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

Citizenship vote

Via Kathimerini

A bill granting second-generation immigrants the right to obtain Greek citizenship and vote in elections was voted through Parliament in principle yesterday. PASOK and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) voted in favor of the draft law. New Democracy and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) voted against. The Communist Party (KKE) said its MPs would cast their ballot when the bill is voted on article by article. LAOS Deputy Adonis Georgiadis claimed that his party has collected 400,000 signatures on a petition demanding that a referendum be held on the citizenship issues. He accused the government’s aim of integrating immigrants into Greek society was “a fairy tale on a Cinderella scale.”

32 Comments

  1. Jodeci
    March 3, 2010    

    That’s fanatastic news.

    Well done to the Greek Parliament.

  2. PD
    March 4, 2010    

    thats terrible news now anyone who simply is born in Greece can get citizenship. this will create an incentive for people to sneak in and get citizenship in an eu state. this would be the death of a majority Greek Greece to be replaced by Pakistani-Black-Chinese-Afghani-Albanian-etc non Greek Greece.

  3. gurmit
    March 5, 2010    

    PD, you sound really worried. If people who become Greek citizens through the new laws don’t care about Greece, they will probably go to other countries in the EU (which will probably cause the EU to help you secure your borders more tightly and allow less people to “sneak in” as you said). Those that do care about Greece will be good for Greece. They will even be willing to die for her and honour her in other ways. Most of your immigrants, well over half, are from Albania aren’t they? I have heard that not too long ago, Greece absorbed a large ethnically Albanian population who spoke Arvanite (or something spelled close to that) but they had the same religion as most Greek people. I have also heard that Greece uses a carrot and stick approach towards Albanian immigrants to exert control over Albania. Even though you mention Chinese people, there aren’t that many Chinese immigrants in your country, are there? Under ten thousand or something? If I know anything about countries and governments, the bureaucracy will only get worse and worse for immigrants and curb actual citizenship numbers in the future. In Canada, the number of refugee cases from Hungary have really grown from 2007 (from 24 or twenty something total that year to hundreds a month now). Well, our government wants to start visas for people coming from Hungary to limit the numbers of people coming from there and applying for refugee status. Our immigration minister, an uncouth wretch in my opinion, called Hungary a problem (not too long ago, a British M.P. was banned from entering Canada and his office said they didn’t want the M.P. “peeing on our carpet” ) which I think is so inappropriate(you can’t just call some country at peace with you a problem). I feel for people who are born in Greece and love Greece and want to be citizens. I also can understand some of your concerns, especially since Greece has such a small population. You can’t just let the whole world into Greece or what is even the point of there being separate nations in the first place. I guess the solution lies in not letting illegal immigrants come but integrating those who are already there. If the Soviet Union had not broken down, you wouldn’t be getting even half your illegal immigration problems I guess.I wonder what would have happened if the Soviet Union had not formed in the first place as a communist regime. The U.S. probably wouldn’t have pumped billions and billions of dollars into Europe after WWII.

    Yeia Sas

  4. gurmit
    March 5, 2010    

    (continued from above). It (the U.S.) would probably have gone after the oil producing places much earlier too. Immigration effects to your country??? Anyway, who knows. One thing I do know, Greek people will survive no matter what happens. They always have.

  5. PD
    March 5, 2010    

    I feel for people who are born in Greece and love Greece and want to be citizens. I also can understand some of your concerns, especially since Greece has such a small population.

    Thats my point..if we had an immigrant population/foregin born non-Greek population of 1% to 3% nobody would care that much..but now its reached the point that if you tally up the numbers of illegal and legals we are talking minimum 1,300,000 and more likely closer to 2,000,000. Thats in a country of 11,000,000 people with a low birth rate.

    Sorry , while I do view all tribes of humans as equally human etc..I also know we are part of nature and I know human nature and mass migration of various peoples into especially a small country with not such a big economy is just asking from problems.

    Would Korea welcome millions of Indians, Pakistanis, Germans, Turks, Greeks, Albanians, Kenyans, Ehtiopians, Eritreans, to the point that in 20 years you took an ethnically based country and reduced their majority from 98% to 80% and in time if you let it go on in another 20 to30 years your under ago 15 population would be majority non-Korean..

    WOuld ISrael let that happen to her demographics?
    Your going to say many Western countries have let that happen,….yes but many many people do not like it.
    Now that immigration has skyrocketed the last couple of years in the UK you are seeing the rise of the BNP.

    I am not against having some international communities in different countries. But its clear the Greek people do not want any more immigration and want the ones who came in most recently to go.

