Sunday , June 26 2022

"Collage" – Report of the Council of Europe on Greece – on the consequences of austerity and migration


The few observations on human rights in Greece report on the Council of Europe, both on the consequences of austerity and on immigration.

Donna Miaatovic, the human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, notes that the austerity and reforms made have a particularly negative impact on health and education rights.

In addition, in terms of immigration, he notes that with the closure of the border, Greece has become a destination and not a transit country.

More specifically, with regard to the impact of austerity on Greece, the Commissioner notes in her report that since 2010, Greece has concluded 3 economic adjustment programs with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund and approved 15 packages of austerity measures containing a wide range of drastic measures , Especially reforms in the public sector, pensions, taxes and the labor market, which adversely affected human rights, particularly health and education rights.

"A shortage of staff and equipment, and the crisis in the Greek health system, combined with wage cuts and pensions, have made it difficult to access medical treatment," he said. He also calls upon the authorities to step up their efforts to recruit medical staff, remove obstacles to universal medical coverage, and support mental health and inclusion of people with disabilities.

In education, budget cuts have led to a significant deterioration in student welfare, education programs, teachers' working conditions, and school equipment. The authorities must remove all barriers to effective access to education, including through targeted policies that include children with disabilities, children with disabilities, and children of Roma children.

Measures are needed for immigrants

Should not urgently take steps and adopt a long-term policy to improve the integration and integration of migrants and reverse the negative effects of austerity measures on access to health and education, emphasizes Miyatovic.

The Commissioner notes the commendable efforts of the Greek people and the authorities of Greece to greet the immigrants, but notes that the admission conditions remain below acceptable standards, especially in the islands. This refers to poor hygiene conditions, mental suffering and uncertainty that threaten the health of migrants and asylum seekers on the islands, and notes that the authorities should accelerate the transfer to the continent.

She also expresses her deep concern over the poor housing conditions and lack of social support for most of the immigrant children accompanied by Greece, as well as the denial of freedom of prisoners under the "protective custody" regime. "The Greek authorities must deal with this problem with greater determination, especially to immediately stop the detention of unaccompanied foreign children, and immigrant children have access to education in order to increase their chances of integration," she says.

The report notes, however, that the Greek government has decided to create three new absorption centers on the continent that provide housing in apartments and hotels, which will further reduce the pressure on existing buildings.Therefore, 20,441 people were housed in the above buildings under the ESTIA program (18 September 2018 ).

It is also emphasized that the European partners in Greece must demonstrate their solidarity by supporting Greece in its efforts to improve the admission conditions.

It should be noted that as a result of the closure of the land borders, Greece is in fact a destination country and is no longer just a transit country. Therefore, the need for a comprehensive and long-term policy that focuses on family reunification, long-term residence and citizenship, vocational training, language learning, integration and the fight against racism and discrimination.

Source: RES

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