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The continent’s new border rules have left them trapped on their way to northern Europe, and when their money runs out there's almost no legal way to earn more.This is especially true for people from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, whose citizenship classifies them in Europe as “economic migrants,” and who for that reason have been stuck in the city longer than most Syrians, who are considered “refugees.”With no money left, some young men sell sex to survive — in Pedion tou Areos, Victoria Square, and various bars and clubs around the city.In Greece, sex work is legal only in registered brothels. Years of economic hard times have lured more women into prostitution. The male sex trade, on the other hand, is little reported, but it appears to be rising as Greece struggles with its economic and refugee crises.In past years, many of Athens’ male sex workers were from countries like Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and sometimes members of the Roma community.Greece is the land where you laze about on hot summer days and let your wild side out at night. No computer nerds herefor a Greek theres always room for fun and passion, as the story of the great Onassis so clearly demonstrates. To the tourist Greece can seem like Paradise, but when you live here, it often seems more like Purgatory.Home to the all important erotas (love, passion, romance) Greece is a land that comes alive at night, where no one whos anyone goes out before midnight, nor to bed before dawn. As a woman, I have come to the sad conclusion that there is little respect for women as people in Greece.
In the main airport terminal, lit signs for the boarding gates and baggage claims are on, but the entire floor now contains nothing but tents from one end to the other.
It’s a completely different crowd.”According to a number of Athenians interviewed for this story, many of the men who frequent Sami’s and other cruising spots to pay for sex are married or in the closet.
Many of the men turning tricks, on the other hand, don't consider themselves gay, said Adonis Primikiris, who works with the HIV awareness nonprofit Checkpoint.
Those in Athens can apply to be resettled elsewhere in the EU, but the application process has stalled: According to European Commission statistics, less than 2 percent of the refugees in Greece have so far found a place in other European countries.
With no way to earn income, desperation will deepen.
One young guy, Hassan, sat with his friend against the wall, looking glum. He’d been in Greece two months after coming from Iran. “A lot of Greek gay guys have no idea this is going on,” Zak Kostopoulos, a writer and activist, said of the Sami’s scene.