The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

A Greek Illegal Immigrant

Please head on over to Teacher Dude’s blog for this story of a Greek illegal immigrant in Greece

Manos was born in Greece in 1977, his parents immigrants from Iraq. He studied in the 17th primary school, Peiria and the 2nd junior high school, Renti. Everything went smoothly until 1992 when his father died. Manos was just 15 years old when his mother, unable to deal with the loss of her husband alone in Greece made the fateful decision to take her children to visit her home country, Iraq. It took just a few days for her to realise that this was a mistake, however, there was no going back.

Read the whole post. It’s heart-breaking. Thank you TD for taking the time to translate this for the benefit of non-Greek speakers. Original article in Greek by Afrodite Al Salech at ???????? ??????? ???????

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14 Comments

  1. Travlos Konstantinos
    August 3, 2009    

    Very interesting and sad story. Born in Greece, educated in Greece but not Greek. Ridiculous.

    But the again most Greek lefties and righties supported Sadam Hussein’s regime. You expect mercy on immigrants from those political powers?

  2. Oath Taken
    August 3, 2009    

    Born in Greece, educated in Greece but not Greek. Ridiculous.

    There are plenty of people born and educated in Greece that would be insulted if you called them Greek. I would tell you to go watch Albanians take to the streets militant style with their flags in full view in Greece during demonstrations but that’s impossible to do from the USA so instead of that please take a virtual stroll to albanians.gr to see young greek educated nationalist Albanians and then come and tell me that they are “Greek”. Surely schooling, even military service help build a national consciousness but the primary shaping force remains the family unit. The child of Albanian nationalists who have ended up as economic migrants in Greece will most likely become an Albanian nationalist, not a Greek.

    This aside from the story of this particular young man that appears to be as Greek in sentiment (which is all that counts) as most Greeks of his age. The American notion of “once born here, you’re an American” is already proving itself too naive – whether it’s John Walker Lindh or the bozos that dream of Aztlan states or other Mexican reconquista concepts.

  3. Travlos Konstantinos
    August 3, 2009    

    I have seen Albanian demonstrations during soccer games(remember I grew up in Greece (1981-2006)) so please don’t patronize me. We did the same thing in Portugal when we won. Paraguyans did so in the US in the last soccer game. Secondly nationalists exist everywhere. Some of the Greek-Americans here are ungrateful to the US, and just go on on how superior they are to all other people. But the majority of Greek-Americans just as I bet the majority of Albanians in Greece, are loyal more or less to their country of residence. Now if you have data to the contrary, that all or the majority of Albanians in Greece are rabid nationalists I would like to see it.

  4. Oath Taken
    August 4, 2009    

    I’m not talking of soccer games – I’m talking of labor or political rallies with Albanian flags and participants that are the children of immigrants. Since you were in Greece up until 2006 you could not have missed them – they happened from time to time, Omonia square in particular.

    Secondly I did not claim that all or the majority of Albanians in Greece are rabid nationalists. I did claim that being born/educated in Greece does not necessarily make you into a local Greek. You’re intelligent enough to appreciate the difference. I don’t have numbers as to exact breakdown of pro- and anti-Greek children of Albanian immigrants to Greece but neither have you. Certainly their public presence suggests that they are not a fringe group of a few dozen individuals and at the same time the lack of public unrest in Greece suggests they are not a massive majority. Automatically conferring citizenship to all of them however would include along with the ones that care about Greece the ones that would want to see it end in Amvrakikos.

    As for the comparison with nationalistic Greek Americans it’s invalid. Even the very few that are “ungrateful” to the USA do not consider that US borders should be changed. You should compare with the militant Mexican movement instead – which I already mentioned. Born in the USA, raised in the USA and dreaming of reconquista. Again, to save you the trouble, I’m not claiming all or even the majority of Mexican immigrants see things that way – but I’m not discounting the minority as numerically equivalent to a few kooks, else La Raza would not exist and Mexican flags would not be flying over some American schools.

