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

Being Greek

Via Neoskosmos

Walking on Thessaloniki’s Aristotelous square some leaflets draw my attention.

“You are born Greek, you don’t become Greek” it was the slogan on them, while they were calling people to condemn government’s proposal for granting Greek citizenship to immigrants.

A few meters away, in the wall you could clearly see the graffiti-written message “Solidarity to all immigrants”.

These two completely different approaches give the notion of a nation divided in two parts.

Why?
A recent law proposal of the government that aspires to grant citizenship to second-generation immigrants who are born in Greece raised a storm of arguments.

Although notoriously hospitable people, the Greeks still treat the immigration issues with great wariness.

In an opinion-poll conducted for Mega Channel during January, 64.9 percent of the participants responded positively in the perspective of granting citizenship to immigrants’ children, however 49.6 percent said “No” to the citizenship for migrants who legally reside in the country during the last five years.

Apparently, the absence of a serious, well-structured, immigration policy consists an issue of high concern.

The country is, for almost two decades now, exposed to uncontrollable illegal migration due to its extended borders.

As columnist Stavros Ligeros points out in Kathimerini, “their (immigrants) number is continually increasing and as a result of this they live in ghettos, usually under terrible conditions.”

It becomes clear that the state has to develop an immigration policy in order to safeguard the country’s borders and, secondly, to create a legal framework for the best possible integration of the legal immigrants in Greek society.

Until now, the existence of a frightfully bureaucratic state system has failed to establish the needed circumstances for the gradual integration of these people in the society.

Nonetheless, it is known that non-integration means more ghettos and therefore social exclusion.

Many Greeks who arrived as migrants in Australia, the United States or Germany in the middle of the previous century certainly understand what means to be socially excluded.
On that point, the scare mongering rhetoric of the far-right comes to exploit every available fear.

The country’s present unstable economic condition, the rising unemployment levels and the occasional increase of crime rates usually become a political “tool” in the hands of the extreme, xenophobic, voices.

But, actually, this rhetoric is the curtain of some vicious obsessions.

The true reasons behind xenophobia is neither the fear for jobs nor for security.

Undoubtedly, the most dangerous ideas derive from the so-called “law of blood.”

Given the fact that Greece is one of Europe’s least ethnically diverse countries (almost 96 percent of the inhabitants claim Greek ethnicity and Greek Christian Orthodox religion), the extreme speculators try to create the fear of lost homogeneity.

Surprisingly, they want to ignore that the essence of Greekness doesn’t exist in race, blood or religion but in the so-called Hellenic education and Hellenism’s admirable capacity to assimilate foreign cultures.

“It was the great ancient orator, Isocrates, who praised the intellectual achievements of Athens noting that the title of being Hellene became “a badge of education rather than of common descent.”

Indeed, there are second-generation immigrants who know no other country but Greece.

There are people with African or Asian backgrounds who deserve, more than many indigenous, the title of being Greek.

They pose no threat to Greek identity but, on the contrary, they enrich its Ecumenical essence. Its an issue of legitimacy and, moreover, humanity.

The Greek political leadership has a historical responsibility to deal with this matter with wisdom and open-mind.

Nicolas Mottas, born in Greece, is a doctoral candidate (Ph.D) He holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Westminster and Master of Arts in Diplomacy from the Diplomatic Academy of London. He writes for the Greek newspaper ‘Macedonia’ as a freelance international news editor and for Phantis www.phantis.com

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49 Comments

  1. Hasan
    February 10, 2010    

    Sorry womman but we immigrants don’t care about taking greek indigenity, either as you call it citizenship. We are very proud of being pakistanis, shik, slavs, kurds etc. We want the west to take measures so that we can return back to safe homelands. Who told you that a pakistani, dissendant of Xerxes would ever like being italian or greek or kurd? No. Moreover, you seem to confuse indigenity to citizenship. If you go to live in India, you can become an indian (citizenship) but you can not become a shik (indigenity). Two different things. If any immigrants here will become something else, it will be taking greek nationality and not indiginity – we don’t want to be something else from what we are. Can you understand us? WE ARE PROUD OF WHAT WE ARE AND WE DON’T CHANGE IT.

  2. Pap
    February 11, 2010    

    So, the problem needs a real solution. Corruption and instability outside North America and Europe must be confrontized. And the way is one. Urge countries or provinces to become states of US or EU. And establish there modern law system and give prosperity to people. You who are now watcing these lines, what do you think on this skeptic for your country or province? Would you like it to be a state of US or EU? Do you think it would be better for the people? Do you have any objections? Is it better to live in corruption and poverty?

