OPINION

Alarm bells that must be heard

Recent developments in the district of Aghios Panteleimonas, not far from the center of Athens, were a strong foretaste of what might follow as a result of the burgeoning challenge of illegal immigration. A demonstration by local residents on Wednesday to protest the large increase in the local immigrant population was hijacked by far-right protesters and anarchists, who ended up clashing with each other for several hours. Greece is facing a huge issue with far-reaching economic and social implications. For his part, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos is doing all he can to deal with the problem. The truth is that the phenomenon cannot be tackled with progressive, wishful thinking or purely police measures. For the fact of the matter is that in apartment buildings, schools and neighborhoods the traditional equilibrium is shifting. In some cases, this has enormous implications. At some point, Greece will have to put the issue of illegal migration on the table without taboos and prejudice.