Trends of racist and hate crimes The most notable trend in 2009-2010 is the rise of racist violence and a qualitative shift to Islamophobic crime by extremist groups against migrants and refugees from Middle East and Africa especially in the centre of Athens.
Migrants and refugees from Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, appear to become the main target of racist attacks, instead of Albanian migrants, who had been the most frequent victims for the last 20 years.1 It goes noted that, since March 2010, migrants living in Greece for many years have improved access to citizenship and political rights, therefore leading to a more clear distinction between long time migrants and newcomers.
Public officials, police officers, coast guards, are among the most frequently reported alleged perpetrator groups throughout the years 2007-2010. However, in the first half of 2010 almost no police officer was reported as perpetrator, which is probably linked to the firm stance and policy initiatives of the competent Ministry.
Anti-Semitic hate speech has increased and marks a period in which Greek courts acquitted a blatantly anti-Semitic author in a hate speech case that received much public attention.
There is a net increase of incidents in Crete in the last years and especially in 2010.
Most incidents take place in urban open city spaces (squares, streets) and in the historical centre of Athens. The situation in this area of the capital and the related incidents received most media, political and public attention in 2009-2010. Since 2008, a xenophobic and sometimes Islamophobic debate about the Athens centre provided fertile ground for the rise and increase of attacks by far-right extremist against migrants and refugees.
ECRI and CERD in their 2009 reports urge the Greek authorities to ensure the enforcement of Law 927/1979 in the matters of media and political discourse.