  3. Pap
    February 11, 2010    

    Gurmit, you loved Oedipus King and among other things saw Oedipus as someone who changed citizenship because he was dissatisfied with his own city- state, well… (my own whisper…God, I have never heared such extreme option in my life!) Oedipus went to another Hellenic town, he didn’t go to Persia, so he didn’t change citizenship. And he wasn’t dissatisfied with his city-state, but the oracle said that he would kill his mother and father, that’s why he left. Anyway, you are doing very well studying Hellenic. There is much more in this language than you can imagine. Do you know what oracles were, and how the Greek language could (CAN) foretell the future?

  4. Hasan
    February 11, 2010    

    Allright DD. Now if you like, answer to me on “We want the west to take measures so that we can return back to safe homelands”. What measures do you propose that should be taken to reach the goal? But you will avoid to answer because you don’t want us be able to go back to our villages. And i wonder why you want to keep us here.

  5. Hasan
    February 11, 2010    

    As for the “woman”, this is the way we speak to women in my village. You don’t like it. I didn’t repeat it. But thus you suppress my culture. Some things are either accept it or leave it, and you probably don’t accept the culture of my village. But you still want me not to go back to my (i hope safe in the future) village. (You never said it, but you also never said the opposite). You want me stay here and suppress myself.
    You know, people are NOT your barbies.

  6. Hasan
    February 11, 2010    

    One last thing, this time about Mottas, the writer of the article. You say “There are people with African or Asian backgrounds who deserve
    the title of being Greek. Is that so mister? Now, what you think, we are lower civilizations and it will be A TITLE to become Greek? Now, who is the racist! A question that needs no answer.

  7. February 11, 2010    

    @Hasan
    Firstly, please don’t refer to people as “woman”. It’s disrespectful and more than a little condescending. I am “DD” or “deviousdiva” or even “the diva”.

    How you identify yourself is not the issue here. No-one is saying that you shouldn’t be proud of your heritage.

    I understand that you are saying that many people wish to return to their homeland and do not wish to be Greek citizens. Again, this is not about that.

    This is about the right to be or become a Greek citizen and is especially pertinent to those who were born here. In the States and in Australia, people often use hyphens to descibe themselves (Greek-American, Afro-American etc). Hyphens are not so widely in Europe although I have come across examples.

    The issue here is the right to be a Greek citizen and the right to identify as Greek (with or without a hyphen). It’s not about denying or rejecting your heritage.

    I can understand where you are coming from. Can you understand my point of view and the point of view of thousands of people who have been denied the right of citizenship?

  8. February 11, 2010    

    I think the confusing issue for a lot of people is Hellenism versus being Greek. Like being English and being British are two totally different things. I have a British passport, but I am by no stretch of the imagination English.

    Likewise, having Hellenic nationality and being Greek are two different things.

    Hassan, you need to stop accussing people and take care of your own problems. You may not want Hellenic nationality but there are a lot immigrants in Greece who would like their lives and their children’s lives to be a lot easier. There is no need to disrespect anyone. Your culture is not so weak that it would get wiped out by having a Hellenic passport. At the same time we must respect Greece as our host country and respect the debate. No one is trying to wipe you our or turn you Greek, that’s simply impossible. But no one will respect your views if you express them like this. I don’t know where you are from, but I’ll have a shot and say ghusa thora kam kijiye.

  9. Alexandros
    February 11, 2010    

    Just read the article and the comments. Something tells me that “Hasan” is not a muslim immigrant but a Greek nationalist provocateur of Laos or Hrysi Avgi. Think about it. Only a person who wants to create hostility between Greeks and immigrants would talk like this. Sorry “Hasan”, but you are either a fanatic muslim or a Greek ultranationalist. Your comments are nonsense as long as nobody forces you to become a Greek. The citizenship of the Hellenic Republic is offered to those who are BORN in Greece, to those who WANT it, who have become part of the Society and who respect the country. I’m pretty sure you understand this…

  10. February 11, 2010    

    But you will avoid to answer because you don’t want us be able to go back to our villages. And i wonder why you want to keep us here.

    I am surprised by your response here (actually quite shocked!). What possible reason would I have for keeping people here in Greece against their will? I support people going, living, moving to wherever they want.

    If you are stuck in Greece because of papers or because you cannot return, I completely support your goal.

    But don’t accuse me of keeping you here. If you are stuck because of papers, please let me know…
    sorry, just read your last responses and I am probably being duped. I was trying to be sympathetic but you are trying to make fun of me.

    If you have any real concerns for human rights, please let me know.

    In the meantime…

    There are people with African or Asian backgrounds who deserve, more than many indigenous, the title of being Greek.

    You left out a crucial part of the sentence to suit your agenda?!

    more than many indigenous

    This totally changes what you are trying to imply. Sorry, no-one here is trying to disrespect or belittle any cultures.