    As far as the children…

    If the child was born in Greece that should not be enough for anything. thats called automatic birth right citizenship.
    From what I understand technically thats not whats on the table.
    But nonetheless, it could be a signal to others that if they sneek in have a kid they have the easy road to citizenship in an EU state.

    This is not a good idea. If both parents were legal residents and the child was raised in Greece I could see implementing a path for citizenship but not a 100% guarantee.

    We are not Canada, Australia or USA or even Germany.. Our population is small, our economy is small, our birth rate is low….

    While I feel for these people I feel more for my people..I do not want us becoming a minority in Greece! I know that wont happen just by granting citizenship to these 200,000 or so kids..but if such a law would be implemented it would have to be a program where we simultaneously get tough on any new immigration and say no more new immigration and not even asylum seekers…we need to say to the rest of the world we reached our limit. and anyone who is settled here legally who gets pregnant should be asked to leave within two years of their kid being born.

    I want and most Greeks want Greece to remain a majority ethnically Greek Greece.

    That does not mean I think there is no place for some immigrants that are already here. There are those who as you say love Greece and adapted to the culture are integrated to the economy..but there has to be a limit. We are already past it. Enough is enough.

    we did not fight to become free from Turkish rule to be a colony of the world and certainly not to be another Muslim country.

    Does it not seem odd to you that when the decolonization process took place it was based on the right of the NATIVE people to self-determination. Why is a small country like Greece (who had no”colonial guilt”..no colonies) being asked to take waves of people in?

    You might say there are plenty of Greeks in Australia, USA etc.
    then by that reasoning if we owe anything it would be to America or Australia not to Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Palestine, etc. But that’s not even the samething..because for the most part those countries are mostly European ethnically based and Christian in culture. ANd even in those countries there is a backlash against immigration..so what do you want from small poor Greece? its a rhetorical question.

  6. The Verve
    March 5, 2010    

    One must also consider that it’s not only Greeks that suffer from mass illegal immigration but others who immigrated before. Last year when I visited Greece I was chatting to my brother in-law’s Albanian friend. He was living in Greece since the early 90’s, worked in construction and eventually got citizenship. He was never short of work during the 90’s, he made enough to provide for himself and his family back home in Albania.

    However things have changed, over the past 5 years he says that it’s impossible to find steady work in construction. He has gone for months without work and the problem is that contractors are now taking in more labourers from the pool of illegal immigrants entering the country. No doubt because they offer their services for even less than the Albanians. Now that Greece has no choice but to do some extensive belt-tightening expect even these guys to suffer job losses.

    This is a disaster in the making. It will create a huge poverty class in Greece which will be impossible to revert. Looking at the rest of Europe things are not looking too rosy either, especially for immigrants. The ever tolerant dutch are now coming out in droves in support of Geert Wilders. At least if good ol’ boy Geert takes the reigns in his country it will no longer be just the greeks that are the pariahs of Europe…Phew!!

  7. gurmit
    March 5, 2010    

    I used to think if I had a lot of money, one thing I would do would be to buy an island, a fairly big one, for thousands of true refugees, not just those pretending to be refugees to go to wealthier places, who have not been allowed asylum elsewhere. It would not be a place to get rich but just a place to be safe where people could survive through farming and a few other lawful, moral pursuits. However, the world is such now that one such island would not be enough nor ten nor a thousand nor even ten thousand. However, it is still better for there to be one than none, and I hope someone rich does try this.

    After having seen legitimate refugees turned away (and also total fakers being granted asylum) and many of the attitudes people have about refugees, I have basically come to one conclusion, at least for myself. It is better to take up arms against the regime that persecutes you and fight and die than go where you are not wanted, for whatever reason. However, I am Sikh and we are always ready to shed our blood or can quickly embrace that state when need be. Ultimately though, all people need to solve their own problems for the world does not help. Even if some people do get away to other places as refugees, the vast majority of people can’t go anywhere no matter how terrible the regime.

    I think many people do realize that Greece does not have the infrastructure to deal with all the illegal immigrants that come in nor the resources to guard all entry points, especially with all the islands. Since you are a part of the Eu, the Eu should help you, even financially for refugees if it criticizes you for not meeting certain standards. Unlike some many other countries in Europe, you guys also have to spend a lot of money on defense, because of your relationship with Turkey.

    I plan on reading on this to find out more, but I understand Greek immigrants, in the U.S. anyway, went through a lot of struggles many decades ago, were even relegated to a non-white status at one time and had their businesses burnt, etc. In Canada, various groups from Europe too, went through a lot of discrimination and persecution in earlier times (though within a century). I tend to look up all I can about Greece and Greek people, the good, the bad, the wonderful, and the downright nasty. (Victorian England is my other obsession).

