Us­ing the refugee cri­sis

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PAN­TELIS BOUKALAS

were to ac­cept that the pri­or­ity is to meet the chal­lenges faced by the so-called Balkan cor­ri­dor, then it is in­com­pre­hen­si­ble why Turkey was not in­vited to at­tend, given its key role in this av­enue of ar­rival into the Euro­pean Union. Of course, it is also very un­der­stand­able given that An­gela Merkel’s re­cent visit to Turkey was as the head of the EU rather than the chan­cel­lor of Ger­many. She’s al­ready taken care of busi­ness so dis­cus­sions with and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the other par­ties in­volved, even those which are at the van­guard, is un­nec­es­sary. Greece’s po­si­tion is par­tic­u­larly del­i­cate. There have been many times in his­tory when be­ing at the cross­roads of three con­ti­nents was a prob­lem rather than ad­van­tage. The re­al­ity of the refugee cri­sis in this coun­try is sym­bol­ized by a re­cent pho­to­graph show­ing a girl on the is­land of Lesvos giv­ing a doll to an­other lit­tle girl, a refugee in her fa­ther’s arms, and in the fa­ther’s smile, which is full of grat­i­tude and trust. Be­cause of the cri­sis, which has thrown the wel­fare state and all of its in­sti­tu­tions into com­plete dis­ar­ray, what Greece can of­fer th­ese peo­ple is about as much as that of­fered by the Lesvos girl: a ges­ture of kind­ness and what­ever has been scraped to­gether. So far, Greece has man­aged to do this, mainly thanks to the ex­cel­lent work and ded­i­ca­tion of vol­un­teers, both Greek and for­eign. Of course there is no short­age of scum­bags who charge refugees 20

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