Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

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Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby velvet bliss on Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:07 am

If you're a white supremacist.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20958353

Greek police have stepped up efforts to catch illegal immigrants in recent months, launching a new operation to check the papers of people who look foreign. But tourists have also been picked up in the sweeps - and at least two have been badly beaten.

When Korean backpacker Hyun Young Jung was stopped by a tall scruffy looking man speaking Greek on the street in central Athens he thought it might be some kind of scam, so he dismissed the man politely and continued on his way.

A few moments later he was stopped again, this time by a man in uniform who asked for his documents. But as a hardened traveller he was cautious.

Greece was the 16th stop in his two-year-long round-the-world trip and he'd often been warned about people dressing in fake uniforms to extract money from backpackers, so while he handed over his passport he also asked the man to show him his police ID.

Instead, Jung says, he received a punch in the face.

Within seconds, the uniformed man and his plainclothes partner - the man who had first approached Jung - had him down on the ground and were kicking him, according to the Korean.

It was only when he was handcuffed and dragged 500m (500 yards) up the road to the nearest police station that he realised he was actually under arrest.

Jung says that outside the station the uniformed officer, without any kind of warning, turned on him again, hitting him in the face.

Inside the police station, Jung says he was attacked a third time in the stairwell where there were no people or cameras.

"I can understand them asking me for ID and I even understand that there may have been a case to justify them hitting me in the first instance. But why did they continue beating me after I was handcuffed?" he asks.

Jung was held with a number of migrants from Africa and Asia who had also been rounded up as part of the police's anti-immigration operation Xenios Zeus - named, strangely, after the ancient Greek god of hospitality.(lol)

When Jung was released from police custody without charge just a few hours after being detained, he says one officer shouted after him, "Hey Korean, go home!"

It is thought that up to 95% of undocumented migrants entering the European Union arrive via Greece, and because border controls make it hard to continue into the rest of Europe many end up stuck in the country.

Lt Col Christos Manouras of the Hellenic police force says operation Xenios Zeus, launched last August, has slowed down the flow of illegal immigrants. Anyone who looks foreign, or who has aroused suspicion, may be stopped, he says.

"If someone is stopped by the police and they do not have a valid means of identification we will accompany them to the station until their nationality can be determined," he explains.

"I think that is normal and I would expect Greeks to be subjected to the same treatment abroad."

But while more than 60,000 people have been detained on the streets of Athens since it was launched in August 2012, there have been fewer than 4,200 arrests.

And some visitors to Greece have been detained despite having shown police their passports.

Last summer, a Nigerian-born American, Christian Ukwuorji, visited Greece on a family holiday with his wife and three children.

When police stopped him in central Athens he showed them his US passport, but they handcuffed him anyway and took him to the central police station.

They gave no reason for holding him, but after a few hours in custody Ukwuorji says he was so badly beaten that he passed out. He woke up in hospital.

"I went there to spend my money but they stopped me just because of my colour," he says. "They are racist."

Christian Ukwuorji, who also lodged an official complaint against the police with the help of the American Embassy, has now been waiting for more than six months for an outcome.

"The police there are very corrupt and nothing will be done about it," he says. "I have learned that this is how Greece is."

Tourism is a major source of revenue in Greece, especially important at a time when many other businesses are going bust. Anything that deterred visitors in large numbers would be a disaster for the economy.

It is not only tourists who have been affected.

In May last year a visiting academic from India, Dr Shailendra Kumar Rai was arrested outside the Athens University of Economics and Business, where he was working as a visiting lecturer.

He had popped out for lunch, and forgotten to take his passport with him.

"The police thought I was Pakistani and since they didn't speak English they couldn't understand me when I tried to explain that I am from India," he says.

When passing students saw their lecturer being held by police and lined up against a wall with a group of immigrants they were horrified and rushed inside to tell his colleagues.

Despite protests from university staff who insisted they could vouch for him, the police handcuffed him and marched him down to the police station.

"I understand why the police need to ask for identity documents, they are just doing their job. But I think they are too aggressive - in my country only criminals are handcuffed."

Rai says he experienced no racial prejudice during his time in Greece, and does not accuse the police who arrested him of racism.

But in a report for 2012, the Racist Violence Recording Network, a group consisting of 23 NGOs and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, called on the Greek government to "explicitly prevent police officers from racially motivated violent practices" referring to 15 incidents where "illegal acts" had taken place.
Last edited by velvet bliss on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby NovU on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:04 am

News from third world country is entertaining, as usual.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby JaoSming on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:55 am

A Canadian insult....well, that's an oxymoron.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby NovU on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:31 am

Dont get me wrong. I always had huge love for Greece. (Mike Zambidis the greek warrior still is my favorite fighter. Lol.) But this is kind of news that changes your attitude and perception somewhat in negative ways.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby Leftos on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:07 am

Yup. That's what happens when so many people here in Greece fall for "it's all the immigrants' fault". Then you get Golden Dawn in the parliament, then you get that the large majority of the police force are actually members or fans of Golden Dawn, and the rest is history.

