The harsh re­al­ity

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PANTELIS BOUKALAS

son (even if mere pub­lic­ity stunts de­signed for the tele­vi­sion cam­eras) were soon to be wiped out by the cold snap, which also af­fected the is­lands of the Aegean. There will be no such thing as hal­cyon days for th­ese peo­ple. Of­fi­cial as­sur­ances by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials that the author­i­ties man­aged to pro­vide warm and safe shel­ter for all asy­lum seek­ers and mi­grants of­fer lit­tle comfort, as no amount of po­lit­i­cal will, or plain de­sire for that mat­ter, can re­verse the sit­u­a­tion on the ground. The prob­lems faced by the refugee pop­u­la­tion are not tack­led by pro­hibit­ing pho­tog­ra­phers from doc­u­ment­ing the sit­u­a­tion in­side the Mo­ria camp on Lesvos is­land. You can­not rem­edy re­al­ity by ban­ning its rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Is it that we do not want to taint the na­tion’s im­age in the eyes of our Euro­pean part­ners? But the im­age of Greece is only part of the big­ger Euro­pean im­age. What is now hap­pen­ing at Mo­ria, or any other mi­grant camp in Greece or Italy, is not dis­con­nected from the values and pri­or­i­ties in the rest of Europe, in Poland, Aus­tria, Slo­vakia or Den­mark. Euro­pean Union coun­tries, which had pledged to take in 160,000 peo­ple from Greece and Italy, have so far ab­sorbed be­low 5 per­cent of that fig­ure. Just 6,212 lucky few have been re­lo­cated from Greece and 1,950

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