Members of Greece’s immigrant community have taken to the streets to celebrate the Socialist victory in the country’s snap election.
Winner George Papandreou’s party has promised state recognition for immigrant children born in the country, along with local voting rights for migrants after five years of residence. “We have a lot of faith in the Socialists. In the past, the Socialists have supported the immigrants and we hope they will do the same again,” said one migrant. Illegal immigration is a serious problem in Greece. Tens of thousands cross by land and sea from Turkey every year and are forced to live in ghetto- like conditions in Athens or in immigrant reception centres on the islands. In an attempt to stem the flow of migrants, police have launched various sweeps of immigrant neighbourhoods to round up suspected illegal migrants, which has led to clashes and a right-wing backlash.