Apocalypse on Lesbos

Overcrowded facilities crammed with thousands of migrants. Gutmenschen to cater to them. Wasted food, filth, disease, fraud, and official corruption: welcome to the Morria migrant camp on Lesbos.

Many thanks to Tanya T for translating this Bulgarian documentary, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

I think Vlad may have cut some footage, so the transcript is probably longer than the video above.

Video transcript:

00:02   On Lesbos they say that in the beginning of the past century, this was the cattle route —
00:06   At the closest point, the distance between the island and the continent [Turkey] is less than 10km.
00:15   Numerous herds were released from the Turkish coast,
00:18   and, directed by boatmen, reached the leather factories on Lesbos.
00:23   The sand that for the cattle was the point of death a hundred years ago,
00:27   is the hope today for new life for thousands of men, women and children.
00:35   In 2016 the EU and Turkey signed an agreement
00:39   that was supposed to stop the flow of illegal migrants from Turkey to the Greek islands.
00:44   To date, the boats towards Lesbos continue to arrive,
00:47   and the tension on the island escalates.
00:53   At the end of April, in the [island’s] capital Mytilene, the latest clashes
00:57   broke out between the local people and asylum seekers.
01:02   The former, annoyed by the presence of tents on the central city square,
01:07   the latter by the conditions of life in one of the largest camps, Morria.
01:11   [or by not being able to continue to the promised land — translator]
01:20   The Morria camp’s capacity has long been exceeded —
01:23   built for 1,500-2,000 people, to date the number of migrants here is many times greater.
01:30   According to the United Nations Refugee Agency’s data, since the beginning
01:33   of this year over 6,000 people have arrived on Lesbos alone.
01:36   About 9,000 migrants are backed up on Lesbos — some of them for months.
01:43   The situation on the other Greek islands is also grave,
01:47   because the route to the continent has been cut off.
01:51   The 19-year-old Afghan Ali, who works as a volunteer here, but now with a German passport,
01:56   tells us that the restrictive policy is a breeding ground for corruption.
02:01   Corruption with the doctors — those that have money can go to Athens.
02:05   They bribe the doctors in the Morria camp, for which they get documents stating they are ill.
02:10   False documents with the stamp of the hospital. I have a friend from Syria.
02:14   He told me the day before yesterday that he received such a document for $500,
02:17   so that he could go from Mytilene to another state —
02:20   a document stating he is ill and cannot be cured in Greece.
02:23   Ali arrived in Europe in 2014. —I passed through this route — I know how people die in the sea.
02:30   I was here for just two hours then. And each day 2,000 people left Lesbos for Athens.
02:36   Now they all stay here — like animals.
02:39   Several months ago the boy returned to the island to receive his family.
02:43   My family is inside the camp. I can pay that money because I come from Germany.
02:48   I have a [German] ID card, passport — I can pay that money, but I don’t want to.
02:52   Why?! Why should I pay that money?! My family has been here
02:55   for two and a half months. They arrived from Afghanistan.
02:58   But nothing is happening — they simply continue giving them date after date, and they keep waiting.
03:03   They have now given them a date to examine their documents in six more months.
03:07   How can they live in such conditions? —Filming inside
03:11   the so-called “official camp”, where Ali’s parents are, is forbidden —
03:14   even on the outside, where, at places, there are three rows of wire fence.
03:20   Outside the official camp the number of tents with newcomers increases every day.
03:28   This group is from Afghanistan — 4 men, 2 women and a child. they arrived tem days ago.
03:35   First of all, this place we are living in is not very good at all. Not at all.
03:40   Secondly, here we have no clothes.
03:43   I, for example, only have what I am wearing now.
03:46   This family has a child, and also need clothes, but have nowhere to get them from.
03:51   This place that we are living in has nothing in common with the Morria camp,
03:57   because there isn’t enough room there anymore. —The camp is overcrowded.
04:01   Its capacity is for 1,000-2,000 people, and right now there are 7,000. —What is she doing?
04:09   She is making… something like yogurt from the cheese.
04:19   Making yogurt from the cheese? —Yes.
04:22   Is this something typical [for Afghanistan], or is it your invention?
04:26   It’s to some extent typical, and to some — our invention.
04:32   The man tells us that one has to wait a long time for food.
04:35   It is distributed three times a day.
04:38   This is the supper. I have not tried it. It looks like garbage.
04:42   Can you tell what the ingredients are?
04:46   No, no, no. It’s written in Greek. We just close, close our eyes, close our noses and then we eat.
04:56   [Gaffur Hussein, “Feeding Humanity”] The food in Morria is not good. It’s not fit to be eaten.
04:59   Some people say they wouldn’t even give it to the dogs, it’s so bad.
05:04   It’s half-raw. It has no taste. There’s nothing [no spices] in it — not even salt.
05:09   If you go to the camp you can see that some people take it and then cook it again.
05:17   Gaffur Hussein works for an NGO that has built a care center for women and children.
05:23   With his own money he has turned a bus into a mobile kitchen,
05:26   and says that its capacity is over 10,000 portions a day.
05:30   At the moment Morria has 9,000 inhabitants — not just those inside the camp,
05:36   but all across this slope. I came here two, five — three years ago,
05:40   and have seen the camp grow constantly.
05:43   What happens: when food arrives, queues form in Morria, [why NGO puts them in cages to feed them]
05:48   where they wait for two to three hours. They constantly push
05:51   and fight each other, to get ahead in the queue.
05:54   Sometimes distributing food is prolonged. [because of the fights?]
05:57   They always fight. And these people think the same thing happens here.
06:03   That’s why the Care Center built wire fences that lead those waiting to the food —
06:08   It is given after a one-time registration at the Center.
06:11   Once we have given them food they go out, the women