It's a sad time to be in this country. I can tell you that. The rise of racism around here is not only alarming, it's absolutely frightening.

And when one of your elected parliament parties is in reality an illegal organization full of racists that can hunt, stab, injure whoever they want, whenever they want, just because the other person's foreign, and have the full protection of the police, that's what happens.

BBC UK's Paul Mason's report on the matter.

425,990 people voted for them (~6% of the total valid votes). And their popularity (according to polls) has only risen since the June elections.

Don't visit Greece. No really, right now, don't.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby koberulz on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:33 am

500m (500 yards)

Give or take 50 yards.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby benji on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:38 am

Leftos wrote:425,990 people voted for them (~6% of the total valid votes). And their popularity (according to polls) has only risen since the June elections.

And Independent Greeks got around the same 7% and 18 seats. They're a more moderate and respectable fascism. It's always fun to launch a new political party by declaring all the problems are due to a deliberate plot by Jewish bankers.

Latest poll according to Wikipedia has the two combined at 18%.

The real fun starts when the Communists and Socialists form their own paramilitaries to fight in the streets, then you can really use the Wiemar Germany comparisons.

I've oft said that I think Road to Serfdom should be required reading in history courses but now I'm wondering if people won't use it as a manual. At least those who actually read it won't be shocked by the inevitable results of Leftism.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby bowdown on Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:53 pm

Leftos wrote:Yup. That's what happens when so many people here in Greece fall for "it's all the immigrants' fault". Then you get Golden Dawn in the parliament, then you get that the large majority of the police force are actually members or fans of Golden Dawn, and the rest is history.

It's a sad time to be in this country. I can tell you that. The rise of racism around here is not only alarming, it's absolutely frightening.

And when one of your elected parliament parties is in reality an illegal organization full of racists that can hunt, stab, injure whoever they want, whenever they want, just because the other person's foreign, and have the full protection of the police, that's what happens.

BBC UK's Paul Mason's report on the matter.

425,990 people voted for them (~6% of the total valid votes). And their popularity (according to polls) has only risen since the June elections.

Don't visit Greece. No really, right now, don't.

You should probably watch your back and not post these things so openly. Not sure how crazy your government is but they might be on to people talking shit about them online.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby benji on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:27 pm

Golden Dawn isn't part of the government-government. At least not yet. Greece's government is still run by standard European style political parties so far.

It'd be something like if we had two openly-Nazi Senators and a handful of Nazi Congressman.

We, in God's country, also have an organization that can hunt, shoot, injure and steal from whoever they want, whenever they want with the full protection of themselves.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby Leftos on Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:56 pm

bowdown, we're not yet persecuted for stating our opinion. YET. People are arrested before the demos even start with no evidence, yes. People are arrested for making satirical account of "sainted" personalities of the church after Golden Dawn requests, yes. But I can express my opinion freely. That's one thing left. People talk shit about the government in every piece of media everywhere here in Greece, and it's been like that for quite a few years. If someone had gotten arrested for their opinions, we would know.

And yeah, benji hit the nail on the head about Independent Greeks. Only reason I didn't mention them is because they were such a hastily created "party", that no matter their opinions, they're already in full meltdown mode after some members left and accused the party leader of being a baddie. If you asked me after the elections, I'd have more to say. But right now it's just a bunch of fat parliament members doing nothing, and inspiring less and less people. They're a racist folk, but nobody cares about them anymore, nobody seems to pay attention after a few debacles the party had in its short time on earth up to now. Can't trust any polls that still give them any respectable percentage.

Golden Dawn, on the other hand, is a whole different thing.
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Re: Athens Greece is a Tourist Paradise

Postby benji on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:18 pm

It's still evidence of the normalization of the so-called "extreme" position. That there's political opportunity in taking those positions but being more favorable to the general population. (Even if this form isn't the ideal one.) The problem is when those more "moderate" forces fail to coalesce and the cleavages (hot) they would have gobbled up go instead of the extreme position rather than retreat back to former parties because of their lack of identifying with the "new reality."

The Nazi's were never a very strong political party at all and their support waned after they took office (pre-Reichstag Fire), the Socialists and Communists were always stronger, but their infighting, along with the collapses of every other opposition party that popped up (moderate nationalists, monarchists, "centrists", conservatives, liberals, etc.) left them as the default "other party." Especially since the Socialists were (rightly) tarnished as failures in governance and coalition building. When the people turned against the Nazi's there wasn't much of any choice and elites figured Hitler was the least bad option between him and what would have been the replacement party in the Communists.

The Republican Party in the U.S. formed and became its dominant self because of the incompetence of every other opposition party to the Democrats. Their abolition position was very extremist (and far outside sensible mainstream politics) in 1850s America. When the "ruling party" split during one election they swept to power and basically held it for 70 years. (And essentially won the "argument" on every non-slavery issue of the time.)

TL;DR: The "center" shifts. And during a crisis, it's generally not towards a good place.
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