Various sources, depending on the size that they accept as a lower limit for “an un-inhabited island”, consider that Greece has between 3.500 and 6.000 “islands”. Of those, 130 are inhabited. The basic reason that they are so few are two: Lack of water and lack of resources for economic activity. Lack of power is a third. Today all these things can be fixed, with a desalination plant and some photo-voltaic panels of an appropriate size for local needs.

In the past, with some help from the Hellenic Navy, that owns most of the islands, I had done a study that had identified 38 such uninhabited islands belonging to the State, with an area of between 10.000-100.000 square meters, that were near ports of continental Greece or other islands, in view of the tourist scope of the project. There was a large number of smaller or bigger islands that we had excluded, as they were not suitable for tourist development as dwellings of rich individuals.

It so happens that because of my attachment to the sea I have visited hundreds of these islands, over the years. I can assure Koumoundouros fans that many of them are very suitable for building hot-sorts for refugees on them, given that now we do not not look for high-income tourist resorts, but for places where we could isolate, quite comfortably, few thousand illegal immigrants, until they are granted asylum or repatriated. They would have all necessary amenities, nobody would make their lives difficult, but they would not be able to bother the lives of islanders, who have lived on the inhabited islands for centuries.

Some of the deserted islands I have seen have water, or are near other sources of water, that could be tapped and carried for their needs. But building a de-salination plant for few thousand people, is no longer a difficult task. The same is true for the provision of electricity, which would be needed for both the people and the operation of the de-salination plant. A small photo-voltaic plant or few wind-turbines, together with few spare diesel generators for the night, or windless days, is not a problem these days. If the land-configuration of the island permits it, a natural battery in the form of a reservoir at some height above the sea-level and a water-turbine by-the-sea, would make the island famous to power-experts, as well as to its illegal migrant dwellers.

The proposed solution has a series of additional advantages.

  • Impossibility of friction and possible violence with the non-existing inhabitants
  • Difficulty of escape
  • Easier handling of possible turmoil
  • Seal-off from drugs and other illegal activities.

Mr. Mitarakis*, why don’t you try it;

By Maximos 5 March 2020
  • Mr. Mitarakis is the Minister for Migration


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