A Greek person I know recently came to Brussels for a traineeship at the European Parliament, and described to me the following experience they had while apartment-searching:
They had an appointment with a real estate agency to see an apartment, but the agent never showed. They called several times but the phone calls were never answered. No apology was issued later, either! So a few days later they wrote an email to the agency informing them that in the meantime they had chosen another apartment, but that the agency had not behaved professionally in their regard. Dumbfounded they received an answer telling them «how dare you criticise us, when your country is responsible for the European crisis»!
Apparently, according to this agency professionalism is not something you apply systematically, but only according to your (potential) client’s nationality. Also, in typical racist mentality there is no distinction between the individual and the nation (I wouldn’t be surprised if the agency considered the criticism against them as criticism against all Belgians!).
My suggestion to my Greek friend was to describe their experience in one of our internal newsletters or forums, and then to print and send that to the said agency, with the following cover letter:
«Dear X, thank you for the precise and constructive counter-criticism. I agree with you that every single Greek person is fully responsible for the current European crisis and should therefore be treated accordingly.
On the same note (of punishing bad behaviours) I have described our correspondence on the European Parliament’s newsletter for all to see. I hope this will allow you to concentrate exclusively on good, Belgian customers.»
I don’t know if my friend will go forward with this, but I would!
PS I personally have witnessed similar behaviours in Brussels and I have heard similar stories from other Greek friends in town. One should note however that this is not the rule, but the exception; most people here are very professional and friendly.