Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The birth-pangs of a policy

LAST week a Danish surveillance aircraft spotted a rickety fishing boat stuffed with would-be migrants 24 nautical miles off the Libyan coast. It alerted the Italian coast guard in Rome, which in turn dispatched Poseidon, a Swedish multipurpose vessel on patrol in the Mediterranean. Three hours later the ship’s crew ran into 613 men, women and children, from places as far apart as Nigeria and Bangladesh. One by one they clambered aboard, where they were given food, water and a quick health check before awaiting their delivery to shore. Like trophies, pictures of the vessels the Poseidon has intercepted adorn a stairwell below the ship’s mess hall. Since its deployment to Sicily on June 1st as part of an expansion of Operation Triton, the European Union’s border-surveillance mission in Italy, Poseidon has taken part in 14 rescue operations and saved 2,600 souls. If only Europe’s governments could co-operate as happily. This week marked their latest failed attempt to reach a piddling goal: the relocation of 40,000 asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece, which are groaning under...