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

We’ve Had Enough

[“Foreigners Out” and “This here is Greece”]

The finacial crisis in Greece has caused an atmosphere of desperation, fear and sadness. Most people here are feeling it. Most of the talk I hear from my friends and colleagues, is of leaving. Many people I know,  are barely getting by and it’s terribly depressing for all. More and more, on a daily basis in truth, I am hearing insulting, disrepectful, hurtful accusations towards foreigners. If the general consensus on the street is to be believed, it’s our fault that Greece is suffering from this crisis. It’s our fault that the traffic is so bad and public transport is rubbish. It’s our fault that there are no jobs and people are being fired or forced to take pay cuts. It’s our fault that there are no pensions. That young people are leaving to find better work opportunities. That the city streets are filled with rubbish. That Greece is failing. These are all things that I have heard, on a regular basis, with my own ears.

Few people want to hear about what’s happening to immigrants here and that is one of the reasons that I have been posting so rarely recently. The backlash against foreigners is deepening and is getting more frghtening by the day. As those of you who have followed this blog, some of you for years,  know how it has been. Just posting information about what is happening in the immigrant community seems to cause waves of venom and hatred. So I have avoided doing so for a while. Taken a break to deal with real life problems that needed and still need my attention.

But I feel I cannot be silent any longer… I am deeply disturbed by what is happening here in Athens. I am scared of the far right wing who are using this financial crisis to boost their perverted ideologies. These gangs of thugs who go around stirring up mistrust and hatred in certain neighbourhoods. Who stalk the streets in gangs and violently attack foreigners.

It’s time for me to speak up again. And time for others to join me in the absolute condemnation of these attacks against us. Both verbal and physical.

As Greece teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, there has been a surge in violent attacks on immigrants.

Greece is one of the main entry points to Europe and the government says it is going to build a fence to keep out further illegal migrants.

But many migrants who are already in Greece say they have had enough of conditions there and now want to go home.

The BBC’s Athens correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports (Video from the BBC)

Enough is enough.

12 Comments

  1. Dean Marney
    April 19, 2011    

    hi deviousdiva,
    You’ve been living in Greece for quite some time, is that right? i would like to ask if you still class yourself as a foreigner in Greece? You’ve learned the lingo no doubt, you’ve got Greek friends, you’ve got a son who i believe has been educated in the Greek education system, he has Greek friends, he speaks Greek like a native no doubt, i’m just wondering when one ceases to become a “foreigner” and starts being one of the hoi poloi.

    In England, we like people to integrate and we’re so critical of people who don’t want to fit into the “british way of life”, and we accuse the Pakistani and Indian communities for not wanting to integrate.
    Seeing as you’ve integrated very well in Greece, i’m wondering whether you feel “Greek” in the same way as an Asian would feel “British” after living in the UK for a long time?

    If you don’t feel Greek, I would like to ask whether this is because of a resistance on your behalf to become “Greek” and if so, why?

  2. Soula
    April 20, 2011    

    Diva these people are illegal economic migrants that have no business being here

    The problem is that the government tolerated there presence for too long and this made the problem worse as years went by.

    If the government harshly fined employers of illegal immigrants and took stern steps you would not have this anarchy…if there is no rule of law..the fed up people (natives) will take the law into their own hands..and unfortunately it will be extreme the other way.

    The best thing esp now with all the economic problems is for all these unemployed illegal aliens and even legal aliens who do not have jobs is to go home.

    Even asylum seekers should go because they are too many and we do not have the resources for them.

    If they are legal and working thats another story…unless they are taking a job from a native Greek.

  3. mary
    April 21, 2011    

    The rich are getting richer
    the middle class is getting wiped out
    the poor are becoming poorer

    so who is to blame? the people at the bottom?

    do you people really believe all this bs?

    I am really trying to be understanding with all this (people don’t know – they are being brainwashed – etc)
    but I am feeling really sick – this is nauseating.

    Take a look at Debtocracy. Listen to what Wolff has to say. Read Naomi Klein.
    All the info is there.

    Are you so misinformed or is it a matter of compassion? You just don’t give a damn

  4. ggh
    April 24, 2011    

    Instead of narratives and endless negative stereotypes why don’t you open a book for once? If you did… you’d discover (statistically speaking) you are have far far greater chance of being killed walking the streets of the US than you do Athens.

    Of course you are going to hear xenophobic comments if all you do is scan the news for them and constantly focus on the negative. Greeks are also going to be (rightfully) hostile to ILLEGAL migrants. They have no right to be disrespecting out borders and laws. We expect them to apply for citizenship legally like in every other country… not sneak in alike burglars than whine about their “rights’ as they burden an already stress Greek government.

