REPORT ON THE COVERAGE OF THE ROMA IN THE GREEK
(Comments in italics are made by the GHM)
31/8/98: Eleftherotypia, page 9
New Democracy President K. Karamanlis participated in the christening
of a Roma child in Kato Ahagia. His brother was the godfather.
A neutral report, implying that Mr. Karamanlis participates in lots
of ceremonies of the kind, in order to gather votes.
1/9/98: Nea, page 16
Fight Between Police and Roma
The Roma settlement at Zefyri turned into a battlefield a little
after midnight on Sunday, when policemen raided a house in the settlement, in search of
hashish. The policemen found 45 kilos of hashish and arrested four Roma. As they were
leaving the place, the policemen were attacked by Roma who had been celebrating a wedding
nearby. According to the police, the Roma were the first to set fire to the policemen. The
latter then shot in the air in order to intimidate the Roma. Following that, three of the
four arrested Roma escaped. Sergeant K. Phavatas and the 20-year-old Roma Patapios
Karagounis were injured. According to Karagounis’ family, the young man lost his right
eye and was seriously injured in the backbone during the fight. Three Roma were arrested.
The three runaways are wanted by the police. An hour and a half later, a police patrol
passing by the settlement was attacked and officer D. Tsevas was injured. A police group
which came to the place did not manage to find the criminals. According to the Roma
residents, however, it was the policemen who started to shoot indiscriminately.
A neutral report, mentioning both the police and the Roma version of
Eleftherotypia, page 15: Blood for the Zefyri Hashish
The combat between the Roma and the hashish sellers in the Zefyri
settlement resulted in a lot of injuries, hashish, and the big question of who started the
fire. According to the police, they were attacked by Roma, while leaving the place. That
is why they answered to the attack in order to intimidate the Roma. ‘The policemen were
the ones who started the fire. They were shooting to kill, they treated Karagounis as a
lamp,’ claim the relatives of the 20-year-old Roma. The combat proved, however, that
some of the Roma settlements in Attiki are big hashish markets. Roma cooperate with the
Albanian Mafia. While the latter deliver the hashish across the borders, the former take
care of its shelter and distribution.
Two characteristics distinguish the article of Eleftherotypia from
the other articles: First, only this article and the article in Nea explicitly mention the
Roma version about the event. Second, it is among the few articles on that day -apart from
Vradini and Adesmeftos Typos (page 32)- which make generalizations of the event and speak
of Roma selling hashish with collaboration of the Albanian mafia.
Eleftheros Typos, page 17, Bloodshed Between Two
Policemen and a Roma
Exousia, page 20, Police Raid on Roma Settlement
Avgi, page 13, Wild West Images in Zefyri
Ethnos, page 24, Clashes of Roma with the Police in Zefyri
Adesmeftos Typos, page 13, Combat Between Roma and Police in
Apogevmatini, page 13, Shooting and Bloodshed in Roma Settlement
Because of Drugs
Athinaiki, page 19: Raid for Hashish in Zefyri
Kathimerini, page 7, Bloody Combat in Zefyri
Comparatively mild reports which confine themselves to the description
of the events from the policemen’s point of view. Some of the articles refer to the
relations between Roma and the Albanian Mafia, but only as regards the present event.
Vradini, page 36, Wild West Images Again in Zefyri
The infiltration of the Albanian Mafia in the Roma settlements was
confirmed yesterday by the arrest of the Albanian leader of the group. This is not the
first time that policemen risk their lives to break down on Roma gangs selling hashish.
The article continues with examples of previous police raids, which verify that there is a
serious problem concerning hashish trade in Roma settlements.
Adesmeftos Typos, page 32: Zefyri Turned Into Chicago!
The policemen tried to stop the death trade which reigns in the Roma
Negative reports, taking the issue of Roma guilt for granted and
praising the police raid in the name of the battle against drugs.
2/9/98, Apogevmatini, page 19
Three Roma Drug-dealer Bosses - Wanted by Police
Police are searching for Vasilis Karagianopoulos and his two
brothers, who are believed to be the main receivers and distributors of the hashish in
Zefyri. The three men were caught in the very act of packing the hashish on Sunday night,
but managed to escape, after provoking a fight between policemen and Roma. However, the
brain of the gang, Albanian D. An. Tsipas, did not manage to escape.
