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NY Times Magazine Spotlights Refugees in Lesbos

The cover of this past Sunday’s New York Times magazine, as well as 11 other pages, were dedicated to the change of the political climate in Europe regarding the reception of refugees from Syria, Africa, and elsewhere.

From the heroic grandmothers on Lesbos to the corpses of children who were washed onto the beaches by the Aegean sea, this depressing report describes the general situation in Europe – but Greece plays a starring role.

It is not pleasant. Indeed it is painful to read. And it raises questions. This is not the Greece we want. (The central events that are described began during the previous government.)

We all understand that the citizens of Greece, like so many other people, are psychologically tired of so many refugees. Many are struggling financially. People’s lives on the islands like Lesbos have been turned inside out.

We all understand that the EU has loaded a heavier burden onto Greece than it can bear to lift. We all understand that Turkey has weaponized the refugees and is doing everything possible to discredit Greece in this regard (this article does not mention Turkey).

Regardless, we must move to address this issue within a tolerable humanitarian – and within a legal – framework.
If the accusations of the article are correct – that a number of years ago Greek authorities used false allegations against two members of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) – then those Greek authorities that falsified the allegations must face justice.

I am not saying that refugees or members of NGOs are not capable of committing crimes.

But this cannot overshadow everything.

The issue of the plight of refugees is a deeply humanitarian matter – but it is also a fraught political issue. We are now in the latest chapter of this painful story, it’s heartbreaking to see more than a million Ukrainian refugees flee their country and rejoice at the reception they receive in Poland and elsewhere.

This is something that can change over time, as attitudes changed regarding refugees from Syria, Africa, and elsewhere.

I have written about this matter a few times. If we do not pay attention to the way Greece handles this issue, beyond its humanitarian dimension, it can tarnish the country’s image internationally.

Let us keep in mind that the way a society treats the poor, the hungry, and the oppressed characterizes everybody in that society.


The main head of news reports about the event at the White House for the Prime Minister, and indeed, the First Couple of Greece, could be the warm, almost family-like atmosphere that prevailed - both between the two couples and with the invited Greek-Americans.

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FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

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NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

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PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mission, TNH’s New Travel Documentary Series with Clelia Charissis (Trailer)

Every weekend, TNH and Clelia Charissis are on a mission, traveling around Greece and the world to highlight places through the people we meet along the way.

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