escorted by war ships into Cypriot water. Greece are involved as they are treat bound to defend Cyprus territorial integrity which also includes encroachment by turkey (Roussinos). Political observers have commented the improved relationship that has been witnessed between the united states and Greece including enhanced training between two troops, donation of equipment and the use of strategically attractive facilities for example naval and air base at Souda Bay, has been seen as fall back plan for America just in case their relationship with Turkey is completely strained. Turkey is at a strategic position in Europe, Asia and North Africa and Russian’s growing interest in Mediterranean and use of energy by Putin as a tool has made the region a point of interest to the America. Geoffrey Pyat, Ambassador of America in Greece has advocated for improved military ties between Greece and the united states

In conclusion, Greece experienced important political operations in October and November in 2019. One was about the new asylum law on refugees. The law was enacted to mainly serve the purpose of controlling the refugee inflow in Greece. This is because, a large number of refugee populations can have on the economic, social, and political life of the host citizens and country therefore, and it should be controlled. Greece is unable to cater for the high rising number of refugees that are flowing into Greece escaping from regions such as Syria and Pakistan due to ongoing war. However, increase in number of refugees flowing in has resulted in congestion in refugee camps making them unfavorable for human stay. Another important event was future prospects conference after a general election that involved talks on politics, national cohesion, good leadership, and national security. Lastly there has been increased tension between Turkey and Greece over the years but the tension seems to have increased due to the discovery of oil and gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean that Turkey is also claiming. Turkey seems to be on the offensive side and are willing to protect what they term as part of their economic zones by all means possible including use of force.

Works cited

Bigorajski, Jarosław, and Dorota Chwieduk. “Analysis of a micro photovoltaic/thermal–PV/T system operation in moderate climate.” Renewable energy 137 (2019): 127-136.

Kassimeris, George. “Greece’s Ulrike Meinhof: Pola Roupa and the Revolutionary Struggle.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (2019): 1-14.

Roussinos, Aris. “Greece and Turkey Are Playing Dangerous War Games on the Aegean Sea.” Vice, 11 Sept. 2019, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7x5x3q/greece-and-turkey-are-playing-dangerous-war-games-on-the-aegean-sea.

Nteropoulou-Nterou, Evdoxia, and Roger Slee. “A critical consideration of the changing conditions of schooling for students with disabilities in Greece and the fragility of international in local contexts.” International Journal of Inclusive Education (2019): 1-17.

Sakellaropoulos, Spyros. “The Greek Crisis.” Greece’s (un) Competitive Capitalism and the Economic Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019. 23-75.

Stavrakakis, Yannis, and Giorgos Katsambekis. “The populism/anti-populism frontier and its mediation in crisis-ridden Greece: from discursive divide to emerging cleavage?.” European Political Science 18.1 (2019): 37-52.