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It was never just a slogan! (mail from Athens, Vol. 2)

Recently, an article appeared in a greek internet news portal about the increase of “students of other nationalities” in greek schools. According to the article, the number of foreign students in just 5 years has risen from 7% to the astounding number of…12%. One could ask: Why is that an issue? Who does it concern? Why are the Greeks interested in such statistics? These questions will seem less perplexing after we explain what Greece has been up to in the last 5 years.

In 2010, the newly elected Socialist government tried to pass a law concerning the acquisition of greek citizenship. This law allowed the children of legal immigrants to apply for greek citizenship if they had been born here or went through six classes of greek school. This development raised a wave of protest from the whole right-wing spectrum. Their campaign proved successful to an extent and the law did pass but with much stricter criteria, so even fewer immigrant youngsters got the citizenship [2.653 only! while 250.000 are estimated to be waiting for a newer version of the law]. It’s worth noting that the debate on citizenship was held in the mid of the crisis. When the then PM asked for inter-parliamentary cooperation on the issue of the economic crisis, Antonis Samaras, the now PM, and then head of the Conservatives, set as a pre-condition of this cooperation the abolition of the law for Greek citizenship. All parties of the coalition agreed. This is the ground where the elections of 2012 were taking place and exactly this is the ground on which detention camps for 10,000 immigrants were constructed in the country. Let us also say that the prison population of the country is 14,000 detainees, so the new detention camps for immigrants are actually doubling the prisoned population of the country, but the latter are different only in that their inmates are foreign and accused for illegal presense in the country.

In 2013, a higher administrative court of the country reinforced the “right of blood” and declared the law of greek citizenship as unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what will happen with those who managed to acquire greek citizenship in the meantime but the Greeks have shown their intentions. How coud they accept as equal citizens the children of the very same people that they stigmatized, the same people they exploited as illegal labour and then surrendered to the police for deportation, the same people that they murdered in cold blood for stealing a watermelon? These were the “assimilation measures” that Greek society reserved for immigrants in the 90s.

But the children of these men and women are not the same social subjects as their parents. They were born and/or grew up here, they speak greek fluently, they know the cultural and social codes of this country. During the riots of December 2008 the so called ‘second generation’ was there demonstrating, attacking cops and looting even, along with their non-migrant classmates. The Kathimerini newspaper at the time warned its’ readers that some of the leaflets being distributed were in Albanian language! Since then a string of defamations has followed from every possible source. The second generation kids are being stigmatized as criminals, as “non-assimilated to the greek culture”, as a potential “traitors”, etc. The arrest of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the discovery that not all of their members were “pure” Greeks added the charge of terrorism to the spectrum of racist libels and Damiano Bolano, one of the members of the latter group, had to endure racist abuse at the hands of the greek cops. Not a surprise if someone remembers that these are the very same cops who voted for a nazi party at the percentage of 1 in 2.

Of course the radical left scene couldn’t remain silent and had to join the chorus of racist ‘indignados’. If someone reads their texts or their online debates, she will remain with the impression that Exarcheia is under the siege of an “Albanian mafia” who sell drugs, insult women in a sexist manner and maybe even harbor “nationalist (pro-Albanian) sentiments”. But this textbook example of a moral panic wasn’t enough. They had to add insult to injury, by constructing a whole discourse around the supposedly “Albanian members of Golden Dawn”.

The ‘second generation’, the greatest part of which remains of Albanian origin, seems to receive hostile fire from any possible direction. In 2004, when the Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of Athens to celebrate the win of their national football team against the Greek one, were treated with a country-wide pogrom with deads and injured, as well as with the resentful slogan shouted everywhere: ‘Albanian, you will never become a Greek!’. Back then, the events seemed and were analyzed, at best, by the left as a form of cultural racism set on by extreme neonazi gangs infiltrating the big masses of football fans. What is now happening, though, with judicial arguments on blood and nationality, is only that the present government took on to realize the then to slogan to a certain concrete social reality today. The abolition of the recent law for citizenship is the actual fulfillment of that early slogan. And, as explained earlier, there will be no barricades for that reason in Exarcheia. For us, it remains to be seen whether and for how long will the second generation put up with these racist conditions in Greece. This June, a whole new generation brought up grown up in greece, will have to rush in the labor force, in an enviroment of an economic crisis, in order to get papers for its legal stay in the country. It seems like the grapes of wrath are waiting to be selected, aren’t they?

