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Old 10-19-2012, 07:55 AM   #21
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Let's revive this thread.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18987678

Greek Olympian Papachristou expelled for 'racist tweet'

Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou has been expelled from her country's Olympic team over comments she posted on Twitter which were deemed racist.

Papachristou was due to compete in the London 2012 Games, which officially start this Friday.

But the Hellenic Olympic Committee said her posts mocking African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right party went against the Olympic spirit.

Papachristou has apologised for the "unfortunate and tasteless joke".

As well as the comment on Sunday referring to the West Nile virus and Africans living in Greece, Papachristou had also reposted a tweet by Ilias Kasidiaris, a politician with the far-right Golden Dawn party, criticising Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's stance on immigration.

She had previously retweeted several links to videos promoting the views of Golden Dawn, which won 7% of the vote in Greece's recent elections, and had directly communicated online with Mr Kasidiaris.

Mr Kasidiaris gained notoriety for slapping one left-wing woman politician and throwing water over another, during a heated debate on a television show.

Papachristou tweeted him on his name day last week: "Many happy years, be always strong and true!!!"

'A mistake'

The athlete's remarks had prompted calls from the public and within the Greek government for her to be thrown out of the team.

The head of the Greek committee, Isidoros Kouvelos, said the 23-year-old had "showed no respect for the basic Olympian value".

"She made a mistake and in life we pay for our mistakes," he told Skai TV.

Earlier in the week, Papachristou had responded online, saying "that's how I am" and that she was not like a stuck CD: "If I make mistakes, I don't press the replay! I press Play and move on!"

But in a statement on her Facebook page and Twitter on Wednesday, Papachristou said she was "very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights".

She apologised to her friends, family, fellow athletes and the national team, but said it would not have been possible for her to compete if she did not support the values of the Games.

"Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races."

The Greek committee said she had been "placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement".

However, her coach George Pomaski said the punishment had been too harsh and she had already apologised.

"This is a big disappointment not only for her but for her family and for myself, and anyone involved in the Greek team," he said.

Mr Pomaski said he had been unable to contact Papachristou for several hours.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says Greece is experiencing a sharp rise in racism, with the popularity of right-wing parties such as Golden Dawn soaring.

The government has come under pressure to crack down on racism in all domains, including sport, says our correspondent.



Mark Lowen

BBC News, Athens


The mood among Greece's Olympic team was already delicate: athletes have battled through tough conditions due to the spending cuts and the country is sending its smallest team to these games for the past 20 years. Now Greece has lost one of its medal hopefuls on the eve of the Olympics.

But the Greek Olympic Committee was under pressure to act. Human rights groups have lambasted the government for not doing enough to clamp down on racism: anti-immigrant attacks have increased as Greeks have hit out during the recession and the extreme right - many say neo-Nazi - Golden Dawn party has soared in popularity, entering parliament for the first time in its history.

So calls are growing louder here for Greece to show its other face: open, welcoming and tolerant; a country that rejects racism in any sphere. Voula Papachristou's expulsion will be seen as an example of that.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:58 AM   #22
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http://news.yahoo.com/immigrants-mar...201114842.html

Immigrants march in Greece against racist attacks
Reuters – Fri, Aug 24, 2012.

ATHENS (Reuters) - Thousands of immigrants marched in Athens on Friday to protest police sweeps and a rash of racist attacks in Greece as the country struggles to pull itself out of a huge debt crisis.

Greece is a major gateway for mostly Asian and African migrants trying to enter the European Union. They face increased hostility as the country struggles through its deepest post- World War Two recession and record unemployment, propelling the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party to parliament for the first time since the fall of a military junta in 1974.

About 5,000 protesters marched to parliament holding banners reading "No Islamophobia" and "Neo Nazis out!" in one of the biggest anti-racism marches in Athens in recent years.

