‘Symbolic gesture’

At every turn, the government’s woeful lack of preparation and lack of understanding as to how a state functions have made bad situations worse. The economy was already a victim of this, but the handling of migration has provided dramatic confirmation of the problem.

The government has swung between an open invitation to refugees and migrants, as SYRIZA had done while in opposition, to allowing a chaotic state of affairs which benefits neither migrants nor citizens. This also damages the state’s functions and how it is seen to function. Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas’s anger Monday at a protest at the Elliniko facility underlined how good intentions and a lack of supervision allowed the situation to get out of hand. In what he called a “symbolic gesture,” Mouzalas handed police a chain that migrants had used to lock the facility’s gate and told them to take charge.

SYRIZA, which in the past would have been the first to condemn the police for any action, belatedly sees the need both for order and for protecting migrants.