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Maes
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That's what the US Embassy recommends to its citizens meeting the above criteria, in a nutshell:

http://www.protothema.gr/files/1/20...sage_greece.pdf



The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that the “Threats To Safety and Security” section of the Greece Country Specific Information page has been updated to inform U.S. citizens of a rise in unprovoked harassment and violent attacks against persons who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be foreign migrants. U.S. citizens most at risk are those of African, Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern descent in Athens and other major cities.


Discuss in 3...2...1.

Edit: here's the actual gov't source: http://athens.usembassy.gov/warden_messages.html

Last edited by Maes on 11-16-12 at 15:57

Old Post 11-16-12 15:31 #
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AndrewB
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I'd say anyone with any skills or personal wealth should GTFO of Greece.

Old Post 11-16-12 15:48 #
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DoomUK
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No mention of this on the British Embassy's page. Why is the paranoia exclusively related to dark skinned/brown skinned/etc Americans?

Old Post 11-16-12 16:01 #
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Maes
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DoomUK said:
Why is the paranoia exclusively related to dark skinned/brown skinned/etc Americans?


The US has a history of publishing paranoia-fueled warnings towards its citizens, and in particular for Greece, where relations have always been of the love/hate type. If you notice the date, 17 November is a somewhat sensitive commemoration, and the US State Department always considered Greek to be a high-risk area for terrorism, mainly due to these fellas.

In any case, this particular warning seems part of an uncalled-for psyop: a black or dark skinned American would risk his ass just as much if he met a bunch of Russian, French, British or German skinheads in a dark alley in Moscow, Paris, London or Berlin, accordingly, and yet I've never heard of similar warnings there.

Old Post 11-16-12 16:12 #
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MajorRawne
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The way I see it, without meaning to sound bigoted or naive, why would anyone want to attack a British tourist? Unless the tourist is an alcohol-fuelled nutcase who's come to cause trouble at an England match, of course.

You can sort of see the retarded logic in an American citizen being attacked since the US Government is the one that always seems to be telling other countries what to do. Of course, this is not the American citizen's fault, he or she has simply gone on holiday, but that's where the retarded logic comes in.

True story: My mum's friend and her husband went on holiday to the USA. This is about 20 years ago mind, so things are a bit different now (hopefully). They are white. They left their hotel and went out for the day, walking around the town. They did some shopping, had lunch in a cafe and basically had a nice time.

When they got back to the hotel, one of the staff (also white) asked where they'd been for the day. When they told him, he turned pale and asked if they were joking. He then told them that was a "black" area they'd been in. He said if they had been American, they would have been accosted for being in the black area. The couple had not noticed anything amiss, they had been left alone all day, and when they interacted with people - shop staff, cafe staff etc - they had been polite and courteous and nobody had even looked at them twice all day.

Even allowing for exaggeration and the gulf of time between now and then, this shows people can get on with one another when fear and suspicion are not present. What would the world be if we didn't divide ourselves relentlessly? Who is causing this division and why?

Old Post 11-16-12 21:24 #
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GeckoYamori
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The situation in Greece right now is not unlike that of post-WW1 Germany. Perhaps something for Merkel to consider.


True story


There's another story like that from a Swedish engineer who visited the American south during the 50's when racism was still heavily institutionalized. He would give up his seat on the bus for an elderly black woman, and everyone would give him a disapproving stare. Same thing happened when he drank from a public tap water sink meant for "coloreds" which earned him some scornful remarks, even after he goes through the trouble of showing them that both taps were connected to the same pipe.

Old Post 11-16-12 21:32 #
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Maes
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MajorRawne said:
You can sort of see the retarded logic in an American citizen being attacked since the US Government is the one that always seems to be telling other countries what to do.


Well, most of the other warnings you can see on the embassy pages are set more or less in the tone you described: instilling a fear of being attacked because they might be perceived as agents/units of an oppressive superpower, or as arrogant foreigners behaving in a patronizing way.

But this warning was very different: it literally said that if you are black or look asian/arabian, you risk getting your ass kicked on those grounds alone, without being American having anything to do with it.

My opinion? Yes, if you walk into Golden Dawn turf and you do look unmistakably black or olive-skinned and in particular if you look indian/pakistanian/bangladeshian and like some types of arabs, then there's a very real chance you'll get badly beaten, as those categories of immigrants are the most numerous and more associated with crime, illegal immigration, contraband etc.

Itonically, there's a kind of ideological problem here, because many Greeks (not me, obviously :-p ) are pretty dark/olive skinned themselves, including many Golden Dawn members (a common point of scorn against them in blogs and the like).

Those that look much more asian though (chinese, vietnamese etc.) wouldn't elicit any negative reaction, for the most part, partly because they are fewer, and because they are associated more with shop ownership and import/export activities, rather than low-level crime.

That being said, most people would be able to distinguish between the "I'm an american tourist" kind of black, and the "I'm some poor fucker from africa selling bootleg cassettes" kind of black.

