Pope denounces treatment of migrants in Europe on trip to Greek refugee camp

By Cristina Cabrejas

Lesbos, Greece, Dec 5 (EFE).- Pope Francis denounced on Sunday the treatment of migrants in Europe on a trip to the Greek island of Lesbos, where thousands of refugees are living in camps enduring difficult living conditions while seeking asylum.

“In Europe there are those who persist in treating the problem as a matter that does not concern them,” Pope Francis said during a visit to Kara Tepe camp where he was warmly welcomed by refugees.

“History teaches us that narrow self-interest and nationalism lead to disastrous consequences, (…) it is tragic.

“I am here to tell you that I am close to you; I am here to see your faces, to look into your eyes: eyes full of fear and hope, eyes that have seen violence and poverty, eyes furrowed by too many tears,” he said in a speech addressed to refugees, camp volunteers and Greek president Katerina Sakelaropulu.

Despite the Pope’s strong message that migration has to be addressed or else civilization will find itself “shipwrecked,” the some 2,200 refugees seeking asylum still have a long journey ahead of them.

A woman from Cameroon holding a baby in her arms tells Efe she has been living in the camp for two years.

The living conditions are “very very difficult,” she says.

Gila Azizi is from Afghanistan. She has been living in Lesbos for three years and has changed camps three times already.

“We are seven people in our family, we are living in a small tent, so small, and there is not any good education for children,” the 16-year-old tells Efe.

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