  11. Travlos Konstantinos
    February 11, 2010    

    So Hasan (which by the way you can’t be a descendant of Xerxes because Xerxes did not rule Pakistan, but Persia and only half of Pakistan was ever a part of the Achamenid Empire and only for a very small period) what is keeping you here. As we say in Greek ? ????? ????? ??????? ??? ?? ?????? ??????, go leave, go back to your country. No one is stopping you, off you go. Nobody says that people who do not want to stay in Greece or be Greek should be Greek. You don’t want to. No problemo. You know the way back. Or are you one of those poor souls that got swindled and are know too ashamed to go back to your home town or village? (like the ones who commit suicides in the UAE once they come to the realization they will never make up the money they were promised by the poeple who brought them there)

    If it’s number 1) then please do leave, but refrain from presenting yourself as a spokesperson for half a million immigrants.

    If it’s 2) tough luck but why should we pay money for your gullibility? If you want help for a ticket back home ask one of the charitable organizations or go to the church, or the UN or an NGO. The state has no responsibility to help those that do not want to stay in Greece.

    And chauvinism is not culture, it is stupidity.

  12. Joe Black
    February 11, 2010    

    Why is everyone giving Hasan such a hard time? There’s nothing wrong in being proud of your heritage and wanting to keep your identity and culture. He wants to work in a foreign country and then return home, what’s wrong with that? Or are the attacks on Hasan just another manifestation of the virulent Islamophobia sweeping through Europe and the West in general? I thought this was a human rights blog and people would be much more accomodating of people of different cultures and manners of expression….getting wound up for being called a “woman” is slightly OTT and attention-seeking, imo.

  13. Hasan
    February 11, 2010    

    Don’t be so egoists.
    I’m talking about me and i am no spokesman of others.
    I’m descendant of Xerxes in the same way you are of Leonidas.
    I’ll stay here to work, and i’ll go back to my village because i love my village. And i don’t want to turn to anything else.
    I guess we can be friends now.

  14. Pap
    February 11, 2010    

    Ha! We are eligible to be spokespersons of others while our friend is not!

  15. Travlos Konstantinos
    February 11, 2010    

    Hasan on your previous post you were quite clear you want to go home and would go so if someone gave you money. Which is cool. But this means that this whole debate is not relevant with you.For every immigrant like you, there is one that wants to make their life here. Not wanting to do so is not a bad thing. They are Greeks that were or are in the US and do not want to be American citizens. They have that right but they also pay the consequences, among them one being that they are not considered relevant for debates about immigration and American citizenship.

    You do not want to be greek. Great

    You do not want to stay in Greece. Also Great

    You want to go home. Even great

    Nothing in the proposed law, either by PASOK or ND forces you to not do any of these. You can just refuse a Greek citizenship if it is offered to you.

    The thing is you don’t want to become a Greek citizen, excellent. Others may want them. The debate is whether they should have a choice or not. The far right wing doesn’t want to give that choice. Once you have the choice you can choose as you want. After that we can debate on whether those who choose to stay in Greece and become Greek citizens should also become Greeks in spirit or not. A debate relevant for only those immigrants who decide to become Greek citizens.

    And no I am not a descendant of Leonidas. I am not from Sparta or Lakonia, or Monebasia or Mystras (were the ancient population of sparta ran to, when the Peloponnese was invaded by the Slavas). I am closer to being a descendant of the Amorian dynasty of the Eastern Roman Empire.

    As for my tone, please forgive it, but this site has been plagued by provocateurs who change their identities and role play other human beings. You will understand, I hope, that with such cowards around, one has no choice but to be very guarded.

    Human rights doesn’t mean accommodating to cultures. There were Hindi traditions of burning the widow with the dead husband, and African traditions of female genital mutilation. These are parts of their cultures but they are breaches of the human rights to life, and wholeness of body. Those who think that human rights means accommodation of every cultural practice are wrong and don’t really understand the point. While there is a human right to cultural identity, this is superseded by such human rights as life, freedom etc.

  16. Travlos Konstantinos
    February 12, 2010    

    Also Hasan, “we” is not “I” and means different things. So be careful with the writing if you don’t want slow-minded types like me to get the wrong impression.

