Migrants and Greeks in Samos share anger and despair


Migrants and Greeks in Samos share anger and despair

Author: Valérie Gauriat  & Apostolos Staikos  | euronews.com | 10 May 2019

Ahead of the European elections, immigration is one of the most divisive issue facing voters. In this latest episode of Insiders we visited the Greek island of Samos, where an inadequately resourced refugee camp is causing suffering and creating tension.

Bridging the divide between islanders and asylum seekers.

For the past few years Manolis Mantas and his wife Vasilika, a retired Greek couple, have lived on the frontline of Europe's refugee crisis. Their summer house, which they built on the beautiful Greek island of Samos a few years ago, now backs onto a miserable collection of tents amongst a maze of paths strewn with rubbish. There, asylum seekers and other migrants eke out an existence whilst they wait for their papers to be processed.

When we meet Manolis is keen to show us his "many friends." We walk to the fence at the bottom of his garden where he and his wife hand out cakes to two of the children waiting patiently on the other side of the divide.

Next to them an African asylum seeker shows us the pictures on his phone through the fence. "Look at the conditions in the camp, see how we sleep, look!" he says.

In another photo there is a nondescript meal in its packaging. "This is food? How can I eat this for dinner?"

"It's like we are in hell ... they are blocking us from our future," a friend next to him says.

Vasilika cooks every day for some of the couple’s unfortunate neighbours. Today it's pasta and tuna, a simple gift of charity perhaps, but one that is controversial to many of the islanders on Samos.

"People who help are stigmatized, we are told why you help them, they are sick, they are this, that," she says. Read more>>>