I am now 30 years old and I had some dreams in my life. I wanted to fight for some things, and make them happen, realize them. I arrived until here and so far the only obstacle in the way, in the progress of what I had in my mind, was the Greek system. This means, when you reject a person, to live like a human, to be able to rent a house, to be able to go to the bank if he has money to withdraw, to be allowed to have a work permit, how is this person supposed to survive? Look, in my own theory, I am a refugee, to be more refugee does not exist. I attended an interview in 2004, when I had just arrived. Certain things might have been said in another way, due to fear, or, I don’t know, I came into a new culture, in a new country, I don’t know the laws… How can I argue so that I can remain in Greece? So many and various things were said. And the second issue, there were no interpreters. The interpreters we had, had just arrived. They could speak the everyday Greek, but they were not as advanced to be able to analyze, I do not know, for instance some other things that should have been… should be said properly. When you finally had a legal permit to stay in Greece things changed? No, practically my life got worse. Why? I was fooled by the first decision that you will get a status and from now on you will be a citizen of this country and everything will be good. So things would be in order. This gave me the hope, that from now on I would think like that. Something that then, never happened. For instance, I wanted to start going to school, to find a job in order to be integrated here. I need to feel secure. When, for instance, I was giving my permit to be renewed, every time, it stayed at the police station for a year. For an entire year, I had no legal documents in Greece. I was illegal until the renewal of my permit. For this period, the year that I didn’t have my permit, it automatically means that… I have no right to interact with the public services of the country. Nor can I work, nor can I rent a house, or can I go to school. I had a job, a job where they wanted me, according to their saying, I was essential. They had given me a recommendation letter saying I was essential for the job. What kind of job? Interpreter, intercultural mediator. And because I did not have my documents, I could not renew my work permit, so our agreement ceased, my contract expired. When I am in a position where I start building my personality and my goals, to dream, to do things and somewhere in the middle they cut me out, I have to go back, losing all this time during which I had tried so much, and then, much more to restart again from the beginning what I had left in the middle, where I had arrived. This is an obstacle in my life. Yes, I was at Pedion Areos from the very first day it started until the last day, and until today that Pedio Areos finished… It has been transferred to Elaionas, Elaionas finished, Victoria Square arrived, until yesterday, where they were transferred to Tae Kwon Do. Yes. And again, they ask for us. And the government itself says:” guys, us we cannot do anything without you, come to help us”. Yes, god damns it; give me also a choice so that I can help you.
How can I help you, since you have tied my hands and legs, how can I help you?
Honestly, at this point I only think where I will sleep tonight. Forget about tomorrow, the future. The citizens, I love them very much, they are really good people. Really, they are hospitable people, despite the fact that yes, maybe there is, in the country, a 6-7% of fascists, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is. And this exists everywhere. For me, the problem is the system and not the citizens. For many, it’s not personal. There could be an integration system for those people, so that they could make friends. It’s not easy for everyone to make friends. With everything that is happening these last years in Greece, people are terrified, and they won’t easily make friends with foreigners. I consider myself to be a citizen of this country right now. That… Look, whatever I do, my life is now. This life I waste away or anything I do with it, I do it in Greece. If I work and have a salary, I will spend it in Greece, isn’t it? And if I do not have [money] it is again this same country, this Greek society that is going to suffer the consequences of all that. So whether I want it or not, I am a citizen of this country right now. Do you want to be, or not? Look, I will never become Greek. Honestly. I cannot become Greek, nor will I ever say that I am Greek. But I am a citizen of this country. And I feel that I am a citizen of this country.