The world is in the middle of a full-blown migration crisis, with conflicts and poverty leading people to take terrifying risks in the slim hope of a new and better life on other shores. You see it in places like Lebanon, where around a quarter of the population is now Syrian refugees, or in Southeast Asia, where Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants attempt perilous and grueling journeys over sea.
However, according to a new article in the Daily Mail, the migrants themselves aren't the only victims here. Spare a thought for the poor British tourists.
Yes, holidaymakers from the United Kingdom are having their Greek vacations ruined by refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, the newspaper reports, who are doing terrible things like watching them dine:
Anne Servante, a nurse from Manchester, had come to Kos expecting a relaxing break with her husband, Tony, a retired plumber.
Instead her summer break has turned into a nightmare as penniless migrants who are in Greece to claim asylum sit outside their restaurant and watch them eat.
Kos, a Greek island popular with tourists on relatively cheap package vacations, has recently become a major target for refugees arriving on boats across the Mediterranean. According to the Daily Telegraph, there has been a surge in migrants arriving on the island recently due to a lack of boats to Italy and compliant Turkish authorities – despite the fact that Kos "lacks even basic migrant reception facilities."
"Almost 6,000 have come in the last couple of months because the weather has become so much better," Georgos Chalkidios, Kos district officer, told the BBC.
This influx of refugees had made Kos a "disgusting" place, Servante told the Daily Mail, while another unnamed couple said: "We won't be coming back if it’s like a refugee camp again next year." On Twitter, however, not everyone had sympathy for the holiday makers:
The response to the article has been so fierce that Hannah Roberts, the journalist who wrote the article, has been responding to critics on Twitter, pointing out that she did not write the headline nor the captions with the photos. Roberts said she herself was shocked by the comments made by the British tourists:
The Daily Mail is one of Britain's most popular newspapers, and it pushes a populist right wing agenda designed to appeal to the British middle class. The paper is known not only for taking a hostile view of immigration, but also gleefully trolling its critics. Soon after the article about Kos came out, the Daily Mail reported on migrants in Paris who were reported to have claimed the city was too noisy and polluted.
Even so, perhaps the real reason that the Daily Mail article has riled up so many is because many suspect it speaks for the silent majority in Britain: The British government was one of the first to disavow saving migrants in the Mediterranean, warning that search-and-rescue missions would create a "pull factor" for migrants, even if it meant many could die.