With over 10% of the Greek population polling in favor of the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party, it is hardly surprising but today's acknowledgement by the US Embassy in Athens of
"a rise in unprovoked harassment and violent attacks against persons who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be foreign migrants. U.S. citizens most at risk are those of African, Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern descent in Athens and other major cities"
certainly makes it a little more real for us sitting across the pond from this inferno.
Via US Embassy, Athens:
United States Embassy Athens, Greece
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Safety and Security in Greece
November 16, 2012
The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that the “Threats To Safety and Security” section of the Greece Country Specific Information page has been updated to inform U.S. citizens of a rise in unprovoked harassment and violent attacks against persons who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be foreign migrants. U.S. citizens most at risk are those of African, Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern descent in Athens and other major cities. Please review the Country Specific Information for Greece.
We encourage all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans; remain aware of their surroundings, including local events; monitor local news stations for updates; and report specific incidences of targeted violence to the U.S. Embassy in Athens or the U. S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki at the numbers below. U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security. For additional information, please refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad."
U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Greece are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or nearest Consulate to contact them in the case of an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays)...
UPDATE: Greek Foreign Minister says "Greece was and remains a safe place... Isolated incidents of racist violence have been foreign to the Greeks, to our culture and its long tradition of Greek hospitality [and takes] a policy of zero tolerance to these events and take all necessary measures to prevent and suppress such behavior"