Proposing second-rate citizenship: it’s not only Golden Dawn

On 25 February 2013, the Hellenic Armed Forces General Chief of Staff Michalis Kostarakos caused considerable reaction on all sides of the political spectrum when he tweeted:

“The time has come to regulate by law the issue of genos for those enrolling in Military Academies. They should be Greek by genos.”  

The expression “Greek by genos” is a commonly used but rather vague criterion of “Greekness”. The word “genos” (γένος) in its wider sense can be translated as parentage, race, breed, lineage, species and more. Defining someone as “Greek by genos” may mean “Greek by birth”, “Greek by blood”, “born to Greek parents”, “of Greek lineage”, “ethnic Greek” or any variation of the above, depending on the political intention of the speaker. For the extreme-right, it can go as far as meaning “someone who has Greek DNA.”

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