Meanwhile, In Greece



At Piraeus near Athens

There are 48,795 refugees in Greece today.

Further to this…

A report, published today by Human Rights Watch, states:

In a visit to Piraeus (the main port near Athens) from March 8 to 22, 2016, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 45 asylum seekers and migrants who had recently arrived at the port from Greek Aegean islands or Greece’s border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. An estimated 5,000 women, men, and children are sleeping in squalid, unsanitary, and unsafe conditions in passenger waiting areas, in an old warehouse, in tents outdoors, and even under trucks.

In the absence of any visible government support or personnel, the day-to-day operation of the camps is dependent on volunteers. These volunteers work to coordinate, among other things, the provision of tents, blankets, food, and clothing; identify vulnerable groups; and provide activities for children. For the most part, medical care is provided by aid groups.

….With no presence of the Greek Asylum Service, nor of any other officials who could provide people with much-needed information about their options in Greece and elsewhere, rumors are creating uncertainty and confusion, Human Rights Watch found.

Some people interviewed said they were afraid they would be deported to Turkey if they boarded one of the government-run buses transferring people to official reception camps in an effort to clear the port.

Many others had heard that conditions at the government-run camps were not good, prompting them to stay at the port until the “borders open.” Others said they had gone to the camps but found the conditions so bad that they returned to the port.

“I’ve been here [in Greece] for one month and not even one drop of water has touched my body,” said Nawael, a 34-year-old Syrian woman in a wheelchair who has been in Piraeus with her husband and three children for more than 10 days.

“Here it is very hard for me to go to the toilet. My husband helps me at the door and random women help me inside the toilet. I don’t sleep at night because my body is itchy. My husband helped me and I washed my hair with cold water, but then I got sick. Ten days ago, I got my period and I swear to God, I still haven’t had a shower. And I [usually] pray, but given that I haven’t had a shower [to perform required ablutions], I can’t pray.”

Meanwhile, at an open refugee camp recently built in Ritsona, some 70km north of Athens….

Greece: Humanitarian crisis at Athens Port (Human Rights Watch)

Previously: ‘Facilitating The Very Circumstances That Made These People Refugees’

Yesterday: Meanwhile In Lesbos

Thanks Damian Mac Con Uladh

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8 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Greece

  1. dav

    and bawldy noonan wants to punish the greeks for trying to stand up for themselves against the ecb coup. the man should hang his head in shame, if he even knew what it was..

    1. Vote Rep #1

      What has the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece got to do with the Greeks attempting to play poker with the ECB?

  2. bukowski

    Greece is totally overwhelmed – it’s not as straightforward as ‘abandoning’. If anything Greece has been abandoned by Europe. In 2015 Greece received 857,363 migrants largely by sea. Think about it. That is huge. Right now with the Western Balkan Route shut all migrants are trapped in Greece. Under the emerging deal with Turkey (which is unlikely to fly for a whole range of reasons) the Greek islands are slowly transforming from reception centres to detention centres – hence MSF pulling out of sites on Lesbos. On the Greek islands and mainland for some unknown reason UNHCR can’t build and run a proper refugee facility for numbers far lower than say in South Sudan or the Lake Chad Basin. The situation is complex.

    1. B Hewson

      Merkel incentivised the bulk of the refugees to risk their lives, drop
      everything and go to Greece. They are all now in limbo. Greece forever changed

  3. Cromuel

    We’re doing nothing. And if you’re about to whip out your keyboard and say “what about the Irish homeless?”, we’re doing nothing there too.

  4. Cromuel

    By the way… I can’t vote, I’m a prole and they don’t let us vote for fear we’d lose the run of ourselves… but if I could vote, if I *had* a vote, I’d vote for Rory Hearne for the Seanad, for the only reason that he’s backed by Peter McVerry.

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