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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Small, illegal refugee paradise

Hotel “Oniro” is a better option for a fugitive life away from homelessness and another decent station for some Syrian refugees in Greece.

European cities to launch ‘Solidarity Cities’ in Athens, working together to receive and integrate refugees

The EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum, held in Athens on October 17, will launch the “Solidarity Cities” initiative to provide a common platform for city-to-city mutual assistance and advocacy for migrant-friendly policies across the EU.

...the reply

Yanis Varoufakis responds to Alexis Cukier and Patrick Surain, who challenged him on his time as Greek finance minister, the feasibility of reforming existing EU structures, and a left-wing exit from the EU. Read 'the challenge' here.

The challenge...

An open letter to Yanis Varoufakis, on democracy, debt, banks and currency. Read Varoufakis' reply here.

Greece stands firm towards changing the course of Europe

The European Union is faced with a huge existential crisis, probably the most serious one in its history, as a result of the neoliberal policies that have been pursued during the last decade.

Post-humanitarianism in situ: Moria in flames

Did ultra-nationalist locals burn down the hotspot, was it the migrants themselves who did it, or was it the result of agent provocateur actions?

Unsafe Turkey, unsafe Europe

We need to look at the profound political, legal and ethical costs of reducing refugee flows.

A rule of law crisis overshadows the refugee one

This week Greek officials agreed to deport a Syrian refugee back to Turkey. Without guarantees that his rights will be protected this risks contravening the EU’s established rules on asylum and human rights. 

I am a human, speaking to you

This is a collaborative article, written by a Syrian refugee minor with additional information from the refugee communities of Konitsa Refugee Camp, Greece, with support from a collective of non-aligned academics.

Every refugee boat a rebellion? Supporting border transgressions at sea

The network WatchTheMed Alarm Phone responds to violent ‘border protection’ practices and the unabated mass dying in maritime spaces around Europe, and offers travellers alternative ways to make their distress heard, in real-time. 

Europe’s Greek tragedy deepens out of sight

While European leaders continue to hail the EU-Turkey deal – under which refugees arriving in Greece since March are threatened with deportation – its human toll ruins the lives of thousands.

Evictions in Greece: dozens of people convicted. Their crime? Solidarity

The function of these squats was to provide shelter for economic and political refugees, while the needs of the people staying there were met through solidarity networks and local communities.

Federalism and the European left

Politically, it may well be ideologically hopeless. But it is crucial to realize that, institutionally, the EU is a very plastic organization.

The migrant camps of Chios: Greece's ongoing refugee crisis

There are three refugee camps on the Greek island of Chios. Your quality of life depends a great deal on where you've been placed, and where you’ve been placed is mostly down to luck.

The banality of Golden Dawn

With Golden Dawn having entrenched themselves as the third-largest party in Greece, can they still be considered a 'criminal gang'? Or is this just the new political normal in Greece?

From the border to the harbour: the Greek tragedy goes on

The inaction of many EU countries in resettling refugees is creating many problems for the Greeks. It's also causing a lot of problems for the refugees, if one is allowed to mention them. 

City Plaza: a way forward for the European ‘migration crisis’?

A novel migration and refugee accommodation project in Athens organised by refugee, student, and solidarity activists is offering crucial assistance where governments and international agencies are not.

Grexit to Brexit: “Be careful what you wish for!”

There is an ironic parallel in the methodology of emotion and national dignity employed by both the left-wing Syriza in Greece and the right wing leave camp in Britain.

Natural borders, beware a dangerous idea

Whatever borders follow the ongoing violence and war, they must under no circumstances be ‘natural’. 

Idomeni: a devil’s game

The most important and most asked question in Idomeni is, what is the West waiting for? Your agreement with Turkey does not handle our cause. The Europeans are using us to scare other refugees away.

Yanis Varoufakis, And the Weak Suffer what they Must? Book review.

This book is not just illuminating. It is a call to moral awakening and to intelligent, determined and humane political action.

AthensLive: new, independent and crowdfunded media for Greece

Nothing like this has existed in Greece before. The political elite has controlled Greek media for years, and clientelism has only worsened with six years of economic crisis.

Trapped in the new Greek archipelago with no way out

According to the UNHCR, some 46,000 refugees are stranded in mainland Greece - trapped in an archipelago of camps that stretches from the northern borderlands to Athens.

Human rights for Martians

The human rights movement can be seen as the ongoing but failing struggle to close the gap between the abstract man of the Declarations and the empirical human being. Has it succeeded? Yes and no.

The EU-Turkey deal: unjust and short-sighted

Sending citizens who are fleeing one authoritarian regime to another authoritarian regime will only result in more anger, frustration and extremism in the years to come.

2016 will be remembered as the EU's year of shame

2016 will be remembered as the year in which the European Union definitively broke the civilisation pact on which it was founded after the Second World War.

Portugal: there is intelligent life beyond austerity

Portugal appears to be saying goodbye to an implacable crisis. Beyond its shaky economic recovery, the political and social relevance of the current ongoing debate on austerity should be acknowledged. Português Español

Portugal: hay vida inteligente más allá de la austeridad

Portugal parece estar dejando atrás una crisis implacable. Más allá de una recuperación económica inestable, es importante fijarse en la relevancia política y social del actual debate sobre la austeridad. English Português

The EU must not leave Greece to solve the migration crisis

Still, the boats come. Detention, as a solution to this, would have to be on a scale hitherto unimaginable in the EU. We need alternatives, and migrants need to be part of them.

The idea you can skip the nation-state is dangerous

DiEM25, the movement to democratize the European Union, is urged to rethink its approach, taking events of the last two years properly into account. Interview.

Muros de odio y temor, en Europa

Necesitamos fronteras, pero éstas no tienen por qué ser barricadas. English

European walls of hate and fear

We do need borders – but these needn’t be barricades. Español

Cities of refuge

The 1951 Geneva Convention on Political Asylum was a typical creation of the Cold War: the system cannot deal with the huge population flows now permanently characteristic of our world.

Reasons for leaving: refugee stories from Samos

The term ‘economic migrant’ has been a key weapon in the authorities’ war against refugees, yet it hides much more than it reveals.

The ‘SYRIZA experience’: lessons and adaptations

SYRIZA did what the traditional way of doing politics dictates: supported social movements, built alliances, won a majority in the parliament, formed a government. We all know the results.

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