Antifa Negative, 19/04/2013

Recently, an article appeared in a greek internet news portal about the increase of “students of other nationalities” in greek schools. According to the article, the number of foreign students in just 5 years has risen from 7% to the astounding number of…12%. One could ask: Why is that an issue? Who does it concern? Why are the Greeks interested in such statistics? These questions will seem less perplexing after we explain what Greece has been up to in the last 5 years.

In 2010, the newly elected Socialist government tried to pass a law concerning the acquisition of greek citizenship. This law allowed the children of legal immigrants to apply for greek citizenship if they had been born here or went through six classes of greek school. This development raised a wave of protest from the whole right-wing spectrum. Their campaign proved successful to an extent and the law did pass but with much stricter criteria, so even fewer immigrant youngsters got the citizenship [2.653 only! while 250.000 are estimated to be waiting for a newer version of the law]. It’s worth noting that the debate on citizenship was held in the mid of the crisis. When the then PM asked for inter-parliamentary cooperation on the issue of the economic crisis, Antonis Samaras, the now PM, and then head of the Conservatives, set as a pre-condition of this cooperation the abolition of the law for Greek citizenship. All parties of the coalition agreed. This is the ground where the elections of 2012 were taking place and exactly this is the ground on which detention camps for 10,000 immigrants were constructed in the country. Let us also say that the prison population of the country is 14,000 detainees, so the new detention camps for immigrants are actually doubling the prisoned population of the country, but the latter are different only in that their inmates are foreign and accused for illegal presense in the country.

In 2013, a higher administrative court of the country reinforced the “right of blood” and declared the law of greek citizenship as unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what will happen with those who managed to acquire greek citizenship in the meantime but the Greeks have shown their intentions. How coud they accept as equal citizens the children of the very same people that they stigmatized, the same people they exploited as illegal labour and then surrendered to the police for deportation, the same people that they murdered in cold blood for stealing a watermelon? These were the “assimilation measures” that Greek society reserved for immigrants in the 90s.

But the children of these men and women are not the same social subjects as their parents. They were born and/or grew up here, they speak greek fluently, they know the cultural and social codes of this country. During the riots of December 2008 the so called ‘second generation’ was there demonstrating, attacking cops and looting even, along with their non-migrant classmates. The Kathimerini newspaper at the time warned its’ readers that some of the leaflets being distributed were in Albanian language! Since then a string of defamations has followed from every possible source. The second generation kids are being stigmatized as criminals, as “non-assimilated to the greek culture”, as a potential “traitors”, etc. The arrest of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the discovery that not all of their members were “pure” Greeks added the charge of terrorism to the spectrum of racist libels and Damiano Bolano, one of the members of the latter group, had to endure racist abuse at the hands of the greek cops. Not a surprise if someone remembers that these are the very same cops who voted for a nazi party at the percentage of 1 in 2.

Of course the radical left scene couldn’t remain silent and had to join the chorus of racist ‘indignados’. If someone reads their texts or their online debates, she will remain with the impression that Exarcheia is under the siege of an “Albanian mafia” who sell drugs, insult women in a sexist manner and maybe even harbor “nationalist (pro-Albanian) sentiments”. But this textbook example of a moral panic wasn’t enough. They had to add insult to injury, by constructing a whole discourse around the supposedly “Albanian members of Golden Dawn”.

The ‘second generation’, the greatest part of which remains of Albanian origin, seems to receive hostile fire from any possible direction. In 2004, when the Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of Athens to celebrate the win of their national football team against the Greek one, were treated with a country-wide pogrom with deads and injured, as well as with the resentful slogan shouted everywhere: ‘Albanian, you will never become a Greek!’. Back then, the events seemed and were analyzed, at best, by the left as a form of cultural racism set on by extreme neonazi gangs infiltrating the big masses of football fans. What is now happening, though, with judicial arguments on blood and nationality, is only that the present government took on to realize the then to slogan to a certain concrete social reality today. The abolition of the recent law for citizenship is the actual fulfillment of that early slogan. And, as explained earlier, there will be no barricades for that reason in Exarcheia. For us, it remains to be seen whether and for how long will the second generation put up with these racist conditions in Greece. This June, a whole new generation brought up grown up in greece, will have to rush in the labor force, in an enviroment of an economic crisis, in order to get papers for its legal stay in the country. It seems like the grapes of wrath are waiting to be selected, aren’t they?

