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Theme Changer

 Topic: Greek island refugee crisis

 (Read 72206 times)
  • 12 3 ... 33 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     OP - June 09, 2015, 03:02 PM

    Eric Kempson, an English guy living on Lesvos tells it as it is. I've lived in Greece myself and his descriptions of the attitudes, good and bad, of the local people ring true for me. The majority of the refugees arriving on the Greek Islands are from Syria. I've seen different figures quoted for the proportion of Syrians, ranging from 60 to 80 per cent. At the end he mentions Greek speaking Syrians. These are the descendants of the Greek Muslim refugees from Crete in the early part of the 20th century.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/EricKempson
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=egLX_gi7JmE
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #1 - June 09, 2015, 03:17 PM

    Eric Kempson talks about the Greek Syrians in this video blog - skip to 2:30.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=jhyTjY_Ihmk
    Besides this the only report I've seen on them is in Greek: http://www.cretalive.gr/crete/view/hrthan-apo-th-suria-kai-milane-...-krhtika/241134
    This mentions the village of Hamidie on the border with Lebanon where the people still speak a Cretan dialect of Greek.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #2 - June 09, 2015, 03:39 PM

    Eric Kempson's youtube channel: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCnPYqWbPl4OOCa7RHfSjhxw

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/greek-island-gateway-to-eu-as-thousands-flee-homelands-1.2239042
    Quote
    As he looked out at the five-mile stretch of blue sea separating Greece and Turkey, Eric Kempson knew he should be worried.

    Clearly overloaded with people, the inflatable boat, which he had been observing from a vantage point near his home on the northern shore of the Greek tourist island of Lesvos, was in difficulty. With a stiff northeasterly breeze at its back, the eight-metre vessel was veering off course and risked ending up running aground on the sharp rocks at the foot of some cliffs.

    But luckily for this boat’s 75 passengers – who would turn out to be Somalis, Afghans and Pakistanis – help was at hand, as Spyros Kontomichalos, a well-built professional soldier, quickly dropped his plans to go spear-fishing and rushed to direct the boat towards the nearest beach.

    As it approached the rocky shore, the boat’s passengers leapt out into the water, delighted to finally step foot in the European Union after setting out at daybreak, almost three hours beforehand, from the Turkish coast. And with traffickers back in Turkey charging anything up to €1,000 a head for the crossing, which in better boats and more favourable conditions can take as little as 25 minutes, it’s undoubtedly the most expensive journey these migrants will ever take.

    “Excuse me. Is this Greece?” asked a 24-year-old Pakistani man, whose suit was soaked to his waist.

    Behind him, a group of young Somali men struggled to lift the sole woman passenger from the boat to her wheelchair, the only possession she managed to bring from the other side. Later, Riyan (30), would explain that she had been shot in the back 15 years previously. She said she was making the journey on her own, and her aim was to reach Germany where she hoped she could have an operation.

    This migrant vessel was one of four to land last Tuesday morning near the beautiful town of Molyvos, with its medieval hilltop fortress that can be seen from miles around. Tourism is the lifeblood of the place and the permanent population of about 1,500 relies almost exclusively on the money they make during the summer to keep them going during the difficult winter months after the tourists have gone.

    For weeks, Kempson, a British painter and sculptor who made his home in Molyvos 16 years ago, and his wife Philippa have been daily witnesses to the rapid increase in the numbers of refugees and migrants arriving from Turkey.

    “It’s been a nightmare for the last few weeks. We really need some help. Only a few of us have been trying to help. This story needs to get out there and Europe really needs to send some help,” he says.

    About 70 per cent of those arriving on the boats are Syrian refugees, including many families with young children. They are fleeing the four-year civil war that has devastated their country and, according to the United Nations, triggered the largest humanitarian crisis since the second World War.

    An estimated 7.6 million people are now displaced within Syria, while almost four million have fled to neighbouring countries, mostly to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, where the vast majority have remained, often in appalling conditions.

    Syrians in Molyvos say only Europe – by which they usually mean Germany or Sweden – can offer them and their families the safety and opportunities they desperately seek.

    Last week, the head of EU border agency Frontex said 40,000 migrants had arrived on Europe’s shores through Greece since the beginning of 2015, compared with 37,000 through Italy, which has been at the focus of the EU’s efforts in the Mediterranean recently. Greece’s eastern Aegean islands experienced a fivefold increase in migrant traffic in March and April compared with the the same period last year.

    Fatma (34), who fled Damascus a month ago and arrived in Molyvos on Monday, said she paid a trafficker in Turkey €3,000 to put her, her two teenage daughters and her eight-month-old son in an inflatable boat to Greece.

    She is from Yarmouk, a Palestinian suburb with the formal status of a refugee camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital. Under siege by government forces for almost two years, parts of the district, much of which is in ruins, were overrun by by militant jihadist group Islamic State (IS) in April. She too wants to reach Germany.

    During their short stay in Molyvos, the refugees generally gather in the unpaved car park at the entrance to the town, where many spend the first night sleeping out in the open. If they’re lucky, a bus will take them to Mytilini, the island’s capital.

    There they can expect to wait with hundreds of others for days at the city’s port before being admitted to a camp, processed and handed a temporary permit to remain in Greece.

    That paper gives them the time to make plans to continue their journey into western Europe which, despite EU rules stating refugees must apply for asylum in the country of entry, is what thousands have already managed to do.

    No bus was sent to Molyvos on Monday or Tuesday, leaving men, women and children to walk the 65km to Mytilini in daytime temperatures that reached 30 degrees. As offering any assistance to undocumented migrants is illegal in Greece, locals and tourists are reluctant to offer them lifts, although some do.

    “The authorities have been putting barriers in our way and making Greeks afraid. Greeks are not like that; they are family-oriented,” says Kempson.

    Finding itself at the start of the tourist season and in the midst of the Greek financial crisis, Molyvos can barely cope with the surge in the numbers of refugees and undocumented migrants. There has been no official response and no humanitarian NGOs have shown up in the town, which has been without a public doctor for eight months, Kempson says.

    Filling that gap is a small team of locals, among them many expats, who are struggling to offer basic assistance to the refugees, which at best includes some food every morning and evening, fruit, water, clothing, blanket, toiletries, nappies and other essential items.

    Others try to offer women and children a bed at least once a week.

    “I’m half-Croatian, so I know what it’s like to be put out of your home,” said one Molyvos resident, Emma, who declined to give her surname, as she took Fatma, her children and five others home for the night.

    But it’s an uphill struggle. Without any outside help, the volunteers know they can’t keep up with the sheer number of arrivals which, going by previous years, are expected to peak between July and September.

    Many of the volunteers earn their living from tourism themselves, as Dina Adam, a hotel employee, and Hannah, owner of a children’s clothes shop, explain as they make 90 sandwiches one evening for that day’s arrivals. They say finding the time to help out is becoming more difficult as the season gets into full swing.

    Wholly dependent on public donations, the volunteers have been heartened by the response from many tourists staying in the town, including a Dutch couple who offered the €100 that they had earmarked for a boat excursion.

    “We are on holidays in Greece and see the good work you are doing for the refugees . . . Keep on helping people,” the holidaymakers wrote on a note accompanying the money.

    But among locals in Molyvos, there’s no agreement on how best to deal with the issue. There is a fear that the considerable international publicity generated by the crisis, in particular exaggerated tabloid reports that claimed refugees were turning the island of Kos into a “disgusting hellhole” for British holidaymakers, will affect tourism.

    “Yes, we get looks from some people because of what we’re doing for the refugees. But we tell them we don’t want them to stay here and remind them they don’t want to stay here either,” says one volunteer.

    “I do worry about how my guests view the situation,” says hotelier Dimitris Vatis, as a migrant boat comes ashore near his hotel. “Some say they’ve heard about it, others seem to be unaware. But in general no one knows about the refugee crisis here in Greece as all the focus is on the situation between Libya and Italy.”

    For one of his German guests, the scene unfolding in front of her is a wake-up call, one that she and others need to see. “This is part of life. It’s no longer something we see just on our TV screens.”

  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #3 - June 09, 2015, 03:42 PM

    Eric Kempson talks about the Greek Syrians in this video blog - skip to 2:30.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=jhyTjY_Ihmk
    Besides this the only report I've seen on them is in Greek: http://www.cretalive.gr/crete/view/hrthan-apo-th-suria-kai-milane-...-krhtika/241134
    This mentions the village of Hamidie on the border with Lebanon where the people still speak a Cretan dialect of Greek.


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=jhyTjY_Ihmk

    these  real  stories with multi languages/ multi-religious structure  within family/with in a town  one  will find it in many places  in every country and continent where Islam moved in during medieval times  from 12/13th century onward..

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #4 - June 09, 2015, 04:11 PM

    The latest video blog
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=6ZBPJz53VKA
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #5 - June 09, 2015, 06:32 PM

    This is absolutely fucked up. We have an election next week. And the two mayor parties are battling on who can be most despicable when it comes to refugees.... I mean Turkey has like 1.4 or 2.0 million refugees from Syria and Denmark freaks out because 14000 refugees IN A YEAR where most of them already are seeking shelter among Syrians in Denmark??? MEH!!!!!

    Danish Never-Moose adopted by the kind people on the CEMB-forum
    Ex-Muslim chat (Unaffliated with CEMB). Safari users: Use "#ex-muslims" as the channel name. CEMB chat thread.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #6 - June 09, 2015, 07:45 PM

    I don't understand why these refugees are not send back to Turkey. Turkey is not a failure state. By not sending them back we are encouraging illegal immigration.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #7 - June 09, 2015, 08:02 PM

    They're on their way to Europe. If they're sent back to Turkey the only result will be that they'll have to try crossing again and more people will die. And why on earth should Turkey accept a policy of refugees being returned?
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #8 - June 09, 2015, 08:18 PM

    I don't understand why these refugees are not send back to Turkey. Turkey is not a failure state. By not sending them back we are encouraging illegal immigration.


    Turkey can only take so many.

    "Befriend them not, Oh murtads, and give them neither parrot nor bunny."  - happymurtad's advice on trolls.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #9 - June 09, 2015, 08:21 PM

    Why on earth Tunisia have accepted this and Turkey could not? It is clear that Turkey does nothing to prevent illegal immigration, they are happy to get rid of them. What EU should do... nothing?
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #10 - June 09, 2015, 08:25 PM

    They should accept refugees.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #11 - June 09, 2015, 08:29 PM

    Why on earth Tunisia have accepted this and Turkey could not? It is clear that Turkey does nothing to prevent illegal immigration, they are happy to get rid of them. What EU should do... nothing?


    This really bothers you on some visceral level, doesn't it?

    Tell us why.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #12 - June 09, 2015, 08:30 PM

    What? Should EU accept illegal immigrants?
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #13 - June 09, 2015, 08:31 PM

    Illegal immigrant, refugee, you make no distinction. Why not?
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #14 - June 09, 2015, 08:33 PM

    This really bothers you on some visceral level, doesn't it?

    Tell us why.


    It doesn't bother you?
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #15 - June 09, 2015, 08:35 PM

    The spectacle of an allegedly fully-grown human being railing against illegal immigration as if it were some imminent extinction-inducing catastrophe does bother me. Hence my questions.

    You haven't answered them yet, by the way.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #16 - June 09, 2015, 08:37 PM

    Illegal immigrant, refugee, you make no distinction. Why not?


    Are all refugee? Pakistan? And what EU should do with so many?
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #17 - June 09, 2015, 08:42 PM

    The spectacle of an allegedly fully-grown human being railing against illegal immigration as if it were some imminent extinction-inducing catastrophe does bother me. Hence my questions.

    You haven't answered them yet, by the way.


    So that's why governments are battling with it? It's a spectacle for you. Not because illegal immigration creates problems. 
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #18 - June 09, 2015, 08:43 PM

    This report says eighty per cent are Syrian - though I've seen different figures.

    http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_08/06/2015_550815
    Quote
    The influx of undocumented immigrants into Greece from neighboring Turkey has increased dramatically, growing sixfold in the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2014, according to new figures released by the coast guard on Monday.

    A total of 40,297 immigrants and refugees were intercepted in the Aegean, particularly on the islands of the eastern Aegean, between January 1 and May 31 as compared to 6,500 in the same period last year, according to coast guard figures. The influx is continuing, and is expected to intensify as the weather improves. Coast guard officers detained 4,046 migrants over the weekend (including Friday).