  17. Gurmit
    February 12, 2010    

    Hello Pap,

    I think I better read Oedipus again (I read it over ten years ago and I don’t think I was the only one in the class with that citizenship interpretation). Forgive my ignorance, but I have always thought the city states were like separate countries. In Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida” Troy is just a city with even the city gates mentioned? Yet it was a country was it not? (Or am I just being ignorant again? Come to Canada or America if you want to see all sorts of ignorance. I kid you not.). In my Shakespeare class, I know someone, maybe even the prof, pointed out it was no bigger than Kamloops, a small city in British Columbia. A book I’ve been reading for a while now (I only read it when there is nothing else to read when I am eating or in the bathroom because it isn’t that great) called “The Courtesan’s Daughter” is set in ancient Athens. It speaks of allowing foreigners to become citizens if they fight for the city. It also refers to Macedonia and a different currency named after a Philip. I am not saying that this is proof that city states were separate nations, but I have had such impressions.

    Are oracles not the priestesses (priests too?) who received communication from the gods for other mortals? When I came to Greece as a teenager, I believe I went to a place , Delphi, where there had been an oracle.

    No Pap, I do not know how Greek could or can tell the future. I would love to know more about this though. What I do know is that no matter why I may have started learning Greek, I soon knew no other reason than the fact that the language is reason enough on its own. I’ve been getting opposition for learning it from my family. My brother who is very non-interfering and open minded usually, suggested I learn Spanish instead as it is spoken by many more people and can be lucrative as there are people from Mexico applying as refugees in Canada due to the drug business there. My mother kept telling me to learn Chinese instead as China is where a lot of business is (there are non-Chinese people in Canada who put their children in Chinese immersion schools because of the business potential). Frankly, it is none of their business, and I just told my mother off a few nights ago.

    You know Pap, an American woman named Megan Whalen Turner wrote some children’s books sort of set in Greece that are quite a big hit in the English speaking world. A lot of adults love them too and have this online community called Sounis to appreciate them. I would love to hear what a Greek person thinks of these books. One of them has won a distinguished medal (though the silver not the gold), another has been voted by an important group of librarians as having one of the best love stories of the year, and the third should get a medal (probably will; I can tell a good book when I read it). The fourth will be out soon. They are called “The Thief[more like agent for national security]”, “The Queen of Attolia”, “The King of Attolia” and the one coming out is “The Conspiracy of Kings.” Now I don’t think they are the best stories I have ever read (“The Secret Agent,” by Joseph Conrad, and “Krabat” by Pressleur are probably among my favourites), but they certainly turned me inside out for a while.

    Thank you for your comments. I appreciated them.

    Gurmit

  18. Konstantinos Travlos
    February 12, 2010    

    Greek city states were states in the sense that they were organized political communities that claimed to be sovereign and have the monopoly of coercive violence (although more porous then that of today). Each Greek city was fiercely independent of others. All Greeks(Hellenes) though considered themselves to be members of more expansive tribes (Doreies, Iones, Achaioi) and then the genos of Hellenes. Genos, Fyli and Nation are diffrent terms in proper Greek, even if modern Greeks don’t get it due to degeneration of the terms. Genos donates a membership in an imagined community broader then fyli and nation. A nationalist friend of mine that studies greek philosophy and theology told me that philosophically all the different tribes and people of the Eastern Roman Empire were members of the same orhtodox helleno-roman genos. The church considers all orthodox people to be members of the same genos. Fyli is tied by blood relations. You can never become a member of a fyli, you are born into it. Nation is in between, partly an imagined community, partly a blood tie. In reality though since very few people can trace their bloodline back enough, all modern nations tend to be closer to genos then fyli.

    Thus an Ancient Greek first and foremost had loyalty to his fyli(tribe) i.e the people with whom he had blood relations, then to his city i.e the people who he was in community with (whether they share blood or not), and then to the Hellenic genos, with which he only shared mythological ties of relation, which sometimes acted as a reasons for union against external enemies, but never really as a political unity between Greeks. Ancient Greece when united was united by force, not by free will.

    But the city-state was his/her world, and Greeks not living in such a manner(such a Thessalians and Macedonians who lived in Kingdoms or proto-feudal social systems) were considered primitive.

    Oracles were specialist sacred people who were supposed to be able to communicate with gods directly. There were some in ancient Greece and some other out of Greece that greeks would consult (some Brahamn priests were considered oracles by Indo-Greeks and Greco-Bactrians). Oracles were actually consulted by non-Greeks as well.

    But any Greek acting as a priest(a civil-religious posting in most city states) could attempt to read the future or omens in small sacrifices (Characteristically Pausanias refused to order the Spartans to attack at Platea until his reading of the sacrificed roosters entrails told him the omens were good.)

    I know the books you are talking about. While good books they are more in the fantasy genre then the historical fiction one. Pressfields series of books are pretty good IMHO.

    You might want to look up and find the works of Romanides, Giannaras, Kastoriadis. Heavy philosophy abut they talk about these things.

