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Nikos Pilos | Greece

10-2015 Lesvos island, Greece. (L) A boat full of Syrian refugees approaches the Korakas cape in Mytilini. One of them a refugee injured by a smuggler in Turkey because he complained about the boat's safety.
(R)A boat full of refugees approaches Lesvos.

After escaping Syria,Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa, refugees attempt the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey to the  Aegean islands, usually arriving in Kos or Lesvos. Many migrants have lost their lives making the perilous crossing. In what has been described as the “worst refugee crisis since the Second World War,” approximately in 2015 and 2016 so far 6,280 people have died crossing the Mediterranean according to the  IOM.

From the begging of 2015 until now approximately 1,023,930 migrants have reached the Greek boarders, most of whom made their way into  Europe. Now, they cannot travel beyond Greece, as border control has tightened in fear of immigrant invasion and terrorism. This has resulted in 63.000 refugees being trapped. In February 2016, Macedonia erected a second fence becoming the 12th country-along with Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Estonia, Ukraine, Spain and Turkey. As Europe seals its borders by building razor-wire fences to block the influx of migrants, xenophobia and nationalism poisons the open borders policy and the “democratic” values of Europe.

For Stern Magazine and Goethe Instiute of Athens

My motive to work on the immigration crisis lies in the fact that members of my own family have immigrated to Australia, America, and Western Europe in the past. Since the 1990s I have been following the immigrant flow in Greece. During 1990s, 500.000 Albanians emigrated to Greece, as well as people from other countries such as the former Soviet Union, former Yugoslavia, Turkey and central Africa (who moved to central Europe).

Since 2009, Greece has been a point of entry and transit for two million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Once the refugee crisis erupted this past summer, this number has expanded exponentially. Greece's severely troubled economy, porous borders, inadequate reception facilities, and ineffective asylum policies has created a tenuous environment for the country’s immigration officials and refugees.

Nikos Pilos

Email: pilos.nikos@gmail.com

Phone: +306944784488

 

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