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Athens: Soup Kitchens Close for Summer Due to Shortage of Volunteer Cooks

Who needs food when temperatures are high  during the  hot Greek summer? Apparently not many…. In six out of ten parishes in Athens, soup kitchens will close July to September 2012 because the volunteer cooks won’t be available.

 In some parishes the needy will get  food packages with milk, rice, flour etc to cover their needs until September. Where will the  homeless cook  their  rice pudding?…

Numerous soup kitchens of the church will close for the summer, leaving thousands of people in need without food, according to an article published in the Eleftheros Typos daily.
 
Six out of ten metropolises in Attica will cease to give out food from July to September because the volunteer cooks will be away on holidays. The Metropolis of Thessaloniki will also close its kitchens for two months.
 
At the Metropolis of Peristeri, where 850 portions of food are given out daily, father Eustratios tells Eleftheros Typos that soup kitchens will close, but people will be given boxes of packed food (milk, flour, rice etc) to last until September.
 
According to the paper, the majority of people eating at soup kitchens are not immigrants, as used to be the case until last year. Now three out of four are Greek. 
 
Thousands of people resort to soup kitchens, including the unemployed and the homeless.
 
There are more than 20,000 homeless people in Greece, half of which in the Attika area, according to a recent report of the European Commission. (via AthensNews

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58 comments

  1. The troika solution: Cut the holidays of the volunteers
    The Greek solution: The government pays the holidays for 20.000 homeless til the soup kitchens are functional again.

    (just joking…)

  2. How many of the Greeks eating at soup kitchens are ones that can afford it but go for a free meal? My mother in law mentioned that she has seen sparkling SUVs parked near the rubbish bins outside of supermarkets scavenging thru the bins for food, and suspects that some of these “hungry” are just cheap! But, of course, you can’t say that right.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      There was a report about this some time ago, it was -what everybody thought: members of Roma minority. They don’t usually dig in garbage bins for food but fo ritems they can sell.

  3. Something is wrong. So, can’t find volunteers in the summer to cook food to people in need, because the volunteers go on vacation? You either have people who don’t have food, or people who can go out on vacation? Next news: soup kitchen closed, because people in need go on vacation. What the hell?… Greece is a paradoxal country.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      if you take into consideration volunteeer cooks – women from the parish – go to their villages in summer, it’s logical.You can’t force volunteers… or else you pay for staff.

      • It’s still strange. Allegedly, the folks queing up for a free meal at the soup kitchens are jobless. But they can’t spare some time to help with the preparation of the meals? Thousands of unemployed, but no hands can be found for cooking? Come on.

  4. Why can’t they get Volunteers from the hungry homeless to do the cooking? I’m sure no one is preparing five star gourmet meals that require serious training. This is beyond STUPID.

  5. but, the article also says they give them food to hold them over til September right? Rice, powdered milk etc.. so it’s not like they are just leaving them, just giving them ahead of time.

  6. You can indeed not force volunteers, kind of goes wiht the territory of “volunteering”. But, as those using the kitchens are obvioisly in need of food etc, surely there are a few of them who could get into the kitchens and do the cooking. I was always taught that the best way to help people is to teach them to help themselves. so why not run cookery classes etc. in the shelters and make them practical by supplying those relying on the food kitchens?
    I am not advocating work for welfare, I am advocating giving people the opportunity to take back some of their self esteem and self worth by giving them the opportunity to do something for their fellow victims of the system.

  7. I’m just wondering how do they know that ¾ of the people who eat at the soup kitchens are Greeks? Do they actually check the ID’s and the immigration papers of all the participants? Do they have access to the Hellenic police’s immigration database to conclusively ascertain that the papers, if they ask for them, are not fake? Even if the figure is correct, why should the 1/4 of the participants who aren’t Greeks or legal residents receive any aid since they already broke the immigration laws of the land?

    Although, it’s admirable and godly to help needy people are they inadvertently help illegal immigrants to stay in Greece and to further strain the health care system of the country? Are they inadvertently perpetuate the misery of most illegal immigrants and increase the risk of spreading diseases to the rest of the population?

    • keeptalkinggreece

      charity ha sno borders and makes no distiction between races, colours and documents. Would you turn away a hungry mouth standing line for a bowl of soup because he broke the immigration law???

      • Helping a person in need regardless of race, ethnicity, creed and political beliefs is noble, humane, godly and admirable. But, if you dealing with some people who’re actually taking advantage of this humanitarian overture to stay in Greece illegally, are further straining the health care system of the country and increasing the risk of transmitting contagious diseases, that’s at least ethically questionable. It’s also unfair to the other immigrants who applied to the immigration authorities and paid the necessary fees to get legal permanent or temporary resident status, are paying their taxes and in general are productive members of the Greek society. Hence, it’s not only an issue of illegality, but also about added health care costs, public health safety and fairness.

