By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
With the upcoming Greek elections set for the 7th of July, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave an interview to Sport24 radio station, addressing many sport-related topics.
Of course, he also talked about Giannis Antetokounmpo who was one of the first Greeks who got citizenship after being born by immigrants in Athens. Since then, the law changed, however being born in Greece doesn’t automatically grant Greek citizenship to children of non-Greek parents.
As Tripras said speaking about the young wave of Greek athletes like Giannis and rising tennis star Stefanos Tsitspas: “Antetokounmpo is a special case and I find it interesting that Giannis forced us to see the other side of children who are born in Greece but have origins from countries. I consider him the best player in the NBA and I think he can get the title of the MVP. When I have time, I am following his games”.
Tsipras elaborated on his comment: “Racism in Greek society existed before the Golden Dawn party (ed.note: an ultranationalist, far-right, neo-nazi party which publicly attacked Giannis). Golden Dawn is a phenomenon of the crisis. We are talking about Nazism. Greece had the most victims of Nazism during WWII. There was a great spread of the perception that we have to blame foreigners and immigrants for losing our jobs. The crisis has created such characteristics, people saying that I am not a racist, but they are taking our jobs. Antetokounmpo is a good example against this stream of people who didn’t want us to give Greek citizenship to these children.
I have heard that I am imposing taxes in order to give money to the immigrants and the Roma gypsies. What I believe is that it’s right not to leave anyone behind. Greece was threatened to become like the other Balkan countries where 1/3 of the people lives on the sidelines. We had this risk in 2014-15. Antetokounmpo was the breakthrough in this climate. No one can say that he is not proud of this kid who holds the Greek flag and sings the national anthem”.