January 10, 2018

Who's behind the attacks on migrants in Greece?

The recent surge of violence is forcing the country to address its issue of racism.

A recent rise in anti-migrant attacks is shining the spotlight on racism in Greece and calling on the country to examine the growing popularity of a right-wing political party.

Since December 25, more than 30 homes of migrant labourers have been the target of violence in the port city of Piraeus. "It's been happening at least three times per week," says Petros Constantinou, the national director for Keerfa, an anti-racist activist group. "They are targeting homes where it is obvious migrants are living," Constantinou told Al Jazeera ahead of his appearance on The Stream.

The "they" is believed to be members of Golden Dawn, a Greek neo-fascist party. The group has grown in popularity over the years thanks to their anti-establishment rhetoric and their use of the national resentment over Greece's financial crisis.

This month, as part of a larger effort by Twitter to combat hate speech, Golden Dawn had their account suspended. The party denies being a neo-Nazi organisation.

In 2016, the government established an official office for complaints of fascism and violence. But activists say it has been of little help because there are no translators working the phone lines and no one is actually calling.

So what can actually be done to address the issue? We'll pose that question to activists and lawmakers on this episode of The Stream.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Petros Constantinou  
National Coordinator, KEERFA

Yonous Muhammadi @YonousM  
President, Greek Forum of Refugees 

Antonis Ellinas @ellinasantonis  
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Cyprus

Tina Stavrinaki @RVRN_Greece   
Assistant Coordinator, Racist Violence Recording Network

Read more: 

Anti-migrant attacks surge in Greece's Piraeus - Al Jazeera
The persistence of Golden Dawn - The Stream 

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