        It might be far fetched, but is possible the same person who eats at the soup kitchen and smiles at you could be the same person who later on is going to enter in to your house, threaten your family with a Kalashnikov, beat you up, and steal your money and other valuable belongings. Desperation and misery could lead some people to conduct reprehensible, violent and criminal acts. If we assume that about 1 million illegal immigrants living in Greece right now, they could be 2 million five years from now. More than 120,000 undocumented immigrants are entering Greece annually and some of them are having children while living in the country.

        I’d definitely give to a needy person whatever I can afford , food, clothes, money, and I’d even volunteer to cook and/or serve in a soup kitchen. But when these acts lead to dependency then I’d think twice before repeating it. I’d like to see illegal immigrants having three meals a day and staying in heated/air conditioned, been built according to the EU standards hospitality centers. In these centers they should be able to practice their own religion, to participate in recreational activities, to have access to full medical care while they’re waiting to be repatriated. The Greek government has about 210 million Euros left from the 250 million Euros provided by the EU for the years 2012 and 2013 to tackle illegal immigration. It requires having the political will, developing a well thought plan, executing it and getting the job done.

        • By centres, you mean concentration camps.

          There is no legal right for states to imprison asylum seekers: this is just something recently invented by fascists. Nor is there an automatic legal right to imprison or detain undeportable irregular migrants in general: only if an individual is proven to be a serious risk to society, can his human rights and freedoms be threatened.

          Of course, northern European countries refused in recent years to discuss any policies on the treatment of non-deportable aliens without humanitarian status: this reflects the arbitrary and nationalistics manner (read “fascist”) in which they have been conducting their immigration policies and political discourse.

          Again, you people disgust me.

        • As I said before, this is not about authority, legality, having the right papers and standing in the right queue at the right distance from each other. This has to everything to do with human beings and being one yourself. You should try it one of these days, it’s really not that difficult.
          Right now, both your posts on this show that you have a sick attitude governed by a sick mind. You really should go and get some help before it’s too late.. Starting with taking up a cooking job in a food kitchen would not be a bad idea for you, providing you also interact with the people and find out about the person behind the hand begging for food.

    • Stefania, Italy

      Well, asking parishes to negate charity food, besides being a paradox, is not the way to solve illegal immigration problem in our countries, nor charity makes the problem worse..

      • Stefania

        I agree with you that soup kitchens don’t make the problem of illegal immigration worse, but they don’t improve it either. They just contribute in maintaining the status quo. I believe that undocumented immigrants are entitled to have more than a meal, few slices of bread and a pack of biscuits a day. They don’t deserve to live and sleep in parks, in a single room packed like sardines and in rat infested, unsanitary abandoned buildings. They should live instead in hospitality centers been built according to EU standards and equipped with all modern amenities. They should be treated as guests of the Greek state, been offered food, shelter, recreational areas, places of worship and medical care while they’re waiting to be send back to their countries.

        • Nicholas, do you mean a Greek Gitmo? Also, I think your reasoning is silly. Give a person a meal and he’ll want to rob you at night?? I think the ones that are robbing are mainly Greeks from what I see in the news. Just one example recently in Thessaloniki, they broke up a big gang that was robbing people in their homes, and it was all Greeks except 2 Albanians. The media may portray the foreigners as the criminals but it’s the Greeks who are committing the majority of the crimes in Greece, not foreigners.

        • Since people cannot be sent back to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and some other Asian and African countries — and since most of the asylum seekers (over 70%) come from these countries, then they cannot be sent back

          Currently only Pakistanis and Albanians can be sent back forcibly. So, you intend to keep these tens of thousands of others in concentration camps, in perpetuity? Illegally?

          You need to inform yourself better on law and reality, before you started talking crap about not behaving in a human way to people who are starving.

    • “Even if the figure is correct, why should the 1/4 of the participants who aren’t Greeks or legal residents receive any aid since they already broke the immigration laws of the land?”
      You know Nicolas, that question exposes the biggest difference between the Northern and Southern countries in the EU, and also the biggest problem. What is important here is that these are people in need. Whether they broke any laws or not is actually irrelevant in the situation. Southern countires are people oriented countries, Northern countries are authority oriented countries. Here, it’s inconceivable that you would ask somebody for the correct papers before helping them out. We would much rather give 100 people food because the say they need it, and be wrong 100 times, instead of refusing 1 person food who says he needs it, and be wrong once.
      The one big exception in this is Ireland. Their government are just another bunch of EU yes men, but the people are the most generous you’ll ever get, and when it really matters, they always come up trumps, unlike their politicians.

