Thursday, June 23, 2005


For those of you who think that Greece is non-racist the read this article from the BBC highlighting the Albanian issue. Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis needs a large dose of reality. Wake Up George. By no means think these are a few isolated incidents. The flag bearing argument comes up with alarming regularity. An ethnic Albanian student had to give the place of honour to a Greek student with lesser grades. Odysseus Cenaj had the highest marks in his class and by law had the right to carry the flag at the school parade but students, backed and prodded and aided loudly by the parents' school association, staged a sit-in in protest. Odysseus, a quiet and shy boy, said he didn't want to make any trouble and stepped down to second place. And as if this wasn't bad enough, they did it the same exact thing three years later as well because he once again had the audacity to get the best grades in his class. Another couple of examples On weekdays, between five and seven a.m., bus rides are free for all workers in Greece. But bus drivers spot the Albanian workers and demand the fare from them. They say the free ride is "for Greeks only." Greece won a critical World Cup qualifier against Albania in a stadium packed entirely with Greek fans. Despite an 800,000-strong Albanian community living in Greece, there was no sign on the stands of support for the visiting side. Nor were any tickets issued for supporters from Albania to watch the game. Greek authorities said they controlled ticket sales to the stadium as a security measure. "We did not sell any tickets to Albanians, only to Greeks," a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Order told the BBC News website. Discrimination and racism is rampant here. You only have to open your eyes and ears. There are people who have worked for years for families here who are referred to not by name but as "the Albanian". When any crime takes place around our neighborhood people assume it was committed by an Albanian before knowing any of the facts. Our local shop was robbed at gunpoint a couple of weeks ago and people were shocked that the perpetrators turned out to be Greek. Why were they shocked? That their own could commit a crime on one of their own? It happens all the time people. It's RACISM that makes you assume that all criminals are Albanian.


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