Tensions between immigrants and Greeks have risen sharply in recent months and the demonstration was held a day after police detained hundreds of undocumented immigrants in the western city of Corinth as part of a nationwide sweep and held them in a former army camp.

The move enraged local authorities and residents who rallied outside the army camp to protest against its conversion into an immigrant detention center.

"We will do everything possible to prevent such a disaster," Corinth's mayor Alexandros Pnevmatikos told Skai TV. "We don't want the camp, which is in the centre of the city, close to densely populated neighborhoods, to become a holding center".

Far-right protesters and supporters of Golden Dawn clashed with police at the entrance of the camp on Thursday and hundreds of protesters, including small groups of ultra-nationalists, returned to protest on Friday. Some hurled bottles of water at a conservative deputy visiting the camp.

Police this month launched a sweep operation called "Xenios Zeus" after the ancient Greek god of guests and travelers. They have so far arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants.

Racist attacks against immigrants have increased in Greece since the economic crisis flared in 2009, according to pro-immigrant groups which accuse the police of turning a blind eye.

Human Rights Watch said in a report last month that it had interviewed 59 people who suffered or escaped a racist incident between August 2009 and May this year. But the advocacy group added that the true extent of xenophobic violence in Greece was not clear given many victims do not report the crimes.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Jon Hemming)
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:02 AM   #23
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http://setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xh...6/reportage-01

From beatings to Tweets, racism on the rise in Greece

By Andy Dabilis for Southeast European Times in Athens -- 06/08/12

A backlash against waves of immigrants using Greece as a jumping off point to enter Europe has led to a surge in racist-driven assaults, a report from US-based Human Rights Watch group claimed, and political leaders said they are fearful that extremist groups are trying to create a fascist state.

In a report entitled Hate on the Streets -- Xenophobic Violence in Greece, which came out after six months of research in Athens and other Greek cities, lead researcher Judith Sunderland said the group found at least 300 attacks in three months against Asian and African immigrants, including brutal beatings of teenage boys and pregnant women by gangs of men.

Anti-immigrant fervor has grown in Greece because of a devastating economic crisis that has seen pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensioners leaving Greeks worried about their futures, while rising crime has been blamed on immigrants by groups such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

There are an estimated 1 million immigrants, many of them illegal, in Greece, a country with a population of 11 million.

"We hope we can convince them this is important even in the midst of an economic crisis because if they don't address it now, it will get worse … you have gangs of thugs roaming around attacking people," Sunderland, who met with ministry of public order and citizen protection officials, told SETimes.

The report noted that no one has been convicted under Greece's 2008 statute on hate crimes, and police have failed to protect victims of racist assaults and punish perpetrators. Human Rights Watch called on the new coalition government to create a plan to combat racism, including training for police officers -- 50% of whom were said to have voted for Golden Dawn, and several of which recently were charged with beating an Afghan immigrant.

Golden Dawn, which won 18 seats in parliament on a platform to rid Greece of immigrants, has been linked to a number of the assaults. The party was also found to be behind a racist Tweet declaring that mosquitoes carrying the deadly West Nile virus would find "homemade food" in African immigrants. The tweet was forwarded by Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou, who was expelled from the Greek Olympic team just before the London Games.

The party, which has set up soup kitchens and organised protection groups to galvanise support, has vehemently defended its tactics.

"The only racism in Greece is the racism against the Greeks. Anybody who says even a word against illegal immigrants is held up to public ridicule ... it would be more honest to pass a law condemning everybody who has different views to death by stoning," the group said in a statement.

There's little sympathy for immigrants in the country. The government has rounded up thousands of unlawful immigrants and is constructing detention camps to hold them. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said one of his priorities is to empty Greece of immigrants he said don't belong in the country.

"We must take back our cities," he said, declaring immigrants to be a "disease." He said he also wants to limit or revoke some rights granted to immigrants and their children who were born in Greece.

"The matter of racist violence is not on the government's agenda," Costis Papaioannou, head of the National Committee for Human Rights, told SETimes.

