- Hundreds of migrants continue to make treacherous journey from Turkey to Europe in search of a better life
- Migrants living in abandoned hotel, sleeping on dirty mattresses and washing with a garden hose
- Greek authorities have picked up almost 1,200 migrants in just two days off of Kos, Lesvos, Chios and Farmakonissi
- On holiday island of Kos, famed for its cheap holidays, some new arrivals are staying in a deserted hotel
- Some 1,770 migrants have died on the journey to Europe this year, with Greece one of the main destinations
Hundreds more migrants have arrived on the Greek holiday island of Kos today – and are now squatting in a makeshift hotel on the island.
The migrants – most of whom are from war-torn Syria hoping to claim asylum in Europe, are living in squalor, sleeping in makeshift beds and homemade tents at the abandoned Captain Elias hotel.
The once luxurious hotel, popular with holidaymakers has now been left in ruin with the migrants claiming it as their home as they plan their steps to the UK.
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Squatting: Immigrants take refuge in an abandoned hotel on the island of Kos after travelling across the Aegean Sea
Temporary shelter: A Congolese immigrant sleeps on a makeshift bed in a deserted hotel in Kos. Almost 1,200 migrants have been picked up by Greek authorities in the last couple of days
Hundreds of migrants in sleeping bags pack themselves in the courtyard, taking over every inch of floor space
New arrivals: Many migrants have come from war-torn countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria
Crowded: Migrant children pile into a small room inside the former luxury hotel on the popular holiday resort of Kos
Almost 1,200 migrants – some crammed onto overcrowded inflatable dinghies – have been picked up by Greek authorities in the eastern Aegean Sea in the past two days.
Packed boats were being towed on to the shores of Kos yesterday, with some refugees dropping to their knees to pray after completing the perilous journey.
One woman even stopped to take a selfie on her mobile phone after the boat in which she had travelled was apprehended by coastguards on its way from Turkey.
Boats containing dozens of migrants have also been taken to the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios and Farmakonisi in recent days.
After Italy, financially crippled Greece is the main destination for refugees, mostly from war-ravaged Syria plus economic migrants seeking a better life in the EU. About 30,000 have already arrived this year.
Even the roof of the hotel has been converted into living space with homemade tents constructed all of old bed sheets and metal framing
Squalid conditions: With no hot water, the migrants wash outside using a garden hosepipe
EU leaders held a summit in April in a bid to prevent the number of people illegally travelling to Europe from Africa and the Middle East on unsafe boats
Kos, which is only 25 miles long and five miles wide, is of particular concern to the authorities, with many people-trafficking boats able to land without detection.
Despite being under Greek control, most of the Aegean islands are closer to Turkey, with Kos just two miles from Bodrum. Journeys from the port take as little as 20 minutes, with migrants paying smugglers up to 800 euros (£565) each for a place on a boat.
Landing: An Afghan migrant carries two young children off the boat after arriving on the Greek island of Kos
On the beach: A young girl clutches a man’s hand as she gets off the migrant boat which landed this morning in Kos from Turkey
End of the journey: A Syrian refugee carries a toddler off a dinghy on the island of Kos after crossing part of the Aegean Sea
While some traffickers carry out several journeys a day, other migrants land on inflatable dinghies that are discarded on the island’s pristine beaches. A police station built to hold only 36 people has become a refugee camp after more than 200 migrants with nowhere else to sleep were packed in. Dozens settled in the building’s courtyard, living in filthy and cramped conditions.
The influx will fuel fears that Greece could unleash a wave of economic migrants to travel to Britain and the rest of Europe.
Greek politicians have threatened to hand travel papers to vast numbers of people, including 10,000 migrants held in detention centres, in the row over EU austerity measures. The country’s proximity to Turkey, regarded as a key buffer in the fight against Islamic State encroaching into Europe, has prompted concern that jihadis could use the route.
It is also feared that some of the people trafficking gangs are linked to IS, with smuggling fees used to fund the group’s terrorism.
