Xenophobia in Greece is on the rise, says MP

The head of a parliamentary committee on immigration said yesterday that racism and xenophobia are growing in Greece while stressing that some 550,000 legal migrants are contributing positively to the country. The committee, led by New Democracy MP Elsa Papadimitriou, presented figures showing that some 500 migrants arrive in Greece every week. Papadimitriou said that Greeks «are catching the social illness, the epidemic of racism… or they are at least numb and stand by scared and unwilling to act.» The deputy said that the apparent rise in xenophobia was linked to the sudden increase in the number of migrants recently arriving in Greece. However, Papadimitrou praised the fact that thousands of migrants are now sending their children to Greek schools after obtaining residence permits.