NEWS

Greeks marrying foreigners seem to favor the East

One in 10 weddings conducted by the Municipality of Athens are mixed, according to Kathimerini’s dig through the records (given a lack of official figures provided by the National Statistical Service) for the entire year of 2003 and the first eight months of 2004 – a sample which also indicates past trends in the country. According to the data, 10 percent of marriages recorded in one year are between Greeks and foreigners. Most mixed marriages concern Greeks marrying nationals from eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; Albanians, Ukrainians and Bulgarians comprise the top percentage of non-Greek spouses. It is also interesting to note that in over two-thirds of mixed marriages it is the wife that is foreign rather than the husband. 10.26 percent in 2003 More specifically, in 2003, of a total of 2,922 weddings recorded at the Athens Municipality, 300 were between a Greek and foreigner, or 10.26 percent (not counting Cypriots). Of these, 240 were with a national of a European or ex-Soviet country, 22 were with an Asian spouse, 19 with a national from North or South America, 17 with an African and 3 with someone from Oceania. Of the 300 foreigners, 202 were women and 98 men. As far as the country of origin of the foreign spouses is concerned, Greeks appear to favor neighboring Albanians (16 Albanian men and 50 women). Next on the list are Ukrainians (29 women), Bulgarians (two men and 18 women), British (11 men and 4 women), Italians (10 men and 5 women), Romanians (one man and 13 women) and Russians (13 women). There were fewer weddings recorded between Greeks and Moldovans, Polish, Germans and French, while among the countries outside Europe, the greatest number of marriages were with Americans (nine men and four women) and Egyptians (eight men and two women). It is worth noting that where a Greek man married a foreign woman, most of the brides came from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries, while Greek women appear to favor western European men. 8.46 percent in 2004, so far In the first eight months of 2004, there were 1,500 marriages recorded at the Athens Municipality registry office. Of these, 127 were mixed (8.46 percent), though this year so far there have been more mixed marriages than in 2003 between Greek men and foreign women (110 of the 127), mostly to brides from western and eastern Europe. Greek men in the first eight months of this year also married 10 African, 13 American and 11 Asian brides. Albania again tops the list of country of origin, with 20 women and eight Albanian men having married Greeks. They were followed by Russians, with 12 (11 women and one man), Moldovans (11 women), Bulgarians (eight women, one man) and Ukrainians (nine women). According to the records, Greeks this year also married four American men and 3 women. Embassy move Finally, it is interesting that before the Albanian embassy was moved to the suburb of Psychico, weddings recorded at the Athens Municipality registry office between Greeks and Albanians were more numerous, sources said to Kathimerini.