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There currently fifteen years, exiles from the Middle East and Asia (Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan ) came into Europe through Turkey and Greece. This country was undergoing economic expansion, and part of the economy was operating through moonlighting. It was therefore possible to make a little money to continue the road through Greek ports in the west of countries, mainly Patras to Italy. The economic crisis in Greece and the strengthening of controls in the Greek and Italian ports disrupted this scheme, and the exiles often prefer to cross multiple Balkan borders to access a Europe that they hope more hospitable.

Some continue to try their luck from Patras and Igoumenitsa, near the Albanian border. The Italian association Medici per Dritti Umani ( Physicians for Human Rights ) has published a report on the conditions of their interception in Italian ports and their return to Greece, which are occasion for multiple violations of their rights.

You can download the report (in Italian) here:



Pentax Digital CameraIgoumenitsa, camp in the forest, above the harbor entrance, March 2011