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Op-Ed: Greece’s Other Crisis

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Jul 15, 2015

External News

aljazeera.com screenshotOn July 15, 2015, Al Jazeera America featured an opinion piece by HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield warning of a larger refugee crisis brewing in Greece. He writes:

Despite almost daily headlines detailing the dangers of crossing the Mediterranean by sea, refugees are still braving the waves in record numbers. An increasing number are heading to Greece, which, in the first half of this year, surpassed its wealthier Italian neighbor in refugee arrivals. This journey brings its own challenges. Thousands are braving a long and perilous journey overland on foot, hoping to make it farther into Europe through the Balkans. When they arrive at their destination, it doesn’t get any easier.

Greece, a part of the European Union (for now), is supposed to have an asylum system “harmonized” with the rest of Europe. In practice, though, Greece is about as well integrated with the rest of Europe on the asylum front as it is economically. For thousands, most of whom are fleeing conflict in Syria, Greece is a port of entry, not a place of refuge.

Read the rest on Al Jazeera America.