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Society

Anti-Racism Commission Praises Greece’s National Action Plans, But Concerns Remain

September 22, 2022

ATHENS – In a new report, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) lauds positive steps in Greece since previous reporting in 2014.

From Greece’s National Action Plan against Racism and Intolerance (adopted in 2020) to a national LGBTI equality strategy adopted for 2021-2025, such positive measures improve the fight against discrimination and racism, according to the report.

ECRI also welcomes that Greece’s Migration and Social Integration Code enables third country nationals to apply for residence permits if they prove presence in the country for seven consecutive years (and that they have developed “strong links” within Greek society).

But the report raises concerns over other issues. Greece’s equality body – the Greek Ombudsman – still lacks competence to provide legal representation to victims of discrimination or intolerance in court, to pursue strategic litigation or to bring cases before the courts.

Additionally, despite the national LGBTI equality plan, LGBTI pupils continue to face “intolerant and discriminatory attitudes and behaviours in school, including from teachers”, according to the report.

Intersex persons, notably children, sometimes face “serious forms” of discrimination and intolerance, including from medical professionals who reportedly often recommend abortion of intersex children to expecting parents, while medically unnecessary surgery on intersex children is also common.

In its report, ECRI finds that frequent hate speech – at times involving politicians and even state officials – targets migrants, as well as members of LGBTI communities and Roma.

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