Antifa Negative, 19/04/2013Recently, an article appeared in a greek internet news portal about the increase of “students of other nationalities” in greek schools. According to the article, the number of foreign students in just 5 years has risen from 7% to the astounding number of…12%. One could ask: Why is that an issue? Who does it concern? Why are the Greeks interested in such statistics? These questions will seem less perplexing after we explain what Greece has been up to in the last 5 years.

In 2010, the newly elected Socialist government tried to pass a law concerning the acquisition of greek citizenship. This law allowed the children of legal immigrants to apply for greek citizenship if they had been born here or went through six classes of greek school. This development raised a wave of protest from the whole right-wing spectrum. Their campaign proved successful to an extent and the law did pass but with much stricter criteria, so even fewer immigrant youngsters got the citizenship [2.653 only! while 250.000 are estimated to be waiting for a newer version of the law]. It’s worth noting that the debate on citizenship was held in the mid of the crisis. When the then PM asked for inter-parliamentary cooperation on the issue of the economic crisis, Antonis Samaras, the now PM, and then head of the Conservatives, set as a pre-condition of this cooperation the abolition of the law for Greek citizenship. All parties of the coalition agreed. This is the ground where the elections of 2012 were taking place and exactly this is the ground on which detention camps for 10,000 immigrants were constructed in the country. Let us also say that the prison population of the country is 14,000 detainees, so the new detention camps for immigrants are actually doubling the prisoned population of the country, but the latter are different only in that their inmates are foreign and accused for illegal presense in the country.

In 2013, a higher administrative court of the country reinforced the “right of blood” and declared the law of greek citizenship as unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what will happen with those who managed to acquire greek citizenship in the meantime but the Greeks have shown their intentions. How coud they accept as equal citizens the children of the very same people that they stigmatized, the same people they exploited as illegal labour and then surrendered to the police for deportation, the same people that they murdered in cold blood for stealing a watermelon? These were the “assimilation measures” that Greek society reserved for immigrants in the 90s.

But the children of these men and women are not the same social subjects as their parents. They were born and/or grew up here, they speak greek fluently, they know the cultural and social codes of this country. During the riots of December 2008 the so called ‘second generation’ was there demonstrating, attacking cops and looting even, along with their non-migrant classmates. The Kathimerini newspaper at the time warned its’ readers that some of the leaflets being distributed were in Albanian language! Since then a string of defamations has followed from every possible source. The second generation kids are being stigmatized as criminals, as “non-assimilated to the greek culture”, as a potential “traitors”, etc. The arrest of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the discovery that not all of their members were “pure” Greeks added the charge of terrorism to the spectrum of racist libels and Damiano Bolano, one of the members of the latter group, had to endure racist abuse at the hands of the greek cops. Not a surprise if someone remembers that these are the very same cops who voted for a nazi party at the percentage of 1 in 2.

Of course the radical left scene couldn’t remain silent and had to join the chorus of racist ‘indignados’. If someone reads their texts or their online debates, she will remain with the impression that Exarcheia is under the siege of an “Albanian mafia” who sell drugs, insult women in a sexist manner and maybe even harbor “nationalist (pro-Albanian) sentiments”. But this textbook example of a moral panic wasn’t enough. They had to add insult to injury, by constructing a whole discourse around the supposedly “Albanian members of Golden Dawn”.

The ‘second generation’, the greatest part of which remains of Albanian origin, seems to receive hostile fire from any possible direction. In 2004, when the Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of Athens to celebrate the win of their national football team against the Greek one, were treated with a country-wide pogrom with deads and injured, as well as with the resentful slogan shouted everywhere: ‘Albanian, you will never become a Greek!’. Back then, the events seemed and were analyzed, at best, by the left as a form of cultural racism set on by extreme neonazi gangs infiltrating the big masses of football fans. What is now happening, though, with judicial arguments on blood and nationality, is only that the present government took on to realize the then to slogan to a certain concrete social reality today. The abolition of the recent law for citizenship is the actual fulfillment of that early slogan. And, as explained earlier, there will be no barricades for that reason in Exarcheia. For us, it remains to be seen whether and for how long will the second generation put up with these racist conditions in Greece. This June, a whole new generation brought up grown up in greece, will have to rush in the labor force, in an enviroment of an economic crisis, in order to get papers for its legal stay in the country. It seems like the grapes of wrath are waiting to be selected, aren’t they?