06:14   give the registration card to their husband, he comes back
06:17   and they demand food again. This is not good. One has to be honest.
06:22   On the day we are filming there are no registrations of newcomers,
06:25   because those working here have to repair the damage from the previous night.
06:29   There was a fight between Syrians and Afghans. —Why?
06:32   Because the Syrians were saying, “We are first.” The Afghans were saying the opposite…
06:35   —We cook food for everybody.
06:38   We cook food for 2,000, maybe 4,000 people every day. Every day.
06:44   There is so much food, but people don’t comprehend it. They fight.
06:47   They broke the doors, they broke the pallets. They damaged the place where we distribute food.
06:52   And they take the food and throw it when they go out…
06:55   Why? —I don’t know. — Maybe it’s not delicious?
06:59   It is delicious. You can check. We also cook the food. That’s why they come here.
07:03   They take too much food. If a family consists of five people,
07:07   they take food for ten — that’s the problem.
07:12   The road around the camp is strewn with enormous quantities of discarded cans and food packages.
07:22   [Crew member] Brand new, man! It’s all brand new. — Why? What is this?
07:29   This is [unintelligible] with tuna.
07:33   This has expired. It’s from 31 December 2017. It’s all expired.
07:36   [The black Mohammed explains it’s the charity that throws it away; migrants didn’t want it
07:39   when they tried to distribute it; it remained in their stores; perhaps something new came in
07:42   and they needed the space; migrants don’t really use waste containers…]
07:45   There’s more here. The beer cans are empty, however.
07:49   Down here there are whole packages with food. —We are giving them out,
07:54   but the problem is that the people in Morria say, “We want good food”.
07:57   This is good food. —It WAS good food.
08:00   Yeah, it was good food. Now it’s not.
08:03   But this food was imported from London. And they say “We want good food”.
08:06   They refuse to understand us, that we are not a market.
08:12   Now they’re taking it from the waste containers, but when they are given it they do not want it.
08:15   The local people do the same — they, too, take food
08:18   from the waste containers. —Do you receive expired food?
08:21   Noooo. When it expires we throw it away.
08:28   The fighting incident from the day before is not the first one in the centre.
08:31   Mohammed shows the wire sticking out and explains
08:34   this used to be the old fence, that was cut by thieves.
08:37   They do not want food. They want to take computers and equipment,
08:40   and to sell them afterwards.
08:43   The tension among migrants is passed to the volunteers as well.
08:46   Go back to help them. [Reporter] Don’t be so bad!
08:50   I want you to go help them. —I am done with my work.
08:53   Don’t tell me you are done. —Mohammed, Mohammed, calm down!
08:58   The clashes in the Morria camp are not news.
09:01   The people here fight almost every night, and when we go to bed
09:05   it’s very noisy. It’s not possible to sleep.
09:08   The fights take place outside the camp, where there are no cameras.
10:32   The tent of the black men — that’s the explanation we are given about the biggest pavilion,
10:37   erected in the olive grove outside the official camp.
10:41   This man arrived weeks ago from Africa.
10:45   Under the pavilion, which is like a little town with streets, live more than 100 people —
10:50   some of them for months. Jury-rigged cables lead to almost every bed —
10:54   the electricity is needed for charging the telephones —
10:58   the connection with the world beyond the island.
11:03   How much did you pay for the journey? —$500. —Very little.
11:08   That’s because we were many. If you pay $700 they put you in a boat with no more than 25 people.
11:14   According to the United Nations Refugee Agency’s data, nearly 40% of new arrivals this year are men.
11:22   The situation of the women and children is the gravest —
11:25   for them even going to the toilet is associated with fear.
11:28   It’s very hard for the women and children.
11:31   There are many cases of violence in the camp.
11:35   According to statistics, during the past five months the newly-arrived women are 23%,
11:40   and children are 37%. —How many children do you have?
11:44   Six. —Five children.
11:47   Three.
12:04   What has happened to him? What is this?
12:18   Plane?
12:29   Some of the women give birth on the route. Others get pregnant.
12:32   Are you ok? —No, she’s not ok.
12:36   Doctor? — Doctor — no doctor.
12:40   No doctor. Yesterday we went to a doctor in town.
12:43   They gave her an injection and made us leave.
12:47   A team from Doctors without Borders works outside the camp.
12:51   [Fiya Ivvislend, Doctors without Borders] Here we conduct medical examinations of children
12:54   under 18 years of age. We also see to the sexual and reproductive health of pregnant women.
12:59   What we come across most often are hygiene-related diseases,
13:03   respiratory infections, dermatological problems, vomiting and diarrhea,
13:07   because the conditions in the camp are not good.
13:10   My child is very, very sick. He has been very warm for about a week.
13:14   I have come here three times, but he has not improved.
13:18   We know that this camp is built for about 2,500 people
13:23   Right now there are about 7,500, and about 2,500 of them are children.
13:28   We don’t have exact information about the number of pregnant women,
13:31   but there are a lot of them as well.
13:38   After the series of clashes and riots on Lesbos, the Greek government announced that
13:42   it would solve the problem of overcrowded camps by building new ones. In the beginning of 2017
13:48   the British newspaper Guardian published an article, revealing that most of the money
13:52   given to Greece by the EU has been spent improperly,
13:56   for which the country’s government is responsible.
13:59   The decision to build new facilities means the acquisition of more money.
14:09   Meanwhile the International Organization for Migration
14:12   and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex note increase in the migratory pressure
14:18   to Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14:21   Since the beginning of this year nearly 7,000 newcomers have been registered there.
14:26   The end goal remains the same — the interior of Europe.