      • Dear Ephilant

        I’m not sure if it’s an issue of different idiosyncrasies between northern and southern European countries. I do know though that Greece is incapable of both absorbing and stemming the influx of illegal immigrants. Meeting their bare minimum needs for food is definitely not the answer. A soup kitchen offers a bandage-type remedy perpetuating the misfortune of many undocumented immigrants. Having women, children and men living in subhuman, deplorable and unsanitary conditions is an insult to civilization and to basic human rights.

        I’d respectfully disagree with you though that “whether they broke any laws or not is actually irrelevant in this situation”. The situation consists of two inextricably tied aspects, the humanitarian and the legal. The Greek state should provide humanitarian assistance to needy undocumented immigrants while enforcing its immigration law

        • What the soup kithens offer my friend is indeed a very poor substitute for what the EU should be offering, being a safe haven were people persecuted in their home country can live a meaningful, safe life and create a future for themselves and their children. Instead, the EU offers them a kick in the nuts and a place in a concentration camp. You really should inform yourself at least a little before you start spouting the nonsense you are spouting.
          But then, your country (and most Northern EU countries) simply hides behind “Dublin 2” and ships them all back to Greece or Italy or Spain so that you don’t have to face the problem while aggrevating the problems here. And of course, “Dublin 2” is based on the so precious legalities and authority, but has an absolute and total disregard for the humanitarian aspect of things.
          Has it ever occured to you that the vast majority of these people actually have nothing but the clothes on their back and the little they can carry. They most definitely haven’t got the means to “pay” to get legalised. That notion alone is a perfect example of the sick minds who devise these laws you so want upheld.
          In many cases immigrants fall victim of people smuggling gangs and payment is either based on future “earnings” (prostitution, child prostitution, etc) or by performing illegal work in the country of destination. An example of this are the many “drug farms” springing up all over Europe, in rural, remote houses, invariably inhabited by illegal immigrants working to pay of their debts to the drug gangs who smuggled them in.
          That is the reality, and your precious EU legislation only enforces that. Unless they happen to have the money and “purchase” legality.
          Paying lipservice to the humanitarian side of things is easy from a cosy couch somewhere in a warm flat in Berlin or so, actually dealing with the problem is a totally different matter.

          • So tell us what you suggest Greece should do. Open its borders wide open so drug and arms dealers, human smugglers, pimps of underage girls, thieves and murders can operate uninhibited. Discard Greece’s immigration laws and provide amnesty and shelter to all people who claim that they have been prosecuted in their homelands. To make a Greek citizen every single person who crosses its borders in search of a better life.

            What would it take for you to comprehend the seriousness of the situation? How many more Greek policemen should get injured or lose their lives in the line of duty? How many more Greek citizens and legal immigrants should be beaten, blackmailed, robbed, or killed? Would a cholera outbreak taking place in Greece change your mind? You’re doing nothing more than criticizing, complaining and having a utopian state of mind.

          • “You’re doing nothing more than criticizing, complaining and having a utopian state of mind.”
            As it so happens, I do not live with a utopian state of mind, on the contrary, I have both feet firmly planted on terra firma. I am involved with a food kitchen/collection centre and have, unlike you, first hand experience of what is going on. For your information, most of the users of food kitchens are GREEKS. Not that it matters, but it is fact.
            And also, unlike you, I try to do something about it instead theorize from a safe distance while slapping helpless people over the head with one sided, unworkable, and frankly fascist laws designed to protect Germany and France from the “undesirables”.
            The people that get beaten, blackmailed, robbed or killed are not picked by their legal or illegal status nor are they the Greeks. It suffices to be an immigrant to run the risk of getting your head kicked in or a sword rammed through your chest. Take the blinkers off, stop reading Bild and allowing yourself to be spoon fed the crap you are spouting, and use your own head and intelligence instead blindly repeating the nonsense they feed you.
            And while we’re at it, for your information, the largest, deadliest and most unwanted arms dealers operating in Europe are Germany and France, who have spend years bribing and paying off crooked people in order to sell tonnes of useless military hardware all over the place. And yes, corrupt Greek politicians took part in it, and should be held accountable for it.
            The only fantasy state that’s being bandied around my friend is the EU a la Merkel, Schauble & Co. and it isn’t a Utopia. Come and have a walk around the back streets of Greece’s cities and you’ll see what the net result of these policies is. Don’t forget the sick bag.
            Instead of spending millions on trying to seal borders, the EU could spend a fraction of that on decent, humane accomodation and proper help centres with properly trained facilitators and assistants for indeed the many thousands of people who are fleeing their homelands and end up here. That would be doing the right thing. But it doesn’t make them any money, so it won’t happen. On the other hand, arming Frontex, spending millions on vehicles and fuel patrolling the borders makes somebody somewhere a lot of money. and you can bet your bottom Euro that somebody is not in Greece. I would bet my bottom Euro you would have to look a few kilometers further North to find the beneficiaries of these policies.