Joy: Syrian migrants celebrate as they arrive on the island of Kos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey
Rescue: A dinghy overcrowded with Afghan and other immigrants is towed by a Greek coast guard patrol boat into the port
Safety: A Greek coastguard officer (right) passes seven-month-old Syrian refugee Jaffe to her mother Nada, after they were rescued
In their thousands: The migrants are mainly Syrian and Arghan, and crossed the sea in search of work
Deflated: This dingy boat was used to bring migrants from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos, but clearly won’t be making a return journey
Proximity: It is only a short boat trip across to Kos from the Turkish coast, with a ferry ride from Bodrum in Turkey taking only 20 minutes
Turkey currently shelters about two million refugees, and thousands of them attempt to cross the borders with Bulgaria and Greece and seek refuge in the EU.
Protective fences have been built in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Ankara, Turkey, to stop the flow of people.
The three countries have long discussed setting up joint police teams to patrol the border.
‘This agreement guarantees closer cooperation of the three countries that face one and the same challenges… migration, organised crime and terrorism,’ Bulgaria’s interior minister Rumyana Bachvarova said.
The centre will be set up at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint between Bulgaria and Turkey, which also borders Greece, she added.
Turkey’s interior minister Sebahattin Ozturk explained that the centre will allow ‘police and customs authorities to exchange information in real time and react to stop illegal migration and smuggling’.
So far this year, some 1,770 migrants have died on the hazardous journey to Europe, according to the International Organisation for Migration, a 30-fold increase on the same period in 2014.
EU leaders held a summit in April in a bid to prevent the number of people illegally travelling to Europe from Africa and the Middle East on unsafe boats.
The meeting followed the deaths of around 800 migrants, including children, in a smuggling boat bound for Italy that capsized. UN chief Ban Ki-moon yesterday urged Europe to do more to help migrants crossing the Mediterranean, calling for search and rescue teams to be ‘further strengthened’.
Greece has asked for more assistance from EU authorities in coping with the flow, and EU commissioner for immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is Greek, was in discussions with government officials in Athens on Tuesday.
Tears of joy: A Syrian refugee cries as she prays on a beach on the Greek island of Kos after arriving with her family
These Afghan refugees have set up camp in a deserted hotel after making the precarious journey from Turkey
Today, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Europe must do more to help migrants crossing the Mediterranean.
He called for search and rescue operations to be ‘further strengthened’.
EU ministers last week approved plans for a military operation to fight Mediterranean people smugglers, although proposals to destroy traffickers’ boats in Libyan waters still need UN approval.
The European Commission has also unveiled plans to make the rest of the 28-nation EU share the burden of frontline states such as Italy, Greece and Malta, although some countries like Britain are opposed.
HOW A GREEK ISLAND BECAME A PARTY PARADISE FOR BRITISH TEENS
The sight of hundreds of migrants walking slowly to a temporary shelter after a treacherous journey across the Aegean Sea is a far cry from the image most have of the Greek island of Kos.
Over the last two decades it has gained a reputation as a getaway paradise for school leavers looking for sunny beaches and a party lifestyle.
Young British holiday-makers started flocking to the sun-kissed island, liberated from the strictures of life at home and on a high after their exams.
Holiday island: Many are still drawn to the island for its party atmosphere, sandy beaches, bars and restaurants
With many on their first holidays without parents, it came to be known as a destination where teenagers could throw caution to the wind – often with little care for the consequences.
Many still take up on cheap flights and package deals to the Greek island for 18-30 style clubbing holidays in resorts like Kardamena.
Tourism is still the primary industry on the island and over the last few decades, all-inclusive hotels consisting of thousands of beds have sprung up around the coastline.
But many are still drawn to the island for its lush interior, ancient ruins and white-washed houses.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3099145/Holiday-hell-Inside-abandoned-hotel-Kos-hundreds-migrants-fleeing-ISIS-bedding-plot-route-Britain.html#ixzz3bNauQenY
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