  19. Gurmit
    February 12, 2010    

    Thanks for the information, Konstantinos Travlos. I know Turner’s works are based on the fantasy genre but I still wouldn’t mind hearing what Greek people who like literature think about some of the themes, symbols, etc. in them. I have some other projects going on right now that I want to finish, but I will write down the names you have given me.

    Gurmit

  20. Gurmit
    February 12, 2010    

    Oops, I meant to say Greek people who like to discuss literature themes.

    And Hasan, it was really rude of you to refer to D.D. as “Woman.” That is just garbage to pretend it is a part of your culture. Isn’t it a part of your culture to use the term Bibi, a very respectful term for women, when addressing them? I’ve had neighbours and friends of Pakistani origins who would just say you were being awful. I used to rent a room in the home of a lady whose boyfriend of French-Canadian origins used to yell out “Woman” to her when really being obnoxious. She was always too drunk to notice anything during his visits, but he used to really annoy her daughters and me by all his disrespect for her and everybody else including himself. It is not a trait of your village to refer to women so rudely but the trait of many men all over the world who choose to be rude to women. I’m not saying you are like this guy in the intoxication department or any of his numerous other nasty habits, of course.

    Also, who do you mean by Shiks, Sikhs? If you do, I just want to point out something. Some Sikhs in a Greek town decided to build a Sikhtemple a couple of years ago. Local Greek people actually donated 15% of the money they needed to purchase the land and the owner of the land also gave them a much cheaper price once he found out why they wanted to buy the land. That doesn’t seem to me like Greek people in general just want to suppress other people’s heritage or identity. Of course some might, but that is true of people in all countries. Also why do you only seem to want to rely on the west to make unsafe countries not in the west unsafe? Not every problem in the rest of the world is the west’s fault. It is also time to get over whining and bitching about the colonialism (not that I have noticed you doing that).How many years can one keep on blaming the past for, fifty, a hundred, 200? I think one of the biggest problems in the world is the fact that the population in the developing nations is growing too fast. Other than China, I don’t see the countries really doing anything about it. In Canada, of course we have a different sort of problem. By 2020, many millions of people are going to die of old age and the population would have dwindled to half. However, our government is very wise and has been planning policies to increase immigration and we do have people have almost half a million children each year. It is never good to lose so much of your population that there are too few people to pay for things like pensions and other benefits, and the economy just shrinks too.

    Have a good day. Hope I wasn’t too mean.

    Gurmit

  21. Joe Black
    February 12, 2010    

    It is also time to get over whining and bitching about the colonialism (not that I have noticed you doing that).How many years can one keep on blaming the past for, fifty, a hundred, 200?

    As long as America and Britain invade and plunder other countries, we can blame them for causing the people in those countries to want to flee and become refugees. There were hardly any Afghan or Iraqi refugees until Uncle Sam and Poodle Britian decided to invade their country..yes, our governments in the West are to blame for alot of the problems.

  22. gurmit
    February 13, 2010    

    Joe, I agree with what you are saying about American foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Iraq (though we also need to remember that the U.S.S.R. traipsing into Afghanistan caused a lot of problems there as well). I remember reading about some Americans actually having bumper stickers that said,”Nuke their ass and take the gas.” People can’t show their plundering attitude any more blatantly than that. I just hope Iran won’t be invaded too. The rhetoric against it is always there.

    I was actually referring to the colonialism that was for the most part eradicated through WWII. There is an attitude among some people that those nations that were colonized by Britain or whoever in the era before WWII were just set back so much that they it is virtually impossible for them to recover. This attitude is not helpful. Also, the population growth has not been helpful as far as poverty goes. Some of the problems do not to be tackled by these countries themselves.

  23. Joe Black
    February 13, 2010    

    I was actually referring to the colonialism that was for the most part eradicated through WWII.

    Colonialism is happening NOW.

    It doesn’t always happen in the “crash, bang, wallop” style we’re seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan. It happens clandestinely by American Super-Corporations who are plundering poor countries’ riches with the full approval and the connivance of the US government. Look at how many US politicians have become super-rich after Operation “Iraqi Freedom” for example…..

    Take Haiti as a recent example. The Haitians have suffered a major catastrophe but the americans will not allow their twice-elected President (Father Aristide) to return to his country to lead his people out of the earthquake tragedy because he refused to pander to American demands. The Americans prefer to keep him away from his people and send US troops into Haiti to prevent poor and sick Haitians from getting onto boats and going to America. This is the fourth time that the US has invaded Haiti under the guise of “providing help”. Colonialism often happens under the guise of “providing help” or “spreading freedom and democracy” and it always hides much more sinister motives.

    There is an attitude among some people that those nations that were colonized by Britain or whoever in the era before WWII were just set back so much that they it is virtually impossible for them to recover.

