Far from the postcard, the Vathi refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos is now a thing of the past. was 680 people.
Manolis and Vasiliki live next door. They say they are relieved
“We have been through so much since 2015. A lot has happened and we have suffered so many losses. These people also suffered because of the horror, because of the appalling conditions. Now the refugees are gone and after all these years we have taken a deep breath. We have been freed from this unacceptable situation“explains Manolis Manta, retired.
Vasiliki used to cook and offer food to migrants. Some of them liked it. Like her husband, she could no longer bear this situation: “I hardly slept and when I slept it was only with one ear. I wanted to hear every sound. You never know what can happen. We were very worried; I felt very sad, I was very scared. We were in danger because we are right next to the camp. Now it’s calm and we feel safe. “
Mytilinioi is the closest village to the new refugee center. The tourist season is over. And the few locals who drink coffee in the main square want to know more about the new structure. They want the insecurity to end.
“Somehow these people have to live, but we also have to feel safe on our island. When I went to school, my grandmother left the door unlocked, so that I could enter our house. This is no longer possible “ testifies Despoina Sarmorogeni, Student.
” What is happening with this new camp, how will it work? In the old one there were huge holes in the wire mesh and they went in and out when they wanted. At one point, many left the camp, they pitched tents and that’s how the so-called jungle was built. Their number has increased significantly … (pause) There was no control or specific police “ adds Nikos Eythynogiannis, retired.
“With the opening of the new camp, the Greek government believes that it is finally turning the page on the migration issue. In addition, the inhabitants of the island are seeing that the number of refugees is steadily decreasing and that they are now living far from the city “underlines Apostolos Staikos, the euronews correspondent in Greece.