Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos has said that the country’s place in the European Union must be defended.
Against a backdrop of deep debt, cuts and unemployment, Papademos warned against europhobia as Greeks prepare to vote in next month’s election.
“The large majority of the Greek people recognise the many substantial, long term benefits and advantages of a European Union and the euro for our country,” Papademos said.
“We must defend them, particularly from the voices of euroscepticism, europhobia and marginal trends.”
Next month’s election will be the first since the start of the country’s debt crisis.
Latest opinion polls show no party winning a majority.
Those against austerity could profit. There is also evidence that an extreme right anti-immigrant party may make gains for the first time.
“The economic situation creates a more tense atmosphere and frustration among the population and it is fertile ground for the creation of scapegoats,” said Ketty Kehayioglou, a UNHCR spokesperson.
Meanwhile, the government is planning to move thousands of illegal immigrants into holding centres, in the run up to the May 6th poll.