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This briefing presents an overview of the key features of migration and asylum policy in Greece, recent trends in migration patterns, public perceptions and political narratives on refugees and other migrants:
Public and political narratives about migrants have been exceptionally negative since the first large wave of immigration to Greece in the early 1990s. These are largely based on fears that migrants will exacerbate unemployment and fiscal challenges, increase insecurity, and threaten cultural identity. Migration narratives have become more complex and charged since the arrival of over a million transit migrants and refugees in 2015–2016, a time of ongoing economic turmoil. The arrivals exposed the inadequacies of a domestic asylum system still in its infancy, and the shortcomings of the EU’s regional system for refugee hosting. Concerns about being manipulated by Turkey and let down by the EU have been a key motivation and justification for the expansion of hostile and securitised policies and narratives. For public narratives on migration to shift, genuine EU solidarity in asylum hosting is needed, as well as attention to the underlying economic concerns of Greek citizens. Given the mistrust of politicians and the media, there is a key role for trusted civil society actors and a progressive private sector to help recognise and maximise the contributions that a young, diverse migrant population can make in the context of Greece’s ageing society, challenging economic circumstances and still-high emigration rates.
Public narratives and attitudes towards refugees and other migrants: Greece country profile
About the series
Through a series of activities, dialogues and innovative communication and outreach initiatives,
Public and political narratives on refugees and other migrants: implications for action maps recent research and evidence on public attitudes toward refugees and other migrants. Hearts and minds: how Europeans think and feel about immigration
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Hearts and minds: how Europeans think and feel about immigration which builds on this ongoing research, supported by the IKEA Foundation, analysing public and political narratives and attitudes towards refugees and other migrants in Europe. Related listening
This podcast dissects attitudes and approaches to immigration across Europe, highlighting how political narratives are often at odds with public opinion.
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Public narratives and attitudes towards refugees and other migrants: Portugal country profile