Nea, page 17, Manhunt
The reports deal only with the detective aspect of the story. They
do not mention anything about the injury of the 20-year-old Roma.
Eleftherotypia, page 20, Taken to Give Account for Hashish
The 20-year-old Roma was injured by a lead shot coming from the guns of
the other Roma and not by a police gun, according to the official version of the police.
Eleftheros Typos, page 33, Doctors Will Find Out Who Shot the
The reports adopt the police version of the incident.
Ethnos, page 19, Warning to the ‘Bad’ Roma
Police officer Th. Papafilis announced that the police do not
discriminate against Roma in comparison to the rest of the population. However, he said,
distribution of drugs in the Roma settlements is unacceptable.
Vradini, page 37, Zefyri Settlement Turned Into Boiling
The Roma settlement is anxious while waiting for the doctors’
opinions related to the serious injury of the young Roma. Officer Th. Papafilis expressed
his compassion to the Roma people, saying that they are entitled to equality before the
law. He added that sometimes the police shut their eyes to minor incidents of law
breaking, in order to help the Roma community improve its life. Nevertheless, crimes that
lead young people to death cannot be tolerated.
Slightly positive reports, which distinguish between the whole of
the Roma group and certain outlaws within the group. Roma in general are treated with
Adesmeftos Typos, page 20, We Have to Separate the Sheep from
Roma of the Zefyri settlement talk to the reporters of the newspaper.
They admit that there is a hashish problem at the settlement, but it is confined to
certain members of the group. They add that the young Roma, who was injured, was
absolutely innocent. They also accuse the police of repeatedly putting the blame on the
A very positive report, adopting the Roma version of the events.
2/9/98, Nea, page 4
Gypsies… Take Revenge
For those who wonder about the presence of K. Karamanlis at the
concert of Nikos Papazoglou in Aghia Varvara, there are two explanations: first, they are
friends. Second, Papazoglou has made a great success with his record ‘Gypsies Take
An ironic report, commenting on the recent frequent appearances of
Mr. Karamanlis on the side of the Roma. Although humorous, the article presupposes a
negative connotation of the word Roma and Gypsy.
3/9/98, Nea, page 19.
3,500 Roma Persecuted
3,500 Roma in the Evosmos district of Thessaloniki were expelled
from their place once again. Now they live under sordid conditions next to a cemetery. The
persecution of the 3,500 Roma, who have been living in the region for 30 years, started
three years ago on the ground of trespassing private property. The local authorities
deprived them of water in order to precipitate their expulsion. After complaints of NGOs,
among which the DROM Network for the Social Rights of Roma, the Public Prosecutor ordered
an official inquiry last May. In 1997 the Prefecture of Thessaloniki ordered their
transportation to the Gonou Camp, which was under reconstruction. The neighboring
municipalities started a serious campaign against this decision. In the last 30 days, the
Roma have been ordered to leave their places more than four times.
5/9/98: Eleftheros Typos [Anna Panagiotarea], page 6
Together in Komotini
An account of a trip to Komotini. Ifaistos, the Roma neighbourhood,
full of life, regardless of the fact that it looks like a ghetto…
A standard image of the Roma: joyful, merry, despite their problems.
A positive report.
9/9/98: Eleftherotypia [I. Swtirhou], page 19
The Persecution of the Gypsies
The 3,500 Roma were ordered once again to leave their settlement.
This time they have to leave the cemetery where they have been living under sordid
conditions since the end of August. They moved to the French River, which is public
property. Hence, they are free to stay there until their imminent transportation to the
Gonou Camp, according to the Prefect of Thessaloniki. A lot of institutions have condemned
the ongoing racist attitude towards the Roma of Evosmos.
11/9/98, Eleftherotypia, page 2
Will They be Drowned by the River?
The Doctors of the World have offered their help to the Roma of
Evosmos, who have settled at the river banks of the French River. The international
organization considers the place totally inappropriate, since no water, electricity,
sewage system or public transportation are provided. Moreover, human lives are in great
danger, should a serious rainfall take place. The organization also raises its voice
against the fact that nothing has ever been done in relation to the Gonou Camp, regardless
of the 400 mill drachmas credit already distributed.
Very positive reports, with a very sensitive approach to the case.
