Composed by: John Bozick, Abigaile Kootsillas, and Jessa Vivio
Athens is a diverse city made up of people from different ethnic backgrounds. There is a great deal of diversity, therefore, when it comes to the question of accepting more refugees into a country already in the midst of an economic crisis.
The OU Refugee Reporting team found many people of varying ages, races, and backgrounds who agreed to tackle the question, “Do you think the refugees should should be integrated into Greek society or kept at a distance”.
Here is a look at the responses from these “Humans of Greece:
Antonis, 16, unemployed.
“It’s difficult because even Greek families are poor, I’m 16 and I don’t have dreams in life, I love everyone, but we need to find peace in our own minds before we can work on helping others.”
Yasmin, 33, former aid worker.
“I volunteered for 20 days in a refugee camp, It was a disaster. I don’t want them here, not all are bad but there are many that do not care for the Greek people and culture. There are good and bad but it is too difficult for me to decide.”
Elke, 33, Teacher. Stin, 31, Elkes Sister.
“I teach refugees, some of them want to go back, they don’t want to stay in Europe, they want to go home. I think Europe needs to do more to help Greece, because we have a moral obligation to help these people.”
Bespina, no age given, mother.
“Greeks should help the refugees because we could be in their position. We should help them because it was not long ago that many Greeks did what they did, we fled to other countries, we found jobs, we should return the favor to the refugees.
Ali, 35, furnace worker.
“I came to this country 8 years ago as a migrant, I live in a very dangerous area. There are good people in Greece, but there are no jobs or food for them. It’s pointless to let them in because they only want to take Greek money and send it to their families back home.
Cynthia, 55, Shop owner.
“From what I’ve heard, the economy dropped because of them (the refugees). With the way things are right now, we can’t help them, Greece cannot even handle its own people. It’s difficult because Greek culture and their own culture do not mix.”
Maria, 19, waitress. (did not want to be photographed)
“Society is a group of humans, refugees are humans, so there is no question to me. It’s a stupid question because if refugees are humans, than they should be allowed into Greek society.”
Mikel, 35, restaurant worker.
“They need help, they need a lot of help, and the Greek government does nothing. I’m a good human being and I believe in treating other humans well. The Greek government is poor but its people still have lots of money, the government takes the money given to us by the EU and uses it for debt, not for the refugees like they are supposed to. They treat these humans like S**t, they treat them worse than animals.”