The RAXEN Data Collection Report 2007 for Greece has been produced by the HLHR-KEMO RAXEN National Focal Point, for the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency of Vienna in October 2007 within the RAXEN 2007 project.
General overview: a year of developments
2007 was a year of significant developments marked by the increase of occurrence and intensity of the cases of discrimination and racist violence, as well as by the increase of the amount of available data, almost exclusively coming from academic research and unofficial sources.
The Ombudsman - one of the three existing Equality Bodies - reported an increase of discrimination cases (‘almost doubled within a year’). A consistent number of complaints is judged unfounded due to the ‘citizenship exemption’ and in line with the existing legislation that prioritises Greek citizens in access to employment and various professions.
Three trials of a far-right representative and of an extreme right wing newspaper on charges of violation of the anti-racist law (n.927/79) for anti-Semitism and hate-speech against Jews and Roma constitute a major landmark in the application of the relevant legislation in Greece.
The long term residence status legislation is practically not implemented and no such permit has been issued to date. The conditions and requirements for submitting the application are demanding and generally discouraging: a high, non-refundable 900-Euro fee, low yearly quota of participants in lessons of Greek language and history (500-1000), free-of-charge mandatory classes that take place only in the morning hours of working days, and examinations.
A considerable number of researches and surveys provide ground of assessment of discrimination perceptions, attitudes, reality, and the migration and anti-discrimination policies on an EU comparative level. Greece is often classified among the EU countries with the least favourable policies and with the most negative persisting attitudes about immigrants and minorities.
On the other hand, a notable number of civil society activities and a national strategy plan for social inclusion mark the development of more concrete action-taking with respect to tackling social exclusion and discrimination of immigrants and minorities.