The Roma are treated with compassion, while the public authorities are strongly criticized
for inhuman and racist behavior.
11/9/98, Eleftherotypia, page 22, 43
" A chain of 1,600 stores against chains"
The founder and head of the world-wide cosmetics chain-stores
"Body Shop International", Ms. Anita Roddick, visited Greece to participate to
the presentation of the human rights campaign of the company. In her two days stay in
Athens, she found the time to visit a Roma settlement in Aspropyrgos. In an interview to
the paper, she states that governments do not care for freedom and democracy. The Greek
government should be ashamed of the situation in the Roma settlement in Aspropyrgos. Roma
are a disorganised society, so they need help. NGOs, the government and people themselves
should co-operate to provide simple means of living to the Roma, such as solar power,
water, better conditions of life. To do something more than providing water, education and
settlement is rather utopian.
Very positive report, emphasises with sensitivity on the
discrimination against Roma and opens the question of what measures can be taken to solve
12/9/98, Nea, page 18, "We live only once"
20/9/98, Eleftherotypia [E magazine]
with scant references to her visit to the Roma settlements.
11/9/98, Eleftheros Typos, page 37
Mostra… at the Time of the Gypsies
Emir Kusturica and his 60 Roma trumpet players arrived in Venice to
give a festive atmosphere to the film festival.
A positive report, preserving the image of the joyful and merry
Eleftherotypia, page 9, To the Roma
Eleftherotypia, page 19, SYN - on Roma’s Side
The President of SYN, N. Konstantopoulos, visited the Roma
settlements at Diavata and Halastra (district of Thessaloniki) yesterday. In Diavata,
Konstantopoulos condemned the ‘beastly’ and ‘barbarian’ attitude of the local and
state authorities towards the 3,500 Roma, who have been persecuted during the last three
years. He also expressed his wish that they will soon be settled at the Gonou Camp. At
Halastra, the President of SYN visited the 2nd Public School and attended the
educational program addressed to Roma kids. He praised the program and donated 3 mill
drachmas from the salaries of the MPs of his party.
Kathimerini, page 16
Eleftheros Typos, page 7
Ethnos, page 10, A Symbolic and Sensitive Act
Very positive reports. The articles sympathize with the Roma and M.
Constantopoulos’s offer is highly praised. The articles support the goals of the Roma
12/9/98: Nea, page 23
Roma Are Real Aristocrats
Interview with director Emir Kusturica, at the Venice Film Festival
related to Kusturica’s new film ‘Black Cat, White Cat dealing with Roma life. Roma
always choose the best view, always stay tuned to their culture, always assimilate ideas
from everywhere. They are amateurs of life, really intellectual people. They are more of
aristocrats than the aristocrats themselves!
12/9/98, Eleftherotypia, page 41
Interview with Emir Kusturica: ‘I was born in the suburbs of
Sarajevo, near a big Roma neighborhood. That was a great influence, because they taught me
a lot of things about personal freedom, friendship and beauty.’
Very positive reports, praising the kind of life and the cultural
identity of Roma. The latter represent a genuine way of life, an alternative to the
alienated and infertile western culture.
17/9/98: Eleftheros Typos, page 8
A worker at the rubbish dump of Ano Liosia suddenly decided to lock the
place at 3:00 a.m. yesterday night, under the pretext that he was attacked by Roma.
He did not change his mind even after the police arrived at the place. As a result, the
gathering of the rubbish ran behind schedule. Maybe this was done with the aim to create
problems just before the upcoming local elections?
Roma seen as a side-effect of the electoral period. When Roma live
under tragic conditions and face serious problems, which usually are not mentioned in the
papers, such a report could be considered insulting.
19/9/98: Eleftherotypia, page 47
Men and Mice
A three-year-old girl and her baby brother were seriously injured
when attacked by mice at a Roma settlement in Chios. The two children live with their
third brother and their mother, Katherine Panteli, in a downgraded camp in Chios, which
has practically been turned into a rubbish dump. The Roma ask for the cleaning of the
place and seek ways of leaving the region for good. The election candidates for the
Municipality of Chios promised that they will try to find a place to create a Roma camp
immediately after the elections. But, will mice wait until then?
A very positive report, sympathizing with the Roma family, which
represents the problems of the whole group of Roma in the region.