          • Ephilant

            IDGRA what Merkel, Schäuble and the Bild are espousing. What I’m advocating is the implementation of a version of the US immigration policy I’m familiar with. Setting aside its many flaws, it relies on three main pillars. 1) The US Congress provides the necessary financial resources so the government could enforce the immigration laws of the land. 2) Respecting and protecting the universal rights of everyone living in the US. 3) Intensifying ongoing efforts to secure the US borders and to stem the flow of illegal immigrants.

            Some professional, opportunist and populist Greek politicians as well as many MMOs(Mass Media Outlets) of exaggeration, love to define the issue based on its two extremes. To me, it’s reprehensible and criminal if a Greek citizen physically abuses an illegal or a legal immigrant or another Greek. It’s disgraceful and criminal if an illegal or a legal immigrant physically harms a Greek citizen or another immigrant. In both cases the perpetrators should be apprehended, prosecuted and if found guilty to be incarcerated. Illegal immigrants who have been convicted for felonies should serve their sentences and then been deported.

            It’s disheartening to see some immigrants in Greece been exploited, been abused both physically and verbally, and live in subhuman, deplorable and unsanitary conditions. But, how do someone expect Greece which has an unemployment rate of 22% and 1.2 million unemployed citizens, a budget deficit of 19 billion Euros and a public debt of 290 billion Euros, after the PSI, to take care of more than 100,000 illegal immigrants entering the country annually? By some estimates there are more than 1 million undocumented immigrants already living in Greece. The Greek economy is in a state of a controlled default, and the government is presently struggling to take of the needs of its own citizens and to keep the financial commitments to its international lenders. Some of our proud and hard tested people are struggling to make ends meet and relying on soup kitchens, donations, and on the help of their relatives to make it through.

            Undocumented immigrants should be respected, protected, given the chance to apply for asylum and to appeal an unfavorable decision of a Greek court. But, once there’s a final court decision ordering their repatriation it should be carried out. While waiting to be send back to their homelands, they should be fed properly, live in clean, heated and air-conditioned facilities, have full access to quality medical care, participate in recreational activities, file a complain if they’re mistreated, and have the freedom to practice their own religion.

            Since you regard the present Greek immigration laws as fascists designed to protect Germany and France, then I suggest to start a campaign to convince the majority of the 300 Greek MPs to change them. It’s utopian, unrealistic and dangerous to have an open border policy and to create a welfare state with EU funding for every undocumented immigrant who fled his/her country for whatever reason. Some immigrants are leaving their countries for economic reasons others because of political or religious or ethnic persecution. According to the Greek government on an annual basis only 2% of the roughly 10,000 applicants are granted political asylum. There’s no doubt in my mind that among the more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants entering Greece annually there’re hard working, decent people seeking a better life for them and for their children. But, among them there’re also rapists, thieves, murderers, human smugglers, arms dealers, pimps of underage girls and drug dealers. Simply putting it, Greece doesn’t have the human and financial resources to help and assimilate more than one hundred thousand undocumented immigrants annually.

          • What a crock of shit. The USA accepts refugees from UNHCR for permanent relocation: no EU country does. The USA does not have a land border through which asylum seekers and refugees can enter; the Mexican border is all irregular workers, and the US still cannot manage that properly and has 11m illegal immigrants — a far higher ratio than Europe has. Similar to Greece, actually.

            Basically, you are a right wing person with intolerant racist mentality. And who told you the figure of 100,000 illegal immigrants in Greece? Was it from Chryssi Avgi? The correct number, if you mean people who arrived and have no papers within the last few years, is about 4-10,000. The number who have been awaiting asylum cases is about 30-40,000 and the number who lost legal status because (unlike Spain and Portugal) the fascists in Pasok and ND removed their documents if they didnt have 300 days of employment per year, is about 100-150,000. These figures are my professional estimates, because the useless Greek state has no idea. IN the past, I have compiled the data for them because they are clueless.

            Whatever figure you use, unlike the propaganda figures that you have cited, the problem is with people who lost their work. Just as it is with Greeks, and just as it will be with Germans in a few years. We look forward to assisting with your new soup kitchens.

          • Guest (xenos)

            YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. GET SOME PROFESSIONAL HELP !!

          • Idiot German who thinks he knows it all: I am a professional who knows exactly what he is talking about. Grow up.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            and I am going to kick out the professional and the German if they won’t calm down

          • KTG: did I SHOUT at anyone? I advised the German that he is recycling propaganda here, and gave some free professional advice. If you Google my email address, you will find out who I am.

