Migration and Struggle in Greece

Modern Greek courses for immigrants with an “Inquisition” twist

Posted by clandestina on 9 March 2009


ideal setting for intercultural learning workshops

ideal setting for intercultural learning workshops

The opportunities for free lessons of Greek in Greece had been and still are very scarce – although the solidarity movement has been for years trying hard to ameliorate this- , but even when they are provided, they are not allowed to go independent from the Greek Chistian Orthodox ideological and institutional nexus.  We translate on this a tvxs article.


 A course of Greek, funded by the European Union, is now running, and those who wish to acquire the Greek citizenship are required to attend it. In East Thessaloniki these courses take place in churches with the priests assuming the role of educators….

 This is the course «Ulysses», a seminar of “Greek language, history, and culture” of 150 hours, which is mandatory for immigrants who wish to obtain a 5-year residence permit in our country and thus to move closer to the acquisition of citizenship. 

 The seminar is offered by the Ministry of Education, with funding from the European Union, and the responsibility for its carrying out lays with the Centers for Adult Education (KEE) and the Institute of Life-Long Education (ΙΔΕΚΕ).  The Greek Church, however, has joined the game, since the funding from the European Union is quite big. 

 In Thessaloniki, in the church «Panagia Acheiropoiitos», the priests have taken the role of educators, teaching Greek to people from around the world….in the Chamber of Memorial Services. The website of KEE does not mention the seminars in the church, while the eastern Thessaloniki KEE does not appear to run any courses of Greek. 

 As usual, questions regarding financial transactions between the Ministry and the Church remain unanswered. It is surprising, however, that the hope of  immigrants of other religious beliefs for permanent residence in the country should rest in the hands of priests, supposedly promoting intercultural learning in Orthodox Christian settings.  

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