Unions & NGOs urge Parliament to scrutinise Greece’s Human Rights record

Human Rights on the Procrustean bed
20 January 2014

TNI has joined twenty trade unions, human rights and civil society organisations from across Europe to send a letter to the President of the European Parliament to ask him to undertake a Report on the situation of human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the country holding the Presidency of the European Council, under article 7 of the TEU.

The letter documents the wide range of serious violations of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, which are systematically perpetrated in the country especially since it was subjected to the harsh Troika-led economic programs in 2010. You can read the letter here.

In the course of the week, Greek Ministers will appear before several European Parliament committees. Signatories urge MEPs to use the opportunity to interrogate them on the basis of evidence contained in the letter.

‘’The European Parliament must use its powers to investigate and possibly initiate a procedure under article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, we have provided them a solid basis to this. It was hard to find a single article of the charter for fundamental rights that isn't breached today in Greece’’ said Serge Kollwelter, president of the European Association for the Defense of Human Rights.

Greece is well into the 6th year of depression with unemployment recording European heights leaving the majority of the county’s youngest, 57,9% according to latest figures, out of work. Thousands of people have to go without access to healthcare or electricity and basic services such as education and hospitals are been dangerously downgraded. Protestors are faced with the excessive and life-threatening violence, detainees are tortured by the same police who stand by idle as neo-Nazi groups terrorize and even kill migrants. All along the borders with Turkey, refugees and migrants are routinely faced with life threatening push backs and ill-treatment.


  • AEDH, Association Européenne pour le défense des Droits de l'Homme (LDH Belgique)
  • Attac Austria
  • Attac France 
  • Attac Hellas
  • CADTM Europe
  • CNE, National union of employees - Belgium (tbc)
  • Corporate Europe Observatory
  • European Public Health Alliance
  • Forum per una Nuova Finanza Pubblica e Sociale - Italy 
  • Network for social and civic rights (Diktyo) - Greece
  • Platform Stop Racisme en Uitsluiting - The Netherlands 
  • POE-OTA, Greek federation of local authorities staff
  • Transnational Institute (ΤΝΙ)
  • Union of workers in EYATH, Thessaloniki water company - Greece 
  • United against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KERFAA) - Greece
  • War on Want - United Kingdom
  • Network of Solidarity Initiatives to Greece:
    • Initiative de Solidarité à la Grèce qui Résiste - Bruxelles
    • Real Democracy Now Berlin / GR
    • ReInform.nl