            The fact that he believes the propaganda being touted is a problem; instead of realising this, he accuses me of having mental problems!

          • keeptalkinggreece

            my warning is valid for both of you – I don’t mind arguments between readers but I’m bothered about the exchange of “French”.

          • Right Nicolas, who again did you say was living with a utopian mind?? Let’s have a little look at all this in some more detail.
            In another post you refer to the US as “the land of the free and the home of the brave” Joke, right?
            For starters, it’s a bit rich to use the US, which is build on the total annihilation of its indigenous peoples, as an example of how to respect fellow human beings rights. Not to mention Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other interferences with other nations to “protect US interests”…
            And then there is of course the little matter of the US with their perfect laws actually having a bigger “Illegal” immigrant problem than the EU…
            It is as rich as to allow a country like Germany with it’s history of human rights to dictate to others what and how things should be done.
            You really should get rid of that notion that an immigrant can be “illegal”. There is no such thing. There are a load of stupid rules that label the immigrant with this label, but that doesn’t make the person somehow illegal. We are still dealing with a person, deserving of at least the absolute minimum of respect and humanity.

            Your 2nd point re US immigration policy is exactly where things go wrong.
            “2) Respecting and protecting the universal rights of everyone living in the US.”
            By making this part of “immigration policy” you do nothing else but execute a pre-emptive strike at potential immigrants.
            You keep hammering on the “criminal element” that may come in with them. You are right,it may. But let’s deal the real, existing criminal element instead of a wasting all that time and effort on what is nothing but a potential one. The real criminality, which in the vast majority of the cases is directly resposible for the need of the immigrants to leave their homes lies with world banking and their puppet politicians, including Merkel & Co, but also those on the other side of the pod!

            Here’s a few quotes from some of the Founding Fathers of the US:

            “… banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies” (Thomas Jefferson)

            “The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating”
            (Thomas Jefferson)

            “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” (Woodrow Wilson on signing the Federal Reserve Act)

            You say about the Greek government “and the government is presently struggling to take care of the needs of its own citizens”
            No government is interested in the needs of its own citizens. If it was, money would be spend on education, health care, social care etc.and there would not be an immigrant or refugee problem to start with. All the areas where massive cuts are being applied to are already, and deliberately so inadequate systems.There are some excellent posts on KTG regarding this situation in Greece.
            Instead, governments spend money on weapons, securing borders, invading other countries, etc. What is being taken care of here? Citizens needs????

            Which of course means tackling the second pillar of international crime, being politics and corruption.
            We have ample experience in Europe with politicians and banking system jointly ruining the place, hell, that’s what’s causing all this trouble in the first place.

            So, instead of allowing yourself to be blind-sided and join the band of baying wolves concentrating on the perceived “problem of immigration”, why don’t you wake up, smell the shit, and concentrate on the real problem of banking and politics. All your laws and perceived securities are in place to keep that criminal fraternity out of view and let them get on with screwing the world. Immigration is only one of the many smoke screens put up for that fraternity to hide behind and carry on while people like yourself waste your energy on something nobody is going to do anything about, because the situation was created, using those very same laws, by politicians to suit politicians and their banking masters.
            And until this combination of criminality is wiped of the face of the earth we will need food kitchens and shelters to help and protect the most vulnerable. That is The sad reality of the rules and laws you so applaud.

          • Dear Ephilant

            Everything boils down to the fact that Greece is incapable of helping and assimilating the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants already living in Greece, and the more that one hundred thousand of them entering the country annually.

          • You really should check your facts before saying these things my friend. You really should. And also the source of your “facts”. Dubious to say the least…
            What this boils down to is “The System” offering people an easy scape goat to deflect attention. Throw in a few on “facts” that seem plausible at first glance, and the rest takes on a life of its own. And meanwhile, everybody is getting screwed to the wall while blissfully looking the other way. Nothing to do with immigrants, which ever label you want to tag them with. Everything to do with people being too lazy to see what is right in front of them, if only they would have the sense to open their eyes and look past the front page of Bild, Focus or the Frankfurter…
            Again, the immigrants are not the problem. the system needing a scape goat and them coming in handy is the problem!

          • I have already corrected your statistics, so kindly stop repeating the lies about the extent of immigration. The maximum inflow ever was 40,000 per year (and I think is less now, but I haven’t checked since this requires a lot of effort to find the truth in Greece). Of these, a VERY LARGE proportion are entitled to international protection under European and international law. Greece does not have the legal possibility to exclude immigrants seeking protection.

            So, kindly stop your right wing propaganda which is only fuelling racism and support for Chryssi Avgi. If you want to do something useful, arrange for help for Greece in dealing with mixed immigration inflows via Turkey. That includes physical help with soup kitchens as well as offers from other EU countries to accept refugees and persons in need of subsidiary protection. We note that Germany has a very bad record on this, despite collecting profits from the eurozone operation.