    We are also going to be hostile to the Greek haters that pretend they don’t notice the “united Macedonia” irredentist talk by FYROM nationalists and their attempts to rebrand themselves into “ancient Macedonians”. Still waiting to see if Diva…. who claims to write about human rights in Greece…. will write a single article protecting the human rights of Macedonians (i.e. Greeks) from the former self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians of the former Yugoslavia trying to usurp both our identity and territory. (which basically amounts to cultural genocide)

    Until I hear those voices of protecting the identity rights of Macedonians….. I don’t believe a single word of the “human rights” claims of people like you. Greeks are human too yet you talk about us like monsters and don’t think for a second to protect our rights.

  5. ggh
    April 24, 2011    

    @Soula

    I think if the asylum seekers claim is legitimate (i.e. their lives are at risk) and they seem to genuinely want to become part of the fabric of Greek life (i.e. they are not hostile to most ethnic Greeks like Diva is)… then Greeks should warmly welcome such asylum seekers. We should not let self-righteous leftist extremists like Panayotes Dimitras and Diva (that continuously spout hate filled negative stereotypes of Greeks) pit us against minorities. Intolerance and lack of compassion is not the Greek way.

    I used to think that only the far right wing were racists but I realize now that members of the left wing can also be racists too. (but its a type of racism where they single out a particular people for hostility while soothing their conscious by supporting the rights of other people)

    What I think Greeks are in desperate need of is a legitimate human rights organization that deals with the rights of both minorities AND ethnic Greeks (especially Macedonian ones whose rights are currently being trampled on by FYROM apologists that pretend they don’t notice their rampant irredentist “united Macedonia” talk and sudden shift into “ancient Macedonians”).

    The current brand of so-called human rights practiced by Dimitras and Diva clearly is only interested in minority rights (as if Greeks aren’t also victims of prejudice or don’t have their own identity rights) They focus entirely on demonizing the Greek people and trying to pit all minorities against Greeks (sort of like trying to insinuate the average American is like the KKK…. which amounts to blood libel)

    Until Greece has a real human rights organization (i.e. one that includes ALL the humans in Greece… including ethnic Greeks) Greece will continue to be victim of unfair bad press in foreign media (since the only voice for human rights in Greece at the moment are anti-Hellenes like Dimitras and Diva that scan the news for stories that match their hate filled negative stereotypes)

  6. Oath Taken
    April 25, 2011    

    Diva maybe I should say enough is enough after my mother’s sister (in her mid 70’s no less) was twice robbed (and in the first case assaulted and injured) by two of your proteges within a matter of 2.5 months. 3 blocks away from her house no less, in what used to be decent middle-class neighborhood of Athens that I grew up in and now sports underage hookers and their pimps in full view, thugs attacking grandmas going to church and other assorted multicultural gifts… I won’t though because I refuse to group all immigrants (even still illegal as opposed to legalized ex-illegal) in the same basket. There are good apples next to the rotten ones but your lot will have us accept both without questions because you essentially believe in open borders. But I will say enough is enough with you and your ilk, only seeing the wrongdoing of Greeks and never those of your proteges. I wholeheartedly wish you the fate of my mother’s sister when you get to be in your mid-70s. That would be divine justice for your prejudice and bigotry.

  7. ggh
    April 25, 2011    

    @oath taken

    Your Greek grandmother should be ashamed of herself. She should have handed the keys to her house and all her personal identification because as everyone knows Greeks have no property or identity rights in their own country. The former self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians from the former Yugoslavia region of Vardar own them.

    I’ve come to believe this because Panayotes Dimitras of Helsinki Greece (that claims to stand for “human rights”)…..

    – calls the people that live in ancient Paeonia “Macedonians” (yet amazingly doesn’t find the time to say a peep to defend the identity rights of THE Macedonians.

    – pretends he doesn’t know the vast majority of people that lived in what is today FYROM used to SELF-IDENTIFY as ethnic Bulgarians (even long time FYROM supporter Loring Danforth, who is currently listed on MHRMI as a historical expert will attest to this)

    – pretends he doesn’t know ancient Macedonians SELF-IDENTIFIED as Greeks for centuries at ancient Olympics. It would be fascinating to watch Dimitras, Borza, Mr. Bush, and editorial board of the New York times…. go back in time and deny Macedonians their identity as ethnic Greeks during Hellenic only sporting events …. while simultaneously claiming FYROM’s right to self-identification as “Macedonians” an absolute

    – pretends he doesn’t notice the Gruevski government’s sudden change into “ancient Macedonians” (apparently the giant statues, stadiums, schoolbooks, roads, media promotion, and rampant Internet campaign insinuating they are descendents of “ancient Macedonians” aren’t enough)

    – pretends he doesn’t remember that FYROM’s own government officials and so called “human rights” organizations (imo propaganda fronts for extreme nationalists) used to assure everyone they weren’t related to ancient Macedonians only a few year ago (prior to widespread recognition)

    – pretends he doesn’t know the US government (and UK) not only used to flat our deny the existence of “ethnic Macedonians” during the Greek civil war…. but even provide the bullets to shoot IMRO communist terrorists playing these name games

    – pretends he doesn’t notice that rampant “united Macedonia” irredentist talk showing large tracts of Greece annexed to FYROM.

