More than twenty migrant workers were injured when their bosses fired on them with shotguns on Wednesday.
Bosses at a strawberry farm in Manolada, Ileia opened fire on workers demanding back pay on Wednesday afternoon. More than 20 people were wounded and taken to hospital after the attack. The majority of the workers were immigrants from Bangladesh.
After not having been paid for six months around two hundred farm workers gathered to meet with three farm supervisors. In response to the workers request that they be paid the three supervisors opened fire with shotguns. Mhe workers ran but many were injured.
Initial reports state that between 20-30 people were wounded with several still in hospital and one in a serious condition. The owner of the farm has been questioned by police but the three supervisors who fired are still at large though their identities are known.
This attack hasn't come out of the blue. There have been previous documented cases of abuse and widespread exploitation of immigrant workers on farms in the region for years. This is only the largest incident in a recent wave of racist attacks in Greece. Many immigrants from Asia and Africa live and work in Greece and are often subject to contempt, exploitation and racism from their employers. In addition they must work for below minimum wage, rarely if ever have insurance papers and are frequently harassed by police.
Whilst the government has condemned the attack we should remember that this is the same government which has labelled immigrants the 'tyrants of Greek society'. The same government which denies that the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn is a result of racism. The same government which has been rounding up, imprisoning and deporting immigrants like those of Manolada in a systematic campaign for months. Indeed the fate of the immigrants is unclear as many of them are said to be without the legal papers to stay in Greece and so could face imprisonment and deportation under current government policy.