Stratis – Journalist in Lesbos
Lesbos is one of several Greek islands struggling to cope with a wave of people arriving by boat from the nearby Turkish coast. All summer, one to two thousand have landed daily.
We have to prove that the conditions can change, that we can overcome the crisis. The economical crisis is the real problem, not the refugees. We have a brain drain, greek scientists are leaving the island, they all go to northern Europe. In some years we are not going to have any doctors left on the island. The refugees only make the existing problem bigger. A few days ago it was like war on the island. No worse than war. The only thing we did not have was casualties. The locals do not react to the refugee crisis. If they react, we will have a civil war. We wait and can’t do anything but hope for change. I can help the local population by keeping calm and remind them that we are sons and grandsons of refugees ourselves.
I have no hope, but what can I do? I am already 53 years old. If I would be 40, I would leave. But I have my family here, my roots here, where should I go? To Germany? To do what? I hope that things change, because I have no other choice than to hope
5 years ago I had a vision that I would move to a small harbor village when I retire and write children books. Now I don’t know what will happen. I don’t even know if I can ever retire. I don’t know if tomorrow, Friday, the newspaper might close.