legal clinics legal clinics

Attica (Athens)

Communities: Elefsina, Aspropyrgos, Mandra, Shoisto

Heromact association

  • Stadiou 33, 2nd floor, office 15, Athens
  • Consultation hours: 09:00 - 17:00
  • Telephone number: 06906986421

 

Roma Support Office

  • Ethnikis Antistaseos 80, 19200, Elefsina
  • Consultation hours: 09:00 - 17:00
  • Telephone number: 06906986421

 

Thessaloniki

Community: Dendropotamos

Greek Roma Women’s Association

  • Kyprou 6, 54628, Dendropotamos Thessaloniki
  • Consultation hours: Tuesday – Thursday – Friday: 18:00-21:00
  • Telephone number: +30 (0)6908764483
Country profile Country profile
Size, composition and historical presence of the Roma communities

 

The presence of Roma or “Gypsies” – as there are still often called including by the community itself - can be traced back to the 14th century, though their Greek nationality was effectively given to them as late as in 1979. They like to be referred to as “Greek Roma”.

Roma population in Greece is not an entirely homogeneous group, but it consists of different “tribes” of Roma people. The main categories of Roma in Greece are as follows1: (a) domestic nomadic Roma (albeit an extremely limited number); (b) very long-term settled distinct Roma communities, very poor and excluded; (c) very long-term settled distinct Roma communities, a number of which are almost entirely unproblematic; (e) recent Roma migrants from new EU Member States (mainly Bulgarian and Romanian Roma); (f) completely integrated/assimilated Roma who may never even identify themselves as Romani; (g) Roma Muslims in Thrace, who benefit from the minority protections available under the peace treaties between Greece and Turkey following the Treaty of Lausanne;. In addition there are recent Roma migrants who are not EU nationals (especially from Albania, but also from Kosovo* and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”) and fall within the responsibility of the migration policy.

The total share of the Roma within the total Greek population is estimated between 2-3% (source: ROM Network, 2000). The estimations regarding the magnitude of Greek Roma range from 180,000 to 365,000. An average estimation of 270,000 Greek Roma seems to be closer to reality. According to the Regional Strategies for the Social Inclusion of Roma compiled between 2013 – 2014 and the mapping based on questionnaires filled out by the Municipalities and carried out in 2015 - 2016, the population of Roma based on spatial concentrations is approximately 120,000 in 370 settlements or neighbourhoods.

There are no officially accepted estimates concerning the number of immigrant Roma present in Greece. Most of these people come from Albania, but others come from Bulgaria, Kosovo*[1], “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Romania. Some of these persons are temporary migrants, performing in particular seasonal agricultural work in Greece, and then returning home. Others are involved in scrap metal recycling. The majority of these people have “been legally living in Greece for over a decade, although a few have obtained citizenship. Foreign Roma are outside of the scope of state programmes” when they are illegally in the country. Moreover, “the residence of these newly arrived Gypsies in Greece goes relatively unimpeded, as the public authorities tend to avoid addressing the problems of this particular group” and is within the competency of migration laws and policies.

The Roma are scattered all over the country, with greater density in the regions of northern Greece, northwest and west Peloponnesus, Epirus and Etoloakarnania, in several areas of the region of Thessaly (Larissa, Farsala, Sofades etc.) and in the greater area of Athens and west Attica (St. Barbara, Petralona, Chalandri, Rentis, Moschato, Menidi, Ano Liosia, Eleusis, Megara, Drapetsona, Spata, etc.). The greatest concentration of established Roma populations are found in regions of major urban centres, as well as rural regions that present the most employment opportunities. Most surveys carried out in recent years, show that Roma continue to live in more or less the same localities that they lived in 1999, which implies that the vast majority of Roma in Greece are sedentary. It has been estimated that they are settled to approximately 370 locations most of which are found in the periphery of the big cities all over Greece.

It is generally noticed that there is a spatial concentration of Roma in specific areas, neighbourhoods, suburbs or villages. This implies that Roma live, in most cases, in isolation, separately from the rest of the population and they do not mix with non-Roma. This consequently leads to their social disintegration and reinforce their social exclusion. It is worth mentioning that a number, although small, of localities where Roma reside, e.g. St Barbara, Aigaleo and Ilion in Attica, Saint Athanasius and other areas in the city of Serres in Central Macedonia are more successfully mixed with the non Roma population. Greek Roma community faces persistent inequalities in all aspects of life, including access to education of Roma children, the right to housing and to other basic social goods, let alone the excessive exercise of police violence.

 

Source: CAHROM thematic report on addressing and combating human trafficking within Roma communities, with a focus on prostitution and street children (adopted in November 2016)

 

[1] All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

NATIONAL CO-ORDINATOR NATIONAL CO-ORDINATOR
  • Dr Christos ILIADIS
LAWYERS LAWYERS

Athens

  • Mr Eleftherios KONSTANTINIDIS

Thessaloniki

  • Mr Georgios TSIAKALOS

Xanthi

  • Mr Nikolaos MONDRINOS
LEGAL ASSISTANTS LEGAL ASSISTANTS

Athens

  • Ms Alexandra KARAGIANNI

Thessaloniki

  • Mr Minas DEMERTZIS

Xanthi

  • Mr Ioannis PATZANAKIDIS
facilitators facilitators

Athens

  • Ms Christina KOKKONI
  • Mr Ioannis CHRISTOU

Thessaloniki

  • Ms Giannoula MAGGA

Xanthi

  • Ms Songkoul RAMADAN OGLOU
  • Ms Maria TZAMPAZI