«We will not be visiting Greece» (ήταν θέμα χρόνου)

Dear Pitsirikos, I am sending you this mail after a lot of thought.The truth is that I was quite hesitant not only to write this email but also to send it to you since it concerns a rather delicate matter, that of the neo-Nazi movement in Greece and more specifically of how the Greeks deal with it.

To cut a long story short I was in Greece recently staying with some Greek friends. It was mid June and while taking a walk in the centre of Athens I came face to face with an incident that utterly shocked me. A group of neo-Nazis attacked a tourist and beat him just because of the color of his skin.

I was really shocked! It was just unreal!

Not just because they attacked a tourist but mainly because they attacked a person because of the different color of its skin.

When I returned home, and with the help of my Greek friends I mentioned before, I tried to find out how the press covered this act and I found that not only had they not mentioned it but also that it was one of several that had occurred in that period.

I must admit that this shook me up even more.

On top of that, there was an incident with a Greek Olympic athlete who was refused participation in the Olympic Games due to the racist message she had sent out on twitter. I started going through various blogs and saw that most Greeks reacted to her statement by saying that “everyone over reacted and that she should be allowed to compete since she did apologize after all”(!!!). I assume I do not need to comment further since this specific subject has been over-analyzed in modern history books.

What really gets me is how a country like Greece, which claims that its main source of income is tourism expects to have a prosperous tourism industry in, when its people support acts of racism and extreme right wing activity?

I have taken it upon myself to inform as many of my fellow citizens as I can about the seriousness of the incident that took place before my eyes.

We have concluded that we will not be visiting Greece again in the near future or at least not until the country changes this extreme stance.

None of us are willing to support the tourism industry of a country that shows such hate towards anything “not-Greek”.

I would really appreciate if you could publish my letter to your blog.

Thank you very much,

Helen G.

(Το ήξερα πως θα συμβεί αυτό. Πολύ πριν από τα δημοσιεύματα του ξένου Τύπου τις τελευταίες εβδομάδες για τις επιθέσεις των φασιστών ενάντια όχι μόνο σε μετανάστες αλλά και τσιγγάνους, ομοφυλόφιλους και άλλους «αντιπαθητικούς». Και τώρα, οι «νοικοκυραίοι» που ζουν από τον τουρισμό θα πρέπει να πάρουν θέση γιατί θα αδειάσει η τσέπη τους και αυτό υποθέτω πως δεν το θεωρούν τόσο «αστείο» όσο τις παλικαριές των «καθαρών Ελλήνων» απέναντι στους μετανάστες. Καλοί μου άνθρωποι, τελικά η ψήφος σας και η ανοχή σας δεν ήταν και τόσο ανώδυνες όσο νομίζατε. Πάντως, εγώ είχα προειδοποιήσει: «Θα σας πω τι θα γίνει στη συνέχεια. Κάποιοι φασίστες θα επιτεθούν σε τουρίστες που δεν έχουν τα «σωστά» χαρακτηριστικά -δηλαδή δεν είναι λευκοί-, ή σε τουρίστες που θα θεωρήσουν «εχθρούς της Ελλάδας», αυτό θα πάρει τεράστια δημοσιότητα, και η Ελλάδα θα χάσει εκατομμύρια τουρίστες γιατί κανείς δεν θέλει να κάνει διακοπές σε μια χώρα ρατσιστών και φασιστών που έχουν μάλιστα την βεβαιότητα πως είναι απόγονοι του Σωκράτη και του Αριστοτέλη».)

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