“The Lesbos hotspot”: A visit to Lesbos and Lampedusa

ESPMI Network

Hotspots-Lesbos-DPA1-768x559 Waiting in line to be processed at the Lesbos hotspot. Source: DPA

Red roofs on yellow houses glitter between the green hills like colorful splashes of paint in the landscape. The nearby Mediterranean’s white-topped waves glisten in the midday sun, and a few boats go about their business. Lesbos sparkles in all the colors of the rainbow; it has the scent of cold pressed olive oil, of Cyprus wood and sun cream.

But no, wait, that idyllic Lesbos is gone. These days Lesbos stinks of ammonia and disinfectant. Of Afghan tobacco and cheap perfume. Typical Lesbos scents right now are of wet shoes, little sleep and bad breath. A great deal of sweat – and fear.

These vapors surround Spyros Kourtis like wafts of mist. Mr. Kourtis has been running the “First Reception Center” for five months, the registration camp on Lesbos that most Europeans know as a “hotspot.” By…

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