At the moment there are an estimated 7,000 on the northern greek borders. Last week Iranian men sewed their lips together in protest at not being able to cross into Skopje. Yesterday it was a war of stones with the police and bona fide refugees who are allowed through the border. A Moroccan migrant was electrocuted whilst attempting to climb on top of a train. Why a Moroccan? Was his life threatened in Morocco or was he just in search of a better life and trying to get into Europe via a back door.
Syrian families who can qualify as genuine refugees are the first to be allowed through to continue on their long trek. But young men from Pakistan, Afganistan, Iran....and Morocco are the majority on the borders. They are the irregular migrants who are stopped from continuing and they are the trouble makers. They are fighting between themselves and with police. All of them are supposed to have been photographed and fingerprinted but what does that do really. At least one of the Paris attackers came through the island of Leros. Whose is to say if they are genuine refugees or a threat to peace in Europe. Young men are deported regularly. As soon as they set foot 'home' they are off again, on their way back to the refugee trail.
After the incident between Russia and Turkey the 'Csar' and the 'Sultan' are insulting each other and making threats which I hope they do not carry out. Russian ships have been stopped from sailing through the Bosphorous and out into the med. Turkey has stopped providing fresh fruit and vegetable to the Russians.
Turkish war planes invade Greek airspace a dozen times a week. As the Greek PM said, 'thank goodness our pilots are not as nervy as the Turks.'
A blessed greek monk, named brother Paisios, who died in 1994, left behind him Nostradamus type predictions. One of them was that Russia and Turkey would go to war and Turkey would be wiped off the map. Whilst he says Konstantinople (Istanbul) will be returned to the Greeks, something they have been waiting for since its fall to the Ottomans on a Tuesday (a most unlucky day) in 1453, it would also mean a war on our border. Peace brothers.
Greek chemists, hospitals, the employed and the unemployed are out on the streets striking and protesting. Farmers have warmed up their tracters and are blocking roads. Our local school still has not got its full quota of teachers although the schools opened in September.
Big businesses are moving across the border to Bulgaria, Skopje and even Albania where life and taxes are cheaper. We've all gone back to shopping at the Chinese 'emporiums'. Galatas across the waters has a large store where we find cheap clothes for all the family.
as usual all the types of type face have been used, much to my bewilderment. One day I will get it all the same, I hope.