  5. Stassa
    August 4, 2009    

    But waving an Albanian flag and calling yourself an Albanian doesn’t make you Greek anymore than waving a Greek flag and calling yourself Greek makes you Greek. You can’t take flag-waving extremists seriously, whatever they say or do. And don’t forget all the trouble caused by the immigrant students whom some parents didn’t want to carry the flag in the national parades etc.

    You say that sentiment is the only thing that should matter- that’s a noble idea but it’s also wishful thinking. There are numerous people that hate Greece deeply who would fullfilll the most stringent criteria for Greek-ness, in terms of their descent. I’m sure you can find some people with genuine Byzantine-era names among the ranks of antinationalist anarchists.

    And what does that mean? Do you propose to strip the Greek citizenship from Greeks who hate their country? But how do you tell someone’s sentiments? I mean, how do you tell with enough certainty to establish it as a criterion for granting them the Greek nationality, officially and all? Unfortunately there’s no real way to know peoples’ sentiments- and even if you come up with some test people can just fake it.

    So I’m afraid what we need is an actual practical policy that makes sense and does not exclude people who should not be excluded. Now, I wouldn’t want to exclude anyone at all but I guess we can discuss that- however, “sentiment” is not going to help anyone in this case.

  6. PD
    August 4, 2009    

    Manos was born in Greece in 1977, his parents immigrants from Iraq

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    he was not a greek citizen and his ethnicity was not greek simple he is not greek…either ethnically or nationally.

    but he can make a case for being an very assimilateable asylum seeker considering he grew up in Greece.

  7. Travlos Konstantinos
    August 4, 2009    

    I understand your point Oath, but you cannot avoid rotten apples. We both know that there are many natural born-Greeks who are equally traitorous. I am liberal which means that I can’t support a system of naturalization that is based on loyalty tests, which is the only way you could control for the bad apples. But I can support one on education (DD knows my position on that, I have explained it on a previous post). I don’t have numbers, but I bet that they are a minority. Extremists always are.

    Every choice has consequences. I am willing to accept the risk of some bad apples, then to institute loyalty tests (which you are not proposing)

    As for the Aztlan and La Raza, they are a vocal minority, and nutjobs. Chicago has a large Mexican immigrant population but they generally are supportive of the US. You see Mexican flags, but they fly next to US ones in the same place. Cinqo De Mayo (Mexican Independence Day) is celebrated by almost everyone up here. It may be different down in California (not in Texas though, according to a couple of Texan people I know).

  8. Stassa
    August 4, 2009    

    In the meantime:

    From Elefterotipia, by Stratis Balaskas, via tvxs.gr

    12 Somalians abandoned in a dinghy taking water, in the middle of the sea, by the Coast Guard.

    A grave complaint of violence against “illegal” immigrants from officers of the Coast Guard is these days beind dealt with by the ministry of Commercial Navy and Island Policy In The Aegean. In fact, there are reports that the investigation on the matter is conducted by a high-ranking officer who, until last Friday, was in Mytilene, accompanied by the Commodore in charge of the Coast Guard for the district of Northern Greece. The case was formally reported to the leadership of the Coast Guard by the High Comission of the UN for the refugees.

    According to safe information, the incident seems to have taken place on Sunday, 5 July inside Greek territorial waters, at the Korakas promontory, off Sykamia. The Austrian helicopter of Frontex that patrols the area, detected a pneumatic dinghy, with 12 Somalian “illegal” immigrants (among them, one woman). A few minutes later, a Coast Guard vessel arrived at the spot and took the 12 people on board, putting into effect the rescue plan, at which point the Austrian helicopter departed.

    The Charge

    According to what they reported to officials of the detention Center for “illegal refugees” [!!!!] at Pagane of Mytilene, who reported the accusations of the Somalians to the UN High Commission for the refugees, immediately after the coastguards brought the 12 foreigners on board, they tied their hands behind their backs and one of them with a rope around the neck to intimidate him and then hit them, the woman along with the others. Then, they put them back in the dinghy which they pierced, they told them in English “Now you will die”, and they left, abandoning them at sea. The dinghy then started to take in water and sink, “always according”, to the migrants and while they were drowning, a tourist ship with British passengers chanced through the area, that picked them up and delivered them to a rescuer team, which then transported them to the island. The 12 Somalians were taken to the reception Center at Pagane, where they testified what they lived through to a lawyer and a social worker of the Center.

