*This story replaces the previous story ‘Migration turmoil at EU border whets Nazi groups’ appetite’
Greek authorities expelled from the country on Friday (6 March) a group of German neo-Nazis who visited the EU’s external frontier with the aim of spreading nationalistic hatred, Greek media have reported.
As EURACTIV previously reported, the chaotic situation with thousands of migrants and refugees stranded at the Greek-Turkish border has attracted the interest of Nazi groups across Europe.
Greek local media and individuals have flooded social media with numerous pictures showing far-right supporters on Greek islands and at the Greek-Turkish land border.
“The refugee crisis is rapidly deteriorating in Greece and it’s gradually turning into a democracy crisis,” MEP Stelios Kouloglou told EURACTIV.com.
Kouloglou said armed citizens’ militias accompanied by far-right Nazi groups have been taking illegal and dangerous action amid the escalating migration crisis at Europe’s external frontiers with Turkey. The leftist MEP said mob attacks against arriving refugees on the island of Lesvos have been reported in recent days.
Kouloglou said far-right groups have also attacked journalists and he accused the Greek government of failing to address their actions.
Kouloglou added that supply storages on the island of Chios were torched while attacks also took place against Medicines Sans Frontiers personnel on the Lesvos island, resulting in the suspension of their field hospital.
Local news website Stonisi.gr reported that five people from Germany’s neo-Nazi Identitarian Movement are currently on Lesvos pretending to be journalists. One of them was reportedly attacked and injured on the head.
Earlier this week, Katharina König-Preuss, a Die Linke member responsible for combating racism and fascism in the state of Thuringia, reported online information about neo-Nazi Germans who were trying to reach the Greek-Turkish border.
Deutsche #Neonazis mobilisieren nach #Griechenland, um gegen Menschen die Schutz suchen vorzugehen. Es wird gar von Bewaffnung gesprochen. Zuständige Behörden in Bund & Ländern müssen schnell & zielgerichtet dagegen Agieren. Neonazis an Grenzen abweisen! https://t.co/qn7GMgxCWv
— (((Katharina König-Preuss)))🍓 (@KatharinaKoenig) March 4, 2020
Moreover, the editor-in-chief of Facebook’s fact-checker in Greece, Greek Hoaxes, posted on Facebook a picture of Austrian neo-Nazis at the Greek-Turkish border.
In addition, a group of residents in Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos, did not allow a ship owned by the NGO Sea Watch to provide supplies to the port city, local media reported.
The Racist Violence Recording Network issued a statement on Thursday, strongly condemning recent incidents targeting refugees, asylum seekers and humanitarian workers in the Aegean islands and at the Greek-Turkish land border.
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]