by Olga Lafazani
Piraeus, as the main port connecting the mainland to the islands of the Aegean, has been one of the “hubs” of the massive migration movements that cross Greece since the summer of 2015.
People from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere arrive every day in the islands and cross from Piraeus in order to arrive to Athens and then try to continue their journey towards the Northern Greek borders on the road to Western Europe.
This movement in Piraeus was transit for several months as most of the people would arrive from the islands and leave within hours. The closing of the borders on the Balkan route, however, meant that thousands of migrants and refugees are trapped in Greece. Some of them, as they have nowhere else to go, just remained in the port of Piraeus. During this week it was almost 3.500 people living in the port.
OLP, the port authority, is providing some buildings for the settlement however these are not enough: self made tents, cartoon boxes and trucks are composing a self-organized temporary settlement.
People in Piraeus are providing for the refugees. Hundreds of people volunteer every day to transform the port into a welcoming place for the migrants and refugees that are there.
They bring water, food, items of personal hygiene, clothes, shoes, blankets, tents, and they also organize the distribution, the cleaning, the access to medical care and support.
The self-made warehouses where the items offered are stocked are full.
In an abandoned container the slogan says: “Refugees Welcome”.