OPINION

An explosive mix

The next «bomb» that will go off in Greece will most likely be related to the uncontrollable influx of illegal migrants and rival migrant gangs. The signs are already there and are becoming increasingly worrisome, while there seems to be no politically rational solution to a problem that may very well lead to social unrest. Patras has been suffering for some time now from the makeshift refugee camp that has sprung up next to the port. Many islands of the Aegean are near breaking point from the constant inflow of illegal migrants. The unchecked activities of minority gangs in downtown Athens is also a major issue that has even the most liberal worried. Greece is a hospitable country, but I fear that these uninvited guests have realized that its borders are badly guarded, its police force is eroded and the state is unable to enforce the law. It is only natural that among the thousands of illegal migrants to arrive each year there will be a criminal element and it is also natural that their numbers will rise with the economic crisis and its effect on employment. Politicians who have a sense of what is going on around them see that society is like a bubbling pot and you can bet that if a foreigner is accused of a major crime or a terrorist attack, it will boil over, as it did in Italy and other European countries. The danger of course is that the innocent – hardworking migrants who have made a home here, who battle an aggressive bureaucracy every day and who contribute to the Greek economy and its social security system – will also feel the brunt of this reaction. Unfortunately, we haven’t taken care of these people as well as we should have. What scares me the most is that when you take a society that is steeped in violence every day and which brushes off a murder in the street as a mere «settling of scores» and you add to it a dash of racism and a dollop of organized migrant crime rings you end up with a very explosive mix indeed.