    – pretends he doesn’t know FYROM removed official recognition of “The Republic of China” when it suited the FYROM government to support China (apparently the FYROM government don’t believe in the right to absolute self-determination when it comes to the people of Taiwan)

    Curiously though Mr. Dimitras does find the time to visit a “United Macedonia” organization in Canada to receive awards and Mr. Dimitras (and other FYROM apologists) also manage to find the time to mock our identity as “real” Macedonians in foreign media. (despite that we live in the THE Macedonia rather than say Paeonia)

  8. ggh
    April 25, 2011    

    Interesting story about illegal migrants in the UK seeking asylum being rejected.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380219/Iranian-asylum-seekers-sew-mouths-deportation-protest.html#comments

    Let me read of the most popular responses in the comment section (by a long shot)

    “And how many EU countries did they travel through to get here? It may seem harsh, but giving in to this sort of emotional blackmail attempt would open the floodgates again. Their cases have been considered and rejected … maybe they could try in France, Germany or Italy as they are so concerned about ‘burden sharing’ (but only when it’s to their benefit of course)” (1347 votes)

    “Dont be taken in by this human rights hypocracy,if they are illegal immigrants, then they should be deported now, and not in 10 yrs time following appeal after appeal,perhaps we should take a leaf out of the Australian book,no messing about ,no pussy footing,just pure plain common sense. ” (1175 votes)

    “Granted there are some genuine cases but the majotity are just there for the free ride. we have to sort this out and weed out the ones who will benefit the UK rather than drag it to it’s knees. the rest should be sent back.” (918 votes)

    “These Asylum seekers can lie so well that anybody would believe them, they also know that their stories can never be proved or dis-proved. Asylum seekers have people in this country who teach them exactly what to say and what not to say. There may be the odd one that tells the truth, but they caused the distrust of the british people and british authorities so they must put it right before we atsrt trusted them again. Send them back, if they stay out of trouble they will probably not be bothered. Anyway if they were working against their own rulers to the degree that they were arrested then they are not exactly innocent of crime. It is known that the authorities in those countries are harsh but you will not fix or correct that situation by moving all the people over here. There are a lot of Terror operations working in this country and quite a few of them were probably people ‘Who did not want to go back in case they are arrested’ instead, they operate their terror from here.” (854 votes)

    “Im sorry for them if what they say is true, but how many people do these asylum seekers think this ountry can take in? we are a small island, and we are struggling already. The government need to stop Immigration all together for at least 5 years to allow this country to recover.” (832 votes)

    “Whether they are genuine in their claims of persecution the fact is the UK has now become flooded with asylum seekers and it shouldn’t be our responsibility to provide homes, medical care, benefits etc for them. Time to close our door and say no.: (609)

    I would also highly recommend reading the worse rated comments in the thread.

    So why are Greeks being unreasonable when we object to mounds of illegals whereas people in your native UK are not? (for having far far less illegals on a per capita basis no less) Where is the international outrage against the UK? Are our borders less sovereign than the UK?

    It’s these sorts of hypocrisies and double standards that has lead me to believe SEVERE racism is currently being directed against ethnic Greeks. (but obfuscated by individuals that just inject the words “human rights” into their sentences to hide their prejudices and political agendas)

    I genuinely believe in human rights… when those rights are applied consistently. Any individual can claim their beliefs are “human rights’ and self-righteously wag fingers at other ethnic groups. When they do so inconsistently and in a demonizing fashion though… they have become the very monsters they accuse others of being.

  9. Bertan Ibrahim
    April 26, 2011    

    the orginall poster says “the generalised consensus of Greeks is they dont like foreigners” or words like that. I want to know when thisperson went out and got the generalised opinion of the Greeks he talks about. Did he talk to everybuddy in greece to know what they think? Is this generalisations which cause problems of racism. For example, “there is been a attack on a paki in the UK so the general consensus must be that all English hate foreigners.” I hate this kind of generalisations it is very offensive talking like this. Very dangerous.

  10. ggh
    April 26, 2011    

    @Ibrahim

    Exactly. The vitriolic words that this blog uses (as well as fanatics Panayotis Dimitras) are acts of racism in themselves. They think because they protect the human rights of some that they aren’t stepping on the rights of others.

