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, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: uilow from: japan
June 07, 2012 11:02 PM
when greeks attack immigrants its on the news 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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs