Overseas Chinese in Greece
During the 1990s, Chinese began moving to Greece in search of business opportunities. The Greek capital Athens has the largest number of Chinese and even an Athens Chinatown.
Greece attracted Chinese attention during the 2004 Olympics, as China was the next host country in 2008. The attention motivated many to seek business opportunity in Greece and to visit Greece as tourists.
Many entrepreneurs have since established themselves in major Greek cities. From a population of a few hundred, they now number about thirty thousand and possibly more if illegal migrants were included.
Most of the businesses import Chinese products for the mass market while others have ventured into retail and even restaurants. These core industries have stimulated supporting and service businesses such as dental services, internet cafes and cake shops.
Chinese business has caused concern from local businesses with accusations of price-cutting and unfair employment.
These concerns might have arisen because most of the Chinese in Greece do not speak Greek or just enough to conduct simple transactions.
This in turn created the tendency to recruit from within their community. On the walls of Chinese shops, it is common to see recruitment signs in Chinese.
This is, however, a common recruitment pattern among minority groups in Greece.
Tensions between groups are common especially during challenging times. However, the Chinese and Greeks both have a long history of civilisation that involved trading with diverse cultures. There is every possibility that both groups can develop a mutually beneficial relationship.