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22 mars 2011 2 22 /03 /mars /2011 12:28

Last ride in Athens before taking the bus to Istanbul. I discovered the "Chinatown", a small area near the central market, where most shops are run by Asians.


Street trades are not the sole preserve of foreigners. The Greeks are also present with the sale of bus tickets, books, new or used, sweet or savory pastries. Foreigners selling miscellaneous items, sunglasses, umbrellas, jewelry, watches, scarves, pictures, flowers, fruits, gadgets. The sale of wooden objects carved seems reserved for Africans. Roma people, Greek and from other Balkan countries (it seems that unlike in France or Germany Greece does not expelled) also share this type of activity.


The existence of small businesses run by immigrants from non-Europeans countries is the hallmark of a dynamic of installation and integration. Greece is in fact a country of immigration still unaware.


But the obstacles to obtaining residence permits slows the momentum of integration, relegating many of the migrants in the margins and favours their exploitation. The crisis adds it as a factor aggravation. Estimates of the number of undocumented migrants in Greece are substantially the same level as in France, for a country six times less populated. This shows the importance of the informal sector in the economy, but it is also a population that the situation will deteriorate rapidly, while the position of immigrants with residence permit is found also weakened.

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