A worthless present for a … better future?
For thousands of refugees this is their second consecutive winter in the hospitality structures of continental Greece and the Greek islands. It is a story that repeats itself. People are stuck here waiting for a better tomorrow that never seems to come, forced to live in tents, containers and on the street, where they are exposed to heavy weather and exploitation. In a point where the refugees have already reached their limits, the addition of the cold, the rain and the winter that approaches leads them to desperation. People with health problems, chronic or not, pregnant women, small children, people with special needs and old people who have managed to survive this tough journey to the West, are now forced to survive the winter of a western country. A European country. The Europe of hope, welfare state and the Geneva Convention. The improvements in the structures are barely noticeable while the lack of heating, access to medical help and places that provide safety, especially for the vulnerable groups, is still tragic. On top of that, there is the addition of the endless lines of people outside the buildings of organizations waiting to make a skype call, hoping that the will be able to make an appointment with the Asylum Service. Meanwhile, thousands of people go around without possessing the necessary documents and many of them are being arrested by the police. There is no assurance for the asylum seekers and it is impossible for them to achieve anything due to the lack of administrative resources. It is unacceptable though, whether this lack of resources is justifiable or not, to expose people that are entitled to our protection to this kind of danger and to such painful procedures. Though solutions have been suggested by some organizations, they have all been turned down. So, let the Authorities propose a suitable solution. The conclusion is that the lack of prevention and readiness shapes the present and, sadly, the future of the refugees.