Race murder sparks Greek soul searching

Published on 14 August 2012 at 11:35

The number of hate attacks against immigrants has soared during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, culminating in the killing of a 19-year-old Iraqi outside a makeshift mosque in central Athens on August 12. The teenager was stabbed to death by five people riding motorcycles, police believe. The attackers were earlier spotted trying to attack Romanian and Moroccan immigrants. No one has yet been arrested in connection with the murder, and the frequency of this type of attacks is rising, says Kathimerini :

Is there no judge left in Athens? Is there no prosecutor? The reason for this question is that there appear to be gangs of criminals that drive around the city beating, stabbing and killing fellow humans and yet no state authority seems willing or able to do anything about it. […]

This country has never been middle of the road. From the shallow progressivism that held officials to inaction toward illegal immigrants, we now are at the other end of the spectrum: the fascism of indifference when these people are being murdered. […]

We did not care when these people sneaked into the country without permission. Similarly, we do not care when some other people beat them up. Meanwhile, state authorities are also failing to fulfill their duty. […]

We need a prosecutor who will perform his duty, which is to enforce the law, a prosecutor who will investigate whether police officers have ties with [the neo-nazi party] Golden Dawn, a prosecutor who will strengthen law enforcement on the streets. The country cannot be held to ransom by gangs who claim to be defending their own understanding of legality.

“The killing took place against the backdrop of an unprecedented crackdown on clandestine immigrants in the greater Athens area”, writes Kathimerini. The anti-immigration operation, “jarringly code-named Xenios Zeus after the ancient Greek god of hospitality, has so far led to the arrest of 1,596 unregistered immigrants. A total of 7,361 foreigners have so far been rounded up for checks”. Meanwhile, notes the daily, “nearly 500 racially motivated attacks have been carried out over the past six months in Greece according to the Migrant Workers Association”.

Are you a news organisation, a business, an association or a foundation? Check out our bespoke editorial and translation services.

Support independent European journalism

European democracy needs independent media. Voxeurop needs you. Join our community!

On the same topic