    Anyway, have a nice day. I have to tend to my cat, who got sick again, reaction to suture material from his surgery. I’ve taken time off work to tend to him as my mom took off to Vancouver to visit my sister just before he got sick. I hope his swelling will go down on its own without more medical interventions. The vet and I have our fingers crossed for that. At least his eyes are better.

    Yeia sas

  8. HMELAND SECURITY
    March 7, 2010    
  9. gurmit
    March 7, 2010    

    Thanks Homeland Security.
    .
    DD, I hope you don’t think I am a blog hog, I have started to feel kind of guilty for talking so much on it. I won’t start apologizing though that is the Canadian thing to do (and mine as an individual too). One joke our neighbours to the south have about us is: What does a Canadian say when you push him? “Sorry.”
    To some extent that is true judging from experiences of being bumped into or bumping into people in grocery stores. We both keep saying sorry and others also have experienced it.

    PD, I also hope you don’t mind me talking to you directly a lot. I find your views conservative but sincere and not poisonous. Of course, I have nothing against views just because they are conservative.

    I think, the Greek government is very astute to give schooling(by which I assume mainly public schooling is meant) in Greece such an importance, revealed by one of the conditions for the children of immigrants to get citizenship. In Canada, at least in the province of British Columbia, a trend that I do not really favour, at least beyond four or five years, has been in existence for some years. For public schools, the government of BC, provides roughly $5000 per child per school year if the child does not have special needs and knows English (which as I am fond of pointing out to older students, works out to $5.15 being wasted for every hour one of them tunes out). It is more profitable for the government to fund private schools on a partial basis for then it works out to less than five thousand dollars per child as the schools also take tuition from parents. Because the government funds them partially, it is easier for parents to send their kids to private schools. Many of them are now based on religion. My niece for example goes to a private Sikh school (she is a third generation Canadian). It has an excellent academic standard, given ten out of ten now by the Fraser Institute, a very conservative think tank that ranks schools, and the province does require that teachers also be of different ethnicities. However, the kids are basically all of one ethnicity. It takes away from the Canadian experience of getting to know people of various backgrounds through school, a meeting place that used to be common for nearly all kids. Of course it didn’t mean that people of various ethnicities didn’t often stick together in their own little groups within public schools, but people still got to know each other. I think if people just stick to their own ethnic groups, there is a very real danger that someday, maybe not anytime soon but some day, Canada might go the way of the former Yugoslavia. One thing, the Federal government has become wise on fairly recently is that it is better for new immigrants to be placed in smaller towns and communities for there to be integration. In the large cities, there are sometimes
    over a hundred thousand people of one’s ethnic background and some just freshly come from whatever country it is. People can basically get away with having nothing to do with anybody of a different culture if they only socialize with their own ethnic group, send their kids to a basically ethnic private school, and have their own business that caters to people of their ethnicity.Again that is a danger to Canada for there needs to be cohesion not islands of ethnicity. I am not, of course, saying that people need to totally give up the beliefs they may have brought from somewhere else (though some customs and beliefs certainly need to given up, ideally even in the countries they bring them from).

    Talking to you again, PD (sorry), about a point you raised about people arguing with you about Greece having sent immigrants to other places… I guess some people could, but I wouldn’t. I think once people leave, they become different based on their experiences and the parent or whatever country, does it really have a right to claim them as their own, especially after generations have passed? That can certainly be up for debate.

    Another thing, you seem to have made the Christian culture and European ethnicity into a monolithic identity when speaking of Greeks immigrating to the new world. It didn’t work that way. The Anglo Saxon Protestant identity (WASP some refer it to) was the dominant religion and ethnicity from Europe. When I was in my twenties, I stayed (rented a room) with this family with Swedish roots. I called the grandparents “grandma” and “grandpa” too like their grandkids and was quite close to them (the family had lived in my hometown as well before moving to Vancouver). Grandpa was 91 and had come from Sweden as an adult. He was an atheist and didn’t believe in teaching his children Swedish or anything of Swedish traditions but in total integration.Grandma was 89 and had been born in Canada, in one of the prairie provinces. She knew Swedish and her Bible was in Swedish as well. She was a great human being (they are both dead now) but she seemed to hate the queen of England and called her nasty names, even the B word one time. It stemmed from the fact that when she was growing up, living in a totally Swedish neighbourhood, the kids of British origin at school and on the way to and from school swore at her and her siblings and friends for having a Swedish identity. It also went as far as the boys being beaten up quite frequently. So many years later, these experiences still had an effect on grandma, though she channeled the anger and hate upon Elizabeth the queen only. Sharing one more example, I was living in a student residence one summer and had an apartment mate who was of British origins, a really nice nursing student, full of compassion, etc. However, she complained so bitterly to me about her brother, he was engaged and ready to be married to a woman of Portuguese origins. The things she said about her future sister-in-law were quite racist and she said her mother felt the exact same way and didn’t want him marrying her -just because she was of Portuguese origins. These are just anecdotes I can relate from my experiences, but the thing PD is that while tribes exist, it doesn’t matter how small the differences in their ethnicities or ideologies may be, if there are any differences, they can become a cause for hatred, disharmony, and even all out war sometimes. You can even manufacture small differences in ideology and in a few weeks there can be bloodshed and killings and suicides over them and brother fighting brother, wife fighting husband and divorces happening, kids being disowned, and a large community breaking into two and totally hating each other. I have seen it happen among Sikhs through interference of the Indian government in Canadian Sikhtemples (the Indian government really interferes for it feels Sikhtemples can be used to promote an independent country for Sikhs to be broken off from India).