Antifa Negative, 19/04/2013

Recently, an article appeared in a greek internet news portal about the increase of “students of other nationalities” in greek schools. According to the article, the number of foreign students in just 5 years has risen from 7% to the astounding number of…12%. One could ask: Why is that an issue? Who does it concern? Why are the Greeks interested in such statistics? These questions will seem less perplexing after we explain what Greece has been up to in the last 5 years.

In 2010, the newly elected Socialist government tried to pass a law concerning the acquisition of greek citizenship. This law allowed the children of legal immigrants to apply for greek citizenship if they had been born here or went through six classes of greek school. This development raised a wave of protest from the whole right-wing spectrum. Their campaign proved successful to an extent and the law did pass but with much stricter criteria, so even fewer immigrant youngsters got the citizenship [2.653 only! while 250.000 are estimated to be waiting for a newer version of the law]. It’s worth noting that the debate on citizenship was held in the mid of the crisis. When the then PM asked for inter-parliamentary cooperation on the issue of the economic crisis, Antonis Samaras, the now PM, and then head of the Conservatives, set as a pre-condition of this cooperation the abolition of the law for Greek citizenship. All parties of the coalition agreed. This is the ground where the elections of 2012 were taking place and exactly this is the ground on which detention camps for 10,000 immigrants were constructed in the country. Let us also say that the prison population of the country is 14,000 detainees, so the new detention camps for immigrants are actually doubling the prisoned population of the country, but the latter are different only in that their inmates are foreign and accused for illegal presense in the country.

In 2013, a higher administrative court of the country reinforced the “right of blood” and declared the law of greek citizenship as unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what will happen with those who managed to acquire greek citizenship in the meantime but the Greeks have shown their intentions. How coud they accept as equal citizens the children of the very same people that they stigmatized, the same people they exploited as illegal labour and then surrendered to the police for deportation, the same people that they murdered in cold blood for stealing a watermelon? These were the “assimilation measures” that Greek society reserved for immigrants in the 90s.

But the children of these men and women are not the same social subjects as their parents. They were born and/or grew up here, they speak greek fluently, they know the cultural and social codes of this country. During the riots of December 2008 the so called ‘second generation’ was there demonstrating, attacking cops and looting even, along with their non-migrant classmates. The Kathimerini newspaper at the time warned its’ readers that some of the leaflets being distributed were in Albanian language! Since then a string of defamations has followed from every possible source. The second generation kids are being stigmatized as criminals, as “non-assimilated to the greek culture”, as a potential “traitors”, etc. The arrest of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the discovery that not all of their members were “pure” Greeks added the charge of terrorism to the spectrum of racist libels and Damiano Bolano, one of the members of the latter group, had to endure racist abuse at the hands of the greek cops. Not a surprise if someone remembers that these are the very same cops who voted for a nazi party at the percentage of 1 in 2.

Of course the radical left scene couldn’t remain silent and had to join the chorus of racist ‘indignados’. If someone reads their texts or their online debates, she will remain with the impression that Exarcheia is under the siege of an “Albanian mafia” who sell drugs, insult women in a sexist manner and maybe even harbor “nationalist (pro-Albanian) sentiments”. But this textbook example of a moral panic wasn’t enough. They had to add insult to injury, by constructing a whole discourse around the supposedly “Albanian members of Golden Dawn”.

The ‘second generation’, the greatest part of which remains of Albanian origin, seems to receive hostile fire from any possible direction. In 2004, when the Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of Athens to celebrate the win of their national football team against the Greek one, were treated with a country-wide pogrom with deads and injured, as well as with the resentful slogan shouted everywhere: ‘Albanian, you will never become a Greek!’. Back then, the events seemed and were analyzed, at best, by the left as a form of cultural racism set on by extreme neonazi gangs infiltrating the big masses of football fans. What is now happening, though, with judicial arguments on blood and nationality, is only that the present government took on to realize the then to slogan to a certain concrete social reality today. The abolition of the recent law for citizenship is the actual fulfillment of that early slogan. And, as explained earlier, there will be no barricades for that reason in Exarcheia. For us, it remains to be seen whether and for how long will the second generation put up with these racist conditions in Greece. This June, a whole new generation brought up grown up in greece, will have to rush in the labor force, in an enviroment of an economic crisis, in order to get papers for its legal stay in the country. It seems like the grapes of wrath are waiting to be selected, aren’t they?