12 thoughts on “Apocalypse on Lesbos

  1. Here’s an idea, Turkey sends a refugee ship to rescue the campers and take them back to safely of the Turkish mainland.

    But of course the obvious actors don’t want to solve the problem, which is entirely of Turkish making. This “open border madness” pushed by Western lefties and funded by Soros must be stopped.

    • The making is the war in Syria, whoever you want to blame that on.

      What Turkey did was to stop stopping migrants leaving – it has no obligation to restrain them, even though this relaxation was part of a political maneuver.

      EU did not act harshly to stop the flow, did not arrange properly with Turkey to fund the temporary accomodation of refugees/migrants in situ, but instead encouraged the flow.

      No point blaming Turkey unless you see it as main responsible for the war in Syria ( or Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya etc.)

    • The civil war is the result of Western support of “moderate” jihadis.
      Turkey, let the refugees in, took the best ones then watched as the rest poured into Europe.
      Greece, then let them in, even sent out boats to bring them in and watched happily as they all poured north.
      Later on Italy started importing a different load from North Africa followed soon after by Spain. In all cases these countries crossed the Mediterranean and brought back “refugees” who otherwise would never have made it to the mainland.
      Turkey has a share of blame but the biggest share belongs to all those European countries who not only refused to protect their borders, but actively sought out parasites to bring into Europe.
      Let’s not forget the French who let the hordes stream through France to Calais nor the British who then accepted them when they arrived.
      Turks had nothing to do with that.

