A tale of two countries: As Greece welcomes tourists, refugees remain under lockdown

Greek government is accused of showing a clear distinction between two different categories of foreigners: the tourists and the migrants, writes Katy Fallon

Saturday 04 July 2020 15:21
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In Moria, the refugee camp on Lesbos, more than 15,000 people live in a space designed for just under 3,000
In Moria, the refugee camp on Lesbos, more than 15,000 people live in a space designed for just under 3,000

When the Greek prime minister announced that the country was open for tourism on the sunset island of Santorini on 13 June, some 36 refugees and migrants were stranded nearby, desperately trying to reach the shores of Lesbos.

Included on the boat were children and one pregnant woman, all forced to wait out at sea for more than 14 hours before being rescued by the Hellenic Coast Guard, which was reportedly aware of the boat long before a rescue took place.

Tourism accounts for around 20 per cent of Greece’s GDP and the country, which has seen a low death count and infection rate from coronavirus, is hoping to attract at least some of the 33 million visitors who came in 2019; but as bars, restaurants and now hotels have opened up, hoping to attract foreign consumers, a very different story is playing out in the refugee camps.

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