    If the West (especially America) drops third world debt and kept their noses out of other countries’ politics then maybe these countries can prosper (like India and China has). But as long as America has it’s blooded hands on countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and vast swathes of Africa and South America then there will continue to be misery, poverty and death for these countries.

    FYI, the “Scramble for Africa” is not a thing of the past, Africa’s struggle against colonialism is ongoing…

  24. Joe Black
    February 13, 2010    

    Absolutely AMAZING video:

  25. Gurmit
    February 13, 2010    

    Howdy Joe,

    I totally agree with you that colonialism is still alive and well today and usually not the in your face kind of colonialism we see in Iraq and Afghanistan but usually practiced through subtle means and often in the guise of providing help to poorer countries. I never meant to suggest that colonialism does not exist anymore. It is true, however, that the older world powers, like Britain, did lose most of their colonies due to WWII breaking their economic backbone.

    I still think, Joe, that some people in some places have to stop blaming British colonialism for some things and move on. I will limit it to that. Thank you for making me see it should not have been a sweeping comment.

    I hope all of you guys enjoy the Olympics. They are being hosted in my former hometown of fifteen years. Our Prime Minister certainly has ample time to be there. This is the third time he has shut parliament down, for two months this time, to evade issues he doesn’t want to deal with by muffling the opposition parties.

    Gurmit

    Gurmit

  26. Gurmit
    February 16, 2010    

    Yei Sas Pap,

    Ti Yinesal;

    I am so excited because I finished the first unit of my online Greek course. There are 12 units and you can’t go onto the next one until you submit the assignments for the previous one. The course is called the Odysseus Project and is through the collaboration of Simon Fraser University and the Greek-Canadian people in British Columbia. I was shocked that I can do it for free, but people who want university credits do have to pay.

    My next goal is to be able to send Greek characters. I can write them in my word processing programs but not send them. It is nice to come across someone like you who thinks so highly of the Greek language even though our philosophies about languages probably differ quite a bit (I get the sense that maybe you think it is a divine language since you mentioned the oracles, am I right or wrong?) I used to think I know so little French but not anymore because I know so much less Greek (French is our second official language in Canada and I took it for seven years in school). I don’t care how slowly I learn Greek just as long as I learn it well.

    Hereite,

    Gurmit

  27. PD
    February 16, 2010    

    Being Greek is an ethnic thing.

    Citizenship is not a right but a privelege.
    It is not something owed to illegal immigrants and/or their children.

  28. Xenos
    February 16, 2010    

    Equally, being European is something you have as a privilege. It is not something owed to illegal states and their children.

  29. Cinzano
    February 17, 2010    

    Equally, being European is something you have as a privilege.

    “Being European” is something that xenophobic Englishmen such as Xenos can never experience, so i don’t know why he feels qualified to talk about it. He talks about it from a position of envy.
    Most Brits such as Xenos hate Europe and everything it stands for, they wish they could be as culturally sophisticated as Greeks but he can’t stand the fact that Greek culture is at the heart of Modern Europe and Greeks are part of a culture that represents European culture. On the other hand, British culture is represented by boozed-up teenagers on street corners and preganant pre-teens and gangs and knives etc… a world away from the sophistication of European culture.

    Brits such as Xenos are nothing more than jealous Euro-sceptics who just wish their boozed-up culture could borrow a little from the European cultural sophistication which the Greeks show in abundance. Hence his jealous and hate-filled diatribes. Britain has a long way to go to be welcomed into the fold of European culture. In fact, i think it’s too late for xenophobic Brits to change their ways, they are too set in their racist ways…that’s why they continually criticise a culture they can never attain.

  30. PD
    February 17, 2010    

    Xenos says:
    February 16, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Equally, being European is something you have as a privilege. It is not something owed to illegal states and their children.
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    The EU does not own the geographic definition of Europe.
    and By the way…MOST EU countries do not want any more immigration and in fact want much of it to go away.

    Illegal according to whom.? to some fat Bankers in Brussels or Frankfurt.

    Illegal compared to whom. You mean like for example..lets just use the two states where your cultural/ethnic kin – heritage dominate.

    Israel and Britain. (you mentioned in the past you were a British and part Jewish)

    I do not even think I have to sit here and type about the illegalities and immoralities of those two.

    They are well known to all.

    I guess the only way Greece would be legal in your eyes is if we let everyone in gave them automatic citizenship.

    The Greek people never asked for this MASS immigration and neither does it have the kind of economy to absorb them or produce the number of good / decent jobs that would justify having them here.

    ****

    And what has European Union membership done for Greece…net effect is destroy our economy, borders and has not sided with us against Turkey in our disputes with them…nothing…zero

  31. Xenos
    February 18, 2010    

    “Cinzano”, your continuous attacks using different names are all written in the same style of English, so we all know who you really are. Try increasing your medication levels, to see if that helps you.