Antifa Negative, 19/04/2013Recently, an article appeared in a greek internet news portal about the increase of “students of other nationalities” in greek schools. According to the article, the number of foreign students in just 5 years has risen from 7% to the astounding number of…12%. One could ask: Why is that an issue? Who does it concern? Why are the Greeks interested in such statistics? These questions will seem less perplexing after we explain what Greece has been up to in the last 5 years.

In 2010, the newly elected Socialist government tried to pass a law concerning the acquisition of greek citizenship. This law allowed the children of legal immigrants to apply for greek citizenship if they had been born here or went through six classes of greek school. This development raised a wave of protest from the whole right-wing spectrum. Their campaign proved successful to an extent and the law did pass but with much stricter criteria, so even fewer immigrant youngsters got the citizenship [2.653 only! while 250.000 are estimated to be waiting for a newer version of the law]. It’s worth noting that the debate on citizenship was held in the mid of the crisis. When the then PM asked for inter-parliamentary cooperation on the issue of the economic crisis, Antonis Samaras, the now PM, and then head of the Conservatives, set as a pre-condition of this cooperation the abolition of the law for Greek citizenship. All parties of the coalition agreed. This is the ground where the elections of 2012 were taking place and exactly this is the ground on which detention camps for 10,000 immigrants were constructed in the country. Let us also say that the prison population of the country is 14,000 detainees, so the new detention camps for immigrants are actually doubling the prisoned population of the country, but the latter are different only in that their inmates are foreign and accused for illegal presense in the country.

In 2013, a higher administrative court of the country reinforced the “right of blood” and declared the law of greek citizenship as unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what will happen with those who managed to acquire greek citizenship in the meantime but the Greeks have shown their intentions. How coud they accept as equal citizens the children of the very same people that they stigmatized, the same people they exploited as illegal labour and then surrendered to the police for deportation, the same people that they murdered in cold blood for stealing a watermelon? These were the “assimilation measures” that Greek society reserved for immigrants in the 90s.

But the children of these men and women are not the same social subjects as their parents. They were born and/or grew up here, they speak greek fluently, they know the cultural and social codes of this country. During the riots of December 2008 the so called ‘second generation’ was there demonstrating, attacking cops and looting even, along with their non-migrant classmates. The Kathimerini newspaper at the time warned its’ readers that some of the leaflets being distributed were in Albanian language! Since then a string of defamations has followed from every possible source. The second generation kids are being stigmatized as criminals, as “non-assimilated to the greek culture”, as a potential “traitors”, etc. The arrest of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the discovery that not all of their members were “pure” Greeks added the charge of terrorism to the spectrum of racist libels and Damiano Bolano, one of the members of the latter group, had to endure racist abuse at the hands of the greek cops. Not a surprise if someone remembers that these are the very same cops who voted for a nazi party at the percentage of 1 in 2.

Of course the radical left scene couldn’t remain silent and had to join the chorus of racist ‘indignados’. If someone reads their texts or their online debates, she will remain with the impression that Exarcheia is under the siege of an “Albanian mafia” who sell drugs, insult women in a sexist manner and maybe even harbor “nationalist (pro-Albanian) sentiments”. But this textbook example of a moral panic wasn’t enough. They had to add insult to injury, by constructing a whole discourse around the supposedly “Albanian members of Golden Dawn”.

The ‘second generation’, the greatest part of which remains of Albanian origin, seems to receive hostile fire from any possible direction. In 2004, when the Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of Athens to celebrate the win of their national football team against the Greek one, were treated with a country-wide pogrom with deads and injured, as well as with the resentful slogan shouted everywhere: ‘Albanian, you will never become a Greek!’. Back then, the events seemed and were analyzed, at best, by the left as a form of cultural racism set on by extreme neonazi gangs infiltrating the big masses of football fans. What is now happening, though, with judicial arguments on blood and nationality, is only that the present government took on to realize the then to slogan to a certain concrete social reality today. The abolition of the recent law for citizenship is the actual fulfillment of that early slogan. And, as explained earlier, there will be no barricades for that reason in Exarcheia. For us, it remains to be seen whether and for how long will the second generation put up with these racist conditions in Greece. This June, a whole new generation brought up grown up in greece, will have to rush in the labor force, in an enviroment of an economic crisis, in order to get papers for its legal stay in the country. It seems like the grapes of wrath are waiting to be selected, aren’t they?

