Nikos Arvanites – Georgios X. Protopapas
Greek online opinion strongly condemned the deadly Paris terror attacks expressing sentiments of fear and anxiety. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) declared war in Europe forcing European leaders to take actions against Islamist terrorist.
The entity Paris Terror Attacks had overall 19.481 mentions in Greek-speaking internet according to the tool Palo Professional (paloPro) for the monitoring period 14 – 15 November 2015. The majority of the mentions delivered mainly from social media Twitter and Facebook. Particularly, Twitter had 11.176 mentions, followed from Facebook 6.356, Blogs 964, Sites 902, Forums 56, and Opinions 27.
The sentiments of the mentions are mainly negative for Paris terror attacks. The tool paloPro shows 14.489 negatives sentiments, 3.762 neutral, and 1.230 positives. However we observe also that a small percentage of Greek Social Media reacts with tolerance on Paris’ massacre.
Main Topics / Key insights
The topics of Greek – speaking internet during the specific monitoring period focused on the coverage for Paris terror attacks, the responses of international community and analyses. Particularly the main topics according to Top 10 Topics of paloPro were:
• The statements of President Francois Hollande who called “attacks an Act of War”.
• France under the state of emergency
• ISIS says France is atop its target list
• The next day of Europe after Paris attacks.
• Supportive message from the international online opinion to French people
• Paris ISIS terrorists registered in October as “refugees” on Leros Island in Greece.
The deadly Paris attacks shock the Greek online opinion who begins to learn more for the strategy and actions of ISIS. The conclusion of paloPro qualitative data for Paris’ attacks could be summarized as:
(a) Debate for Europe’s open borders. Some Greek users of social media believe that European states should seal their borders and European Union should abolish Schengen Treaty in order to prevent islamist terrorism attacks.
(b) The anxiety that European governments could pass anti-terrorism laws which could violate civil liberties.
(c) The Greek online opinion feels fear for the next day and feels more vulnerable as target of Islamic terrorists.
(d) The negative impressions which be provoked by the revelation that Paris ISIS terrorists registered in October as “refugees” on Leros Island in Greece. Some users of social media uploaded old statements of Defence Greek Minister Panos Kammenos who in March threatened to open country’s borders to refugees – including potential members of ISIS – unless Athens receives debt crisis support.
The diversity of above views derive from confusion due to the blur policies and entrenched ideologies of Greek Left government to clearly define Islamic terrorism, migration, illegal refugees. Finally the most important conclusion is that the majority of Greek online opinion broke the taboo which disallowed the connection jihadists and refugees.