Endless. Stuck in Greece

Endless. Stuck in Greece

December, 2016. Borders closed. Thousands of refugees are still stuck in Greece. At Oreokastro camp, near Thessaloniki, asylum seekers who decide or do not have the money to risk their lives with the smugglers wait for several months to be sent to Athens for the interviews with the embassies that might, or might not, accept them in their relocation programs. Meanwhile, living with temperatures that barely exceed the 0ºC, some refugees dream about their journeys: "Sometimes we make jokes and say that the tent will fly out with the wind and will take us to Germany", says the 24 years old Syrian refugee Rizan Poyraz.

They live in severe conditions. Oreokastro camp is not heated and the only supplies for warm are hot plates that refugees use both to cook and to heat the tent. Electricity goes off several times during day and night, and there is never hot water. Food is scarce. The toilets and showers are cold and dirty. Most of the people are afraid of the darkness. Some of them have been beaten, even kidnapped, by right-wing Greek groups that enter the camp during the night.


Back in Athens, the situation is not better. Thousands of what are considered illegal immigrants - they do not have the refugee status because of their nationalities - gather in the streets of the city. Iranian and Afghan teenagers sell sex to survive since they can't work legally in the country. Old Greek men are the main customers. Some refugees explain even Greek police officers are clients. They meet the kids at the squares of Athens to arrange their hidden meetings at Pedion tou Areos Park, close to Victoria Square. Clients can pay from 5 to 200 euros each time, depending on what the boy is willing to do. Some of these refugees also end up in the black market of drugs as consumers.