People talk about Idomeni, a formerly unknown village in the border between FYROM and Greece. Now everybody travels or wants to travel to Idomeni. Why? Because news is there. Because refugees and immigrants are there. Under the pouring rain, with the first kid already being diagnosed with hepatitis A and consequently referred to a hospital at the nearby city of Kilkis.
In a remotely ambitious country, a country that feels itself being part of an open-minded community and not aiming at reclusive practices such as Albania suffered until some decades ago, in a country the government of which is not diagnosed with Euro-phobia, the first thing that would be done would be to see the logistics of the situation. A difficult task for people who do live in the 21st c. and do not consider 1949 a lost chance to adhere to the lifestyle and principles of Stalin's soviet regime.
Logistics means to not lose resources.
Logistics means to allocate money where it should be allocated.
Logistics means to make lists of "what-to-do".
Logistics means less stress.
Logistics means less chaos.
Logistics means a will to act.
Logistics means being practical.
Logistics means to save face.
Logistics means to avoid future problems, hostility and to remain dignified.
Logistics means the most difficult of all: to see how far can a country go with accepting more people. How far it can go until it must stop.
To leave Greeks, Greece and people who have arrived in Greece in their fate is disappointing. To appoint a person to co-ordinate the situation with refugees and immigrants, whose only statement has been about "his most stressfull days in his life (who cares?) allegedly the day he peed himself at school (sic) and the day he voted for the memorandum, is at least infuriating.
So far, the government lives and lets die: the Greeks, Greece and anybody else willing to queue in the hall of shameful acts of indifference. Luck of co-ordination, luck of planning, luck of know-how, luck of a will to act; this is the trademark of the greek government which only makes prolamations on humanitarian spirit. Who cares?
Idomeni has become a pitiful, miserable spot, a playground for activists, journalists and the notorious Ei Weiwei who had a white piano brought at the site for a Syrian girl to play. Well, there more ideas to that; why not bring a unicorn and have it entertain the children on the tent and mud site? It is far more poetic and lets the imagination hover far beyond the ugliness of life on the border. There could be chitons and girls clad as Muses to play the lyre for a dark-haired allegorical Apollo. Cut the crap! It's not piano lessons and tutus people care about. It is food and dry clothes, first things first. (Oh, and a ticket to Germany). Otherwise it all becomes a little ironic. Viciously ironic, if, say, music, classical music, could be heard through amplifiers over the whole tent and mud site. Does it bring anything to mind?
But let's get back to logistics. Which means to hire people, to work in Idomeni, Piraeus, the islands. To put the tents in a better, safer place, to distribute food and supplies, to arrange for heating and the most important, take care of the hugiene of the place.
After things are explained about closed borders, after people are transferred to specially constructed sites for them to live at least under some dignified conditions, with some care for the children who eventually have to re-start school and after many more that must be done, then I guess all over Europe the most uncomfortable discussion will have to take place: where to now?
I believe these are -for better or for worse- times that a new chapter in world history is written. The generations that acted out their guilt in regard to warfare and colonialism are almost gone, if not entirely gone. Generations raised half their lives under communist regimes and half their lives outside of it, rule -up to a degree- the fates of millions, through poltics or commerce and multi-national companies. It IS a different world, one that started to change a few decades back. But if we ask "where to now?" eventually another question will come up: what is Europe's -to contain to our neighbourhood- relationship to Islam and vice versa?