“Travels to a Different Time” : 6August2000: Athens, Greece: The Albanian Issue

Greece has been homogenous for quite some time. On this visit I am amazed to see the ethnic diversity that is starting to emerge in Greece. The new groups are starting at the bottom rung so as to speak. Many Greeks are uneasy with the influx of illegal immigrants. The Albanians are treated with suspicion and to some degree with Albanian organized crime rings operating in Greece they may one day be categorized as the New Mafia. For example after a hearty American style buffet headed to Omonia Square which has become an unsavoury area full of shady characters most of whom are Albanian with a fearful look in their eyes like the police will swoop down and expel them back to dirt poor and chaotic Albania. Took a taxi back to the hotel getting a view of the side streets near the Stanley Hotel. The taxi driver pointed out the groups of Albanian young men with disdain. As he said the Albanians are the new Gypsies in Greece. The heat of 40 is difficult to function in. You need a bottle of water every half hour. I make no judgements other than saying the Irish, Greeks and Italians had it very rough when arriving to Canada. In fact at one point in time there was an anti-Greek riot in Toronto.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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