  2. I watched this video and if it is supposed to make Europeans feel sorry for these illegals then it doesn’t work. Complaining about food, robbery, fighting, no doubt rape. They are ungrateful but all have mobile phones and have paid for the journey.
    The EU are totally responsible for this along with the UN. Patrol boats should be constantly looking for these NGO boats, once found, disable the motors and tow them back from where they came. If it’s a dinghy, destroy it. The indigenous people are suffering.
    Leaflets should be dropped on Libyan and Turkish ports saying the following.

    Any attempt to cross into European waters will be met with force.
    If you do make it, no accommodation, food or water will be available.
    If the above is required it will need payment of 500 dollars per day.

    Of course this will never happen because the EU and UN want European genocide. A war is coming and it will not end well for those who are here illegally and those who have arranged it.

  3. I want to say that these people went to Greece from Turkey where they must have been living for several years (the Syrians, that is – Turkey built a concrete wall at its border with Syria). The situation in the camps is probably bad, but it would not have been so if too many had not come – and they did because everybody else before them had succeeded. It’s what happens when you declare on TV that you’ll accept everybody, make it clear you can deport nobody, and give comfortable life or the promise of it to everyone.

    Why we can be sure it’s the NGO that threw away the cans with food – these are entire unopened packages. If one wants to distribute them, one would give one, two, several cans a person, not entire packages regardless of number of people (the volunteers, too, insist they threw it away).

    About attacks on women and children that one of the NGO’s representatives mentions in passing (and he’s talking, by all appearances, of sexual attacks – women and children being afraid to go to the toilet), I guess we are supposed to think this is just the result of camps being overcrowded – which man, after all, wouldn’t do that in an overcrowded place …

    And imagine the outcry if an official, state supported camp used cages like that to give the food to migrants… Or did it just not occur to Greeks? Would the NGO have done it if it wasn’t absolutely necessary?
    Are these people, as a group, really “just like us”?

  4. I and Vlad did the video because there is a lot one can notice if they wish to read between the lines.

    I am convinced that the reporter’s intention is NOT to make people demand that borders be opened – first, she is talking about the increased migratory pressure as a problem, and secondly, had she been so out of touch with reality, the report is in Bulgarian, for Bulgarians, and she would have known such attempts stand no chance.
    She is simply showing what she saw. That she feels compassion for migrants, women and children especially, doesn’t make her an idiot.
    It’s not either or here. You can both recognize migrants as people and realize that letting everyone who wishes to come is a horrible idea.

    • I understand what you are saying, but you end up arguing with yourself like that…

      “Oh but they are people also… but they should not come here…. but the poor ones there….but it is not good for them to stay …. they don’t deserve these conditions…. but going back is harder even… and so on and so on”

      To be straight with you, from where I am looking the last fifteen years of middle eastern affairs, much of it with western involvement, is an atrocity and a disgrace, and I seriously doubt we will extract ourselves from our participation in that, including involvement in migration, in one piece. Somewhere or other the lid will come off it all, or the whole will implode, or the europe will dissolve into a reality we will not recognise as worthwhile but have no alternative to, and so on.

      So when you view it in those terms, your choices become much narrower : where is of value left protecting, and how do I protect it properly, what is the best way that achieves that end with least harm to others.

      Half the population of the world live in poverty, so there is lots and lots of room for anyone to act on their compassion, but you start by not causing problems for those others, then by helping them in their own surroundings, you don’t bring them home to feel sorry for them – many won’t appreciate it, in spite of how great you think what you are offering them is, but they instead will want to make what they can theirs.

      That is human nature.

      • My point is just that the video has no purpose other than to inform – when one witnesses women and children in bad conditions empathizing with them is inevitable. But showing it is not done to sway public opinion – it’s simply what the reporter saw and felt. Journalists have no right to hide things- it would have been dishonest, would actually mean imposing a position and would have been, consequently, bad journalism. It must be the viewers who make the decisions.

        As for my own position, I know very well what has to be done and I would demand that it be done. The confusion comes from the assumption that once you are aware of suffering you have an obligation to alleviate it, at any cost, to do it the way those suffering want, and not to care about the consequences. Maybe it’s because Westerners are taught they are responsible for others’suffering (it’s politicians and the big business they represent, really) and Eastern Europeans are not, and demanding that they suffer so that others feel better is rejected as absurd.

