Greeks are more inclined to empathize with migrants than to blame them for their own misfortunes, according to a report.
The findings come at a time when Greece continues to struggle in various aspects such as European Union relations and domestic politics — e.g. government, economy and immigration.
More in Common, an international non-profit organization, made the findings after surveying 2,000 people.
The organization claimed that Greeks express “substantial empathy for the recent newcomers,” who are seen as hard-working and well-intentioned.
“Fully 77 percent believe that migrants are willing to work harder and for lower pay than Greeks, and more than half (56 percent) believe that migrants make efforts to integrate into Greek society,” More in Common stated in its report.
The organization added that feelings toward migrants are “warmer” in Greece than in other European countries where it has conducted similar surveys.
In recent years, numerous Greeks have opened their hearts and their businesses. One example is Maria Makrogianni, also known as “Mama Maria,” who made international headlines in 2017 when she opened her restaurant to thousands of migrants arriving on Samos island.
Two fishermen on the island of Lesvos also displayed Greek philotimo when they risked their lives to save thousands of others.
For much of 2015 and 2016, Thanos Marmarinos and Kostas Pinteris stopped fishing and started plucking children and helpless people from the waters around their small village of Skala Sikamnias. In 2017, an unusual winter island storm wrecked their boats — and their source of livelihood.
With assistance from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, the New York City-based Greek America Foundation raised thousands of dollars for Mama Maria and the Lesvos fishermen. The funds came through the foundation’s Project Hope for Greece campaign, which aims to support charitable individuals and organizations in Greece.
Featured image credit / Marko Djurica, Reuters
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