Immigration seen as a threat by many Greeks

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Survey results published on Tuesday by the Greek National Centre for Social Research (EKKE) reveal the majority of Greeks surveyed view migrants as an economic, social and cultural threat.

The revealing data shows about 65% of those interviewed said that migrants were bad for Greece's economy, 59% consider that migrants are taking their jobs and 59% that migrants' use of health and welfare services is greater than their contribution in terms of taxes.

Greeks also said cultural homogeneity is very important to them with 63% suggesting that Greece was a "worse place to live" as a result of migrants with 57% saying that Greece's cultural life has deteriorated because of them, rather than becoming enriched.

One third said the government must not be too generous in granting refugee status to applicants and 44.4% believe the government treats the migrants that arrived in Greece during the latest migration wave better than the local population, to a lesser or greater extent, while 29.2% say its treatment of migrants and locals is the same and 26.5% see it as much or a little bit worse.

"We expected to have these results, chiefly because of the economic crisis, since from research and the bibliography it has been shown that when you have an economic crisis, unemployment and low wages this causes certain reflexes, which result in an increase of bad feelings against migrants," said EKKE researcher Angelos Tramountanis.

About 40% of respondents also viewed Muslims in a negative light suggesting Greece should not accept any Muslim migrants which mirrored the results of a pan-European survey by the British international think tank Chatham House last month, where 58% of Greeks said that migration from Muslim countries should stop.

The survey was conducted through interviews with 505 migrants and 827 Greeks aged 15 or above, living in major urban centres in Greece.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.