Minister of Migration and Asylum emphasises responsibility to protect against racist hatred



In his speech during an online seminar on 'Sports, refugees, integration,' the Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarakis used the example of the Antetokounmpo brothers who "found the way to fame through sports, without ever forgetting their relationship with Greece."

"This relationship with Greece," the minister stressed, "must be reciprocal, as the Greek State bears the responsibility to protect them from any few manifestations of blind racist hatred."

In the difficult effort to integrate refugees, he noted: "sport allows us to speed up the process, as it can serve as a vehicle for smooth integration and integration."

In this direction, the State also facilitates the possibility of asylum seekers joining sports clubs in the area, the minister added, citing the example of an Iranian refugee in Sintiki, Serres, who was admitted to a local basketball team development.

Mitarakis also announced a series of programs for integration through sports including a heptathlon with refugees from six regions of Attica.

The online seminar 'Sports, Refugees, Integration' was co-organised by the Institute of International Relations-Greece and the International Olympic Truce Center.

Last week, a Greek official responsible for educating refugees was fired for making racist comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose parents emigrated from Nigeria to Greece.

Konstantinos Kalemis, the coordinator for refugee education in the Malakassa camp north of Athens, called Antetokounmpo a "monkey" on Twitter after the NBA Most Valuable Player denounced racism in Greek society.

Kalemis later deleted the post but the original comment was unacceptable to Education Minister Niki Kerameus.