Monday, July 03, 2017

Refugees on Greek islands face untenable conditions

Thousands of refugees are stuck on the Greek island of Chios. Capacity in the camps is close to bursting and the authorities and NGOs seem unable to cope. Marianna Karakoulaki and Dimitris Tosidis report from Chios.

At first glance, Souda beach on Chios, a small island of only 60,000 residents in the Aegean Sea just 7 kilometers (4 miles) off the Anatolian Coast, looks vibrant. The beach is full of people laughing, swimming and fishing. This image would have been the ideal promotion for a summer in Greece; however, the reality is different. Souda has become a refugee camp that hosts thousands of people and is run by the municipality of Chios.

Surrounding the island's Venetian walls, a residential area and a beach, the camp is stretched beyond capacity. As a result, camping tents have been set up by the residents on the beach.

It's fair to say that Souda is one of the worst refugee camps in the country, and Chios - which once welcomed refugees - has turned into a detention center with close to 4,000 people trapped in what looks like an open-air prison.

Conditions are atrocious and getting worse by the day, and there appears to be little to no help from the local authorities and the Greek government. Attempts by DW to get a response from the Greek minister of migration and local authorities on Chios were unsuccessful. - More, DW

Refugees on Greek islands face untenable conditions


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