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US embassy cables: Greece and migration

The Guardian released two embassy cables provided by the by now well-known wikileaks cablegate that report on the Greek government’s position and strategy on dealing with irregular migration. This article provides a short summary of the contents. Both reports were written shortly after the change of government in October 2009, in December and February respectively. They don’t offer any surprising insight, but sketch some policy lines.

  1. Greece tackles migration and asylum issues. 4th of December 2009
  2. Greece revamps security service and tackles immigration. 1st of February 2010

The first embassy cable, Greece tackles migration and asylum issues confirms that asylum and migration are high priority to the new government, both on a domestic as well as on a European level. From the summary:

Continue reading ‘US embassy cables: Greece and migration’

w2eu wtf?

Hello everbody. You might have noticed that this blog appears under a new domain, namely Did somebody steal us, or your browser session? What has happened?

The answer is quite simple. After noborder lesvos 09 finished, and Pagani was closed, we, i.e. the networks and groups and individuals and and and took some time to reflect and to evaluate (oh, what a nasty word) and make plans for 2010. To all of us it was clear that we would not stop at where noborder lesvos 09 had finished. We are still and even more commited to change what is happening at the European borders and how refugees and migrants are being treated on their way to and inside Europe. We are still committed to collective action of solidarity together with those affected by the anti-migrant policies of the European Union.

However, we also expanded our focus. It is not just about Lesvos anymore, although permanently affecting a change on that island on the border is still one of our deepest desires. We are also looking to other places, not only in Greece, but all over the European Union and beyond.

So, the whole branding issue (another nasty word). was just not capturing it all anymore. So we started discussions and deliberations, exchanged ideas and played with titles…and here we are: the network Welcome to Europe (short: w2eu). It reflects our position in the struggle against borders: In a European Union, that only has in mind driving refugees and migrants away (often by violent means), we state that this is not happening in our name, but that we have a different idea: We want to welcome all those that risk the journey and come to Europe. And we will not just welcome our friends, we are also committed to making this a permanent hospitable place and do the immediate small steps that are necessary and that we can take.

The name of this new born network also reflects another issue we want to emphasize. We had the noborder camp in Greece last year. There were many reason to come to Greece, but in our idea it was not about Greece. It was and still is about Europe, about the European Union to be precise. It is about the European border, which is not just geographical, but extends as a principle outside and inside Europe. We know and deplore that these days, with the crisis of the euro zone, Greece bashing has become a popular discipline in many European countries. But both regarding the financial crisis as well as the war against migrants at the European borders we say: focus on the suprastructures that are behind the misery and show solidarity with those affected, don’t join the populist choir denouncing them.

Still, we were not only deliberating etc. during winter. We also initiated a campaign in Germany against the Dublin II-deportations to Greece (which was an issue during the noborder lesvos too) and we also set up a website giving independent information to refugees and migrants on their way to Europe. Practical solidariry we believe that is.

So, what can you expect from this site now? We will continue with a focus on Greece, migration and border, but will not limit ourselves to that. We will give more frequent updates, and we will be back reaching out.

And of course, we will be back in Greece this year…we will publish the call soon: join us!

bringing you…the infopoint brochure

Long promised, hard worked on, full of fascinating stories: We bring you the brochure about the infopoint that we set up during the noborder camp 2009 in Lesvos. Tons of stories, experiences, insights and a strong example of the difference one can make with a little determination and collectivity.

  • Editorial
  • Circus Tent towards a Welcome Island: Reflections on the Infopoint in Mitilini / Lesvos in Summer 2009
  • Unbelievable Days: Interview with Azadi – Translator & Activist at the Infopoint
  • Eden: Interview with Eden
  • I just Wanted to Say, that I Arrived fine: Refugee women from Eritrea in the Greek Transit
  • We are on the Move to Stay: Impressions from the ›Farewell Parade‹
  • We are Walking until Noborders: Interview with Mr. X
  • We Saw Things can be possible! The Story of two Afghan Families who Resisted Detention
  • Help yourself! Insights of the Infopoint
  • Medical Advice
  • We really didn’t Feel like Refugees! Reflections on Lesvos two Months after Noborder
  • Last Days of Pagani in October 2009
  • No to Pagani and no to any Prison
  • The End, and the Beginning: A Flight from Greece to Germany
  • I would like to Follow a Star. But there is no Star to Follow: – A Blog by underaged Refugees
  • Hartino Karavi – A Paperboat: Permanent Info- and Welcomepoint for Refugees in Mitilini
  • Useful Links & Information

Download the infopoint-brochure as pdf (7.9 MB)

Of course, the brochure will also be printed. Information, where to obtain it can be asked at transact [at] so36 [dot] net via email.

You might also want to check out schengendangle, another blog by young migrants trying to skip from Greece. And those speaking German, we have a campaign-site for the upcoming Dublin II-Campaign at

Shut down Pagani! Azadi!

Another evaluation of the no border camp in Lesvos. By transact!, October 2009. Published in german language in ak – analyse und kritik.


Never before have we experienced a noborder camp on the outer borders of the EU at which political protests and social struggles for the freedom of movement were as intertwined as they were in Lesvos. International press coverage about the detention centre Pagani was considerable and we return with many new impulses for transnational networking. Even if meetings were characterised by strong disagreements, our evaluation of Lesvos is overwhelmingly positive.

Tomorrow when we continue our journey, we will be refugees again. But till the last minute we will be just people here tonight, friends celebrating together. Who would’ve thought that on this island we wouldn’t have to hide in the woods and that we would get the gift of a night of freedom amongst friends!

Continue reading ‘Shut down Pagani! Azadi!’

About w2eu

This is the blog of the antiracist network Welcome to Europe. It was formerly known as


The name Welcome to Europe expresses the discontent and anger we feel when looking at the fatal realities of the European external border: the long documented deaths and suffering have continued for years, and no end is in sight. We stand for a grassroots movement that embraces migration and wants to create a Europe of hospitality.


We maintain our focus on the European external border in Greece, but will not limit ourselves to that geographical area. The right of freely roaming the globe has to be fought for everywhere. Join us!


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Voices from the Inside of Pagani (2009)

Watch the video