        Or maybe it’s not about assumptions, it’s just an instinct from the time when we had to deal with small-scale problems. Maybe you are right, acting reasonably takes suppressing empathy.

        There is an easy and difficult way to do it, however. In this case, the former is dehumanizing migrants.
        The latter, and you have chosen it too, is understanding the scale of the problem. From then on one can decide to act egotistically or compassionately. In both cases opening the borders makes no sense.

        “Half the population of the world live in poverty…you start by not causing problems for those others, then by helping them in their own surroundings, you don’t bring them home to feel sorry for them ”

        Yes, if one feels obliged to let these people into Europe one is also obliged to do the same for all who will come (and they themselves are here because those before them were taken in).The more are allowed in the more will come. Those expected within just several years are millions. The crisis will continue for several decades at best. And how about those that live under the same conditions and want to come but cannot? Integrity demands that we treat them the same way.

        Giving the Western standard of living to all people, let alone taking them in Europe, is impossible. There are no resources for that. Attempting it would destroy the planet. It would mean suffering, death and extinction for other species (i.e. it’s inconsistent with a far-left position, as well as with reason).

        Bringing in people with different culture, and as many of them as are already here, is expected to lead to armed conflicts, etc., etc.

        It’s not me that you need to convince, otherwise I would not have been here. And that leads me to the main problem – in order for a real change in migration policy to take place there have to be sufficient people who demand it. There also has to be basic agreement between people on the left and those on the right, except, of course, fanatics. That takes, first, not being a fanatic oneself, and secondly, treating others with respect.

        Trying to convince each other is absurd. Hiding suffering or demanding that people not empathize with it is impossible. And there are only several years before things go beyond repair, imo.

        (Dymphna, I apologize for the horribly long comment. feel free to cut it, or don’t publish it at all, I’d understand you completely)

        • I like writing long comments also, and Dymphna is usually very patient with me as long as I am mostly making sense lol. I think deep and open thought on these topics is very important, you do not easily find discussions like this anywhere, even online. Online is good because it allows free thought ( within reason) without fear of personal embarrassment or retribution if chosen in anonymity, which also removes the ego a lot because the writer is not making personal claims to authority, just laying down his or her thoughts. At least that is how I view it.

          I agree with all you are saying there, and me personally I have seen enough of the world to not let emotions sway my logic too much. I try not to be too cynical either. The problem is deep and it is our own, as we have to examine why and how, over the last half century, each country, hence each person, has given up so much of its own sovereignty that it can no longer decide who, from anywhere in the world, is allowed to enter their country or not.

          That is a heavy realisation that I think the average person is not able to fully confront.

          Adding to the confusion now is that EU will use the crisis it has enabled as an excuse to redefine its role, to redefine the meaning of border to an EU one, and so on, but I think most people know in their depth that really the only acceptable solution is going to be at a local and national level.

  5. “It’s not either or here. You can both recognize migrants as people and realize that letting everyone who wishes to come is a horrible idea.”

    Really? This is a survival fight. Equivocation is pointless. Remove them whatever it takes or bid your future goodbye.

  6. Why is so very little made of the 100,000 large tents in Mina, Saudi Arabia, that are air-conditioned, fireproof, and have their own kitchen and bathroom facilities? I understand that these are there for the purpose of the pilgrims that visit, but considering that most of these migrants are Muslim, where is there concern for the plight of their brethren? It seems to me that the wealthy Saudi States are more than happy to contribute millions to build mosques all over Europe, but have no desire to actually house the people. Where are the likes of Saint Bob Geldof and the righteous Lilly Allen on these issues? They only seem to pipe up when they believe “whitey” is a fault.

    • The arab countries have in reality taken a high % of refugees, there are articles on the web that define this. What they don’t do though is help refugees or migrants in western countries… there the weight falls on the local countries, the arab contribution being as you say – a political social religious organisation that provides a milieu for that community to further establish itself. It is what any expanding civilization or peoples do, our own included ( clubs, media etc.), the difference being in the west we are giving out our countries, our nationality, our resources, for free to people who just turn up. Other countries don’t do that in general.

      You don’t think if westerners could move to Saudi, receive higher benefits and welcome, could install their culture and organisation without being reproached , that they wouldn’t ?

      In the real non socialist world it doesn’t happen like that obviously, you have to pay and fit in every step of the way, often knowing you will never get further than being a visitor on visa.

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