An article by Malcolm Brabant, published in Kathimerini
I have been observing the immigrant since before Christmas. He never seems to make a sale, despite being rooted to the spot through the hours of daylight. I wonder if the farmer pays him commission only. His features are a mask of resignation, loneliness and sadness. If I can sense the antipathy of the Greeks who pass by without purchasing, then so can he, a thousand times. He is a foreigner, or “xenos,” the Greek noun that is the root of the word xenophobia. The government, correctly judging the country’s rising anti-immigrant sentiment, wants him and his kind to go home. The poor, dispossessed and oppressed of Asia, the Middle East and Africa are walking in a never-ending tide toward Europe. Ninety percent of them enter through Greece’s border with Turkey. They are driven by visions of prosperity in Britain, Germany, France and Scandinavia, where they believe they will quickly earn the 10,000 dollars or so, plus interest, needed to repay the trafficking gangs which cynically exploit their dreams. Once in Greece, most find themselves trapped, incapable of proceeding westward, and, having discarded their passports in an attempt to claim political asylum, unable to return home. Greece is being swamped and cannot withstand this burden, says Christos Papoutsis, the immaculately suited and booted Socialist who runs the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection.