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Migrant hope and despair in Greece

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 01:42

Migrants seeking safety in Europe arrive at Greece's main port but cannot continue north as hundreds remain stranded at the border. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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A moment of joy and hope as migrants arrive in Greece. Hundreds pour into Pireaus -- as thousands more remain stranded at Greece's border with Macedonia after the neighboring country imposed further controls over the flow of people. Now concern is stirring that migrants using Greece as a launch pad to head into more prosperous western Europe could end up stranded in the impoverished country. Yusef a 31-year old pharmacist from Aleppo knows where he wants to go but doesn't know how he will get there. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 31-YEAR-OLD REFUGEE FROM ALEPPO, YUSEF, SAYING: "I want to go to Germany now, and I'm asking about a bus and no bus, they told me no bus now, and we have to waiting here, why do we waiting, I don't know, where we have to wait, I don't know. You see all of this is my family, we go, what I have to do, I don't know." More than 80,000 migrants landed on Greek shores this year alone. Many left behind a painful past -- hoping for relief in some place other than their home -- and now possibly stranded -- maybe for a night -- possibly much longer explains Rita, a Greek volunteer at "Operation Refugee Child". (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK VOLUNTEER AT 'OPERATION REFUGEE CHILD', RITA, SAYING: "These people are not aware that the borders are closed they want to go over, they don't know the reason why, we don't even know the reason why, I think, from what I heard, they're stopping the Afghans from going through, Iraq and Syrians are supposedly allowed to go through, but this changes every day so there's nothing sure and you can't tell these people to get a bus with their family, and they go there and they're stuck in nowhere, in the darkness. I don't even think they have maybe some tents or something, but at least here they get something to eat and some warm clothing." Athens says the numbers are too big to handle -- that it cannot turn back boatloads of people into the sea -- an ongoing crisis where sometimes the only thing left is hope.

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Migrant hope and despair in Greece

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 01:42