    Anyway, I shall shutup now (hope that is not a swearword).

    Yeia sas

  10. The Verve
    March 7, 2010    

    Gurmit, we are all part of the human race and it’s sad that even minor differences can create rifts between people. However I think even the most well-intended, open-minded folks soon come face to face with cultural differences that have always been there but they were too busy paying attention to the pc brigade to notice them.

    Many young people within the greek diaspora are well integrated within the host society. They are well educated, speak fluent english and have many common interests with their fellow citizens. Often greeks will marry people from WASP backgrounds only to get divorced 3-5 years later. Whereas marriages to fellow greeks or those from a meditterranean backgrounds tend to last.

    What has happened here is that both greeks and folks from WASP backgrounds have conned themselves into thinking that their cultural differences are of little relevance in front of ‘ever lasting love’ and the mass media’s fixation with showing all those young, savvy, mixed couples as a paragon for our times. Reality is a little different, once the lovey-dovey feelings start stagnating in a marriage their respective cultural differences gradually emerge into the foreground.

    And that’s just marriage. When one looks at diverse communities within a country things start getting even more complex. It’s incredibly difficult to get everyone on the same page and the result is a fragmented society. People need to feel a kinship for each other in order to have proper unity. What politicians, big business and the mainstream media have done is just shoehorned and phony.

  11. gurmit
    March 8, 2010    

    Yeia sas Verve,
    What methods would you suggest that would foster people feeling kinship for each other to have proper unity? There is not enough of such kinship anywhere I sometimes think. I agree that a lot is phony and superficial when it comes to trying to create unity and acceptance of different backgrounds. A lot of it is just as phony and superficial as sticking a piece of pineapple on a pizza and calling it Hawaiian, to stay away from the three dollar bill simile.
    Yeia sas

  12. gurmit
    March 8, 2010    

    Yeia sas Verve,

    I don’t know how ethical this might be, but if you look up this guy called Lord Iqbal Singh on the internet (I feel since he has allowed himself to be placed on the internet for anyone to look him up, it isn’t unethical)you will see this person I find interesting to ponder. What do you make of such an individual? I know he purchased the lordship to be more accepted. In some ways I kind of can relate to him (though I wouldn’t buy a ladyship)and not just because I like Robert Burns and many of his poems and his very passionate life.

    Yeia sas

  13. Ntopios
    March 8, 2010    

    The Greek government does not have the right to give citizenship to immigrants. It was elected to protect the interests of the Greek citizens, not sell the country to the foreigners.

    The Greek government doesn’t own Greece to sell away, the Greek people own Greece and the Greek people don’t want immigrants to have political rights.

  14. gurmit
    March 8, 2010    

    Ntopios,

    Why would the Greek government be willing to give immigrants political rights unless it felt there was a sentiment among more than half the Greek people that they should be given political rights? I ask this because most governments do have the desire to be elected again and try to avoid political suicide at almost all costs. I am assuming the current Greek government is no different. Surely, it must be basing its decision to give immigrants political rights on the basis of some reliable statistical data. If not, well it can not be a very bright government.

  15. Ntopios
    March 8, 2010    

    Gurmit,

    I am very glad you made this question. The Greek people are being bombarded with misinformation and “anti-racist” propaganda to create enough guilt in order to pass this unacceptable bill.

    From all news reports and all newspapers you read about the “plights” of the “poor immigrants” and how Greece doesn’t have the right to deny them citizenship. It’s simply disgusting.

    I, as many Greeks, believe that this multicultural model can’t work in this country. Maybe it in Britain or Sweden or Canada, but you know what? THOSE COUNTRIES DON’T HAVE TURKEY, NATO’S SECOND BIGGEST BULLY(I mean seriously it’s been less than 30 years that they invaded Cyprus), THREATENING THEM. If Greece wants to survive it needs to remain homogenous and racially pure.

