Syrian Refugees Having a Hard Time In Greece

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As the civil war in Syria gets worse day by day, the number of refugees who seek better luck has been constantly increasing. The host countries in Europe and the Middle East have grown uneasy over the new arrivals. Greece is the main and easiest access for Syrian refugees to reach Europe.

But as Greece enters its seventh year of recession, and as Greek society is reeling from painful cuts and strict measures, the phenomenon of xenophobia is rising. Indicative of this situation is that the Greek neo-Nazi party is the third most popular party in Greece according to opinion polls, while attacks on immigrants and refugees become more and more common every day.

Many incidents showing that xenophobic behaviors and racist attitudes have infiltrated to the Greek Police authorities came to light by the Greek magazine, Hot Doc last week. The Greek Chief of Police advised officers that undocumented immigrants should be detained for as long as possible, and their “lives must be made unbearable.” The alleged comments were made during a meeting of police officials, as reported Hot Doc magazine. The police chief is alleged to have said, “If they told me I could go to a country…and would be detained for three months and then would be free to steal and rob, to do whatever you want…that is great.”

He continued, “We aim to increase the detention period…we increased it to eighteen months…for what purpose? We must make their lives unbearable…”

Hot Doc magazine also included an audio of the comments by the police chief.

These comments may shock the public, but they have not appeared out of the blue. For years, human right groups and NGOs have criticized the way that Greek authorities have been treating refugees and immigrants. Moreover, the European Court of Human Rights has condemned Greece on several occasions for mistreating refugees or immigrants. The most recent of these occasions was the decision that was taken by the European Court of Human Rights to condemn Greece for mistreating and illegally deporting a political refugee from Iran and for illegally jailing and mistreating another 13 asylum seekers from various countries that entered through Turkey. The court ordered Greece to pay 8,000 euros ($10,960) to the Iranian deportee and between 5,000 ($6,850) and 10,000 euros ($13,700) to each of the 13 asylum seekers.

Greece was among the countries that signed the UN Convention on Refugees in 1956. With this signature, Greece had the obligation to protect and to recognize refugees and asylum seekers. Since last summer, all Syrian refugees who left their homeland due to the ongoing war and managed to get to Greece, have been automatically granted a 6-month permit that can be renewed.

However, those who make it to Greece confront terrible living conditions. Refugees and undocumented immigrants that arrive at the Greek islands are detained for days in overcrowded cells. Whole families have to sleep in parks, even in cold weather. Moreover, the procedure that a refugee had to follow in order to even apply for an asylum takes too long, or it is being stalled by Greek authorities.

Syrian refugees who manage to get to Greece have to face the hostility and brutality of Greek authorities in addition to the dangerous attempt to even leave their country. Greek police and coast guard officers have been involved in many cases of ill-treatment and illegal-pushbacks of refugees, mainly Syrians intercepted along the Greek-Turkish border.


  • ILLEGAL migrants

    “phenomenon of xenophobia ”

    Serious do all Greek Reporter staff just brainlesssly parrot foreign news sources? Most of what are framed as “immigrants” and “xenophobia” is hostility towards ILLEGAL migrants. Some refugees is understandable but no country on earth supports mass illegal immigration. If someone wants all these illegals rather than lecture Greeks they should be asking Greece to ship them to their own country.

  • Fake Human rights

    “For years, human right groups and NGOs have criticized the way that Greek authorities ”

    is that the same self-anointed “human rights’ groups that now play stupid as they former Yugoslavians turn into “ancient Macedonians” and encourage irredentism against Greece (to hide their embarrassment for recognizing them).

  • Claim your benefits

    Go to Sweden. A permit for permanent residence in
    Sweden is granted to every Syrian. Housing, living expenses,
    retirement benefits, health care and you name it is cared for. For
    example, a single mother with three children can expect a monthly
    allowance of 2500 Euros. A bonus of 1500 Euros on top if the refugee
    cares to learn Swedish. No identification of any kind is required.
    Relatives are also welcomed. And every arab and muslim on the planet.
    Just say “I come from Syria and I want asylum. Please come soon!
    Sweden accepts at this time only a 20-fold rate of granted asylum
    appplications that the average EU country but we aim for a 500-fold
    rate. Please come in millions so this nightmare can end.

  • Lazaros

    Abed has to support his illegal cousins.