    They, in turn, notified the UN High Comission for the refugees and the organisation then reported the refugees’ complaint to the Coast Guard HQ. The migrants themselves did not wish to lodge an official complaint, while, because the new measure of a six-months detention for any who enter Greece “illegally” are not yet in effect, three days after setting foot on land and immediately after their details were recorded they were set free and left for Athens. They are reported to have said that “the only thing they care for is to leave safely from the island for Athens and from there to disappear abroad”.

    Circles of the Mytilene Coast Guard treat those accusations as ‘another provocation’ and attributed them to an attempt to create a negative impression for the Coast Guard during what is a ‘weird’ time in general for the issue of immigration.

    The case is being investigated towards every direction and developments are expected soon. [yeah, anytime now]

    Note: The original text calls the Somalians “?????????”, that is, “foreigner”, but I find this a stronger term in English than what seems to be the intention of the piece, so I’m using “migrants” instead. On the other hand, the article calls the refugees “illegal” which I have placed in double quotes; notes in square brackets are also mine.

  9. Stassa
    August 4, 2009    

    Extremists always are.

    By definition. And fortunately!

    Konstantine, Loyalty tests? That’s frightening! I don’t think they are going to help anyone anyway they’ll just make the life miserable for mingrants and Greeks alike. I mean, it’s what they had in the Junta, innit? “????????????? ??????? ??????????”?

    On the other hand similar measures seem to be implemented by other European nations (in the UK recently, apparently also in Germany and France for some time)… I really don’t get it… This is the European Union! Not the Soviet one!

    ::shakes head::

    PD, did you see that guy’s fatsa? He’s the spitting image of Kalyvatsis.

    What heartless, cruel person would send Kalyvatsis away?

  10. Samos incident
    August 6, 2009    

    Just saw an article about 600 hunger strike immigrants. Greece won’t be able to keep their abuses quiet for much longer . As we see from NY Times Arricle Greece is getting on USA people radar screen which is hard to do as Americans don’t generally follow international stories unless they are put right in front of them. This Samos 600 incident may be a tipping point. If Europe won’t act maybe USA thru UN sanctions could pressure Greece?

  11. Xenos
    August 6, 2009    

    Link to article mentioned:
    http://ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100002_06/08/2009_109598

    Note this:

    Yesterday’s protest came as sources revealed to Kathimerini that one in three applications made this year to remain here by the families of migrants living legally in Greece will be rejected.

    Sources said that some 9,000 applications had been made but that in some 3,000 cases, the requests would be turned down because the migrant who is the main breadwinner in the family was not earning enough money.

    According to Greek law, for a migrant’s family to be allowed to remain in Greece, the head of the family must declare an income that is 20 percent more than that of an unskilled laborer, which amounts to 10,200 euros per year before taxes.

    Campaigners for migrants’ rights have expressed concern that since, given the current economic conditions, many immigrants’ incomes do not reach this level, their wives and children will be deemed to be living here illegally.

    In fact, this provision of Greek law is clearly discriminatory, requiring that immigrants earn more than Greeks. Quite a bit of Greek immigration law is either on the margins of legality or openly illegal: so much for the “illegality” of the immigrants.

  12. Stassa
    August 6, 2009    

    If Europe won’t act maybe USA thru UN sanctions could pressure Greece?

    Yeah! I’m 1000% behind that! Wait- actually, I have a better idea! Let’s invade the basterds and show them how to properly ruin their country!!!!

  13. Stassa
    August 6, 2009    

    Er… I meant “run”. Run the country!

  14. Stassa
    August 6, 2009    

    ::conspiratorial whisper::

    Pssst. Samos Incident. All that went right over the top of your head, dinnit?

    /whisper

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