Just imagine. A foreign power decides to take over Crete. Daily, towns such as Chania are bombed and many are rendered homeless. Many are killed and there are many orphans. OK, we ex pats can return to UK but imagine you are a Cretan with two young children. You decide to flee the danger and accept the offer from a man with a boat, maybe giving him your life-savings. You get to the boat and find it's overcrowded but the bombs are still falling and you decide to take a chance. After an arduous sea voyage, you land on a beach. You don't know where you are and you have lost your luggage. One child appears to be ill.
What sort of welcome would you want?
Let us be very clear: many locals are in a difficult financial and so too are some ex pats. But can our difficulty compare with the refugees'?
Crete is famous for its hospitality so let's not think about only the negative but open our arms to those who have lost everything. Of course, evil men will infiltrate for their own evil purposes but they are in the minority. Let us treat refugees as if they are in genuine need and accept that diferences in background and religion may well create difficulties. Keep in focus just what these poor people have endured already.
There are some knowledgeable people using this forum who can help us to find the appropriate authorities to lobby, not as NIMBIES but as open hearted, generous people who just want to help.
It seams to me that ex-military camps are ideal but only as a transit camp. Refugees can be protected, given medical help and teaching about local ways and customs but small groups should be absorbed into local communities as soon as possible. Look how Romanians, Hungarians and Bulgarians have been absorbed and who are now contributing.
The problem is enormous. The natural tendency is to say "what can I do". The answer is that you can do a lot and the effect of a lot individuals doing a bit can solve the problem - and if not solve, then at least give a little humanity to those who have lost everything.