Greece: why are the Pakistanis so hated?

Hundreds of Pakistanis gathered on the square outside the Parliament building in Athens to celebrate the New Year. However several dozen were slapped with fines for flouting Covid restrictions, and on social media videos of the gathering triggered a wave of hate comments, with talk of the 'occupation' of Syntagma Square and a 'population replacement'.

Open/close all quotes
Blog Pitsirikos (GR) /

No one complains about the rich foreigners

It is because they are poor that the migrants from Pakistan are so hated, blogger Pitsirikos points out:

“Those who use the presence of immigrants on Syntagma Square on New Year's Eve to claim that Athens has become Islamabad will never say that Mykonos has become Mecca because it's overrun by Arabs. Why? Because the Arabs on Mykonos are rich. ... So the problem with the migrants on Syntagma Square wasn't that they're Pakistani and have a different religion from us, but that they're poor. Poor and trapped in Greece because they're not allowed to travel to the countries of Northern Europe where they would like to go - like hundreds of thousands of Greeks who emigrate to Northern Europe to find work and dignity.”

Athens Voice (GR) /

Not robots, but people

Athens Voice says the Greeks should stop complaining about the Pakistanis:

“Strangely, nobody asks 'What are the Pakistanis doing here?' when they see them working in the fields, when they ask them to paint their house, when they transport their furniture when he moves house, or when they do all the heavy work that Greeks no longer want to do. ... Unless you believe that when the Pakistanis stop working for us they'll disappear like robots going back to their capsule to recharge, or like slaves returning to their cell. In fact, the Pakistanis on Syntagma Square are above all a testament to the economic prosperity of Greece, which, despite all our moaning, is in the upper echelons of the planet.”