Joe Osamuyi, a 43-year-old Nigerian immigrant, said he has experienced discrimination in his 16 years in Greece, but not the level of violence against foreigners that happened late one night recently at a bus stop where he was waiting. An immigrant next to him, he said, was suddenly pummeled by a group of attackers.

"They didn't say it but you know it was Golden Dawn," he told SETimes.

"Golden Dawn is just a distraction, they are cashing in on the misery and corruption," leaving Greeks fretful for their futures, he said. Osamuyi, a computer scientist who said he could only find work bussing tables in Greece waiting tables, said, "In my workplace there is racism and you hear words of prejudice."
There are no signs racism is abating. Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris -- who is charged with assaulting two leftist MPs during a live TV show before the June 17th elections where he won a seat -- said that Greece's enemies want to turn the country into a "wretched protectorate inhabited by sub-humans with no conscience, country or culture," and called for land mines to be laid along the country's borders.

"The issue of racism in Greece is complex. There is a dangerous escalation of racist violence against refugees and migrants," and some groups are trying to take advantage of uneasiness in Greece, Ketty Kehayioylou, an information officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Athens, told SETimes.

"The economic crisis caused frustration and social unrest to an emotionally-charged population that looks for scapegoats," she added. UNHCR set up a pilot programme late last year to monitor attacks, and said then that racist violence "is spreading at a terrifying pace, and threatens the country's already damaged social cohesion."

Javied Aslam, who heads a Pakistani immigrant group affiliated with the Athens-based Campaign Against Racism, told the Human Rights Watch researchers that he and five other immigrants were brutally beaten by attackers who forced their way into seven homes, assaulting occupants and destroying property.

"These are fascist gangs and someone has to stop them," he said.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:04 AM   #24
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http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/au...gree-a15.shtml

Racist murder in Greece reflects rising neo-Nazi influence

By Christoph Dreier
15 August 2012

Early on Sunday morning, five dark-clad figures mounted on four motorcycles rode through the neighborhood of Omonia Square in central Athens, hunting down immigrants. Upon encountering a 19-year-old Iraqi, they beat him with their fists and stones and stabbed him several times with a knife. The young man died the same day in a hospital.

This racially motivated murder is the brutal culmination of a systematic manhunt of immigrants organized by the state in recent weeks. The motorcycle gang had already attacked a Romanian and a Moroccan in the same district, unmolested by the police. The first two victims were able to get to safety in time, however.

The murder in Athens is part of a wave of racist violence in Greece. On Saturday a violent attack was launched against a group of Pakistanis in Heraklion, Crete. Shops owned by migrants in the port city of Piraeus have been repeatedly attacked. Smoke bombs were hurled into one shop that that also serves as a mosque.

Five hundred immigrants have been admitted to hospital due to racist attacks in the first half of 2012. According to reports in the newspaper Ta Nea, based on various non-governmental organizations, this is nearly double the total of victims of similar attacks over the same period last year.

These attacks are the direct result of a government policy supported by the EU. Just a week before the murder, 4,500 policemen were involved in a major operation to hunt down migrants. They took 6,700 foreign-looking people into custody and interned 1,555 in special camps where they are now awaiting deportation. Hundreds have already been deported.

The minister responsible for civil protection, Nikos Dendias of the conservative New Democracy party, justified the manhunt by comparing immigrants to “occupiers” in “the biggest invasion that Greece has ever experienced.” With such repulsive comments, the minister encouraged attacks on migrants and put the perpetrators of fascist attacks on immigrants on a par with resistance fighters during Nazi occupation in World War II.

In recent years the fascist party Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn), which plays a leading role in the attacks on immigrants, has been systematically built up by various Greek governments. In 2004, Ta Nea had already reported on close ties between the fascists and the state apparatus.

The fascist party works closely with the police. In demonstrations by leftist or anarchist groups, police officials handed batons and radios to the fascists so they could provoke violence. In addition, police have allowed members of Golden Dawn to carry various weapons.

