European Commission on Racism and Intolerance Issues Third Report on Greece

16 December 2004

On June 8, 2004, the Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) made public its Third Report on Greece. In the Executive Summary, ECRI noted "[…] many of the recommendations contained in ECRI's second report have not, or not fully, been implemented. There remain stereotypes, prejudices and incidences of discrimination targeting members of minority groups, particularly the Roma community and minority religious groups, as well as against immigrants. Criminal law is not enforced to a sufficient extent to curb racist acts, and existing civil and administrative law provisions are insufficient to effectively prohibit discrimination. […] The measures taken at national level to combat racism and intolerance are not always replicated at the local level." The following is a non-exhaustive list of the recommendations to Greek authorities by ECRI:

"24. ECRI recommends that the Greek authorities adopt comprehensive legislation against racial discrimination as swiftly as possible. […]

41. ECRI strongly encourages the Greek authorities to review all legislation and practice regarding access to public services such as health and state allowances, together with access to employment, so as to identify and eliminate whatever discrimination may exist. […]

48. ECRI strongly recommends that the Greek authorities foster equal opportunities in access to education for children from minority groups by organising, inter alia, support courses of Greek language, backup courses, and mother tongue education for the children concerned. […]

67. ECRI notes with concern that since the adoption of its second report on Greece, the situation of the Roma in Greece has remained fundamentally unchanged and that overall they face the same difficulties – including discrimination – in respect of housing, employment, education and access to public services. […]

73. ECRI urges the Greek authorities to raise the awareness of local authorities, such as municipalities or local administrative agencies, to the need to respect the rights and the culture of the Roma. It strongly recommends to the Greek authorities to impose sanctions on municipal councillors who make racist remarks or do not comply with the regulations and decisions that bind them.

98. ECRI recommends that the Greek authorities alerting media professionals to the dangers of racism and intolerance. In cases where racist articles have been published, it strongly encourages the Greek authorities to take every step to prosecute and punish the culprits. […]

105. ECRI expresses concern over serious allegations of ill-treatment of members of minority groups, such as Roma and both authorised and unauthorised immigrants. The ill-treatment in question ranges from racist insults to physical violence and is inflicted either at the time of arrest or during custody. ECRI is particularly concerned over the existence of widespread allegations of improper use of firearms, sometimes resulting in death. It is equally concerned over reports of ill-treatment of minors and expulsion of non-citizens outside of legal procedures."

The full text of ERCI’s report is available on the Internet at: ECRI Report.


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