  16. gurmit
    March 9, 2010    

    Ntopios,

    So you think Greeks don’t really want immigrants to get
    citizenship, but the government hopes to make them want to give it by making them feel guilty and that the government can do that because it has enough control over the media to make them write reports that will make Greeks feel guilty? If that is the case, the government must be awfully sure of its abilities to take this sort of a risk with such a political hot potato. Why do you think your government is doing this? Just its political ideology, foreign pressures, or other things?

    I’m sure some of the difficulties immigrants face reported in the Greek media are truthful. Unlike you I can’t see what is disgusting about people expressing their experiences or feelings and the press reporting on certain things. I actually have come across the opinion, and many times, that the Greek media disproportionately links immigrants with crime and thus spreads negative stereotypes about them. I don’t know how true that is in Greece, but in general, I think the media of most countries do link crime with “the other” in disproportion. You are certainly right about your feeling that Greece has the right not to allow immigrants and their children to become citizens. Just by virtue of being an autonomous state with the unquestionable right to make its own laws, Greece has that right. What Greece and its people choose to do is another matter.

    Ntopios, you also seem to say that Greeks need to remain homogeneous and racially pure to survive from Turkey. Since Turkey did rule over Greece for hundreds of years, and I am sure, without being very nice to Greeks, I can understand why you think Turkey is such a threat. I wasn’t too impressed with Turkey when I read about the Parthenon being used to store explosives that damaged a part of it. I don’t care if someone is ruling over someone else or if this was a long time ago, this kind of thing is still awful and unacceptable and just done to rub the faces of the ruled over in the dirt. Sikhs were oppressed in India by Mhoguls for hundreds of years, it was outright genocide actually and is not denied. However, when we established our rule after that, we did not persecute Moslems even though they had sought to wipe us all out and our Moslems did not side with Afghanistan though we were always at war with it and they tried to get them to help them (Our rule didn’t last long unfortunately due to some Brahmins who were in high positions in the overseeing of the military and acted as traitors who assisted the British, but still we fell to the British 90 years after what is now the rest of India. Our king, Maharaja Ranjit Singh hired former soldiers from the Napolenic wars as well as Americans to teach Sikhs the western way of fighting and also kept some Americans and Europeans in the Sikh army, including as generals.) Would Turkey really invade Greece again if it could? Would the world community not step in and stop it if it tried? I know there is contention over Cyprus between Greece and Turkey, but I really don’t know enough about it. However, getting back to the immigrants, how do you think they would endanger Greece from Turkey? Do you think that because some of them are Moslems like Turkish people? Why would giving them political power make immigrants endanger Greece any more than by just having them there? Another question I am really curious about is why were some Turkish people allowed to stay in Greece and some Greeks in Turkey though there was a population transfer for the vast majority? Just an experiment or what?

    Yeia sas

  17. Ntopios
    March 9, 2010    

    Gurmit,

    Thank you for sharing that part of Indian history with us, I believe we can learn much by the history of other nations. I don’t want to trouble you with lessons of Greek history, but the fact is that Turkey is still openly threatening Greece with indifference of the global community. Turkey is America’s favourite pet(I’m speaking about governments) and if the US have to choose between Turkish interests and Greek rights, there is no doubt in my mind they will choose the former. As whether the immigrants will aid or not in Greece’s defence, I believe that they will have at best an indifferent attitude. At worst, the Muslim immigrants will side with Turkey since the Quran prohibits war between Muslims. For these reasons the illegal immigrants who don’t have refugee status must be deported. Those who are refugees are better in countries like the UK and the US and Greece must make sure they are safely transported there.

    As for the government and the media, there have been many Greeks who have been requesting a referendum on whether immigrants should gain citizenship or not, but the government has been denying it feverishly. The government has been using every method in order to convince the private media to aid them int this “anti-racist” mass brainwash of the Greek people. The government hopes that by giving citizenship rights to the immigrants they will gain millions of new voters, since their party will be the one who has given them these rights. Because the immigrants who live in Greece won’t be the only one who will be eligible for these rights, but every foreigner who comes afterwards since this bill will be a calling card for even more mass invasions.

  18. Manos
    March 9, 2010    

    Gurmit, you ask if the world would allow Turkey to invade Greece? Consider this. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990, America and it’s allies did answer it’s call for assistance. But, it took almost 7 months (Feb 1991 I believe) for them to come to Kuwait’s aid and repel the Iraqis from Kuwait.

    Now, would you like to live under Turkish rule for 7 months awaiting Europe or the USA for assistance? I wouldn’t….. Remember, Greece doesn’t have oil, so maybe it would be longer than 7 months for anyone interested in assisting Greece repel the Turks.

