Europe’s forgotten refugees: 100 years of crossing the Aegean

An estimated 1.2 million refugees have landed and lived in Greece since 1923. Bea Tridimas tells their story

Tuesday 19 October 2021 21:30
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<p>Refugees arrive on Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey during the 2015 crisis</p>

Refugees arrive on Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey during the 2015 crisis

For the first nine years of his life, Andreas Mogridge was an ardent supporter of Panathinaikos, an Athens-based football team and one of Greece’s most successful clubs. It was the 1980s and the club dominated the national league and represented Greece in international competitions, winning against teams like Juventus that no other Greek team could beat.

The club, with its three-leaf clover emblem that can be seen graffitied in green and white on walls around Athens, was at the beginning of a winning streak. Its star player, Dimitris Saravakos, became an icon of Greek football admired even by supporters of Panathinaikos’ rivals.

“I admired him,” says Mogridge, who is the kind of fan who remembers specific matches, the years they were played and the order the goals were scored. He remembers the very match in which, at nine years old, his head was turned.

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