| Social Issues |Phileleftheros



When a school head teacher targets a Syrian pupil, refusing to allow him to attend his graduation ceremony – supposedly because he didn’t like his haircut – and the Education minister fully covers for him, just as he covered for him the year before when he picked on a girl from Africa for her braided hair, the seed of racism is ready to bear fruit. Its cultivation starts in the schools. [Translator’s note: reference to two incidents that took place in the last two years at the same school in Larnaca]

When the president of a Parents’ Association goes to Parliament and reports in all seriousness that a pupil with a migration background was planning to commit a massacre at the school he attends, but the next day – after the story has already become a massive issue – it turns out that the information is nothing more than grapevine news, shouldn’t that president be charged with spreading fake news that incites intolerance and racism? Or at least someone ask him to apologise?

When balconies collapse and the mayor of the city identifies the victims who live in the apartments with the dilapidated balconies as the problem, and is ready to kick people out on the streets, is this not a racist rant? [Translator’s note: reference to balcony that collapsed to the ground, along with three Nepalese workers, in Paphos on July 7, 2022]

When a deputy mayor proudly calls himself a racist and within a few months features on the ruling party’s ballot as a parliamentary candidate (and gets elected), why are we shocked when someone doesn’t just declare he’s a racist but actually shows it in practice? [Translator’s note: reference to comment by DISY politician who was deputy mayor of Limassol in June 2020]

When the Interior minister talks every other day about terrorists in the Reception Centres [for migrants], when he erects barbed wire fences cutting apart the already divided homeland, does he not arm the fascists, racists and every sick person to act in order to “cleanse” their country of foreigners?

When the government spokesman attributes the problems in Education to children with a migration policy [background], aren’t children being targeted?

When one of the first things that a minister of Education does upon assuming office is to visit the offices of ELAM and assure them that they share the same values, while a few days later he lets a delegation [of the party] take to a school jackets only for Greek Orthodox children, does it take much to crack the snake’s egg?

When you create a Parliamentary Committee on demographics and give it to ELAM to play with the very issues it stands for, aren’t you a moral perpetrator of what happened yesterday in Larnaca? [Translator’s note: references to ad hoc demographics committee chaired by ELAM, and to a video circulating on social media that showed a local man beating a Congolese woman on the ground while she was holding her baby on July 13, 2022]

Now we are shocked and we are condemning. However, it is no coincidence that a guy is behaving like an 18th century landlord in the Wild West.


Daily columnist at Phileleftheros for 20 years and editor-in-chief of the architecture magazine Synthesis. Earlier she worked for Alitheia and Politis. She was born in Dikomo and has been living permanently in Nicosia. She is married with one son.

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