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Migrant crisis: Brits complain that warzone refugees are making their holiday on Greek island 'awkward'

“We won’t be coming back if it’s like a refugee camp again next year”

By Lizzie Dearden

Published 28/05/2015

An Afghan migrant girl holds the hand of a woman as they arrive on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015.
An Afghan migrant girl holds the hand of a woman as they arrive on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015.
A dinghy overcrowded with Afghan immigrants arrived on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Angelos TzortzinisANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
A family of Afghan migrants pose next to a deserted hotel, where hundreds of migrants have found temporary shelter, in the Greek island Kos on May 27, 2015.
Afghan migrants stand in front of the police station as a woman runs, after having crossed a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, in the Greek island Kos on May 27, 2015.
Afghan migrants wash next to a deserted hotel, where hundreds of migrants have found temporary shelter, in the Greek island Kos on May 27, 2015.
Afghan migrants stand in front of a deserted hotel, where hundreds of migrants have found temporary shelter, in the Greek island Kos on May 27, 2015.
Life jackets are seen on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after Afghan migrants arrived after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Angelos TzortzinisANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
An Afghan child migrant is helped off a rib as it lands on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Angelos TzortzinisANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
Afghan migrants arrive on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Angelos TzortzinisANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images

British tourists have complained about desperate migrants pouring into the Greek island of Kos making their holidays “awkward”.

More than 1,500 men, women and children have landed in the last week as the influx of people fleeing conflict and poverty continues.

Homeless and carrying the only remnants of their former lives in bags, they have been left to seek shelter in an abandoned hotel or on seaside arcades as authorities struggle to cope.

The migrant crisis has coincided with the half term break for British schools, seeing hundreds of families arriving for some early summer sun this week.

Anne Servante, a nurse from Manchester, told the Daily Mail that Kos had become “disgusting”.

“It’s really dirty and messy here now,” she added. “And it’s awkward. I’m not going to sit in a restaurant with people watching you.”

Another British couple on holiday with their grandchildren told the newspaper that they “don’t like it”, adding: “We won’t be coming back if it’s like a refugee camp again next year.”

The comments sparked outrage on Twitter, where people said they were "speechless" that comparatively wealthy holidaymakers could seemingly feel so little empathy for people risking their lives to flee warzones.

"My heart bleeds," one person sarcastically tweeted, while another added: "It's not the migrants who make Kos a disgusting hellhole, it's the British tourists who do."

Photographs show tourists cycling past families of migrants waiting for travel permits, while topless holidaymakers stroll by a homeless man sleeping on a bench.

Migrants sit on cardboard boxes while people walk past with bags full of shopping and women wash their children’s clothes in the sea as locals watch from the promenade.

Kos and its neighbouring islands in the Aegean Sea mainly see arrivals from nearby Turkey but boats landing in other parts of Greece and Italy often come from Libya and North Africa.

About 30,000 migrants have entered Greece so far this year and the country is calling for more help from the EU.

The Red Cross declared an emergency last week after more than five times as many migrants arrived in Greece by sea in the first four months of 2015 than during the same period the year before.

Source: Independent

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