There shouldn’t be anything groundbreaking or particularly newsworthy about cruise ships in Greece; after all, the idyllic destination and its dreamy islands have been on the itineraries of the cruise industry for years. But this particular cruise ship will be different. Instead of catering to the leisure needs of tourists, it will be instrumental in giving aid to thousands of the irregular migrants fleeing from Syria to Europe in search of safety. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at this interesting solution to Greece’s increasingly overwhelming migration crisis.Kos is an island getaway in Greece, famous to holidaymakers. Lately, however, the island has been a ‘getaway’ for a whole different reason – it has become a landing spot for refugees escaping war and poverty. Over a hundred thousand refugees and irregular migrants from places like Syria, Afghanistan and Africa have made the crossing into Greece, using it as an entryway into Europe, even as the country grapples with a crippling economic crisis. The arrivals in the island of Kos, for example, could number in the hundreds in just a span of 24 hours. It has been said that 7,000 refugees are on the island, negatively impacting its vital tourism industry.
Kos is struggling with the influx of refugees and migrants, and tensions are rising, as exemplified by a recent incident where the newcomers had a heated confrontation with island police. The incident happened at a sports stadium serving as a migrant reception center, where hundreds of people – among them children –waited for hours in the heat of the sun with no food and limited access to water and toilets.
Among the remedies planned for Kos are police reinforcements, and a 2,500-passenger cruise liner that would be chartered to serve as a refugee or migrant reception center docked at port.
A Cruise Ship for Refugees. It is hoped that ANEK Lines’ cruise liner Eleftherios Venizelos could shelter about 2,500 people, while speeding up the processing of applications for the thousands of migrants ‘stranded’ on Kos and the hundreds that are still arriving. The ship will be offering assistance particularly to Syrian refugees who are fleeing a bloody civil war in their country.
The European migration crisis has been compared to the refugee crisis of World War II. Migrants are dying on dangerous water crossings, and suffering physical hardship and psychological indignities as they struggle to survive without shelter or aid or sometimes even local sympathy in the locations where they land. Young children are among the fatalities and the homeless. Also suffering are communities like those of Kos in Greece, a country which is already struggling financially to begin with. The country has already sought help from the European Union.
We at Kemplon Engineering hope a sustainable and comprehensive solution can be found to solve Europe’s crippling migration crisis, which is hurting everyone from the migrants to the destination countries they arrive in.
If you are interested in this issue, it is just one of several maritime industry-related topics we follow on our frequently-updated blog.
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“Cruise Ship to House Migrants in Greece.” The Maritime Executive, 12 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/cruise-ship-to-house-migrants-in-greece
Dixon, Cyril. “Kos crisis: Greece sends cruise ship to lift desperate migrants off holiday isle.” Express, 13 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/597933/Kos-crisis-Greece-cruise-ship-desperate-migrants
“Greek mayor hands out aid as Kos sets up floating migrant center.” Ekathimerini.com, 14 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015. http://www.ekathimerini.com/200579/article/ekathimerini/news/greek-mayor-hands-out-aid-as-kos-sets-up-floating-migrant-center
Kingsley, Patrick and Jon Henley. “Greece sends cruise ship to ease Kos migrant crisis.” The Guardian, 13 aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/13/greece-sends-cruise-ship-kos-migrant-crisis
Konstantindis, Alkis. “Greece sends cruise liner, extra police to help island of Kos with migrant crisis.” Reuters.com, 12 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/12/us-europe-migrants-greece-idUSKCN0QH1YY20150812
Vogt, Andrea. “Syrian migrants housed on Greek cruiseship to ease strain on Kos.” The Telegraph, 16 aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/11806122/Syrian-migrants-housed-on-Greek-cruiseship-to-ease-strain-on-Kos.html
Wyke, Tom. “Thousands of desperate immigrants queue for place on Kos cruise ship after two days of waiting while others continue to risk their lives in tiny dinghies to get to the Greek island .” Mail Online, 16 Aug 2015. Web. 23 Aug 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3199831/Now-Kos-migrants-CRUISE-SHIP-hired-Greece-try-ease-crisis-boat-people-coming.html
Image “Aid On Monitor Shows Aiding Helping Or Treatment” courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net