International appeal against proposed racist legislation in Greece


Greece: Racist violence impunity and the penalization of victims reverts Europe to darker days

With the present statement, we wish to declare our deepest concern. While impunity for racist violence remains a persistent problem in Greece, the Greek government not only refrains from addressing it, but is also proceeding to institutionalize it, and even to penalize its victims! Last week it submitted in front of the parliament an amendment to the country’s Immigration Code that mandates the deportation of immigrants who accuse state employees of using violence against them, in case their claims are officially rejected. It is hair-raising: this provision is a deterrent, punishing not the perpetrators but the victims.

In Greece, the toleration and non-reporting of violence against immigrants, especially when the perpetrators are state officials, has created a deplorable “custom”.This reality is being confirmed by many national, European and international organizations. It is our opinion that state tolerance of racist violence, and even more so the institutionalization of this tolerance, supposedly in order to “protect” state officials from immigrants and refugees (!), is not within the discretion of any nation-state, neither is it a legitimate way of exercising national sovereignty. The unacceptable austerity programmes which have given rise to conditions of a humanitarian disaster in Greece, along with the disproportionate responsibilities that the country has been shouldered with regarding immigration inflows, do not constitute legitimate excuses that allow for a European country to return to times of state illegality. This would bring us back to a very dark time of our continent. Should we let this happen, we already know that the racist far-right will be the sole beneficiary

We are of the opinion that parties and civil society throughout Europe must urgently take a stand ,so as to stop the institutionalization of state racist violence in a European country and to stop the further deterioration of immigrants’ rights.

The unacceptable amendment was withdrawn temporarily, but the Minister of Interior stated publicly that it will be tabled once again next week. Further, withdrawn was article 19 in its entirety, which concerns the provision of resident permits for humanitarian reasons, among others, to victims of racist crimes. We call on citizens, public bodies, movements, parties throughout Europe to respond immediately, exerting political pressure upon the Greek government to restore article 19, expunging the abovementioned racist amendement. It is an elementary issue of democracy, humanitarianism and justice.


Greek Minister of Interior – Mr. Y. Michelakis: Restore article 19, without the racist amendment in any form




First signatures:


Εtienne Balibar (Université de Paris-Ouest Nanterre, France)

Matyas Benyik (Chairman ATTAC Hungary)

Judith Butler (University ofBerkeley, USA)

Jodi Dean (Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, USA)

Crhistine Delphy(University of Berkeley, USA)

Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck College, University of London, UK)

Rose-Marie Lagrave (Director of studies, EHESS, France)

Rose-Marie Lagrave (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France)

Michael Löwy (CNRS, France)

Antonio Negri (philosopher, Italy)

Leo Panitch (Υork University, Canada)

Luzia Margareth Rago (Ιnstituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Brazil)

Enzo Traverso (Cornell University, USA)

Hilary Wainwright (Chief Editor of Red Pepper, UK)

Stavros Tombazos (University of Cyprus)

Eleni Varikas (Université Paris-8, France)

Athena Athanasiou (Professor of Social Theory at Panteion University, Vice President of Nicos Poulantzas Institute)

Eftichis Bitsakis (Emeritus Professor, University of Ioannina)

Aris Chatzistefanou (journalist)

Dimitris Christopoulos (Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and History of the Panteion University, Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights-FIDH)

Gerasimos Couzelis (Professor of Social Theory, University of Athens)

Foivos Delivorias (composer)

Nicos Filis (Avgi newspaper)

Antonis Cafentzopoulos (actor)

Stelios Kouloglou (journalist,

Kostas Koutsomitis (director)

Antonis Liakos (Professor, University of Athens)

Savvas Michael (author)

Ilias Nicolakopoulos (Professor, University of Athens)

Costis Papaioannou (coordinator of the Racist Violence Recording Network)

Vassilis Papastergiou (Member of the Board of the Athens Lawyers Association)

Nicos Paraskevopoulos (Professor, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki)

Dimitris Psarras (journalist, author)

Michalis Spourdalakis (President of the Hellenic Political Science Association)

Dimitris Trimis (ex-Presiden of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers)

Constantinos Tsoukalas (sociologist)

Yannis Voglis (actor)

3 responses to “International appeal against proposed racist legislation in Greece

  1. Pingback: LabourNet Germany: Treffpunkt für Ungehorsame, mit und ohne Job, basisnah, gesellschaftskritisch » Wer sich beklagt, wird ausgewiesen·

  2. Pingback: Ausweisung bei falscher Anschuldigung | greek_independent_news·

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