Housing Conditions of Roma in Greece. Vicious Circles & Consolidated Myths
'The lack of basic access of most unregulated encampments to public utilities seems to function at the same time as the result and justification of their socio-spatial segregation. In this way, the consequences of their marginalisation (public hygiene conditions) become the reasons – and legitimising arguments – for their perennial segregation and exclusion in a persistent vicious circle of stereotypes, state inertia and local hostility. The Roma minority’s lack of cultural capital and limited resources for dealing with complex situations in housing and dealing with the authorities leads them in some cases to an inability to benefit even from a generous loan programme. In this way, the myth of Roma responsibility for their own situation is consolidated.
Many evictions are linked to major sport or cultural events. In such cases Roma must be made invisible or removed at any cost, a recurrent pattern in Greece encountered also in other cases of segregated or marginalised social groups. It is an occurrence which symbolises the ‘trespassing’ of Roma from the margins to the main body of the majority social life.'