Greece's refugee crisis creates a strain on an already fragile ecosystem

As the Syrian refugee crisis continues, the influx of nearly 1 million refugees and migrants passing through Greece has had a devastating effect on its environment and economy, particularly during the summers when tourism’s high season is in full swing. 


The refugee crisis has exacerbated the damage on Greece’s already fragile environment, leaving many Greeks worried that tourism — its largest industry — will suffer even more after getting hit hard by the debt crisis that began in 2009. 


Nearly 60,000 refugees remain stranded in Greece, according to UNHCR data, and are spread out between three main islands — Lesbos, Chios and Samos — where they face abhorrent conditions, as well as mainland Greece in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, where the most environmental damage exists. 


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