According to three surveys that were presented by the Mayor of Athens George Kaminis, 54% of the citizens of Athens consider the integration of the refugees in the Greek society as “difficult”, while 70% think that the refugees’ children should enroll to Greek schools.
These are just some of the data present in the three surveys. The first was focused on the opinion of the refugees in the refugee camp of Elaionas, the second on the refugees that are beneficiaries of the program that provides them shelter on rented apartments and the third was focused on the opinion the citizens of Athens have about the refugees.
It is worth noticing that the greatest majority of the refugees have no intention in staying in Greece (8% in the camps, 2% in the apartments) as more than 60% of them want to go to Germany. Also, around 30% of them want to go back to their country once the situation improves there. Apparently, the great majority of them doesn’t want to work in Greece (59% in Elaionas and 76% in the apartments), while 30% of those that would like to work in Greece would do just any job.
As of the Athenians, 57% stated that showed their solidarity to the refugees by providing food, clothes, money etc. an answer that was given even by people that are hit by the economic crisis (55%) or unemployed (58%).
91% stated that there are people of a different nationality or religion living in their neighborhood. 44% of them said that refugees live there too.
Regarding the social integration the public opinion seems to be divided, as 38% believe that it would be better if the refugees lived in hostels or camps exclusively for refugees, while 43% that it would be better if they lived in apartments. According to the surveys, in areas where the refugees are more visible and thus in larger numbers, this opinion gains more ground.
The public opinion seems more divided on the issue of labor permits to refugees with 50% being in favor and 37% being against.
As for the demographics of the surveys, most of the refugees are from Syria while the second biggest group is Africans and then Iranians and Kurds. The average refugees are only 20 years old and the majority come from cities of over 100.000 population.
The refugees see the conditions as satisfactory and the majority feel safe in Athens, while more than 85% stated that they have not been a victim of any racist attack whatsoever in Greece.
Only 2-3% speak Greek and a small percentage of 17-22% said that they would like to learn the Greek language.
The Refugee Flow Observatory of the Municipality of Athens that conducted the surveys is funded exclusively by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Athens Partnership that aided in the surveys as well is a private non-profitable organization that promotes targeted co-operations of the Municipality of Athens with the private sector for the benefit of the citizens of Athens.