September 23, 2019
The remote island of Symi is sending S.O.S. The ongoing arrivals of migrants and refugees has created a state of emergency. Some 400 people, among them many children, have landed on the small island that has absolute no facilities to accommodate them.
The people are sleeping on the streets, there is no food and no sanitary facilities, said Symi Mayor Eleftherios Papakalodoukas.
Speaking to state broadcaster ERT TV on Monday morning, he appealed at the central government in Athens to transfer at least 200 people.
“More than 300 migrants are thrown into the street and no one is interested. The government is incapable of solving the problem. I don’t consider it indifference but they are incapable,” Papakalodoukas said.
“We urgently demand a solution for these children” who are sleeping on the streets, he stressed.
“There is no doctor, there is no food,” the people depend on the kindness of the local restaurant owners, he added.
“We see small children wandering though the streets, they cry and we wonder how these people will be protected when the rain season begins,” he said.
Video shows how the refugees and migrants arrive on the island. In an interview with Alpha TV, the mayor said that the majority of them flock to the police station in order to be registered. “They sleep on the streets, on the square. The situation is out of control. These people need to go somewhere
ERT TV described the police station on Symi as an “unofficial hot spot.”
Papakalodoukas urged prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to take care of the issue, saying that “his ministers are unable to solve the problem.”
The Justice Minister who was present at the ERT studio, simply agreed that the refugees and migrants had to be transferred away from the island.
As the Prime Minister just arrived in New York for a several-day-long visit, the problem on Symi will remain unsolved.