News Column

US Embassy in Greece Warns of Racist Attacks

Nov. 16, 2012

The United States embassy in Athens warned its citizens of possible threats to their safety and security on Friday following the rise of racist attacks in Greece over the past few months.

Human rights organisations in Greece have warned of an sharp increase in racist violence against illegal immigrants over the past year in Greece, following elections in May and June that saw dramatic gains by the extreme far-right party Golden Dawn.

We "inform US citizens of a rise in unprovoked harassment and violent attacks against persons who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be foreign migrants," an embassy said.

"US citizens most at risk are those of African, Asian, Hispanic or Middle Eastern decent in Athens and other major cities."

Many immigrants have reportedly been assaulted with knives, bats and dogs.

For years the southern Mediterranean country has been a major entry point for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants seeking a better life in the European Union.

But as the country enters a sixth year of recession and unemployment soars to more than 25 per cent many of the foreigners have now become a convenient scapegoat to the countries financial problems.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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