          • Ephilant

            You keep repeating that the problem is not the immigrants but the system. Seeing the issue only from it’s humanitarian dimension is simply erroneous. As long as it’s NIMBY(Not In My Back Yard), there’s no problem.

            When your home has been ransacked by a gang of Georgians, when a group of Albanians broke in to your farm cabin to be used as their shelter and garbage dumping ground, then your attitude would definitely be different. When six months after the B&E (Breaking & Entering) incidents, a neighbor and a friend living 200 meters from your farm cabin was gang raped by four Albanians and beaten to death because she resisted, you will definitely change your attitude. Three out of the four Albanian animals are now serving long prison sentences, but it won’t bring Helen back to her children, husband and parents. According to the Greek Ministry of Justice as of September 1st 2010, 57.1% of the prison population were foreigners. It’s also true that most of them were incarcerated for immigration violations. But among them were also pimps of underage girls, drug and arms dealers, human smugglers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The Greek taxpayers are ending up paying both the legal and the incarceration costs.

            When an undocumented immigrant gets sick, or is injured in a traffic accident, or is having a baby, the Greek Health Care System has to provide medical assistance and the Greek taxpayers pay the bills.

            When a Greek employer uses undocumented immigrants then Greek citizens and legal immigrants might lose their jobs, or been unable to find jobs and have to rely on unemployment assistance to make it through. When a Greek or a legal immigrant small business owner is forced to close his/her business because a group of undocumented street vendors are selling similar products, imitations of brand names or stolen, at much lower prices it has an economic impact to society.

            Besides its humanitarian aspect, illegal immigration has among others criminal ramifications, increases health care costs, has immigration law enforcement related costs and has a negative economic impact to both Greek citizens and legal immigrants alike. By adding the fact that Greece is in dire economic straits it should be apparent that helping and assimilating all the undocumented immigrants is simply not feasible.

          • Excuse me: what is not feasible is for Greece to carry on paying banks. There is no way that Greece is going to be solvent until the economy is run properly — and I do not mean the disgusting sell-offs that Germans and others think they can get away with. I mean actually getting back to where Greece was in the mid-1990s, before the structural mess that the mismanagement of the eurozone has inflicted on Greece.

            As far as the cost of dealing with irregular immigrants, asylum seekers and others is concerned, this is a legal and humanitarian obligation. We do not expect Nazis to understand.

          • First of all, I must seriously object to your turn of frase. My fullest sympathy and support goes out to the woman you mention, and every bit of support she and her family can get should be given, and more. As a father of 9 daughters I know only too well what I would do with anybody who even thought of doing something remotely like that to any of my girls. But to then go and generalise and imply that all Albanians are animals is precisely the whole problem. And it does indeed lie in small little things like the way you put it. That takes root and becomes the monster we call racism.

            Whoever did this is a problem, irrespective of their status or nationality and should be taken out of society without hesitation. Permanently, as far as I am concerned.

            But you simply cannot go and blame a whole group of people, in this case “immigrants” for the horrible actions of the few. Just like you don’t go and call all Greeks thieves because a Greek was caught the other day stealing stuff from offices somewhere in Thessaloniki. It wouldn’t even dawn on you to think anything remotely like that. So why the difference in attitude?

            It is the same story everywhere, all the time. These horrible acts unfortunately happen. And I’ll repeat, if governments world wide would invest in education, health care, social care instead of weapons, it wouldn’t happen half as frequently as it does.In difficult times like we are experiencing now certain people latch on to these acts of savagery and use them for all the wrong purposes. In Greece we unfortunately have the emergence of Chrysi Avgi as a result. Do not for one minute think that these guys give athe blindest f*** (sorry KTG) about people. They have other agendas.But they will use situations like this to furhter their cause. It’s called Propaganda. And sadly enough, people like yourself are only too willing to believe it, because it gives you something tangeable, recognizable to take out your anger and frustration on. It’s the old dictat, give an illness a name, and it becomes cureable. It doesn’t matter if you give it the wrong name, as long as you have a pill…

            Politics have become the art of creating a the problem, misdiagnosing it, and then misappling the wrong medicine in copious amounts, through the wrong people. And while you are happily kept busy doing that, the real international criminals the (unholy alliance of Banks & Politicians) are taking everybody for a ride, and a very expensive one. Tackle that problem head on, and most of the others disappear.

            Meanwhile, again, check your facts before quoting them. You are so obviously so gullible, it’s almost cute 🙂

          • You’ve misconstrued my statement, read it carefully and you will realize that I’m referring ONLY to the three out of four Albanians who were eventually apprehended and convicted as animals. Do you have a better or a more appropriate characterization? I don’t either generalize or extrapolate but rather mention immigration data compiled by the Hellenic Police, Frontex and the Greek Ministry of Justice. So let’s agree to disagree.