Antifa Negative, 19/04/2013

Recently, an article appeared in a greek internet news portal about the increase of “students of other nationalities” in greek schools. According to the article, the number of foreign students in just 5 years has risen from 7% to the astounding number of…12%. One could ask: Why is that an issue? Who does it concern? Why are the Greeks interested in such statistics? These questions will seem less perplexing after we explain what Greece has been up to in the last 5 years.

In 2010, the newly elected Socialist government tried to pass a law concerning the acquisition of greek citizenship. This law allowed the children of legal immigrants to apply for greek citizenship if they had been born here or went through six classes of greek school. This development raised a wave of protest from the whole right-wing spectrum. Their campaign proved successful to an extent and the law did pass but with much stricter criteria, so even fewer immigrant youngsters got the citizenship [2.653 only! while 250.000 are estimated to be waiting for a newer version of the law]. It’s worth noting that the debate on citizenship was held in the mid of the crisis. When the then PM asked for inter-parliamentary cooperation on the issue of the economic crisis, Antonis Samaras, the now PM, and then head of the Conservatives, set as a pre-condition of this cooperation the abolition of the law for Greek citizenship. All parties of the coalition agreed. This is the ground where the elections of 2012 were taking place and exactly this is the ground on which detention camps for 10,000 immigrants were constructed in the country. Let us also say that the prison population of the country is 14,000 detainees, so the new detention camps for immigrants are actually doubling the prisoned population of the country, but the latter are different only in that their inmates are foreign and accused for illegal presense in the country.

In 2013, a higher administrative court of the country reinforced the “right of blood” and declared the law of greek citizenship as unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what will happen with those who managed to acquire greek citizenship in the meantime but the Greeks have shown their intentions. How coud they accept as equal citizens the children of the very same people that they stigmatized, the same people they exploited as illegal labour and then surrendered to the police for deportation, the same people that they murdered in cold blood for stealing a watermelon? These were the “assimilation measures” that Greek society reserved for immigrants in the 90s.

But the children of these men and women are not the same social subjects as their parents. They were born and/or grew up here, they speak greek fluently, they know the cultural and social codes of this country. During the riots of December 2008 the so called ‘second generation’ was there demonstrating, attacking cops and looting even, along with their non-migrant classmates. The Kathimerini newspaper at the time warned its’ readers that some of the leaflets being distributed were in Albanian language! Since then a string of defamations has followed from every possible source. The second generation kids are being stigmatized as criminals, as “non-assimilated to the greek culture”, as a potential “traitors”, etc. The arrest of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the discovery that not all of their members were “pure” Greeks added the charge of terrorism to the spectrum of racist libels and Damiano Bolano, one of the members of the latter group, had to endure racist abuse at the hands of the greek cops. Not a surprise if someone remembers that these are the very same cops who voted for a nazi party at the percentage of 1 in 2.

Of course the radical left scene couldn’t remain silent and had to join the chorus of racist ‘indignados’. If someone reads their texts or their online debates, she will remain with the impression that Exarcheia is under the siege of an “Albanian mafia” who sell drugs, insult women in a sexist manner and maybe even harbor “nationalist (pro-Albanian) sentiments”. But this textbook example of a moral panic wasn’t enough. They had to add insult to injury, by constructing a whole discourse around the supposedly “Albanian members of Golden Dawn”.

The ‘second generation’, the greatest part of which remains of Albanian origin, seems to receive hostile fire from any possible direction. In 2004, when the Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of Athens to celebrate the win of their national football team against the Greek one, were treated with a country-wide pogrom with deads and injured, as well as with the resentful slogan shouted everywhere: ‘Albanian, you will never become a Greek!’. Back then, the events seemed and were analyzed, at best, by the left as a form of cultural racism set on by extreme neonazi gangs infiltrating the big masses of football fans. What is now happening, though, with judicial arguments on blood and nationality, is only that the present government took on to realize the then to slogan to a certain concrete social reality today. The abolition of the recent law for citizenship is the actual fulfillment of that early slogan. And, as explained earlier, there will be no barricades for that reason in Exarcheia. For us, it remains to be seen whether and for how long will the second generation put up with these racist conditions in Greece. This June, a whole new generation brought up grown up in greece, will have to rush in the labor force, in an enviroment of an economic crisis, in order to get papers for its legal stay in the country. It seems like the grapes of wrath are waiting to be selected, aren’t they?