    And PD: your country owns the distinction of being the only EU country that has formally been found guilty of systematic fraud by the European Court of Justice, involving the Agric. Ministry and Greek farmers stealing massive amounts from the Common Agricultural Policy fund. That was in the 1980s, and the corrupt state has excelled itself in more recent times. Do you really think that the rest of Europe is so stupid that people don’t know what is going on?

  32. Cinzano
    February 18, 2010    

    Greek farmers stealing massive amounts from the Common Agricultural Policy fund.

    What’s new?:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/oct/16/4

    That was in the 1980s, and the corrupt state has excelled itself in more recent times.

    Politicians doing what they do best:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/6589686/Britain-slips-to-new-low-in-ranking-of-most-corrupt-countries-after-MPs-expenses-scandal.html

  33. Xenos
    February 18, 2010    

    You are an idiot, who cannot tell the difference between a politician and a civil servant, or individual morality problems and organised fraud by a ministry. I cannot be bothered even to read the links, since I know already what stupidities you always link to.

  34. Maximillian Arturo
    February 19, 2010    

    Travlos, what do you think of the new tax system here in Greece?

    http://livingingreece.gr/2010/02/12/taxes-greece/

  35. Cinzano
    February 19, 2010    

    Xenos,

    I think you clicked the links. That’s why you’re so angry :)

    You never liked being exposed as a hypocritical bufoon, with evidence to prove it.

    You’ve been allowed far too much leeway on this blog to bang on about “third world” Southern Europeans and “corrupt Greek culture” on this blog and i’m here to counter-balance your derogatory comments about the wonderful southern European people……

    As for your ‘fobbing off’ of UK politicians scandals as merely “individual morality problems”, it doesn’t look very ‘indivudual’ to me, more like collective corruption sweeping through the British Parliament…

    “What makes the scandal surrounding MPs’ expenses so extraordinary is that it resulted from politicians acting collectively to deceive the public. It was that collective betrayal by elected representatives which explains the depth of public anger.”
    http://www.nicholasjones.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=5

    You must be really hurting right now…time to go back into your hole for your self-imposed hiatus again, lol….

  36. Xenos
    February 19, 2010    

    It’s not really new: just the old system with some added malakies. But at a time when Greece needs innovation in this area, it is a scandal indeed that it is not new…

  37. Cinzano
    February 19, 2010    

    “Cretin”, “stupid” and “idiot”. That’s three times you’ve attacked me personally on this thread. You must be reeeeeeeaallly angry :)
    Try not to lose your self-control, try to attack the argument, not the person.

    I wonder whatever happened to DD’s comment policy of “Right, that’s it, I’m gonna ban people who attack others from now on”….or something along those lines…it doesn’t seem to apply to those who spout anti-Greek and anti-Southern European hate speech on this blog…

  38. Cinzano
    February 19, 2010    

    He didn’t ask you :)

  39. PD
    February 19, 2010    

    Greece is far more corrupt than the UK and that is the end of the story.

    I of course disagree but nonetheless that begs the question:
    “Doesn’t British Airways have a flight from Athens to London?”

  40. PD
    February 19, 2010    

    In fact they have 3 tomorrow all reasonably priced::

    Price

    Depart

    Arrive

    From

    To

    Flight
    Operating airline

    Class
    of travel

    €296

    09:00 20 Feb

    10:55 20 Feb

    Athens

    Heathrow (London)

    BA0631British Airways

    Euro Traveller

    €367

    15:00 20 Feb

    16:50 20 Feb

    Athens

    Heathrow (London)

    BA0641British Airways

    Euro Traveller

    €296

    19:05 20 Feb

    20:55 20 Feb

    Athens

    Heathrow (London)

    BA0633British Airways

    Euro Traveller

  41. Xenos
    February 19, 2010    

    PD: if you think that my leaving Greece would benefit it, you are sadly mistaken. In fact, I am part of the tiny non-corrupt minority here. I realise that this is the usual Greek response to intelligent criticism — to attack the person making it, rather than to accept the reality. Sad, because it’s about time Greeks came to terms with the reality, of their own corrupt system, and how so many useless people are placed into the top and even middle ranking and lowest jobs. It’s your country not mine: deal with it.

  42. Xenos
    February 19, 2010    

    I hardly think that I need lessons in logical argument from you. Who do you think you are? LOL

  43. PD
    February 20, 2010    

    My contention is that the UK and other EU countries are just as corrupt and in ways more corrupt than Greece so stop making it like Greece is some how special in this regard.

    Besides when you say “In fact, I am part of the tiny non-corrupt minority here.”

