The group has collectively been referred to most often as “migrants“, though some news organizations and politicians have called them “refugees” or “illegal immigrants”.
Most of the refugees on Kos and throughout Greece are from Syria. The entry of thousands of refugees is driving a fragile country, already in profound crisis, to breaking point.
The country is heading to elections after seven months of Syriza in power.
Ari Shapiro: Right now, there is no comprehensive cost-sharing agreement.
A British mother who is on the island delivering aid to the thousands of migrants sleeping rough said conditions in the cramped cells are “appalling and shocking” with children forced to sleep on urine soaked floors.
Melissa Fleming, said “while understanding legitimate concerns facing countries in the region – obviously this is an unexpected large number of people – we do appeal to the governments involved to implement border management measures with humanity and also in accordance with global obligations”.
They were part of a wave of around 8,000 refugees whose journey to the European Union had been blocked last week when Macedonia closed its borders after being overwhelmed by the huge influx of people, amid Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Many at a refugee transit centre in Gevgelja said they had made the treacherous crossing from Turkey to Greece using small inflatable boats.
“When you see people in situations of violence, that are afraid for their life, it’s important that we recognise our responsibility to help them”. In a crowd of 1,500 people, only one would be an unwanted newcomer.
Germany’s government has denounced the far-right protests outside a refugee shelter in which dozens of police were injured by a neo-Nazi mob hurling bottles and fireworks at officers trying to ensure asylum seekers could move in. Instead, the migrants seek to make their way north toward more prosperous European countries such as Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. I did a project on this earlier this year.
At this time of year there would normally be “two or three seats” available on charter flights to the Greek islands, he said. People who were doctors, lawyers and university professors in Syria could be productive members of society in their new countries, but education is crucial. And at the French port of Calais, about 3000 people are camped in squalid conditions, waiting for a chance to cross to England.
Ari Shapiro: I’ve just had a conversation with our ombudsman on this very issue…
The other is the world of the refugees. Others flee for different and complex reasons, but they all have one thing in common: to find a better life in the West.
The Macedonian health ministry ordered all doctors in general practice in Gevgelija starting Monday to take turns to be on duty at the refugee center. I’ve been to their birthday parties, shared their dinners, listened to them sing lovely songs in Arabic.