Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Europe

Two arrested after migrant workers shot on Greek farm

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-18

More than 20 migrant workers at a Greek strawberry farm were shot by their supervisors when they demanded wages that had not been paid. Police said they had arrested the farm owner and another man, and that none of the workers had been killed.

Two men have been arrested in Greece after foremen for strawberry growers allegedly shot and wounded 27 migrant labourers demanding long-overdue pay, police said on Thursday.

The migrants, mainly from Bangladesh, were hospitalised in the western port of Patras and other areas with gunshot wounds after allegedly being fired upon late on Wednesday by three foremen for the growers in the village of Manolada, one of the main areas of strawberry production in Greece, local police said.

A 57-year-old landowner was arrested as a "moral instigator" of the alleged shootings, as was another man for sheltering two of the presumed perpetrators overnight, police said.

The migrants had been working in local fields, some without being paid for the past six months, the police said. Around 200 of them went to demand their money on Wednesday when they were fired upon.

The government condemned the attack and anti-racist groups were planning a demonstration in the area later in the day.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said the attack was "inhuman" and "outside Greek morality" and pledged an immediate response by the authorities.

But the Communist-affiliated PAME union noted that the incident was only the latest in a long history of abuse of migrant workers in Greece.

PAME said the workers had been fired upon with shotguns and pistols. It claimed 33 were hurt, while the police said 27 were wounded, one of them critically.

"Growers and landowners have operated with cover from the government and justice for years, creating a hell-hole with slavery labour conditions," the union said.

"Modern slaves in Manolada work in stifling conditions, pay rent to their exploiters and are lodged in sheds without water and electricity, piled upon each other," it said.

Natassa Panagiotara, head of the labour centre in the neighbouring town of Amaliada, spoke of "19th century-style plantations" operating in this manner for over a decade.

"The Greek state knows what is going on...but there are only two labour inspectors in the area," she told Skai radio.

A local labourer who also spoke to the station said workers had been promised 22 euros ($29) for seven-hour shifts.

He said workers "bathed in a barrel and drank from a water hose" and were afraid of "being killed or having their hut set on fire" if they pressed their claims for pay.

Calls for a boycott on Manolada strawberries rapidly spread online, but Panagiotara warned against indiscriminate action.

"There are family growers in the area who run their own farms without migrant labour and are just as hungry as other Greeks," she said.

In 2008, Manolada was the focal point of a rare strike by hundreds of migrant workers against near-slavery conditions in the fields.

The treatment of migrants in Greece has long been criticised by domestic and international rights groups, to little avail.
 

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-04-18

  • Greece

    Greek footballer banned for life over Nazi salute

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greece hit by fresh anti-austerity strike

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greek riot police break up subway strike

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)