    …is it possible you might be biased in this observation 😉

  44. PD
    February 20, 2010    

    I agree Greece is corrupt…but dont have blinders about your own homeland (UK). and stop saying all Greeks are corrupt.

    All people are “sinners” and have good and bad.

  45. Cinzano
    February 20, 2010    

    PD,

    Unfortunately, some people think that Southern Europeans such as Italians and Greeks are somehow genetically pre-disposed to being corrupt. In other words, people such as Xenos believe that Greeks are more prone to being corrupt by nature of their race/ethnicity/nationality. There can be no better example of racism and prejudice than that. It’s unnacceptable and offensive hate speech which should be challenged and eradicated (especially in a human rights blog).

    Where is DD? Surely she can’t approve of this virulent racism and ethnic prejudice being spouted on her blog?

    (Not to mention the personal attacks).

    If DD doesn’t clamp down on this sort thing then i’m afraid that bigots will continue to use her blog as a vehicle for anti-Greek/anti-Southern European racism and hate speech. It’s been happening for years on this blog by the usual suspects. I wonder why the rules don’t apply to certain individuals?

  46. Cinzano
    February 22, 2010    

    I am not Cinzano, but do appreciate him taking up the cause and exposing the Idiot for being just that. Keep up the good work!

    Thank you Homer. There’s no need to thank me though, it’s fun to expose my fellow ex-pats for the racist little Englanders that they are.

    On a serious note, I cringe when people like Xenos talk about “corrupt Greeks/Portuguese/Italians” and about the “cultural shortcomings of a group of people”. To me, this sounds like more obvious racists and bigots who talk about “rubbish-leaving, dirty gypsies”, “aggressive, crime-prone blacks”, “lazy Mexicans” or “tight Jews”. The racists talk as if it’s part of a groups’ “way of life” to be lazy, dirty, anti-semitic, tight etc.. . I don’t believe that people like Xenos have views which are very different to any knuckledragging racist. Just because xenos dresses up his racism with pseudo “science” and “academic” mumbo jumbo doesn’t make it any more acceptabvle than the usual racist hate speech.
    I thought DD had enough of it but apparantly not. She may be away though…The offensive stereotypes being spouted on this blog since she’s disappeared is bad enough but when you take the personal attacks into consideration as well, i don’t know how she won’t stick to her word and start banning people….

    I mean, just look at the last post on this thread:

    Third: fuck you! If you think that you can get away with calling me an idiot simply because I don’t conform to your Greek nationalistic crap, bugger off.

    And that’s the tip of the iceberg, add the “cretin”, “idiot”, “mental patient” and other personal attacks in this thread to the long list of Xenos’s outbursts over the years and i can’t see how DD can allow such violations of her comment policy to go unpunished. We’ll see how she handles it. I hope she doesn’t turn a blind eye to it again, which would leave her open to accusations of double standards (she’s banned others for doing the exact same thing as Xenos is doing i.e. offensive stereotyping and personal attacks but they happened to be Greek nationalists).
    Unfortunately, racism and bigotry flourishes when people turn a blind eye to it (i have seen this with my own eyes at school where teachers in the UK wouldn’t get involved to protect a memeber of a minority group). As the title of this blog says: “The only thing necessary for the persistance of evil is for enough good people to do nothing”….I hope she does something…

  47. February 22, 2010    

    Having serious problems with my internet connection. Recently moved to Forthnet and it’s not going well. I can’t access my dashboard at the moment… have patience. I’m trying to.

  48. Cinzano
    February 22, 2010    

    Having serious problems with my internet connection.

    I knew there must’ve been be a good reason for your silence on the flagrant disregard of your comment policy. I’m sure you’ll rectify the situation when you’re able to.

    mentally deranged people

    Another personal attack. This is getting out of hand.

    I will continue to insult them as the vermin they are.

    Then you will continue to fall foul of DD’s comment policy. Out of curiousity, why do you insult people? Are your arguments not strong enough on their own?

  49. Konstnatinos Travlos
    February 25, 2010    

    “Travlos, what do you think of the new tax system here in Greece?

    http://livingingreece.gr/2010/02/12/taxes-greece/

    Hi sorry for the late reply but work and school are drowning me.

    It’s really just a stopgag. The very fact that the state needs to turn taxpayers into auditers shows that there is serious problem of state-people trust realtions. Then again the history of the Greek state is full of that problem.

    Tax evasion is a reality everywhere (in the US as well) but coutnries differ in how much evasion is ingrained as an okay think to do in the national culture and how much it is a crime. In Greece if you can avoid paying some taxes it is consdered cool. This measures won’t stop tax evasion. Nothing will. The state needs to find alternative sources of income that do not relay on income taxes so much.

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