In the 1990’s there was a great difference between Athens and New York. Athens had no gang territories back then and one could safely assume they wouldn’t be killed for money in the capital. New York was pretty much the opposite. Anything could happen to you once in the wrong side of town. In New York there was a very wrong side of town. That’s a side of Athens that couldn’t even be conceived of during the ’90’s.
Things have seriously changed. Central Athens now boasts its own Nigerian, Pakistani, Albanian, etc. mafias and territories. An unprecedented rise in crime has taken Greeks by surprise. Money seems to offer an easy way out of facing the problem; change your postcode and avoid the issue altogether. Postcodes have always been a way to tell who is richer or from a better family. Now however, they are defining whose life is deemed more valuable.
In North America this conclusion may well be a given. In Athens however, it is a life changing and a life threatening discovery. Money shouldn’t buy one public safety, safety should be the same for all, is the general feeling of the Greek conscience.
Fear is a big driving force with the added capacity of making people spend large amounts of money without thinking twice. U.S. Security commercials capitalize on that in some disturbing ways. Capitalism may be scaring its way into the Greek psyche but the Greek spirit seems to be fighting as hard as humanely possible. The question is, how long will it take before we all start hiding behind our postcodes?