‘Mos Maiorum’ operation panders to xenophobia and fear of the other

GUE/NGL MEPs spoke out last night in plenary about the scandalous nature of the EU police operation 'Mos Maiorum'.

Swedish MEP Malin Bjork said: “Mos Maiorum is shameful. We must try and design a useful form of cooperation. Persecuting those who don't have legal papers is carried out because of their appearance. They are followed and persecuted in bus stations; this only ferments xenophobia and a lack of tolerance. Our voters want to live in an EU that defends human rights and helps those people who come looking for protection.”

“Mos Maiorum's stated objective is to put a stop to traffickers and illegal migration, but it will only push people trying to flee their countries more and more into the hands of crime,” commented Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli. “Let's not delude ourselves: there is a real swoop going on. We have seen an information note from the Italian Ministry of the Interior that orders police officers to use force if necessary when tracking migrants. This order from on high to Italian police officers proves that this operation is based on systemic violence.”

German MEP Cornelia Ernst said: “The current police action has nothing to do with justice and fairness; it is being driven by racism and xenophobia. The idea is to send people away and get them out of our countries. Refugees are seen as a costly bother.”

Greek MEP Kostas Chrysogonos outlined how this operation proves the European institutions have little respect for human rights: “There is no clarity around how the migrants are apprehended or treated, or about the length of time they will be detained for. Even Frontex has distanced itself from the operation, stressing that it does not participate in the organisation of the operation.”

He added: “Instead of sweeping police operations we need an integrated EU immigration policy which has a just distribution of responsibility between the member states.”

Spanish MEP Pablo Echenique concluded: “This is a pan-European racist raid which is based on fear. Mos Maiorum has been designed to terrorise those people who have come to our countries looking for safety and work. It also panders to the fear of the 'other'. We are targeting an imaginary fear.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group