Residents slam leftwing parties for stance on migrants

In an open letter to the main leftwing opposition party SYRIZA and the Communist Party (KKE) published on Wednesday, residents of central Athens referred to «the destruction of the city» and accused the parties of projecting a «so-called leftwing mask of humanitarianism and solidarity» on the thorny issue of illegal immigrants.

The letter was published following a major police sweep over the weekend that resulted in 6,000 migrants being temporarily detained and more than 1,000 being arrested pending deportation, prompting the severe criticism of both KKE and SYRIZA which called the crackdown a «pogrom.»

“You have to be blind not to see what the city has come to. You have to be deaf not to hear the cries of people who are in danger and are obliged to live like animals, in former urban neighborhoods which have become shanty towns. You have to be stupid not to understand what is really going on,» the letter said.

The residents called on the extreme rightwing Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) to «name Mr. Tsipras and Mrs. Papariga honorary presidents,» referring to SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras and KKE chief Aleka Papariga. «It seems that they are contributing to its rise,» the letter said, referring to the growing popularity of the ultra-right group which has been linked to a string of racist attacks on immigrants.

In their letter, the residents accuse the Greek Left of supporting capitalism and globalization by allowing the mass settlement in the capital of «smugglers and their victims.»

Concluding, the residents said that they would not allow further provocative statements by the leftist groups ostensibly supporting immigrants to go unanswered. «Greeks bled for their country so that they could live with dignity and not to dance to the rhythm banged out by every foreign mafia boss who has settled in his neighborhood,» the residents said, referring to the rackets trading drugs, counterfeit goods and sex in the city center.