I just got back from a study trip to Athens, Greece, and it was definitely an interesting experience. Although my specialization is gender, the trip ended up being more about migration and race-relations in Greece.
Before we went there, we had no idea that Greece is having a huge immigration problem. Some things we found out from NGOs while we were there:
- Mosques are not allowed to be built in Athens, which means that there are only informal mosques in basements (need to double check this).
- Over the past few years, right-wing Greek people have trapped Muslims inside these informal mosques and then thrown petrol bombs inside, killing many.
- The second day we were there, a Greek man was robbed and then killed by 3 “dark-looking people” who were assumed to be immigrants. Later that night, neo-Nazi TV channels (yes) and blogs called for Greek people to go out and attack and beat immigrants.
- The next day over 17 immigrants ended up in the hospital after being stabbed.
- There was also a clash between the left-wing and the police, who are overwhelmingly right-wing (surprise, surprise).
- There is a huge back-log in terms of applications for legal status as a migrant, and some have to wait up to 20 years. Thus they can be arrested at any time, and they are kept in 2-by-2 cells with no toilets, little food, and no dignity.
- There are reportedly 2 million undocumented migrants in Athens, who are now at risk of being attacked.