    Even this article’s title is incredibly offensive. “we’ve had enough”. (suggestive that Diva someone speaks for the views of all migrants and all Greeks are against immigrants) Her language is such that it constantly tries to pit migrants against the Greek people rather than include the Greek people in her definition of human rights. This type of stereotyping HURTS the cause of human rights in Greece

    This is one reason why Greeks like me have become fed up by (some) self-declared “human rights’ activists like Diva and Panayotes Dimitras. They endlessly demonize ethnic Greeks and self-righteously think their political and philosophical opinions on what constitutes a human right are the only ones out there.

    For instance I don’t believe in the insanity of open borders. I do not want our country to lose our cultural identity. (and I think the vast majority of people on this earth feel the exact same about their own homelands). I see those trying to encourage open borders as violating our human rights. We are a sovereign country and have both a legal and moral right to defend our borders. (and those that don’t like it are free to lecture their own homelands first for not having them before patronizingly and hypocritically criticizing others)

    This is precisely why I believe in controlled immigration. It gives the state an opportunity to check if an immigrant is coming to be a troublemaker that segregates themselves from the rest of society or whether they are coming to integrate and become a contributor to that society. Greece doesn’t need more troublemakers that undermine Greece both internally and abroad with anti-Hellenic rhetoric. The vast majority of Greeks aren’t racists (other than extremists like Golden Dawn) but we expect legal immigrants to protect their new homeland and become a part of fabric of Greek life (much like the American melting pot). If someone doesn’t like that… don’t immigrate to Greece.

    I certainly don’t hate people from other countries. I actually love it when immigrants defend Greece (including a few Muslims and Albanians I’ve spoken to whose children now consider themselves Greeks). Some Greeks are racists against them but I think such Greeks are fools. Immigrants to Greece that integrate and staunchly defend Greece are a national treasure and our best defense against racism against ethnic Greeks. (both at home and abroad). I consider them more Greek than the Greeks that hate them.

    Any migrants that hatefully harass ethnic Greeks (including publicity stunts like hunger strikes, whine about their “human rights”, and display deranged behavior like mutilating themselves to get media attention)…. kick them to the curb. Their “us” versus “them” attitudes makes them incompatible with Greece and the Greek people. The Greek government should only consider altruistic refugee claims of illegal migrants that have demonstrated public support for Greece (and Greeks) and show a high probably of integrating and contributing to Greece. It is anti-reason to be otherwise.

  11. Dean Marney
    April 27, 2011    

    Actually, Bertan Ibrahim makes a good point.
    I wouldn’t class the whole of the UK as racist just because there was an attack on some immigrants by a few mindless individuals in the UK. But i fear that’s what deviousdiva is saying about Greece when she says: “If the general consensus on the street is to be believed…”
    I think Bertan is right when he says that generalisations are dangerous. The tarring of a nation based on a few incidents is wrong and i would hope that Deviousdiva is aware that stereotyping a whole nation is wrong. Generalisations based on stereotyping is the reason why racism still exists.

  12. James
    April 27, 2011    

    As a nineteen year old studying in Greece – being a native Greek, mind you – I have to agree that the general notion of aggression towards foreigners is on the rise. However, even the hard-core leftists direct this (only partially) right anger towards the immigrants that arrive by the thousand through Turkey, and the non-European borders.

    At this point I think I should remind everyone that the EU is very delicately avoiding the funding of the border protection program, as it does with Spain for example. The same forgetfulness is applied on a diplomatic level, with Turkey breeching the borders repeatedly over the past decades, and with no political impact on an international level. That, in conjunction with the international approach to the FYROM issue, can only fuel anti-foreigner notions.

    However, those notions, even under the light of the heavy economic crisis Greece is going through, do not affect foreigners of Europe, for many reasons, most of which are too much part of the way Greek society works both as a whole, and on a cellular level. If the post is referring to public aggression towards countries as Germany and France, I doubt that this very aggression takes into mind the people – it is rather against the governments that people are posing themselves.

    That of course can seem – and quite logically so – a great, illogical contradiction, considering that for the past decades the Greek people have been electing governments that at best are incapable of any form of management of the situation, at worst they have actually been working against public interest. Again, this is a very big issue to go into here.

    While the post is making a (at best) valid point, it is doing so in all the wrong ways, not sparing the words to give consideration to the whole picture, but focusing at a small portion of it, which in no way reflect the truth of Greek society.

    This reflection however, is one that is being considered more and more around our Europe as a valid one, and I believe that it is there that the problem lies.

    Lastly, I would like to say that the post actually made me laugh. Having just read Forster’s “A Passage to India”, I cannot but recognize what the author made of his countrymen; people so attuned to their way of life, that cannot recognize any other as being a (at the very least) viable way to live, and, caring this notion further on, find fault in every little fibber of any other society.

LEAVE A COMMENT HERE