Racism and xenophobia are spreading in the Balkans faster than a virus. Conservative, extreme right and fascist forces supported by the mass media and local governments create an inhuman situation for the refugees. Images from the borders of Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Serbia show brutality of repressive forces: policemen cut refugee’s hair and spray-paint crosses on their head. Similar images are to be seen at the Greek border to Turkey, on the banks of the river Evros/Marica and the shores of Greek islands: there refugees are sprayed with an insecticide under the watchful eye of police. These pictures tell that refugees are not humans but vermin that must be exterminated.
Even during the pandemic crisis, refugees were accused of spreading the virus, while it is well known that the epidemic was spread by wealthy tourists and businessmen. At the same time, refugees live in extreme unhealthy conditions, in camps where it is impossible to “stay home” and keep “social distance”. The Balkan Corridor has turned into a zone of death and hatred.
The current of racism, nationalism and the far-right grows on the ground of the financial crisis as the political systems are becoming more reactionary in each country. The people of the Balkans, just like the refugees, have experienced all the catastrophes that capitalism brings to humanity. They are victims of wars and interventions organised by the imperialist powers in order to impose their dominance. It is not refugees who brought mass unemployment and poverty to the Greek, Croatian, Serbian people. It is oligarchs and their political servants. All over the Balkans they rob their own citizens as oligarchs continue to accumulate wealth by exploiting the workers. Refugees and Balkan peoples are both victims of the financial crisis caused by colossal multi-national monopolies and imperialist states.
The borders of Greece and Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Serbia are borders of the EU Fortress as well. The pandemic crisis confirmed that the EU is not a safe haven of stability and prosperity. The EU has not been capable of a single intervention and stance, it completely failed even in „solidarity“ and support of its member states. As a response to this crisis, the EU and the ruling classes in each of its states seek to escalate their anti-labor offensive, combining intensification of inequality and a shift towards militarization and war. At the same time they are intensifying racist campaigns and the construction of Fortress Europe against refugees, and doing so opening way to the extreme right and the fascists. As their own crisis deepens even more, the bourgeois political systems adopt step by step the agenda of the far-right, legitimize and enforce it. The far-right seeks to use the all-round political, economic and ethical crisis of capitalism. It brings a civil war among the poor, talking about “our workers”, in order to wage more effectively the war against all workers. They are talking of “Our nation”, preparing the slaughter of all peoples.
This organised xenophobia turns against refugees the rage of those who suffer and obscures real culprits: the imperialist powers, the local oligarchy, and the political system who serves them. Refugees and the Balkan peoples are victims of the dominant capitalist system that organises the class war of the rich against the poor.
Faced with an epidemic of xenophobia and racism, we declare: Refugees are not our enemies. We are not against the weak and poor of this world! The Balkan peoples know what war and immigration mean. Our enemies are imperialism, capitalist oligarchs in our countries and their political servants. Our enemies are fascists and racists.
We do and always will fight against the system opressing peoples and destroying their lives, for peoples’ solidarity against their common enemies, for a new society of equality and justice.
New Left Current (NAR), Greece
Red Action/Red Initiative (CA/CI), Croatia and Serbia