News / Europe

Greek Immigration Crisis Spreads to Universities

Greek Immigration Crisis Spreads to Universitiesi
|| 0:00:00
X
Henry Ridgwell
June 16, 2012 1:41 AM
The United Nations’ High Commission for Refugees is warning of increasing violence against immigrants in Greece. Far-right parties made big gains in elections in May on anti-immigrant platforms. Henry Ridgwell visited parts of Athens that are witnessing anti-immigrant violence on a daily basis.

Greek Immigration Crisis Spreads to Universities

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid