Immigration: Racism and Greece

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Introduction

Nowadays, it has been observed in several countries that immigrant students do not have an equivalent school performance with their native classmates (Pisa, 2003). This essay is concerning the different school performance of the immigrant and Pontic Greeks students in Greece. The first section of this essay is about the immigration to Greece, and it explores the reasons of the increasing immigration to Greece, the second explores the attitudes of Greeks towards immigration, whereas the next section highlights the racism and xenophobia in Greece’s society. Section four is about the ethnocentric school curriculum in this country, whereas, the next section is about, the differnces of the socioeconomic status and cultural capital towards these two groups of immigrants. Finally, the next two sections are about the intercultural education in Greece and its problems.

Immigration to Greece

Before we go into the procedure of analysis of our topic it is obvious that we should explore the fact of immigration to Greece. The first decades after World War II, a lot of Greeks left their country and they immigrated in many countries such as USA, Canada, Germany and Australia which were more economically developed, because the rates of unemployment and poverty in Greece were extremely high (Katsikas &ump; Politou, 2005), however, Greece nowadays has become a country where many immigrants from different countries arrive, hoping that Greece will offer them the opportunities to have a better life (Triantafyllidoy &ump; Veikou, 2002). The Mediterranean countries have become a magnet for many immigrants replacing the traditional immigration countries like Germany and France (Brenner &ump; Fertig, 2006). Moreover, immigrants in Greece exceeds the needs of the Greek industry, and Greece has the highest proportion of immigrants between the European Union countries (Siar, 2008). Greece has become the centre of immigration since 1980, when many Greeks who have immigrated to other countries returned back, morever, in 1985 many repatriated Greeks returned back from the U.S.S.R and Albania, finally, the last two decades many economic immigrants from many developing countries from the Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa came to Greece (Katsikas &ump; Politou, 2005). A research which was conducted by Eurostat in 2006 has shown that in Greece there are 884.000 immigrants and the majority of them came from Albania, the 62% of immigrants in Greece are Albanians (Siar, 2008). However, there are a lot of people from many countries such as Pakistan, India, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Egypt (Siar, 2008). Moreover, the last decades a lot of ethnic Greeks returned to Greece such as Pontic Greeks and Greek Albanians and also there are a lot Greek citizens who returned to Greece from countries such as Cyprus and Turkey (Fakiolas &ump; King, 1996). Furthermore, we should mention that many irregular immigrants especially from Asian countries, live in Greece, and their number becomes every year more and more increased, this happens because they try to enter to Greece through Aegean sea, which is very difficult to be controlled, due to the fact that there is a line of seashore which is 18,400 km and a vast amount of islands which are near to Turkish coasts, thus, it is quite easy from them to enter to Greece (Siar, 2008). In addition, nowadays, in Greece, there is an increasing number of asylum seekers, who try to enter to the most industrialised European countries, the majority of them comes from countries like Iraq, Pakistan, and Afganistan, unfortunately, Greek state, does not usually recognize them, and only few applications get a positive response (Siar, 2008). Moreover, it is quite useful to explore the reasons that Greece attracts many immigrants. First of all, the majority of European countries have stricter immigration policy than Greece, as a result, a lot of people immigrate to Greece (Leghari, 2009). As we...
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