you're reading...
Europe, Greece, Italy

Fortress Europe


Welcome to the European Union: migrant marine cemeteries and concentration camps 

By Tommaso Di Francesco

You can’t get into Fortress Europe. Less than 24 hours after the shipwreck in the Aegean of a boat of desperate migrants, which saw the deaths of at least sixty people, half of them children, yesterday there was another tragedy at sea off the coast of Italian island of Lampedusa, with many ‘missing’. Both this disaster and for the events in the Greek-Turkish sea involved desperate Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Palestinians and Tunisians fleeing poverty and war, including our own wars, ongoing conflicts and inconclusive revolts.

For Italy it is a ‘traditional’ tragedy, for Greece a novelty. There the fierce internal crisis, the draconian dictates of the Troika and the carefully constructed strategy of violence by the xenophobic and neo-Nazi movements, has made anti-immigration policies yet more cruel with massive expulsions and the now common practice of detention camps. With the help of a diligent Turkey which, in an attempt to be befriended by the European Union, has militarized the land border with Greece and the EU at the river Evros.

There is only one route now to escape from despair – to venture into the sea, with precarious means of travel, at the mercy of people smugglers.

All this is happening in surreal harmony with the euphoria of governments, stock exchanges and markets over the decision of the ECB to make unlimited bond purchases to safeguard financial speculation in European Union countries. It ‘s the anti-spread prescription disliked by the Bundesbank. What is certain is that this move is designed to save a system based only on the paper economy (euro and stock exchange transactions).

And, in order to preserve the power of the banks, which are now beyond any democratic norm, there are strict requirements for social exclusion that are hurting our citizens. Beyond the last minute firework display orchestrated by Angela Merkel, this is a a failure of a Europe founded on rights, a victory of markets, to enrich a few and starve the majority (116 million Europeans are at risk of poverty, according the European Commission).

But paying the price now are not only the working class, the unemployed, the young, the powerless in the Old Continent, along with the battered welfare system. Literally dying of this exclusion from the wealth of the few, and this cancellation of the rights of all, are migrants. The new pariahs, the wretched of the earth who are denied every opportunity. The only choice is the daily hovering between life and death.

An immense marine cemetery of thousands and thousands of drowned immigrants spreads out in the Mediterranean and the Aegean. The bitter fruit of a continental barbed wire fence and a string of concentration camps, built, with democratic backing in Europe, stretching from Spain through Gibraltar, passing by Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and onto Turkey, Greece and Slovenia. Forget about the Berlin Wall. Welcome to the European Union: to migrant marine cemeteries and concentration camps. This Western crime, this crime for all to see, is the real incurable spread.

Translation by Revolting Europe

il manifesto September 8, 2012

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope


One thought on “Fortress Europe

  1. The Med may well prove a graveyard. The insatiable appetite of capital for cheap labour has turned the labour market into a Piranha Pool.. Pious murmurs about racism does not cut it for me. Let us strengthen our borders stop this 21st century slave trade..Robbing other nations of skills, denying them a chance to develop, is not the way forward..Open or porous borders need addressing. The whole subject of free movement of goods, capital and labour needs sober analysis. Who benefits, for a start. Tommaso surely the answer to despair is not to, along with children , jump into a lake.

    Posted by dodge | November 21, 2012, 6:35 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

  • @thecsp stewards-Mark Int'l Women's Day by completing workplace maternity / flexibly working survey. Closes March 11 snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=145… 1 week ago
  • RT @StatewatchEU: Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (21 news stories, documents and commentaries, 22-23.12.15) https://t.co/dP… 2 months ago
  • Tax Transparency Now: I've signed a petition calling on EU finance ministers to crack down on corporate tax dodging waronwant.org/cbc 2 months ago
  • Spanish General Election: Radical left Podemos + United Left (6m) overtakes, by half million votes, socialists (5.5m) at national level 2 months ago
  • RT @AlbertoNardelli: Spain election - voter turnout: 73.21%, from 68.94% in 2011. #20D 2 months ago
  • RT @ronanburtenshaw: #Podemos win the Basque Country and Catalonia, second in Madrid, third in Andalucía. #SpanishElections 2 months ago
  • RT @nickdearden75: Thousands listen to @MhairiBlack and @HackneyAbbott outside parliament. Both say #DontBombSyria https://t.co/cOwRe5ANPR 3 months ago
  • RT @kmflett: Sue Jones tells socialist history seminar early modern pirates memoirs dont mention sex but do note dolphin was more edible th… 3 months ago
  • RT @NelsonKevan: Women, communists and foreigners: the forgotten heroes of Paris, 1945 | via @Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews… 3 months ago
  • Greece’s 50 First Days Under the New Government In Numbers. greece.greekreporter.com/2015/11/12/gre… greece.greekreporter.com/2015/11/12/gre… 4 months ago
Follow @tomgilltweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Anti-social Europe in numbers


Key facts and figures on wages across the EU

Wealth Inequality in Europe

Get the key facts and figures


A different take on European issues

Italy’s Healthcare Crisis

Health services are ‘close to collapse’ in Rome, Turin and Naples after years of cuts and privatisation.

550 days, 29 Workers, Zero Job Losses

How a few determined Italian women stopped their factory closing and protected their livelihoods

Filthy Rich

France's Bernard Arnault of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) empire is worth $41 billion. Check out Europe's rich list


Private banks receive half-trillion-euro gift from ECB


Workers and citizens stand up for themselves


Workers are on a go-slow over privatisation

Popular resistance delivers results

Lessons from the victory against Madrid privatisation plan


Hundreds of workers occupied the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France

RSS Watching Corporate Europe

  • Job opening: Media Outreach Coordinator
  • Revolving doors round-up
  • Leak shows Commission giving inside information to car lobby on new emissions tests

RSS Fight discrimination in Europe – Amnesty Int’l

  • Listen to Roma Rights
  • Poland abandoning hundreds of victims of hate crimes


in Italy the home is a very dangerous place to be


Follow Revolting Europe on WordPress.com

Top Clicks

  • bloomberg.com/billionaire…
  • bloomberg.com/billionaire…
  • twitter.com/HackneyAbbott
  • strongerunions.org/2013/0…
  • bloomberg.com/billionaire…




Read the statement by Lafontaine and Melenchon

The Troika in Portugal – Three Years On

A success story?


The Dossier