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On the Border
Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries along the Albanian-Greek Frontier
The flow of emigrants from Albania to Greece, being one-sided, indicates a relation of inequality between the two countries. Indeed, the violence with which the collapse of the regime is effected and the subsequent opening of the border and the, as a rule, undocumented way of entering Greece, makes this relation even more asymmetrical and places the moving ones in a much more powerless position, as they live and work illegally: their "outlaw" status deprives them of all rights. Legalisation improves their position but does not cancel the structural inequality that characterises the phenomenon of immigration any way, as well as the quality of the immigrant. In any case, the effort of the immigrants to present aspects of identity that would facilitate their position and residence (proofs of Greek roots or Christian faith, changes of names, etc.) demonstrates, precisely, how they experience this unequal relationship, which is further aggravated by factors pertaining to their otherness.
Vassilis Nitsiakos holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (England) and is Professor at the University of Ioannina(Greece).