News

Determined to take their fight to bitter the end, 14 refugees are on hunger strike in the centre of Athens, asking to be reunited with their families in northwest Europe. Most of them Syrians, they can’t wait to meet their parents, children or siblings and put the horror of war behind them. They say that because they are desperate, they are easy prey to smugglers. “The smugglers are taking advantage of us.” says Fawaz, a refugee from Syria. “Greece gives them the opportunity to do this. In...

Syrian refugees stranded in Greece chanted "no more waiting!" and protested outside the German embassy in Athens on Wednesday against delays in reuniting with their relatives in Germany. About 150 people, among them young children, marched from parliament to the embassy holding up cardboard banners in English reading "I want my family" and shouting slogans about travel to Germany.

Greek media have reported that Greece and Germany have informally agreed to slow down refugee...

Greek judicial authorities have ordered an investigation into allegations that staff at a European Union-funded NGO sexually exploited refugees and misused money intended for their welfare. Immigration Minister Ioannis Mouzalas on Monday handed Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou a letter from the EU’s top humanitarian aid official outlining the allegations.

The NGO allegedly involved was not publicly named, and no details on the claims were provided. Dimitriou ordered a...

More than 62,000 refugees and migrants have been stuck in Greece since borders closed across the Balkans in March 2016. Most of Elliniko's residents live in tents inside the domestic arrivals terminal, or in a pair of deserted Olympic sports stadiums behind the out-of-business airport on the outskirts of the Greek capital, Athens.

Lucy Carrigan, the regional coordinator of communications at the International Rescue Committee, says that the lack of "ownership" refugees and migrants...

A group of Syrian refugees stranded on a Greek island launched a hunger strike in protest at the long processing of their asylum application, witnesses told dpa on Monday. The 14 Kurds from Syria, sitting wrapped in blankets in front of the asylum bureau at Moria camp on Lesbos, have been refusing nourishment since Friday. Their application for shelter in the European Union had been rejected in the first instance, and their appeal has been taking months to process.

Police refused to...

A Syrian refugee set himself on fire at a migrant camp on the Greek island of Chios on Thursday in despair over his bid to gain asylum, the Greek news agency ANA reported.

Video footage, posted on Twitter by the BBC's Greece correspondent, showed a young man holding a petrol can and addressing camp residents, and then catching fire as a policeman approached.

The unidentified man was rushed to hospital with burns over 90 percent of his body, ANA said. The policeman who tried to...

Man carrying asylum application papers found dead close to a passenger ferry terminal in Greece's biggest port.

Greek authorities are investigating the apparent suicide of a man, believed to be a refugee, at the port of Piraeus.

The man, who was carrying asylum application papers, was found hanged early on Monday close to a passenger ferry terminal at Greece's biggest port near the capital, Athens, the coastguard said.

A coastguard spokesperson told Al Jazeera that the...

Children stuck in Greek migrant camps are cutting themselves, attempting suicide and using drugs to cope with "endless misery," international charity Save the Children said on Thursday.

Reuters obtained an advance copy of a report that marks one year since the European Union struck a deal with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees and migrants to Greek islands.

"Their mental health is rapidly deteriorating due to the conditions created as a result of this deal," the report said,...

The Greek government has been under criticism for deplorable conditions in its refugee camps. But at some camps security is a bigger issue.

One such camp is located in Softex near Thessaloniki. It is considered one of the most dangerous refugee camps in Greece. Gangs of Syrian, Afghan and Pakistani refugees control the camp.

These gangs have been accused of targeting vulnerable refugee families mostly those without a male member.

Many people are scared and worn down by...

Several members of a far-right Greek party headed by a prominent MP have raided a primary school in Athens to prevent the staff from admitting refugee children in classrooms.

According to the Greek Ministry of Education, around 20 members of Golden Dawn, led by Yannis Lagos, a lawmaker with the party, stormed the Neo Ikonio public school in the capital’s Perama neighborhood on Tuesday.

They verbally abused the teachers and parents attending a meeting at the school, and even...

As a big freeze grips Europe, the plight of refugees has become increasingly desperate.

At abandoned industrial buildings in Belgrade, those unable or unwilling to enter official shelters in the Serbian capital are shivering in temperatures lower than -20C.

Last week, three migrants froze to death in the biting cold. The bodies of two Iraqi men, aged 28 and 35, were found on Friday in a forest in the southeast of the country. On Monday, a female Somali migrant was found dead in...

Police in a region of Greece that borders Turkey say another person has died of hypothermia on a route used by migrant smugglers despite freezing temperatures.

Authorities said the body of a man was discovered buried in snow outside a Greek village on Monday. They think he probably died over the weekend.

The man was the second to succumb to the cold in less than two weeks. Another died of hypothermia in the same area on Jan. 3.

In a separate incident, a migrant man was...

Dozens of people have been driven out of a refugee camp on the Greek island of Chios after two successive nights of attacks by a far-right group. At least two people were wounded after attackers threw Molotov cocktails and rocks as big as boulders from elevated areas surrounding the Souda camp, activists said.

Three tents were burned down and three others were hit by rocks. A 42-year-old Syrian man was assaulted, while a Nigerian boy was hit by a rock.

Fearing a third attack...

Ieronymos II, the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, asked not to rush for the construction of a mosque in Athens, adding that he had serious concerns about the building of the edifice.

Speaking on a nationwide broadcasting TV channel, Ieronymos II said that recent events changed his positive views regarding the construction of a mosque in Athens, referring to the recent refugee influx and sectarian conflicts across the Middle Eastern countries. He urged authorities to wait until...

THERE ARE NEW arrivals in the once grand park of Pedion tou Areos in central Athens. Among the drug dealers and dog walkers, joggers and junkies, are a shifting cast of refugee children. Lured into the vastness of its ruined tree-lined avenues and vandalized statues by the promise of money and a way out of Greece, they have found themselves prey to a burgeoning sex trade.

Every day as the intense heat of Athenian summer slides towards sunset, young boys take their places, sitting...