Report Says Attacks on Minorities Growing in Greece

FILE - In this Friday, May 4, 2018 photo children play as refugees walks inside the camp of Moria on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Human rights groups said assaults on minorities jumped in 2018 as critics said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA has continued to ignore or condone violence that has spread in the country’s capital.

With municipal and European Parliament elections on May 26 and national elections required to be held by October, The Racist Violence Recording Network, made up of 46 organizations including the Greek branches of the Red Cross and Amnesty International, said it was worried that divisive campaigning might further target minorities.

The organization said that there were 117 serious incidents in 2018 with most against migrants and refugees, with more than 70,000 stuck in the country and most seeking asylum after the European Union closed its borders to them outside Greece.

The attacks were also motivated by homophobia, religious hatred, and the skin color of Greek citizens, said the report that was published April 18, also showing 102 serious incidents in 2017 and 95 the year before.

In the last year of national elections, in 2015, there were 273 attacks, when SYRIZA came to power. The ultra-extreme right Golden Dawn party, all of whose 15 lawmakers and dozens of members are in the fourth year of a trial on charges of running a criminal gang, had been accused of being behind a number of attacks on migrants.


(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)