OPINION

Are Greeks racist?

Let’s not fool ourselves. Although we profess to be Christians, we are well aware that the drowning of dozens of illegal immigrants makes less of an impression on us than the deaths of four or five Greeks on the highways, or if an Albanian, for example, robs one of our compatriots. Yet whenever the culprit is a Greek and the victim a foreigner, our sense of justice is automatically blunted. When foreigners worked for a pittance, everything was fine. Now when the immigrant, bearing his green card, demands proper conditions, he ceases to be a person, but an ingrate who has dared to speak up and who is also taking a Greek’s job away from him. Now that foreigners have flooded the country and our (truly) Christian sentiments are being put to the test, EU statistics show that it is thanks to immigrants that economies have received a shot in the arm. Among the million or so immigrants in Greece, illegal and legal, there are all kinds: honest and hardworking people who want to put down roots, make a contribution and a living, as well as criminal elements, in similar proportions to the 10 million born here. But the swarthy refugee who cleans our windshield gives us the opportunity to remember what good Christians we are and how good the world looks from behind a clean windshield. Asking whether Greeks are racist is like asking if they are anti-Greek. Don’t half of them regard the other half as incompetent and lazy, terrible drivers and so on?