Μεγάλη επιτυχία είχε η συμμετοχή της Σύμης στις εργασίες του συνεδρίου του Strasburg club στο Ευρωπαϊκό κοινοβούλιο αναφορικά με το μεταναστευτικό, σύμφωνα με το σχετικό δελτίο Τύπου που εξέδωσε ο Δήμος Σύμης.
Το νησί εκπροσώπησε ο νομικός υπάλληλος του δήμου, Γιώργος Παπακαλοδούκας, υπεύθυνος του γραφείου τύπου του Δήμου Σύμης.
Στην ομιλία του ο κ. Παπακαλοδούκας στηλίτευσε το πρόβλημα που παρουσιάστηκε στη Σύμη τους προηγούμενους μήνες εξηγώντας ότι ο χώρος φιλοξενίας στη Σύμη ανέρχεται σε 13 άτομα, ενώ το νησί κλήθηκε να φιλοξενήσει περισσότερα από 500, με όλους τους κινδύνους που κάτι τέτοιο εγκυμονεί λόγω έλλειψης ιατρικής φροντίδας πολλών εκ των μεταναστών, έλλειψης στοιχειωδών χώρων εγκατάστασης και της ενδεχόμενης κοινωνικής εξέγερσης που είναι υπαρκτή, μιας και ο αριθμός σε πολλά νησιά τείνει να είναι ισάριθμος των μόνιμων κατοίκων των νησιών.
Ακολουθεί ο λόγος του κ. Παπακαλοδούκα έτσι όπως εκφωνήθηκε στο ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο στο πλαίσιο των εργασιών του Strasburg Club:
Thank you for your amazing hospitality. I d like to thank the organisation of Strasburg club , the colleugeus and clerks working for this conference. You are doing an excellent job. Immigration is a critical issue in our days.
The situation in the Greek islands of the large migratory flows tends to cause many socio-economic changes in the Mediterranean and wider Europe. It is a fact that Turkey is opening the Aeolian bag and we are now expecting millions of immigrants and refugees to come to our islands.
The hardships these people suffer, the deaths and drownings of thousands of immigrants, the trading of human souls for many thousands of dollars in order to bring them under adverse conditions in Europe are some of the issues that remain unresolved for many years without any effort to alleviate them.
However, apart from the problems mentioned above, there is another issue: That of social problems in our islands, as the population of immigrants and refugees tends to be nearly equal to the islanders.
This, in a possible uprising, creates a security problem for the permanent population. In addition, islands that host immigrants under adverse conditions, transfer images through social media that offend the aesthetics of the place and harm tourism.
Furthermore, the psychology of immigrants staying in detention for a very long time is not good and may cause upheaval due to their inevitable irritation. More than 500 immigrants have recently arrived on our island. Symi island.
On an island with 2500 permanent residents we hosted approximately 500 homeless people on our roads who did not have the means to live by the basic necessities of every human being. Migrants were sleeping on the highway while cars and motorbikes were driven in the streets, with the risk of an accident likely.
This created a lot of problems in keeping the sanitary order on our island and of course endangered the normality of our place.
"On one hand the island was still full of tourists and on the other hand the Turks send boats with immigrants.
We do not have a reception center in Symi and all refugees and immigrants arriving on the island were accommodated in the Port Authority's courtyard, . Its capacity is for 13 people. There were at least 500 people on the island.
We didn't know what to do, we were seeking immediate help to find a solution. Both for us and for the refugees and immigrants who were sleeping in the middle of the road and at risk of being hit by motorbikes and cars.
We were pressured by Greek government to make a hot spot. We refused and eventually all these people were transferred after of nearly a month to the neighboring island of Rhodes.
So the question that arises is particularly important and one of the major issues of our time: What about all the millions of immigrants and refugees coming to the Greek islands? What care is there in Europe? How can we prevent social crisis?
How can our municipalities cope financially? What structures are there for temporary hosting?
How are these people naturalized? What security issues arise in Greece and Europe due to the impending ISIS with the Turkish invasion in Syria?
All of the above are resolved by political initiative. Decisions should be taken immediately to alleviate these referred problems.
The European Union must move in this direction immediately and effectively. We must be prepared for this crisis. it's the most important problem in our era. Thank you for your attention!!!
* Στη φώτο ο Γιώργος Παπακαλοδούκας (δεξιά) με τον δήμαρχο Λέρου κ. Μιχάλη Κόλια στο πλαίσιο του συνεδρίου