News / Europe

    Greek Immigration Crisis Spreads to Universities

    Henry Ridgwell
    ATHENS - The Economic University of Athens is on the front line in the city’s immigration crisis. Immigrants and their student allies often clash with police and right-wing groups. A local resident supplied VOA with a video shot in early May showing a clash with police.

    The police stopped VOA from filming their operations - but we did get inside the university gates. It is illegal for security forces to enter universities, so the immigrants seek refuge inside - and are welcomed by the students.

    Student leader Yiannis thinks the immigrants are being made a scapegoat.

    “Our parents were also immigrants. The immigrants who come here now do not do so by choice," he said. "They came from countries and regions where there are wars, where military regimes rule, and they have come here to create a better future for them and their families.”

    The United Nations High Commission for Refugees expressed concerns over rising violence against immigrants.

    "We have daily incidents of groups of supposed angry citizens, but also of extremist far right groups, instigating and hunting migrants just because of the color of their skin or of their nationality. What can I say? This is totally unacceptable,”  said Giorgos Tsarbopoulos, head of UNHCR Greece.

    Many Greeks blame the migrants for rising crime rates and the nation's economic crisis.

    Another local resident gave VOA a video that he says shows immigrants attacking people near the university.

    The far right Golden Dawn party polled seven percent in May’s election. Its manifesto includes laying mines along the Greek-Turkish border to prevent immigrants from crossing into Greece.

    No migrants agreed to speak on camera. Some told VOA that the Greek government’s refusal to allow them to work - and EU rules that prohibit travel elsewhere in Europe - leave them unable to feed themselves.

     “These people should be free to travel to whichever country they want," insisted student activist Yiannis. "To go there and find work where they can. It is quite simple.”
    The political turbulence in Greece means the future remains as uncertain as ever for the tens of thousands of immigrants caught in the eye of Europe’s debt storm.

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: uilow from: japan
    June 07, 2012 11:02 PM
    when greeks attack immigrants its on the news everywhere....here i saw a group of immigrants attacking someone yet no news on that..the truth is governments want these immigrants to stay and work low wages..and want the indiginous population(whom work for high wages) to migrate

    by: Svenn from: New York
    June 07, 2012 7:42 PM
    I would like to see Greece remain Greek. I feel that way for all countries. Africa for Africans, Asia for Asians, White countries for everyone. Sounds like a double standard to me.

    by: Susan Sontag
    June 07, 2012 1:59 PM
    Africa for the Africans
    Asia for the Asians
    White countries for EVERYONE?!
    It is geNOcide!

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    by: Rob Swift from: Great Britain
    June 06, 2012 3:56 PM
    Like all things in Europe, Greece is in a state of reversion. It will go back to rule by the Military Generals. As materialism collapses in Europe, the new idealism which will follow is likely to take the form of fascism. This in turn will upset America and Russia. It is all part of the process known as history.

    by: Mystified
    June 06, 2012 3:38 PM
    This is a new phenomenon, it will pass in due course. Only Germany has enough jobs to satisfy their citizenry and also make some spaces available for other European countries' youth and unemployed adults to take up, the rest of European nations will remain for the foreseeable future mired into this new economic phenomenon.

    Greeks need to understand the fact that those visible minorities did not cause the economic problems, they are as much victims as Greek youth from past Greece's past politicians who faked their books to join the European economic zone. If anything blame the people that made the problems, not other victims who have nothing to do with creating this economic mess many are suffering with.

    by: Gab from: USA
    June 06, 2012 12:31 PM
    Greece has 20% youth unemployment, they cannot find work. What do you think a flood of immigrants are going to do to Greece? They will be come slave labor or a drain on Greek tax dollars. There are 52 Countries in Africa, why must they all come to Europe?

    New York Times: "For the first time in history, more blacks are coming to the United States from Africa than during the slave trade: Since 1990, according to immigration figures, more Africans have arrived voluntarily than the total who disembarked in chains before the United States outlawed international slave trafficking in 1807".

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora