An Afghan who fled his country, fearing a lynching, after converting from Islam to Christianity. A Syrian who bolted across the border after a bomb destroyed his home. A Sudanese man who ran for his life after soldiers murdered his father and raped his sisters.
All three have joined the rivers of refugees that flow, now as ever, from the most wretched corners of the earth, converging today on Athens, the most wretched capital in Western Europe. Pursuing the European dream, they have run aground in the swamp of Greek’s economic crisis: undocumented, unwanted, despised, hungry and under constant threat of the sort of violence they imagined they had left behind at home.
The bad guys of this story are not hard to identify. The far-right Golden Dawn party (Chrysi Avgi in Greek) captures votes by using foreign migrants in the same way the Nazis used the Jews: as scapegoats for the frustrations, insecurities and hardships of today’s Greek population. They blame Arabs, Asians and Africans (or ‘subhumans’ as they call them) for their country’s dire lot. Accusing them of infecting Greeks with diseases and of turning the centre of Athens into a criminal jungle, young Golden Dawn militants hunt down foreigners in the streets, markets, parks and buses.