  • Guest

    As these charities have a real problem and actually care about what happens to these people why do they not look at the countries they passed to get to Greece..
    What is Turkey doing about it???they take their money put them in inflatable boats and send them to Greece…and Greece is to blame..
    I do not think so..These charities are more than welcome to take them with them to any country willing to accept them such as the USA OR Canada or the UK..
    Stop singling out Greece as Greece is currently struggling with its own people..and its own issues..

  • MSMlies

    Why don’t all of these ILLEGAL Syrian immigrants go to Israel? Israel shares a border with Syria and there is no war in Israel, Israel is also a very rich nation. Why do these Syrian refugees have no problem crossing the Syrian border into Turkey and Lebanon and Jordan by the millions but they avoid Israel? Why is that? Could it be because the Israeli military won’t permit a flood of Syrian refugees to enter Israel, could it also be because Syrian Arabs realise that Israeli Jews have zero sympathy for Arabs and as such they would receive a hostile reception in Israel with zero welfare handouts, whilst in naïve Europe they receive housing, accommodation and welfare. Most of these so called “refugees” are not genuine refugees, they are simply seeking a wealthier nation to reside it, a nation that offers better government services. Otherwise why do they not stop and stay in Turkey? There is no war in Turkey. They enter Turkey and continue towards Europe. They are after economic benefits, a wealthier civilization to reside in. Their sons reward the Native White European peoples by raping their daughters, bashing their sons, dealing narcotics to the European youth, demanding Christian symbols be removed from schools, and public buildings and in some cases launching Islamist terror bombings in European cities.

  • Jeff

    Israel chooses not to have any involvement in the Syrian civil war. Accepting Syrian refugees into their country would be going against this decision. Israel doesn’t want to stir up a conflict with either side of this war, nor do they wish to give terrorist an opportunity to strike their soil. Syria is a living hell for now.

  • Fake human rights

    Sweden might accept more asylum applicants but has far far less per capita illegals than Greece (as it faces the north Atlantic not Africa and middle east). Greece current;u has the highest numbers of illegals per capita on the planet by a long shot. The extreme anti-Greek rhetoric for opposing mass illegal immigration is one of the reasons I no longer trust so called “human rights’ groups.

  • hypocrisy

    Using that rational then Syrizian refugees would have no country to go to. The fact is Israel currently opposes immigration from anyone but Jews. Pretty much the same position as GD.

  • MSMlies

    You wrote and I quote: “Israel chooses to have no involvement in the Syrian civil war”

    What you wrote is quite simply false and misleading.

    The FACT is that Israel is heavily involved in the Syrian civil war via the mossad, Syrian rebels are treated in Israeli hospitals and sent back into Syria to continue fighting against Syrian government forces, and last but certainly not least, Israel has carried out several unprovoked airstrikes against Syrian government military installations.

    Here are just a few instances of direct Israeli involvement in the Syrian civil war.

    Syria conflict: Israel ‘carries out Latakia air strike’
    This is believed to be the SIXTH ISRAELI ATTACK IN SYRIA THIS YEAR.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24767571

  • Robert Powell PhD

    The Press that hasn’t been closed down by now works ONLY for PASOK & ND Parties! Didin’t you notice yet? There is no FREE PRESS here today!

  • PhoenixRisingEuropa

    Syrian rebel leader Gen. Salim Idris stated that Mossad operates in Syria.
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/rebel-general-claims-mossad-operating-in-syria/

    Gen. Salim Idris claimed that Mossad’s presence in the Syria is what led the IDF to state that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime. General Salim Idris’s direct stated: “Israel has this information because there are many, many members of security services who are now very active in Syria,”

    So much for claims by “Jeff” that Israeli isn’t involved in the Syrian civil war.

  • MSMlies

    The US government tried to base its claim that the Syrian government used chemical weapons is an “Israeli intercept” of a phone call between Syrian military officers. When Israels attempt to convince the world that Assad had used chemical weapons did not suceed in getting the US military to bomb Assad’s forces, Israels Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “Israel can only rely on itself”. Essentially what he meant is that Israel failed to get the USA to bomb Syria so Israel should keep a strong military because it can’t always rely on the US to bomb its enemies. But so much for “Jeffs” claims that Israel is trying to stay out of the Syrian civil war.

