NEWS

Greece’s social profile is put under the microscope

The last few years have been a watershed in terms of social change for Greece, as it has changed from a source country of to a host country for immigrants, say two new reports. The switch has had multiple effects: on the composition of the population, the labor market, education and behavior. The National Center for Social Research’s (EKKE) Social Policy Institute sketched the outlines of Greek society in its report «Greece – A Social Portrait.» It points out that despite a major rise in the production of wealth and living standards over the past few years, inequalities remain: A significant part of the Greek population cannot meet basic needs of access to health, education and employment. At the same time, labor conditions in Greece are changing under the twin pressures of the globalization of production and the spread of new technology. «In a changing, globalized, multicultural environment, we need to safeguard social cohesion. A basic tool is protecting the quality of work,» Ioannis Sakellis, Social Policy Institute head and professor of Panteion University, said. Constantinos Fotakis, department head of the General Directorate of Employment and Social Issues that brought out the report «The Social Situation in the European Union, 2002,» focused on the burning issue for Europe at the moment: the incorporation of immigrants into the social fabric. «There must be action on a local level, with the contribution, of course, of central government. Key to incorporating immigrants into society is the security of residence and knowing the language,» he said. The EKKE report’s researchers «Greece, 2001 – a social portrait» was compiled by EKKE’s Social Policy Insitute researchers Dimitris Ziomas, Dimitris Karadinos, Maria Katsetzopoulou, Yitsa Kottaridi, Aliki Mouriki, Nikos Bouzas, Dionysis Balourdos, Yiannis Myrizakis, Matina Naoumi, Olga Papaliou, Georgia Papapetrou, Hari Symeonidou, Aphrodite Teperoglou, Maria Tzortzopoulou, Dimitra Tsabarli, Evy Fagadaki, Nikos Fakiolas, Emmy Fronimou, Manolis Chryssakis, and Laoura Maratou-Alibranti. Aliki Mouriki, Matina Naoumi and Georgia Papapetrou were the editors.