22/9/98: Nea, page 24
Asylum for the Mobs
During the night, the University of Thessaloniki was transformed
into a house of immigrants, drifters, drug-addicts, rapists and Roma sellers. In the
summer they live in front of the university hospital in tents and huts, without water and
Roma are mentioned among the fringe delinquent groups who threaten
the serenity of the university. A very negative report.
23/9/98, Nea, page 7
Eleftheros Typos, page 6
They Proclaimed Him Prime Minister
The Roma… are in a hurry! At the celebration of the christening
of a Roma child in Kato Ahagia, a loud voice was coming out of the speakers: "At
last, a young person will be Greece’s Prime Minister."
A neutral report, trying to take political advantage of the event.
Ethnos, page 12
The President of ND got related to a Roma family, as his brother
christened a Roma child in Patras. Mr. and Mrs. Karamanlis made their presence at the
ceremony and at the celebration. Their new relative offered them two wrist watches of
little value but with a lot of love.
Nea, page 4
Hospitable as they are, the Roma offered Mr. Karamanlis two boxes,
which proved to contain two wrist watches. Yes, right guess! They were fake… Something
like a ‘Folex.’ Mr. Karamanlis mumbled a ‘they are nice,’ but his new relative
answered back, ‘they are not worthy, but they are given with a lot of love.’" A
very diplomatic answer…
Humorous and slightly ironic reports, presenting the Roma as joyful
and cunning, yet inoffensive people.
24/9/98: Eleftherotypia, page 6
Four Municipal Candidates Accused of Racism
The DROM Network for the Social Rights of Roma, the Network for
Social and Political Rights, the Greek Helsinki Monitor and Minority Rights Group - Greece
ask from the Presidents of PASOK, ND and SYN to withdraw their support for four candidates
for the municipalities of the Evosmos region, because of racist attitude towards the Roma.
The aforementioned candidates, in their capacity as local authority leaders, have
announced that they would ‘prevent the coming of Roma, and, even more, the creation of
substructure works.’ The organizations also bring to the presidents’ attention facts
about the persecution of 3,500 Roma in Evosmos last August and add that nothing has been
done for the reconstruction of the Gonou Camp, which was supposed to be used as a
permanent settlement for the Roma.
A neutral report. It does not make any comment. It just presents the
announcement of the organizations and lets it speak for itself.
Eleftherotypia, page 59
Support for the ‘Children Next Desk’
A festival aiming at bringing together Roma and the local society
was organized Saturday evening at the Roma settlement of Nea Alikarnassos by the Hope
Roma Cultural Society and the department of Youth of the Ministry of Education. The
festival took place in an atmosphere of solidarity and humanity. The participants
emphasized on the need for multicultural education and the preservation of the cultural
identity of the Roma.
A positive report, supporting the goals of such festivals and
acknowledging the need for a multicultural and open approach to the Roma.
28/9/98: Nea, page 24
Roma Have Their Own Open-air Market
An open-air market, the first in Greece to be exclusively for Roma
sellers, was inaugurated yesterday in Thessaloniki. Roma sellers were generally not
accepted at the common popular markets, so the Municipality of Thessaloniki decided to
give them a legal place to sell their goods (anything but fruits). 200 families will be
allowed to sell clothes, carpets, furniture, curtains, chairs, electronic devices, and of
course, cassettes and CDs with music chosen by the special Roma heart. The Roma celebrated
their market with -what else?- clarinets, violins, tabors, colorful clothes and azure
shirts, dark skin, speakers with echo, lots of beers and a roasted lamb.
Humorous and joyful report, accepting the right of the Roma to have
their own place to sell their goods, and, more generally, to have their own place in
society. The article preserves a stereotypical image of the Roma: joyful, revelers,
diligent, smart and cunning.
Eleftherotypia, page 62
Ionikos Remains ‘Roma’
The football team Ionikos cannot return to its field, because it
remains under construction.
The word ‘Roma’ in its most stereotypical use, meaning someone
-a football team in this case- who is condemned to wander around, because of lack of
31/9/98: Ethnos, page 18
Damages Caused by Tornado
A sudden tornado caused serious damages to Messologi. A lot of
houses were seriously damaged in the Tampakaria region, where there is a Roma settlement.
Eleftherotypia, page 52
Neutral reports, just reproducing the Press Release of the News