Golden Dawn member Antonios Androutsopoulos—who murdered a leftist student activist in 1998—was able to avoid capture for seven years, very probably with the assistance of the police. He was eventually apprehended in 2005. Although more people were involved in the murder, only Androutsopoulos was prosecuted.

Also in 1998, the Eleftherotypia newspaper reported that race riots in Thessaloniki had been organized by “racist forces within the police.” No one was arrested after the riots.

This list of collaboration by the police with the fascists could be extended up to the present. In the last elections, the daily To Vima reported that 50 percent of police officers voted for Golden Dawn.

Greece’s migrant rights’ organization Expel Racism has reported hundreds of cases where police officers watched by idly during attacks on migrants. There have also been reports of foreigners being beaten in police stations, and police officers giving residents the telephone number of Golden Dawn when they complained about immigrants.

“We are scared to go on the streets,” one migrant told the daily newspaper Kathimerini. “It’s Ramadan, we were invited to dinner, but we will not go. If we go out we will be intercepted either by the police or Golden Dawn.”

The German newspaper Die Welt reported on a woman from Georgia who was sexually threatened in Athens by a member of Golden Dawn. After they went to the police, the man returned in the evening accompanied by officers from the local station and boasted: “Do you see now who my friends are?”

The Greek government—New Democracy (ND), together with the social-democratic PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR) parties—supports the fascist forces in order to create a political atmosphere in which any popular opposition can be violently attacked. Their foremost goal is to prepare the brutal suppression of any movement in the working class against the unpopular austerity measures demanded by the EU, which have wrecked the Greek economy.

The social attacks undertaken by the government, which have already led to widespread misery and poverty and are to be intensified, are increasingly incompatible with even the forms of democratic rule.

Under conditions where bourgeois “left” parties such as SYRIZA have blocked the emergence of mass working class struggles against the EU and the policies of the Greek bourgeoisie, fascistic forces can pose as the only alternative to the existing political set-up. As social tensions grow, the ruling elite promotes ever more right-wing forces, and bourgeois rule assumes an ever more dictatorial character.

In this context there have been demands raised for a ban of Golden Dawn, notably by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks. Noting that Golden Dawn is among the “most overtly extremist and Nazi party in Europe,” he has asked the Greek government to “probe the legality of the party,” according to Kathimerini.

Such a ban, however, would not afford any protection for migrants or put an end to the influence of far-right forces. Indeed, they are tied to and protected by the very security forces of the Greek bourgeois state that such a ban would task with repressing Golden Dawn.

Instead it would strengthen the state apparatus and provide an excuse to criminalize political opponents and disband oppositional and leftist political organizations. This would strengthen the apparatus of repression and lead rapidly in the direction of authoritarianism.

The defense of immigrants’ rights requires the mobilization of the working class to fight the austerity policies of the EU and the rising influence of fascist forces. This struggle can only be successful when it is based on a socialist struggle against capitalism, which is increasingly turning towards the most right-wing elements.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:05 AM   #25
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Welcome to Greece RACISM - YouTube
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:08 AM   #26
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Greek far-right Golden Dawn Mp slaps another member in LIVE Tv (with English subtitles) - YouTube
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:10 AM   #27
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Greek neonazi leader denies the Holocaust (repulsive) - YouTube
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #28
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Golden Dawn on CBS channel... - YouTube
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:23 AM   #29
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What can we say about racism in modern grcija that we haven't already said? This is what two grks have to say:


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Old 10-19-2012, 08:25 AM   #30
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4101469.stm

According to Panayote Dimitras, spokesman of the anti-racism campaign group the Greek Helsinki Monitor, racism in Greece is deep-rooted.

"Greek national culture is one that believes there is a superiority of the Greek nation which is a continuous descendent of the ancient Greeks, and when you think like this about yourself it is very easy to think that the others are inferior," he says.
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