April 2016 : Fact Sheet: The Refugee / Migration Crisis and Greece

The size of the problem still facing Greece : The document includes statistics up to March 2016, the progress Greece is making (relocation & temporary accommodation centres, rent subsidy program, maritime surveillance etc) NATO, Frontex,  Co-ordinating bodies, Informing refugees/migrants
What should/should NOT be done to address the problem and managing costs.  REFUGEE CRISIS PDF
( This is a publication of the General Secretariat for Media and Communication, Greece's official Communication Service.)

Local support for Molyvos, through the Boat Refugee Foundation (Sept. 2015)

A Message from Burgi:-
Dear friends of music and of humans! Below is the appeal from our friend Marcia, who deals with the money from our charity concert. Perhaps you would also be interested in making a donation or helping in some other way, or you might motivate a friend to pledge or help?

We have to pay VAT 23% on the money we collected in Kalamata. (around 3000€) So from the 3000€ we have to deduct these 23% and also we deduct 500€ for a school for disabled children in our city. So all together we have sent only 2150€ for the refufees. This already includes another donation of 300€ from our company Bläuel Greek Organic Products.

"Here are the details of the charity helping boat people. It is Dutch because Lesvos attracts a lot of Dutch tourists and many of my friends in Molyvos working as volunteers are themselves Dutch. The one who recommended the charity said you should be sure to mention on the transfer that the money is for efforts for "Molyvos, Lesvos"

They are a Dutch NGO registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce number: KvK-nummer: 63274337.
Our bank account details are:
IBAN-rekeningnummer / accountnumber: NL97 RBRB 0918 9326 37
t.a.v. Stichting Bootvluchteling
RSIN: 855164621

Adress: Stichting Bootvluchteling, Postbus 214, 3890 AE Zeewolde, info@bootvluchteling.nl More information about the Boat Refugee Foundation at:http://bootvluchteling.nl/en/

Below is a notice posted on FB last week by one of their helpers in Molivos, so you can see that your money will be much needed


By 11:00 this morning, 54 rafts had already landed on Lesbos Island’s north coast, with more still coming in. That translates into over 3,000 people before noon! Five buses – all that will be available today – at most could transport 500 refugees to the island’s capital; that is, if each of the 50 adults in each of the five buses carried a child on his/her lap. It is an extraordinary situation.

The boats land everywhere, and starting at dawn, groups of refugees come walking by our house. Two days ago, the old woman in the photo and her other eight family members were stranded in the thin shade of a mimosa tree, unable to continue because she was too exhausted to continue, and was having heart problems. With the able help of Afrodite Kosmetou-McRostie daughter of the local volunteer leader, Melinda McRostie, we arranged a pick-up spot for a bus to take them to Mytilini.

When the bus arrived, it was more or less mobbed by other refugees walking by. I got on the bus, secured seats for the family, moved some people around, and pulled the woman aboard while others pushed from behind. By the time I got her into a seat, the bus was already 100 meters down the road and picking up speed. I shouted to the driver, “I’m not going!” and ran to the door. The driver shouted back, “I can’t stop” and opened the door. “Jump!” he said, and I did, with the bus rolling along at about 20 kph (12 mph). Not what a man with a herniated disc should be doing, I thought later, but who has time to think the moment something like that is happening?

Fortunately, I hit the ground running and didn’t fall. Even more fortunately, yesterday Michael Honegger and co-volunteer Patricia Lynn Wilson came across the old woman and her family in Mytilini. They already had boat tickets to Athens, and today should be back on the high seas, this time in something more reliable than a sinking dinghy.

Many small NGOs have shown up, and try to coordinate among themselves since there is no overall structure or organization. At least the UNHCR can be relied on for some buses to transport people from Molyvos to the capital; and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is making a credible effort to organize a professional response to the crisis.

Unfortunately, it is almost as if there is no government to make—and enforce—decisions to manage the situation. There is yet another national election in four days; the island’s authorities are simply overwhelmed and bankrupt; and no one in authority seems willing to take on an unofficial tourist organization that has thwarted every effort to help the refugees on the unfounded belief that if you put a toilet in Molyvos, even more refugees will come! (As if they are fleeing Syria for a porta-potty in Greece.) Meanwhile, the same organization has managed to close what had been the unofficial transit spot without providing an alternative location; and, it has actively worked to defy the national government’s approval to open up a nearby abandoned military base for the refugees.

In a word, it’s a mess, but that hasn’t stopped volunteers from assisting however they can. Many people have come to help. Michael and I are simply two among them. On an average day, Michael takes families with infants or disabled people into Mytilini, passing out water and food along the way, and sometimes returning with donated goods that have arrived. When I’m not jumping off moving buses, I am either on the road or in that day’s ad hoc transit spot, also passing out food and water.

People ask what their donations are buying. Thanks to everyone who has donated, we have continued to buy food and water, as well as (in the last few days alone) 3,000 caps, 500 ponchos (on order), and cleaning supplies for the one local café willing to let the refugees use the facilities. Donations have also made it possible to pay for thirteen buses so far. The volunteer leaders in both Mytilini and Molyvos know I am on standby to fill in gaps or pay for emergency needs; and the IRC, which is organizing most of the buses, knows I am on standby to help pay for them.

A lot is—and will—be needed. Today, the Guardian reports that half of the refugees now entering Europe are coming through Lesbos!


Sea water temperature
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- - - - - See local weather on the live WEBCAM at Asteria Apartments in Ag Dimitrios - - - - -