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Thursday, January 28, 2016


by Dino Siotis

Greece has responded furiously to proposals to modify the Schengen agreement which would see the country’s borders effectively sealed off from the rest of the continent. EU interior ministers meeting in Amsterdam on Monday discussed moving the southern frontier of the passport-free travel zone, which includes most of the EU, to the north, deploying joint police forces along the Macedonia-Greece border. Other European states piled pressure on Greece to do more to control the influx of migrants into Europe via its shores. Athens’s Syriza-led government denounced the plans, with Ioannis Mouzalas, the migration minister, calling it an “experiment” that would turn Greece into a “cemetery of souls,” according to reports. Greek public order minister Nikos Toskas said, “It is very difficult to stop small boats coming [to Greece] . . . except sinking or shooting them, which is against our European values and Greek values and we will not do that.” —Newsweek, Jan. 26, 2016

So many have come knocking at my door
lately that I have trouble keeping it closed,
thieves, beggars, friends, curriers, deliveries,

Jehovah’s Witness, students with advertising
leaflets, straw dogs, homeless cats, garbage-
collectors, bag ladies, messengers, gypsies,

street-cleaners, refugees, illegal immigrants.
I am thinking of tearing it down—the door
I mean—so anyone can just come in and say

how they feel, have something to eat, take some
clothes from the closet, maybe pick up a euro
or two that I will leave on the front table

Dino Siotis is an activist and award winning Greek poet with 25 books of poetry in Greek, English and French, president of Athens-based Poets Circle, director of Athens World Poetry Festival and in charge of Global Communication of Medellin-based World Poetry Movement. He lives in Athens.