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Greece, poor Greece

Greek permit of stay for asylum seekers - P.Martino

9th post. Victims of conflicts that do not concern them, like the hoary one between Greece and Turkey, which has left a mortal trail of mines along the border of the Evros. Even when they get to the long desired Hellenic land, however, the muhajirins find a country in the midst of an economic crisis, less and less willing to offer them protection and grant them asylum

Darkness pours out onto the hills of Thrace like a flood. The halogenous cone of the lights on the tarmac is the only help for the sight, void of any reference in the surrounding darkness.

Orestis has been driving for two hours, slowly so not to jeopardize the cargo. A long line of trucks halting before the junction for Traianopolis catches his attention: “Look there. There has been a compulsory strike for a week. Nothing can circulate, only food”. And he continues: “The economic crisis is eating us alive. I can still find work only because I transport beer, and the Greeks will never stop drinking beer”. I discover that the whole country has run out of fuel and that for days the trucks have crowded in front of the few gasoline stations that still have supplies.

Komotini. Orestis turns the engine off and lights a cigarette. “So, you want to know about the landmines”. He takes out a map from the side of the door and unfolds it on the dashboard. “From here to here” he says pointing to Nea Vissa and Kastanias, “it was all mine fields”. The strip of land stretches for about 10 kilometers. “It is the only part of land where the Evros disappears in Turkey, so Greece does not control the right bank of the river. There, Greek soldiers and Turkish soldiers face each other, and there is no water between them”. Continue reading

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