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Racist hate crimes have almost tripled in 2017, says Greek police

The number of hate crimes motivated by race, national origin or skin colour in Greece nearly tripled in 2017 when compared with the previous year, a police spokesperson told Al Jazeera. Hate crimes of this type – among them attacks and hate speech – soared to 133 last year, according to the Hellenic Police’s statistics. In 2016, police documented 48 such crimes.

Meanwhile, the total number of hate crimes more than doubled from 2016 to 2017, growing from 84 to 184 incidents.

Greek police divide hate crimes into five motivating categories: race, national origin or skin colour (133); religion (28); sexual preference (29); sexual identity (12); and disability (nine).

Compared with 2016, last year witnessed a rise in hate crimes in all categories.

The largest increase took place in the category of sexual identity (crimes that target trans individuals), which grew from one instance in 2016 to 12 hate crimes last year.

Last year’s numbers trump those recorded in 2013, which was the year with the highest number of hate crimes between 2012 and 2016.


The rise in the number of documented hate crimes last year was fueled by an ostensible increase in far-right violence targeting migrants, refugees and Muslims.

In a recent report, Al Jazeera detailed a string of violence targeting Pakistani labourers and Afghan refugees in Aspropyrgos, Athens and Piraeus, as well as a series of death threats against civil society organisations.


Anna Stamou of the Muslim Association of Greece, a civil society organisation, described the rise in recorded hate crimes as “very worrying”.

“The fascists in the previous years were afraid to expose themselves, but the crimes are now more open,” she told Al Jazeera.

“This doesn’t only impact the victims. The society is also very much deeply affected by this and loses faith in the system.”

Stamou added: “Now, you look at the man in the supermarket next to you, and you wonder if he’s a fascist or not. It has penetrated every layer of society.” full story



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  1. That’s right, just continue following the EU bankers’ policies and see where things will go. What did the authorities expect? The right is growing all over the world because of the total incompetence of economists and financial managers and the cowardice of politicians who have placed everything in the hands of these “number-monkeys”.

  2. Since hate crime now includes nasty comments as defined by the victim (EU policy), then no wonder there is a jump in the numbers. All of us can go running to the police now on the basis of our ‘feelings’. And here in Greece where ‘travesties’ have always been affectionately accepted, dear Mr. Policeman please do not try pull the wool over our eyes that we suddenly -overnight! – hate them, what nonsense. Maybe our newly arrived migrants are less used to this? Who knows….it certainly doesn’t say here.

    Hate crime legislation is USA’s and EU’s latest means to control populations by criminalising free speech – not just the rabid variety but any sort of criticism against unpopular EU policies.