Old Post 11-16-12 21:46 #
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Phml
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In any case, this particular warning seems part of an uncalled-for psyop: a black or dark skinned American would risk his ass just as much if he met a bunch of Russian, French, British or German skinheads in a dark alley in Moscow, Paris, London or Berlin, accordingly, and yet I've never heard of similar warnings there.


In 2012 Paris, I'd think the skinheads are the ones who should worry about wandering near dark alleys. ;)

Old Post 11-16-12 22:03 #
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Maes
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Phml said:
In 2012 Paris, I'd think the skinheads are the ones who should worry about wandering near dark alleys. ;)


Only because they probably control only a small number of alleys, and by the very nature of things, their "natural foes" will always outnumber them (which is also one of the driving forces behind such movements to begin with).


GeckoYamori said:
The situation in Greece right now is not unlike that of post-WW1 Germany. Perhaps something for Merkel to consider.


Yes and no. Post WW I Germany, first of all, had a large number of war-hardened veterans organizing armed Freikorps (freelance corps) organized more or less like actual military units, representing the full spectrum of ideologies from left to right.

In Greece, this does not occur. Only Golden Dawn tries to appear militarily organized, their "equivalent" left-wing "foes" would be a rag-tag assortment of anarchists, extraparliamentary leftists, illegal immigrants etc. so it's a mockery of Weimar, at best. Plus those groups do not battle one another directly: they increase their influence through either self-organized policing operations, pogroms vs undersirable immigrants and even organizing charities (Golden Dawn), or through syndicate/radical activism (leftists).

Second, Weimar Germany was more or less on a (frail) recovery path and Germany was flourishing through the 1920s. Freikorps and the such, as well as the Nazi party, were still regarded as emarginated/extreme minority groups, but the stock market crash in the USA and the Great Depression totally obliterated any progress, gained massive popular support for Hitler and let all hell loose in the 1930s.

Greece OTOH is still on a downwards spiral, always weeks away from bankruptcy (just yesterday 16 Nov 2012, a 5 bln bond had to be repaid...with emergency loans expiring in 1 and 3 months, and three more bonds for a total of 12 bln looming this very December). There's also no clear popular support for one powerful enough party or group, yet, and society is divided between people who thing that staying in the EU, even as a non-equal member is paramount, those who advocate finding our own ways, some who wish for the "status quo antem", and some who wish for extreme fascist measures. Plus several who don't know who to follow. The current government clearly belongs in the first category, even though they don't mention the "non equal" part.

Last edited by Maes on 11-16-12 at 22:30

Old Post 11-16-12 22:14 #
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Quast
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GeckoYamori said:
The situation in Greece right now is not unlike that of post-WW1 Germany. Perhaps something for Merkel to consider.

Yeah what with the golden shit-eaters and their half-assed nazi salutes and no-seriously-they're-not-swastika flags and lynching people in the streets, I'd say it's a rather apt comparison to a small extent.

I'd wager greek police tend to either look the other way or outright and outwardly sympathize with them so even if the greek goverment heads don't officially, they may as well.

Old Post 11-16-12 23:43 #
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Maes
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Quast said:
I'd wager greek police tend to either look the other way or outright and outwardly sympathize with them so even if the greek goverment heads don't officially, they may as well.


The police is also divided: there is a part of it that is just as corrupt (and just as involved) as politicians, so write that part off. There are some who are corrupt on a criminal level (many cops do double-duty as bouncers, bodyguards, enforcers etc.), a lot who are outright Junta nostalgics, and many of the "new guard" that are caught between being hurt just as badly by cuts etc. as everyone else, and given an easy "lashing out" through Golden Dawn.

Suprisingly for a neo-autarchic state like Greece tends to become everyday, the police and the army were not spared from the austerity cuts. I wonder how low can they go until they shoot their "masters" (the politicians) in the back. Especially since several articles of the constitution and of the Aequis Communitaire have been de-facto violated by the uncontrollable and fraudulent passing of austerity & tax hiking laws.

Quite honestly, you can't have an efficient policeman (or any other professional) that is also considerate towards poor immigrants, when his mind is constantly on the extraordinary taxes and permanent pay cuts he has to face as well as the ones yet to come, in addition to running expenses, loans, bills etc.

Old Post 11-17-12 00:22 #
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MajorRawne said:

True story: My mum's friend and her husband went on holiday to the USA. This is about 20 years ago mind, so things are a bit different now (hopefully). They are white. They left their hotel and went out for the day, walking around the town. They did some shopping, had lunch in a cafe and basically had a nice time.

When they got back to the hotel, one of the staff (also white) asked where they'd been for the day. When they told him, he turned pale and asked if they were joking. He then told them that was a "black" area they'd been in. He said if they had been American, they would have been accosted for being in the black area. The couple had not noticed anything amiss, they had been left alone all day, and when they interacted with people - shop staff, cafe staff etc - they had been polite and courteous and nobody had even looked at them twice all day.



