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Society

Survey Finds Most Greek Teens Back Refugees, Migrants

December 21, 2019

ATHENS – As many Greeks have compassion fatigue and grown weary of detention centers and camps holding refugees and migrants, adolescents want them to have a chance to make it in the country where they are seeking asylum.

That was the finding of a survey carried out by the University Mental Health Research Institute last year but the results made public on Dec. 18, on International Migrants Day with no explanation for the delay.

The poll was carried out on a sample of Greeks aged 11, 13 and 15 last year, and showed 57.7 percent said they had positive feelings toward migrants and refugees, with 25.3 percent declaring themselves as neutral and 17 percent against them.

And an overwhelming 90.6 percent said they believe the children of migrants and refugees should have the same educational opportunities as Greek children, with refugee and migrant students being educated in Greek schools over the objection of nationalists.

And 79.5 percent said they thought they should be allowed to hold on to their traditions and way of life and 77.3 percent said they believe they should have the same rights as Greeks.

Greece is overwhelmed with more than 96,000 refugees and migrants, including more than 41,000 on islands where they went from Turkey, where they had first gone fleeing war and strife in their homelands, especially Afghanistan and Syria’s long-running civil war.

Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government is planning to move 20,000 to the mainland, where residents of some villages where they would be placed blocking buses bringing them in and island officials and residents growing tired of helping them.

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