Refugees and natives

The relief and resettlement of the harassed refugee populations was not only a matter of national honour but a political precaution, to prevent serious social upheavals and to enhance the national uniformity of certain districts, such as that of northern Greece. What is of interest, however, is the way in which this new population was treated by native inhabitants, with whom they had to share houses and land, water and roads, employment and trade.
Linguistic difficulties and cultural peculiarities between populations speaking different languages (Greek-speaking, Turkish-speaking, Slav-speaking) contributed to a reciprocal suspicion and even internal tension. Problems of this kind emerged in the region of Macedonia, where various national/cultural groups living together had been in conflict since the last centuries of the Ottoman dominion. When different communities came into contact it intensified the division that already existed in the inter-war period between refugees and natives with a clearly 'ethnic' character.