Naousa in North Greece 2019: A man in an ancient Greek warrior costume is waiting together with other compatriots on a semi-dark street in the middle of the night. His compatriots are normally dressed given the weather circumstances. What are they waiting for? A rumor spread via Facebook claimed that buses with refugees and migrants would arrive in the city in West Macedonia, in the framework of the government resettlement program.
The crowd waited … and waited… The half-naked fearless ancient warrior stood there, armed with a spear and ready to face the “enemy”: families with children, unaccompanied minors. He stood there for several hours despite the freezing cold of the night.
But the “enemy” failed to appear.
A bus with elderly Greek woman on pilgrimage tour drove by, instead.
Posted by music composer Kostas Kaldaras
The group forming a self-proclaimed “militia” went home.
It is not clear, whether the ancient warrior managed to escape a pneumonia.
With local communities in the mainland of northern Greece to protest the arrivals of refugees and migrants, except from causing concern, things can quickly get also ridiculous and provocative and ultimately divide the society and turn into a nightmare.
A group on social media called on people for a BBQ feast with pork souvlaki and “lots of alcohol” outside a facilities hosting Muslims asylum-seekers. They just want to provoke, to “avoid being a minority in their own country<” as they clam.
“The pork BBQ” triggered a dispute in the Parliament between two MPs from New Democracy and SYRIZA. The left-wing MP claimed that “eating pork near a hotspot should criminalized.” His colleague from ND responded that consumption of pork meat and alcohol are allowed in Greece.
Yes, consumption is allowed for pleasure not for provocation. Next time, the provocateurs could burn the Muslims’ holy book.
Government on cautious steps
With cautious steps, the government tries to implement its plan to decongest the overcrowded islands and not to further stir the spirits of the anti-migrants movement. The government is, however, in difficult position and does not manage to bring balance on the issue.
“Fair distribution of refugees and migrants transferred from the islands to all parts of Greece is a clear commitment made by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday.
“It is an issue of national importance,” he told reporters during the weekly briefing.
Petsas said that there would be “a specific limit to the number of people transferred to each area, which will not exceed 1% of the local population.”
He added that the government is proceeding with the construction of closed pre-departure centers for those who have entered the country illegally and are not entitled to asylum.
“Those who are not entitled to asylum must know that they will not be allowed to move about the country freely and will have no choice but to return,” he said.
Did the wannabe asylum-seekers heard the government warnings? No. And so didn’t the local communities who insist to protest and oppose the re-settlement fearing of “invasion of Islam” and “alternation of Hellenism, the Greek culture and religion.”
PS the refugees and migrants had arrived in Naousa the previous night.