It turned out that this woman was also from Nigeria, like the other black man we met at the Eurostar terminal. She had stayed in Athens for five years before eventually coming to London where she had been living for fifteen years.
"Sometimes we stay all day without eating food..." "They seek safety in Europe, but Greece is not safe..." "No work, no papers, the police, it's a problem..." ( Into the Fire ) Coloured people in Athens are constantly under scrutiny because of their skin colour; they are the first to be suspected of illegal immigration into Greece. Asian illegal immigrants still have priority to be repatriated voluntarily over African illegal immigrants.
Much has been written about Greece's migrant detention centres and the treatment of agricultural migrant workers in the country. But what should also be noted is that Greeks, despite facing unemployment at unprecedented levels, do not actually wish to work where migrants have traditionally worked in the country, which is traditionally in seasonal agricultural work and piecemeal manual labour. For example, when the strawberry season finishes, the peach season starts, and when that finishes, it's time for the tobacco season - but you won't find Greeks doing these jobs
Στο κάλεσμα της Ένωσης Νέων Αγροτών ανταποκρίθηκαν 19 Ελληνες και 4.885 Αλβανοί - Δουλειές υπάρχουν αλλά οι Ελληνες δεν πάνε! Newspaper headline : "After an invitation by the Union of New Farmers, 19 Greeks and 4885 Albanians responded - Jobs exist but Greeks don't want them!"This all creates a mockery of the crisis. Greece is not the most welcome part of the world for migrants, but migrants are still needed in high numbers. Half the Greek population live in urban centres, but few want to move from them to the countryside, because they do not want to work in the dirtier aspects of agriculture. For the time being, that will be left to migrants, until migrants no longer enter Greece, which looks unlikely in the present time. It's a bit of a vicious circle.
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