    More information below showing Israels displeasure that the USA has not bombed Syria yet.

    Netanyahu and the Israeli leadership have been deeply worried that perceived hesitancy and weakness in the US, in responding to the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that the US says killed 1,429 people in the outskirts of Damascus August 21, may be exploited by Iran to further advance its nuclear program.

    Netanyahu made this concern explicit in his speech Wednesday, warning, “The message that is received in Syria will be clearly understood in Iran.”
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/hinting-at-dismay-with-obama-pm-says-israel-can-rely-only-on-itself/

  • GREECE IS NOT A DOORMAT

    I have a solution for these Syrians, go back the way you cam AND NEVER COME BACK. EVER.

    Then Abed listen up, it’s NOT xenophobia no matter how many time you mumble it in your sleep. We have enough of our own problems and we can’t take care of them. Get your rich buddies to take care of them. So I got an idea, why don’t you head over to Saudi Arabia and write about how the Saudis take care of migrants? We will never hear from you again, not that anyone cares.

  • GREECE IS NOT A DOORMAT

    They tried to cover up recently when a Somali rape a Swedish woman.

    Some of these people treat woman like they were camels. The solution is to reunite them with their camels.

  • Ausgreek

    Yes… well said… the Israelis are Nazis to the core…but we can’t call them that can we!

  • Jewish and Proud!

    They’re more than welcome to come to Israel. In fact, I’ll gladly take in all the children. They can stay in my dungeo… err penthouse!

  • Claim your benefits

    Somalis are next to Syrians the largest group coming to Sweden. Chewing khat is another favorite pastime for these gentlemen. Now the Swedish government has decided that Sweden needs more, so they invite 35 000 relatives of those who are already here to come and receive their permits of permanent residence.

  • Claim your benefits

    Are you sure about that? There are illegals in huge numbers as well in Sweden. In the past I didn´t care so much because at least they could not claim many benefits. But now the Swedish govermnet has decided that health care should be provided for illegals. Just pay 50 crowns, about 5 Euros to see the doctor. ( A legal resident in Sweden has to pay 20-40 Euros). A prescription? Very good, it will set you 5 Euros back Mr. Illegal. But the medicine costs hundred of Euros! Do not worry, you pay 5 Euro, the Swedish taxpayer the rest. Need to see the dentist? Very well, you pay 5 Euros. (The legal resident has to pay hundreds of Euros.) How come this madness? There is a minority government, in their greedy quest and hunger for power they made a deal with an extremist party “The Greens”. In exchange for their support in a few other matters the government agreed to the above,

  • Jeff

    That’s them attacking terrorist trying to smuggle guns to Lebanon.

  • Jeff

    That’s absolutely untrue. Sounds like Neo-Nazi and other anti-Semitic propaganda had gotten to you.

  • twopenceworth

    The vast majority of the immigrants that end up here want to leave. To move on or to finally end up returning home. They cannot because of the Dublin 2 settlement which states that you must apply for asylum or refugee status in the first European country you step foot in. Since Greece does not give asylum (less than 1%) or have a proper refugee system so they cannot get papers to go anywhere else. If Greece could sort out its asylum/refugee/immigration system, they could then travel on, be deported if their claims are false or stay and be integrated if that’s what Greece wants. Until then, the country is stuck with large numbers of people who cannot go anywhere at all.

  • euroguest

    The article copies too many mainstream media phrases. The immigration problem has to be viewed from the peoples perspective, not from the perspective of foreign “investors” or EU Junta members.
    Looking at some european countries, immigrants from arab countries (exception egypt) are not a benefit. Coming from countries were women are treated worse than dogs, still believing in a medieval punishing god and not being overly qualified for modern jobs (IT for example), they end up on the bottom of society, paid by the majority of course. So if politicians say “we have to take more refugees from these countries”, what will happen in the longterm?

  • MSMlies

    The vast majority of illegal 3rd World immigrants arriving in Europe pass through Turkey. Turkey has a reasonably strong economy and there is no war going on within Turkish borders. Turkey is currently experiencing a period of peace and relative economic stability and has been for several years now. Why do 3rd World continue travelling through Turkey in an attempt to enter Europe? If they were genuine refugees escaping war then why don’t they stay in Turkey once they reach that nation? Why keep going towards Europe? Any explantion you would like to put forth?