  19. gurmit
    March 9, 2010    

    Ntopios and Manos,

    Yeia sas.
    Ju
    Ntopios, history rocks!!! You did not want to trouble me with lessons on Greek history (I can see some people getting bored if you had), but I shall certainly “trouble” myself. Just from this blog, I am finding out stuff I had never known about. Call me ignorant, but I just learned that Greece had been under Turkish rule just about six months ago from a travel guide. I am just starting to learn that Greece may have had adversarial relations with other neighbours.

    Your argument about the current political party wanting a vote bank from immigrants in your last posting makes more sense to me than some of your other arguments . I can see governments doing that. I am not against the immigrants in your country. I also am not against you having the views you have. You have the right to have them. However, it seems to me like you are not in favour of having any immigrants in Greece, not even the refugees though Greece has not given very many people refugee status(though probably more than Japan). Why do you think refugees given asylum by Greece would be better in the UK or US and should be safely transported there?. There can be people of non-Greek origins who have moved to Greece and totally love your country and do good things for it, even fight to death for it if Turkey ever invaded.

    Manos and Ntopios, clearly both of you do think Turkey is a huge threat to Greece and that the international community wouldn’t involve itself or at best would take a while. Yeah, I can see that, that Turkey is a real threat to you and that the world would not help or would be sluggish at least if Turkey did invade. I understand Britain did help you with independence from Turkey, but it probably had some agenda(s) of its own and just didn’t help because of feelings of liking for you based on your ancient civilization (just like Britain didn’t leave India because it was influenced by that hypocritcal, low life, disgusting wretch referred to as Mahatama Gandhi though it seems to want people to believe that and helped create that whole myth, one of the biggest myths of the twentieth century I may add). It is too bad that your country has to spend so much on defense because of where it is situated. And, Manos, no I wouldn’t like to live under Turkish rule for 7 months or more awaiting Europe or the USA for assistance. Moreover, I will say, that I would certainly be one person interested in assisting Greece repel Turkey if it ever invaded you. I mean that in all honesty.

  20. The Verve
    March 9, 2010    

    Gurmit, kinship between various groups of people is achievable. The first thing that needs to go is political correctness, it does not aid in building bridges but tearing them down. The reason is that political correctness always favours one group of people over the other and that builds resentment within the group that gets the short end of the stick.

    Secondly diverse groups need to have a compatible value system/moral code. Moderate Christians & Muslims can get along just fine but things don’t work when you get fundamentalists from either camp in the mix. To this day no country has come up with an intelligent way to deal with the extremist element within that society but instead gets dealt with more pc spiel.

    Thirdly a country needs a sound economy that is open to all and sundry. When a country has enough opportunities and are available for all to partake & prosper things get a helluva a lot easier for divergent communities to come together. Some countries have got this right to varying degrees: Australia, Canada, US, UK, Germany, Singapore are a few examples. Greece ofcourse has nothing that even comes close to offering the above. The country would need to radically overhaul it’s entire economy and from what I’ve seen there’s nothing that suggests it will do so anytime soon.

    Right now Greece is just trying to save itself from catastrophe. Immigrants are probably going to feel even less welcome than they already do. In fact many are going to realize that they have no future in Greece, they picked the wrong country even it was only meant as a transit point to a more prosperous north western european country.

  21. gurmit
    March 9, 2010    

    Thanks Verve for responding. I’m glad you believe that kinship is achievable among various groups of people. Every time someone doesn’t believe it, it is probably that much more harder to attain. I look for news on Greece’s economic crisis quite often and wish it well, not just because of immigrants not being treated well but just because I wish Greeks and Greece well. Not too long ago, I was looking up events that I could attend being offered by the Greek community centre of Toronto and one was a talk on how women can save during bad economic times. I didn’t go because I was sure it was all in Greek (and I am one woman who has trouble even saving a dime for I spend all I make and would have felt so guilty being among all these sensible types). I kind of feel maybe the crisis in Greece influenced having that particular event though I may be wrong of course.
    Have a really nice day, Verve.
    Yeia Sas

  22. gurmit
    March 10, 2010    

    Yikes, Ntopios and Manos, I can’t believe I said a lot of stupid stuff. Forgive me. I am not on crack or anything, but I have been cooped up for days and that can fry one’s brain a little. Maybe the British really wanted to help Greece because they admired it’s historical contributions.

    Something Einstein said about ancient Greeks: How can any educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have always been far more interested in them than in science.

    Well, I am no great academic, but I will say that the modern Greeks are really interesting too. It is refreshing to talk to people who actually feel things passionately and just don’t want to talk about how cold it is.

