'Europe's dirty secret': officials on Chios scramble to cope with rising tensions

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Frustration mounts among locals on the Greek island, where refugees feel like prisoners with no hope of getting to mainland Europe

On a clear day the channel dividing Chios from the Turkish coast does not look like a channel at all. The nooks and crevices of Turkey’s western shores, its wind turbines and summer homes could, to the naked eye, be a promontory of the Greek island itself. For the men, women and children who almost daily make the crossing in dinghies and other smuggler craft, it is a God-given proximity, the gateway to Europe that continues to lure.

Samuel Aneke crossed the sea almost a year ago on 1 June. Like those before him, and doubtless those who will follow, he saw the five-mile stretch as the last hurdle to freedom. “You could say geography brought me here,” said the Nigerian, a broad smile momentarily dousing his otherwise dour demeanour. “But it was not supposed to keep me prisoner.”

Related: Child refugees in Europe ‘forced to sell bodies’ to pay smugglers

Related: Far-right group attacks refugee camp on Greek island of Chios

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Link : ‘Europe’s dirty secret’: officials on Chios scramble to cope with rising tensions

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