British holidaymakers have slated the Greek island of Kos as a ‘disgusting hellhole’ after Syrian and Afghani refugees set up migrant camps there, The Daily Mail newspaper has reported.
Kos, known for its cheap holiday package deals and beaches, has become a hotspot for refugees arriving by boat, who then sleep in the streets - sheltering in cardboard boxes.
Anne Servante, a nurse from the British city of Manchester, told the newspaper her trip to Kos with her retired husband was ‘disgusting’.
She added: “We have been coming here for almost ten years. We like to eat, drink and relax. But this time the atmosphere has changed. It’s really dirty and messy here now. And it’s awkward. I’m not going to sit in a restaurant with people watching you.”
Another British couple from Birmingham said: “We have never been before but we don’t like it. We won’t be coming back if it’s like a refugee camp again next year.”
Refugees from Afghanistan and Syria take shelter on the seafront town of Kos as they wait to obtain security clearance to travel to mainland Greece.
The wealthier among the refugees pay 10 to 15 euros to stay at hotels while the rest camp out and sleep in an abandoned hotel on the edge of the town.
Mothers lay their children’s laundry along the shoreline.
Leyla Kasanzadeh, an 18-year-old tailor from Kabul explains: “I have only 100 euros left to get to Germany.”
With the recession still hampering the economy in Greece, Greeks can only donate so much. ‘One elderly man handed a breastfeeding mother in a headscarf 10 euros for the baby’ wrote British Daily Mail.
Louis Laro, from Holland said: “We are not happy to see this. It makes you realize what’s going on in this region and what’s coming to the rest of Europe in the next few months. They can’t stay in Greece.”
Caroline Ryderker, a shop Keeper in Kos town said: “It’s terrible for the people that have lost their homes but it’s also causing problems for people with shops and restaurants.”
She adds: ”This island is already in trouble. The people are kind - they give them blankets but they have very little for themselves. You cannot share what you don’t have.”
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