I'm really curious, what city were they in? That means everything when it comes to the question of whether or not there was any cause for concern. Also, the fact that this was 20 years ago is significant, as racial tension, gang activity and violent crime was then at an all-time high in a couple of major US cities, namely New York City and Los Angeles. There's also the fact that the L.A. Riots happened just over 20 years ago as well (in 1992), so if this was shortly afterwards, it's easy to understand why this hotel staffer would have reacted that way.

Old Post 11-17-12 00:58 #
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Sokoro
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Disgusting.. and you call this civilisation?

Old Post 11-17-12 15:15 #
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fraggle
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Maes said:
Greece OTOH is still on a downwards spiral
Come to the UK, we have crumpets and scones and no Nazi gangs roaming our streets!

Joking aside though, if I was in your position I'd be seriously thinking about the fact that you can speak English fluently, have marketable skills and (at least while Greece is still part of the EU) the ability to travel to other EU countries without needing a Visa.

Old Post 11-17-12 16:39 #
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Gez
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Maes said:
Suprisingly for a neo-autarchic state like Greece tends to become everyday, the police and the army were not spared from the austerity cuts. I wonder how low can they go until they shoot their "masters" (the politicians) in the back. Especially since several articles of the constitution and of the Aequis Communitaire have been de-facto violated by the uncontrollable and fraudulent passing of austerity & tax hiking laws.

These austerity laws are the greatest fraud of the century.

It could work if it was going on in one country while the rest of the continent isn't in crisis. Then outside demand could potentially be enough to kickstart the austere country's economy despite the internal market going in recession.

But everybody going through austerity at once during a global recession? The only ones who have anything to win from that are international megabankers like Goldman Sachs. Real flesh-and-blood people, in the meantime, are driven to suicide as ravenous banks illegally expel them from their homes.

Old Post 11-17-12 16:52 #
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GhostlyDeath
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fraggle said:
Come to the UK, we have crumpets and scones and no Nazi gangs roaming our streets!


Not to mention tons of cameras for every single angle on all 3 rotational axis.

Old Post 11-17-12 18:11 #
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Maes
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fraggle said:
Joking aside though, if I was in your position I'd be seriously thinking about the fact that you can speak English fluently, have marketable skills and (at least while Greece is still part of the EU) the ability to travel to other EU countries without needing a Visa.


Have been considering it, but personally I'm still doing relatively well, and can lead a carefree single's life with my own apt., hobbies, etc. while even helping my family financially now and then. So far, at least. Important note - I live quite frugally by the average Greek's standards. I consider it extravagant if I spend 10 Euros on used CDs and videocassettes every other weekend, let alone going out to buy a Eur. 5 coffee everyday.

But 2013 might be a turning point, if ridiculous taxation of freelances and compulsory contributions to a professional union's healthcare/pension fund make it just unviable to continue working and living here (more than 60% of my earnings would be taxes and pension contributions I will never get back).

For now, the cost of staying here vs the cost, shock & risk of leaving everything behind and starting anew in an unfamiliar country and uncharted work market are pretty much even, but this might change in the near future.

Last edited by Maes on 11-17-12 at 18:19

Old Post 11-17-12 18:13 #
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myk
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Maes said:
Suprisingly for a neo-autarchic state like Greece tends to become everyday, the police and the army were not spared from the austerity cuts.
One of the few positive things that happened during a neoliberal government in my country was the elimination of military conscription and a greater degree of subordination of the military to civilian government.

Old Post 11-18-12 09:48 #
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Maes
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myk said:
One of the few positive things that happened during a neoliberal government in my country was the elimination of military conscription and a greater degree of subordination of the military to civilian government.


The main reason military conscription is not abolished entirely (rather than being reduced in length) is, surprise surprise, that it's a big business: conscripts are, in fact, a valuable source of income for certain towns/regions that have few other income sources. For them, military and conscript-oriented services: fast foods, mini-markets, launderies, cafeterias etc. are an important source of income, and as you can imagine, they don't take very kindly to any threats to their cash cow.

This includes shutting down redundant camps/units, let alone an outright abolishment. And of course no politican wants to take the fall for actually doing it. So, yet another time, the problem is economical and regional-political.

Factor in a number of "businessmen" that due to special/privileged arrangements directly do business with the army (or with a particular camp) e.g. souvenir photographers, book salesmen, tailors, catering suppliers, office & computer consumables suppliers. etc. and you can see why conscription can't be abolished: it would all but kill all those dependent businesses. They are an integral part of the so-called "state-leeching private sector", yet another purulent wound on the carcass of my poor country.

Shortening the duration of the service term OTOH is not met with as much resistance (other than some grumpy "in my time, we used to have it longer and harder!" comments from old timers), because the turnover of conscripts stays more or less constant, even though the total number of personnel in service at any given moment decreases....and that just makes life & duty assignments harder, in sparsely manned units.

Last edited by Maes on 11-18-12 at 13:11

Old Post 11-18-12 13:03 #
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