    The problem is more intense on some islands, such as Lesvos, which received 18,371 immigrants in the first five months of the year. On Monday alone two boatloads carrying a total of 78 would-be migrants arrived on the island’s shores. The situation on Chios, Kalymnos and Kos is said to be just as bad.

    A total of 7,317 migrants arrived on Chios from January to June. The island’s mayor, Manolis Vournous, said authorities have set up a makeshift camp outside the main police precinct as temporary accommodation for hundreds of migrants.

    Similar stopgap solutions have been sought on other islands. On Lesvos, a drivers’ education center has been transformed into a temporary settlement for migrants.

    The islands of Samos and Kos, which are popular summer tourist destinations, have also been struggling, having received 4,658 and 4,625 immigrants respectively in the first five months of the year.

    Works are under way to repair an abandoned hotel on Kos that suffered serious damage in a recent fire. It will be able to accommodate around 400 migrants once works are complete, local authorities said.

    A spokesman for the Citizens’ Protection Ministry told Kathimerini that 80 percent of the incoming migrants are refugees from Syria, adding that Greek Police has boosted personnel and equipment to accelerate the identification process.

    Last Friday, the United Nations refugee agency said it is boosting its staff presence on several islands in the Aegean.

  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #19 - June 09, 2015, 08:44 PM

    Are all refugee? Pakistan? And what EU should do with so many?


    You quote the question, but offer no answer. So I'll ask it again: why do you do your best not to distinguish between illegal immigrants and refugees landing in the EU?

    Please answer this time.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #20 - June 09, 2015, 08:46 PM

    So that's why governments are battling with it? It's a spectacle for you. Not because illegal immigration creates problems. 


    Illegal immigrants, refugees, I don't believe you really care what the difference is.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #21 - June 09, 2015, 08:48 PM

    Another report from Lesvos: http://fellowship.birn.eu.com/en/fellowship-programme/the-english-artist-helping-migrants-on-a-greek-island
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #22 - June 09, 2015, 08:56 PM

    Illegal immigrants, refugees, I don't believe you really care what the difference is.

    Doesn't matter what they are if Turkey does everything to get rid of them, refugee or immigrant altogether.
    Also should EU shelter all Syria now? How? Where? 500000 per year.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #23 - June 09, 2015, 08:58 PM

    Where are the Syrian refugees?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=0_QrIapiNOw
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #24 - June 09, 2015, 09:05 PM

    Illegal immigrants, refugees, I don't believe you really care what the difference is.


    Doesn't matter what they are if Turkey does everything to get rid of them, refugee or immigrant altogether.
    Also should EU shelter all Syria now? How? Where? 500000 per year.


    For all the bluster, you haven't exactly gone out of your way to prove me wrong. Good to know.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #25 - June 09, 2015, 09:12 PM

    Prove you wrong? LOOL. A refugee should apply for asylum not make illegal crossing on EU borders paying traffickers.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #26 - June 09, 2015, 09:13 PM

    Report from Lesvos: http://mashable.com/2015/06/03/migrant-crisis-greece/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfdHVyZGVodDUwajB6OXBndCJ9
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #27 - June 09, 2015, 09:14 PM

    Doesn't matter what they are if Turkey does everything to get rid of them, refugee or immigrant altogether.
    Also should EU shelter all Syria now? How? Where? 500000 per year.


    There's about 4 million Syrians in Turkey.  How many has your country taken?

    "Befriend them not, Oh murtads, and give them neither parrot nor bunny."  - happymurtad's advice on trolls.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #28 - June 09, 2015, 09:22 PM

    You're wrong. 2 millions Turkey, 1 million Jordan, 1 million Lebanon. If we take 500000 per year we will balance out this soon. I can understand not much can be done with Libya, but Turkey is another matter.

    Plus, I doubt if many Ukrainians are becoming refugees Turkey will take any. It is a regional issue.
  • Greek island refugee crisis
     Reply #29 - June 09, 2015, 09:23 PM

    Prove you wrong? LOOL. A refugee should apply for asylum not make illegal crossing on EU borders paying traffickers.


    Just five minutes ago, you didn't think there any real difference between a refugee and an illegal immigrant. On the face of it, this is progress.

    Well done.
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