Antifa Negative, 19/04/2013Recently, an article appeared in a greek internet news portal about the increase of “students of other nationalities” in greek schools. According to the article, the number of foreign students in just 5 years has risen from 7% to the astounding number of…12%. One could ask: Why is that an issue? Who does it concern? Why are the Greeks interested in such statistics? These questions will seem less perplexing after we explain what Greece has been up to in the last 5 years.

In 2010, the newly elected Socialist government tried to pass a law concerning the acquisition of greek citizenship. This law allowed the children of legal immigrants to apply for greek citizenship if they had been born here or went through six classes of greek school. This development raised a wave of protest from the whole right-wing spectrum. Their campaign proved successful to an extent and the law did pass but with much stricter criteria, so even fewer immigrant youngsters got the citizenship [2.653 only! while 250.000 are estimated to be waiting for a newer version of the law]. It’s worth noting that the debate on citizenship was held in the mid of the crisis. When the then PM asked for inter-parliamentary cooperation on the issue of the economic crisis, Antonis Samaras, the now PM, and then head of the Conservatives, set as a pre-condition of this cooperation the abolition of the law for Greek citizenship. All parties of the coalition agreed. This is the ground where the elections of 2012 were taking place and exactly this is the ground on which detention camps for 10,000 immigrants were constructed in the country. Let us also say that the prison population of the country is 14,000 detainees, so the new detention camps for immigrants are actually doubling the prisoned population of the country, but the latter are different only in that their inmates are foreign and accused for illegal presense in the country.

In 2013, a higher administrative court of the country reinforced the “right of blood” and declared the law of greek citizenship as unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what will happen with those who managed to acquire greek citizenship in the meantime but the Greeks have shown their intentions. How coud they accept as equal citizens the children of the very same people that they stigmatized, the same people they exploited as illegal labour and then surrendered to the police for deportation, the same people that they murdered in cold blood for stealing a watermelon? These were the “assimilation measures” that Greek society reserved for immigrants in the 90s.

But the children of these men and women are not the same social subjects as their parents. They were born and/or grew up here, they speak greek fluently, they know the cultural and social codes of this country. During the riots of December 2008 the so called ‘second generation’ was there demonstrating, attacking cops and looting even, along with their non-migrant classmates. The Kathimerini newspaper at the time warned its’ readers that some of the leaflets being distributed were in Albanian language! Since then a string of defamations has followed from every possible source. The second generation kids are being stigmatized as criminals, as “non-assimilated to the greek culture”, as a potential “traitors”, etc. The arrest of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and the discovery that not all of their members were “pure” Greeks added the charge of terrorism to the spectrum of racist libels and Damiano Bolano, one of the members of the latter group, had to endure racist abuse at the hands of the greek cops. Not a surprise if someone remembers that these are the very same cops who voted for a nazi party at the percentage of 1 in 2.

Of course the radical left scene couldn’t remain silent and had to join the chorus of racist ‘indignados’. If someone reads their texts or their online debates, she will remain with the impression that Exarcheia is under the siege of an “Albanian mafia” who sell drugs, insult women in a sexist manner and maybe even harbor “nationalist (pro-Albanian) sentiments”. But this textbook example of a moral panic wasn’t enough. They had to add insult to injury, by constructing a whole discourse around the supposedly “Albanian members of Golden Dawn”.

The ‘second generation’, the greatest part of which remains of Albanian origin, seems to receive hostile fire from any possible direction. In 2004, when the Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of Athens to celebrate the win of their national football team against the Greek one, were treated with a country-wide pogrom with deads and injured, as well as with the resentful slogan shouted everywhere: ‘Albanian, you will never become a Greek!’. Back then, the events seemed and were analyzed, at best, by the left as a form of cultural racism set on by extreme neonazi gangs infiltrating the big masses of football fans. What is now happening, though, with judicial arguments on blood and nationality, is only that the present government took on to realize the then to slogan to a certain concrete social reality today. The abolition of the recent law for citizenship is the actual fulfillment of that early slogan. And, as explained earlier, there will be no barricades for that reason in Exarcheia. For us, it remains to be seen whether and for how long will the second generation put up with these racist conditions in Greece. This June, a whole new generation brought up grown up in greece, will have to rush in the labor force, in an enviroment of an economic crisis, in order to get papers for its legal stay in the country. It seems like the grapes of wrath are waiting to be selected, aren’t they?

Antifa Negative, 19.04.2013, (for FSK Hamburg)

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