Ageing and immigration in the Greek capital. Policy issues and developments since the early 1990s
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The paper deals with socio-demographic change and spatial transformation in Athens during the post war period and, in particular, since the early 1990s. It focuses on the interaction of two parallel processes — the precipitated ageing of the native Greek population and the rapid increase of the city’s immigrant population — in terms of residential patterns that enable contact between the two groups, and of the poorly developed local welfare state, within which immigrants have been acting as a substitute for the underdeveloped services for the elderly. The paper draws attention to recent changes in immigrants’ profiles and especially to the decreasing inflow — and more recently the outflow (GSPSC, 2011) — from neighbouring Balkan countries and the parallel increase of asylum seeking migrants and refugees from war zones in the broader Middle-East, Afghanistan and the Indian peninsula. These changes have led to a potentially less beneficial co-existence between ageing and immigration for both sides in a period where public funds for social policies as well as private funds for substitute solutions become scarce.