    Yeia sas

    I

  23. gurmit
    March 11, 2010    

    Yeia sas,

    Ntopios, if thou ever dost wanteth to trouble me with Greek history lessons, the email address to sendeth them to is detectivejoehardy@gmail.com. Anyone else is welcome as well, only history lessons mind. If I be troubled by anything else the account goeth the way of the dinosaurees (why I didn’t choose my favourite address though I didn’t mind Joe Hardy too much in the Hardy Boy mystery stories, you guys have a Greek equivalent of these series?).

    Yeia sas

  24. March 12, 2010    

    Gurmit,

    I am very glad you made this question. The Greek people are being bombarded with misinformation and "anti-racist" propaganda tk create enough guilt in order to pass this unacceptable bill.

    From all bews reports and all newspapers you read about the "plights&quo6; of the "poor immigrants" and how Greece doesn't have the right to deny them citizenship. It's simply disgusting.

    I, as many Greeks, believe that this multicultural model can't work in this country. Maybe it in Britain or Sweden or Canada, but you know what? THOSE COUNTRIES DON'T HAVE TURKEY, NATO'S SECOND BIGGEST BULLY(I mean seriously it's been less than 30 years that they invaded Cyprus), THREATENING THEM. If Greece wants to survive it needs to remain homogenous and racially pure.;

  25. Konstnatinos Travlos
    March 16, 2010    

    Laws in Greece are created to be broken or rescinded by the next goverment. Await and you will see:)

    The Quran prohibits wars against muslims: Persians, Turks, Arabs, Mongols, Saudi Wahhabis,Afghanis, Pakistanis, Algerians etc did not get the memo :)

  26. Nancy Drew
    March 16, 2010    

    Even if the Koran prohibits war against Moslems, it is not as if they don’t fight. Look at the sunni and shea in Iraq and the only difference that I am aware of between them is that one group believes Caliphs should be related to their prophet Mohammed and the other says they don’t have to be. Then there are the Kurds too. It is not religion but politics that usually determines what people do, at least in my humble opinion. America can probably get some Moslem nations to fight any other Moslem nations by some simple wrist twisting. That reminds me, Sarah Palin came to give a speech in Canada (Calgary, same place George W. Bush came, big city in an oil wealthy province with lots of right wingers). If she ever becomes President and one or two more like her or Georgie, America will probably be wiped right off the map. Many think George W. Bush was an idiot. She makes him look like a genius.

    I heard of the protests in Greece against the new austerity measures. I hear of “anarchists” causing destruction always. Is anarchists just bad terminology for leftists of many leanings with some angry, violent youths who set fires and destroy property?

    Yeia sas dudes and dudettes (I’m Gurmit, just changed the name because of being a little embarrassed of always coming on to this blog. Nancy Drew was one of my favourite fictional characters in childhood.)

  27. gurmit
    March 16, 2010    

    Kostnatinos Travlos,

    Nice to see your comments again.

    The Koran may prohibit war against Muslims but that doesn’t mean they don’t war anyway, look at the whole Shea and Sunni split and the Kurds always getting attacked. The Taliban also attacks Muslims. Then America also gets some Muslim nations to go along with it against other Muslim nations.

    A while back you said the new tax reforms wouldn’t work and the government would need to find a new source of income other than taxes. That sounded so bleak. What other income would the government come up with and surely at some point down the line, people will start paying taxes without being forced. You’ve got to have some hope. Just recently I heard some stuff in a news report (I don’t know how old it was) about your politicians, in general not anyone specific, not caring about the people but just about making themselves richer and selling corporate interests to foreign companies who don’t care at all Greeks or giving them adequate wages. There was also a component about all these young people who do not get a good job in spite of being well educated until their mid-thirties. There was also something about sixty thousand of the brightest minds leaving Greece every year to study in other places and many not necessarily coming back. If all this about the governments not meeting people’s needs due to their own greed is true, then well your country is indeed in for a bad time and the governments should be blamed more for people evading taxes than the people.

  28. Aloysius
    March 16, 2010    

    Great post, Gurmit. I always enjoy reading your posts.

  29. Gurmit
    March 17, 2010    

    Aloysius,

    Thanks. I have to watch it though. I usually think before I speak, however, when it comes to writing, I think as a I write. That is why I refuse to be on facebook, never have been on MSN, and email in a personal capacity only to a couple of good friends over in BC. I stumbled across this blog one evening ,and it was so easy to post stuff. I got into the habit, but it is the only blog I participate in.

    I feel embarrassed about saying identical things on the Nancy Drew alias post. It didn’t go through for quite a while and then did after the second post was already up.

