Athens, Greece

Mark Corcoran, a foreign correspondent for ABC News Australia, has visited financially stricken Athens and has come up with his very own comparison cliche:

Just beyond the tourist haunts lie the inner-city precincts that have morphed into the new migrant ghettos.

I wandered through these alleys past Middle Eastern coffee shops, kiosks offering cheap phone rates to Tehran, Kabul and Lagos. The lingua franca of the streets was Farsi, Urdu and Arabic. It seemed more like Beirut than Athens. Hundreds lived in squalid illegal dormitories above the shopfronts.

Move over French and English, Farsi and Urdu are now Lebanon’s new official languages. You’d think a foreign correspondent would be more familiar with foreign countries. Mark, your Looks Like Beirut certificate is on its way.

Another day (2)

Beirut's Sister City, Athens, in the midst of a servere financial crisis