            The inability of the Greek government to curb illegal immigration and to fight crime gives a boost to opportunist, populist, violent, far right and fascists groups such as the Golden Dawn to fill the vacuum. The big banks and corporations will be bailed out now and in the future, because they have political influence and they’re too big to fail. Governments around the world will engage in illegal activities and will attempt to cover it up. Organizations seeking government accountability and transparency would often been stonewalled, harassed, and spied on. Unfortunately, this is the world that we live in.

          • I have not misconstrued any argument. It would have done to label these people for what they are, criminals. But, by specifying that they are of a certain nationality, which is totally irrelevant, you add to the false notion that all “whatevers” are …. That notion is put out there by unscrupelous people who have an interest in diverting peoples attention away from what is really going on, and no easier way to do that than picking a scape goat already in a defensive position (ie the “immigrant”) a start a game of Chinese whispers. It’s how the human mind works, and you really need to work on stopping it from doing that. Education goes a long way here…
            And then come people like yourself who don’t use the brain they obviously have, and by making statements as the one you made, go and enforce the Chinese whispers. There is factually nothing wrong with the statement, but the damage done by giving irrelevant detail is enormous.

            It is, from your comments, obvious that you are not even aware of what you are doing. You are not only re-enforcing the populist lie, but you are in fact also re-enforcing the idea in your own mind. That is how these things work. And humans, being the lazy creatures they are prefer not to think, because it’s easier that way. Just think about the relevance of the nationality of these criminals to the crime they committed, and ask why is it that you felt the need to mention it anyway. It is as relevant as the legality or illegality of the immigrant when the person is first and foremost a person in need.

          • Ephilant

            The three Albanians who raped and murdered Helen, these criminals, monsters and animals, got what they deserved, long prison sentences. Four Albanians, with a work permit, working for a Greek contractor changed the roof in our home. Two Albanian citizens with permanent resident status in Greece helped my father pour concrete outside our summer house. Albanians, Pakistanis and Greek workers helped my uncle pick apples from his orchards. Stating the facts that’s all I do, nothing more nothing less.

          • giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

            Greece could give all people in Greece papers. Most of the refugees didn’t came to Greece but to Europe. So just let them go to Germany, France, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark and the UK.
            With that diseases is totally nonsense and just propaganda lies. The only disease are dickheads not using condoms. Western Nile Virus and Malaria already excist since years and has nothing to do with immigration.
            It’s only a question of organisation to bring 20000 tourists to Greece who will love to cook. Another way would be to inform tourists that are in Greece right now, inform them about the situation in their Cafés, on their Camping Sites aso with fliers.

    • People with your attitude should look at the Law of the Sea, which requires anyone nearby to help boats/people in distress. Not only is this a legal requirement, it is a criminal offence not to do so.

      Interestingly, it has recently emerged that NATO ships refused to help boats in distress in the Mediterranean Sea, with passengers of refugees and others escaping war. This happened when NATO countries chose to poke their noses into Libya, directly influencing the outcome of the civil war there (which continues with great violence even now, but the useless media do not report it).

      So, we have the nice little paradox that northern Europe and the USA seem to be guilty of systematic criminal offences, yet have the fucking cheek to complain about refugees and other people fleeing crises. Now you go even further and wonder if people should be fed when they are starving.

      Quite frankly, people in northern Europe (where I come from) disgust me. You are ready to repeat the crimes of the Nazis with this sort of mentality.

      • giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

        Wasn’t there also one case where are NATO ship also run over a refugee boat and killed tens of people?

        • Yes, I think you are right. I don’t know the details of it, though, and I always confine my comments to things I really do know about…

  8. Also maybe hungry man steal but if fed he happy for another day

  9. Has anyone asked the priests if they can cook so the people don’t go hungry? Also, maybe they’ll see this and they can ask boroume.gr who may be able to help.

    Unfortuantely, in Greece, (which I do love) they tend to find 10 ways why they can’t do something, instead of the one reason why they can.

  10. Stefania, Italy

    Recruiting chefs among the needy could be a good idea indeed.
    The only concern would be how to manage a reliable system, I mean, a way to assure their actual daily attendance to cooking activity.

    … but why packaged flour, rice and similar? What we collect outside supermarket here in Italy during the so called ‘solidal shopping days’ are non-perishable, ready to eat food, packed toasty bread, biscuits, hard cheese, long term milk, canned beans and so on.