    Re income tax invasion: In Canada we have quite a bit of that too. I remember television ads telling to turn in construction workers working for cash and that they make something like a billion dollars without paying taxes on any of it – in the province of Ontario alone. A new tax coming up will increase under-the-table construction work even more according to a Revenue Canada spokesperson. I’m sure it isn’t the only industry responsible for tax evasion. Sometimes at big name franchises, I get asked if I want a receipt for my sandwich or pizza slice and I wonder why they don’t just give it automatically. The richest happened just some months ago. Some Revenue Canada workers were caught filing bogus tax claims and cashing the tax return cheques themselves. And get this, in the spring of 2009, a former Canadian Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, had hearings for tax evasion. Apparently, he took something in the neighbourhood of $300,000 cash secretly in hotel rooms from a German crook for helping him set up some businesses. He hid it in his wall safe for years. Because he finally declared it and before a certain date (the German guy’s secret accounts being discovered by German authorities had apparently had something to do with him taking this action. He even sent a request to this guy to give to him in writing that he had never given him any money and that request ended up with the German guy’s lawyer) he only had to pay taxes on half of it. Fine message that is for the rest of the country. Tax evasion clearly is not just a Greek problem but a problem, I bet, in every country (my goal, of course, is not to try to minimize any of Greece’s possibly unique challenges). I believe Canada currently ranks number 7 (in the top ten anyway) on that list that ranks countries in terms of transparency, with the least corrupt getting the lower number. I think most politicians are honest here though some things that are corruption aren’t considered as such. For instance, as a student I used to babysit for this family and they had this really nice umbrella that would last them a life time. They got it from an MP friend in Ottawa. Apparently, the MPs are supplied with such stuff and can get it for friends too. They have no business doing that even though I did not turn my employers and family friends in for having the umbrella.

    A personal story on federal government waste. One time, in my early twenties, I was living in a university dormitory and asked my father to get me a hotplate the next time he came to Vancouver for making hot chocolate late at night. Well, my father is quite a thrifty guy (degree in economics) and picked one up at a garage sale in a small hamlet for five dollars during the eight hour drive to Vancouver from my hometown (a routine not a special trip for me). It was probably the granddaddy of all hotplates and besides being dirty and rusty, it didn’t look that safe either. I refused to take it and said I would do without hot chocolate while cramming for exams late at nights. So, my dad took it back home. My mother yelled at him for trying to give such a thing to me but he still just kept it. I guess he told this woman, who was sort of his business partner. I will call her CD2 in respect for her privacy. Well, not too long after, CD2 showed up at our doorstep asking if she could have the hotplate. She even offered the five dollars but my dad didn’t take it nor did he ask her why. Later, she told him. She was working for a project with the federal government that was to last three years. They needed a hotplate for the staff. Well, they rented it from her -for $50/month. That is $1800 over three years. Even now, almost twenty years later, you can buy a brand new stove for a few hundred dollars and a refurbished one with a warranty for a couple of hundred. A new hot plate can easily be picked up for less than fifty dollars and even a fancy one with two elements for fifty dollars. If this much can be wasted for a crummy hotplate, I hate to imagine just what other waste goes on.

    Yeia sas

  30. vrin
    March 26, 2010    

    Hello Gurmit,
    name sounds indian. i agree with your comments . r u staying in athens, very few indian intelectuals in greece. thanks and i would like to hear more from u.

  31. gurmit
    March 27, 2010    

    Hey vrin,

    I’m no intellectual as you seem to think, thanks though. I’m not an Indian either though I was born in India. In fact,the state of India probably wouldn’t let me in even as a tourist. The last time I was protesting in front of an embassy, I was videotaped and the threat was that none of the protesters there from the subcontinent would be allowed a visa to visit India (it isn’t as if I give a rat’s booger about visiting India, there are lots of better places to visit in the world). That was when India had tested its nuclear bombs. I believe if India wants to be a nuclear power then it has no right to take out the good old begging bowl and want aid from other countries. It shouldn’t have a space program like it does either that actually rivals the programs of well off European countries. Hey, this is a country where tens of millions don’t even have a home and live on the streets. The government should invest in homes for them, even tents would be something considering India is a nation that couldn’t even provide its three Olympic athletes this year with decent outfits. Now you know my stance about India, I doubt you will want to hear more from me if you are an Indian vrin. And you haven’t even heard the totality of it or how badly I think Indian culture sucks, especially for women.

    Yeia sas

  32. kuhu
    April 14, 2010    

    Well, the bill has passed through parliament, the slow machinery of beaurocracy will take its own sweet time to publish and the circulate it , probably a year or so. Thereafter only the people who can afford to hire really good lawyers only will be able to achieve citizenship.

    Hello, any lawyers there to help!!

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