Racism and Discrimination in Greece today

This report has been initiated by the rise of extremist right political parties and movements of various guises in Greece and in other EU member states, which has been recorded after the European Parliament elections in May 2014. Although there are undisputed differences among parties and movements characterised today as “extremist right”, at least in regard to their political discourse and their practices, their common denominator, on which they can be compared, is the total adherence and reproduction of the ideology of inequality – or better yet, of inequity- of people, and hence the discrediting and rejection of their difference.

This is exactly the ideological and moral basis of racism. Europe has witnessed its most abhorring climax in 20th c. with the Nazi atrocities that caused the extermination of six million Jews and an unknown number of other, mainly Romani and gay people, who were not deemed “able” to belong to the Aryan ideal.

The revival of racism and its propagandists in this phase which is critical for European integration, constitutes also a clear indication that even in the democratic societies of Europe, the reasons giving rise and reproducing it, have not ceased to exist. Quite the opposite, in fact. Have European and national policies and the various pieces of legislation and measures against discrimination and racism failed? If yes, why is that so? Who is to blame? Who is responsible for such a failure?

This report aims at contributing in making racism and its spreading understood better by the wider public, under the circumstances of this multifaceted crisis that has stricken Greek society. The authors of this report analyse national policies against discrimination and racist speech, as well as social processes and reaction by the civil society bringing to the surface and in this way composing the various aspects of the racism phenomenon in Greece. It is true that until today even political leaders deny in public that Greek racism does exist; unfortunately, this is itself part of the problem.

This report is being published under the select respect campaign, an initiative of organisations active in the human rights and fight discrimination and racism area in Greece. The campaign was initiated by PRAKSIS, the Greek Council of Refugees, Symbiosis, ASANTE, Cooperation for social gender, Green Institute, with the support of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung-Greece, and the financial support of the Open Society Initiative for Europe, in spring 2014, on the eve of the European elections and the local government and regional election in Greece. What this ballot showed us, reminds us that there is a lot to be done.

Olga Drossou
Director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Greece

Herausgegeben von
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Greece
Sprache der Publikation
  1. Introduction
  2. The legislative framework for fighting racism in Greece today
  3. Racism in everyday social practice
  4. The cases of mass media and education
  5. Initiatives against racism
  6. An assessment of the ability of the greek legal system to fight racist phenomena
  7. Suggestions - Proposals
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