In the last few months the Antiracist Initiative of Thessaloniki and the Social Center / Immigrants’ Place in Thessaloniki – or just “Steki”, from the Greek word for “a place to hangout” – have been threatened with closure due to a long overdue debt. It is a debt of 85.000€ to the Public Power Corporation (PPC, or DEI in Greek) and of 5.000€ to the Municipality of Thessaloniki owed by the now defunct Refugee Shelter. The Antiracist Initiative and Steki have been bearing the burden of this debt for 6 years now since the only Refugee Shelter in the city of Thessaloniki was threatened with closure. At that time, we offered our own legal name as the bearer of the electricity costs of the Shelter. That was the only immediately available solution to keep the shelter operational and prevent refugees hosted there from becoming homeless.
In what follows we describe the key-points of that hard but interesting solidarity effort to organise a Refugee Shelter as well as how we propose to deal with this outrageous debt.