  11. Ironically, the same nonsense that Nicholas is spewing would be a poetic justice for Greek racists if Cameron’s UK plan to keep Greeks out of the UK goes thru. So, I wonder what the right wing Greek racists would say about this. Would they support keeping Greek illegal immigrants out of UK, or would that be OK in their eyes. Very interesting to see what would happen if the Pandofla was on the other foot.

    • Dear Chas

      It’s your right to use a wide brush and characterize my views as nonsense and to insinuate racism on my part. I firmly believe though that respecting the universal rights of all human beings, enforcing the immigration laws of Greece, better protecting the Greek borders and having the political will, are all intertwined aspects. These four prerequisites could became the basic pillars of a pragmatic blueprint which could solve the urgent problem of illegal immigration Greece is facing right now.

      • Nick, I didn’t take that Chas was saying you were racist, just that what you said was nonsense and I agree with him. But, it’s nice that you said that you believe to protect rights of all people, because lately some in Greece do not. Did you hear what happen in Nikea where the X.A. tried to scare away legal immigrants who own shops. This is what happened in Germany when the racism heated up, so let’s hope it’s not a trend.

        • I’ve nothing against legal immigrants who played by the rules and got legal temporary or permanent resident status in Greece. Some undocumented immigrants though wouldn’t be able to find food for them and their families all the time. Kitchen soups and the generosity of some Greek citizens are nothing more than bandage-type of remedies. Desperation, hunger and misery could lead SOME people to act reprehensibly, violently and criminally. You and Chas totally misconstrued my views and because you’re utterly lacking persuasive arguments you use a wide brush type of approach to cover your inadequacies.

          To attempt connecting the actions of some racist elements, definitely the overwhelming minority, of the Greek society to what happened in Germany I characterize it as been outrageous, pathetic and insulting.

          Here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, the government has the political will to stem the flow of illegal immigrants. It’s done by protecting the universal rights of all human beings, by intensifying ongoing efforts to secure our borders and by enforcing the immigration laws of the land. That’s exactly what I’m advocating Greece should do to solve its illegal immigration problem. I suggest you and Chas remove your blindfolds, read carefully and comprehend better what other people advocate, reject your preconceived notions and refrain from making quantum leaps in your arguments.

          • More fascist crap? Immigrants who “play by the rules” – you mean, who don’t come to Greece, perhaps? Because there is no way that anyone can get into Europe as an asylum seeker or refugee other than as an illegal migrant. The fascists of northern Europe have put this into law starting in the 1980s.

            Oh, and by the way, you are speaking from the country that tried to cheat its legal immigrants of their pension rights, if they ever left Germany. Since 1990, the German social insurance funds would have been bankrupt were it not for the payments of mainly Turkish immigrants. So, the German and Austrian authorities tried to steal this money: it was left to the European Court of Human Rights to stop this crime. These are also the countries that invented the Gastarbeiter — a continuation of Nazi ideology about the purity of the Germanic race, but you would allow some temporary workers to do all the hard work then kick them out afterwards.

            So, sorry to tell you, but when Germans talk about the rule of law, the rest of us die laughing. Your country is the most criminal country possibly in world history, and it is all merely a pretence. Do not dare to lecture others on the rule of law.

          • giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

            Yep, not to mention that Germoney is led by a mass-murderer: 142 dead of thousands of suffering relatives whose number was put less for months and were discriminated as “Taliban”.
            This is only one massacre that was covered by media.

          • giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

            Yeah, yeah but those brave homies are illegal aliens that build fences against American Indians who lived between California, Mexico and Arizona long before those Christians came to kill 90% of them and steal everything.

  12. Well, “controlling borders” is pretty racist — especially when it is clear that the people who are coming in are in a bad way, fleeing war and/or poverty. And Blue is quite right: once you start talking about borders and excluding immigrants, the pogroms against people who have been here for years or decades also start. There is in public discourse like this, no different between a legal immigrant who has paid taxes for 20 years and someone who crossed yesterday. It is all the same racial hatred or intolerance, for people with this approach to life.

  13. I dunno.

    Exploitation, suffering and abuse of people has been going on for centuries. I believe that it is woven into the fabric of mankind. Someday, I think it might be able to be addressed.

    But RIGHT NOW Greece AND the U.S. had better be worrying more about saving THEMSELVES than saving the WORLD. As the Dylan song goes – “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”.

    • giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

      Saving the US? That illegal state of European squatters? I like it better this way:
      HOMELAND SECURITY
      FIGHTING TERRORISM SINCE 1492

      Refugees should learn of the Europeans that migration gets legal when it’s armed.

  14. From one of my favorite movies of all times, ZARDOZ, we don’t have to worry now as the Greek Church has stated it was a rumor that they would close the kitchen.

    In ZARDOZ, one of the ladies says to Zed, “You must give the truth, if you wish to receive it.” So, it seems sayeth the Greek Orthodox Church…