The Greek anti-refugee nationalist group Enomemoi Makedones (United Macedonia) said it would hold a pork-and-booze barbeque near a refugee and migrant detention camp a few miles from Thessaloniki to protest their presence, with most detainees Muslims, who are forbidden to eat pork or drink alcohol.
The camp is in Diavata with the New Democracy government scrambling to move thousands of the more than 33,700 refugees and migrants on Greek islands to the mainland although that technically violates terms of a 2016 European Union swap deal with Turkey that allows human traffickers to keep sending them.
In a parliamentary debate broadcast on television, lawmaker Christos Giannoulis from the major opposition Radical Left SYRIZA said while the barbeque wouldn’t violate any laws that it was a “disgrace” and a “provocation against people of other beliefs.”
He called for the organizers to be held accountable for this “new type of political and criminal behavior,” he suggested mocked the refugees and migrants, some 78,000 in the country and most seeking asylum to prevent being returned to Turkey where they first went fleeing war and strife in their homelands, especially Syria and Afghanistan .
New Democracy Member of Parliament Kostas Kiranakis said, however, that people who aren’t from the European Union shouldn’t dictate how Greeks live and that restrictions to the barbecue would mean restrictions to the rights of Greek citizens, reported the German news site Deutsche Welle of the event.
As of October this year, around 55,000 immigrants have arrived in Greece from Turkey, with some 40,000 said to have come in the last four months after New Democracy ousted SYRIZA in July 7 snap elections, gaining power.