Daily Mail says Syrian refugees turn Greek holiday town into ‘disgusting hellhole’

Shameful story complains 'dirty' refugees spoil Brits' holiday

Syrian refugees in Lebanon


The Daily Mail has run a moving story about people leaving their home in search of respite from the cruelties of daily life in their countries.

But these British holidaymakers (for it was they) were aghast to find their holiday on a Greek island ruined by the presence of refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.

Apparently these terrified and desperate people were making the place look untidy, hanging around on street corners (you know what they’re like) and making Brits feel a bit awkward over their Mezés.

As the Mail’s online headline tells it: “How many more can Kos take? Holidaymaker misery as thousands of boat people from Syria and Afghanistan set up migrant camp to turn popular Greek island into ‘disgusting’ hellhole

Of course, the Mail wouldn’t use a word like ‘disgusting’ to describe an influx of foreigners. They say it through the mouth of an interviewee:

“Calling it ‘disgusting’, Anne fumed: ‘We have been coming here for almost ten years. We like to eat, drink and relax. But this time the atmosphere has changed.

‘It’s really dirty and messy here now. And it’s awkward. I’m not going to sit in a restaurant with people watching you.’

Another British couple on holiday with their grandchildren from Birmingham said: ‘We have never been before but we don’t like it.

‘We won’t be coming back if it’s like a refugee camp again next year.’”

That last line is the sort of thing people gasp at when they read old newspapers decades later. Read it again.

The story eventually does a bit of reporting about the plight of these people – but only to stoke fears about immigration:

Barefoot toddlers in filthy clothes play among debris while moustached men sit staring out to sea as they plan the next stage of their journey to Athens and the rest of Europe – including some heading for Britain.

Young Afghan mothers in head scarves, changing their babies and washing their children’s clothes in the sea, share the promenade with tourists who sit uncomfortably on the beachfront.

The harbourside has become an unofficial washing line with baby clothes and grubby-looking scarves laid out along the shoreline. Baby bottles and towels litter the area.”

Perhaps conscious that any normal person reading this would sympathise with these ‘migrants’ – ‘including some heading for Britain’ – rather than the ‘uncomfortable’ tourists, the Mail does quote a couple of them, along with the International Organisation for Migration.

But to lead the piece with the ‘migrants spoil Brits’ holiday’ angle betrays an editorial agenda that cripples the work of the Mail reporter in Greece. One can almost see the Scoop-like emails from the Mail demanding more filth and nastier quotes.

A small point on the language: People who have fled Syria to ‘get away from it all’ – that is, the chemical weapons, the barrel bombs, and seeing relatives beheaded and raped – are not ‘migrants’ but refugees. (The same would apply for parts of Afghanistan.)

They have travelled across the sea to escape the sort of ‘hellhole’, to borrow the Mail’s term, most Brits can barely imagine.

In Britain we are told we have a proud tradition of taking in refugees. But with a homoeopathic number of people taken in from Syria (143 out of 4 million) and boatloads of migrants drowning before they get here, the canyon between our self-image and the reality is shameful. (See Left Foot Forward editor James Bloodworth’s excellent piece on this from November.)

To run a story like this in such a context, complaining of dirty migrants spoiling Brits’ holidays, is…. disgusting.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Daily Mail accuses BBC of left-wing bias…because the Guardian is more expensive

The Sun wants to scrap the Human Rights Act…after using it to defend its reporters

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27 Responses to “Daily Mail says Syrian refugees turn Greek holiday town into ‘disgusting hellhole’”

  1. Sean

    Whenever I read a piece in the Mail, especially one about immigration, I need to ensure I have a vomit bucket within arms length.
    It’s full of language of divisiveness and hatred… Inflammatory and wholly unnecessary…

  2. GhostofJimMorisson

    And yet ANOTHER Daily Mail article. Is LFF so intellectually and politically bankrupt it can offer only anti-Mail/Sun diatribes? It’s the Mail, you know what to expect, so why the outrage?

  3. Selohesra

    Went across to the DM website (not somewhere I frequent often) – & found bit about the violent assault against Douglas Carswell by SWP & anti-austerity protesters. He had to be rescued by police – its also on BBC website but well hidden away(needed to search for Carswell) – are we going to have some condemnation at LFF for the more scummish elements of the left or was that just a bit of banter.

  4. GhostofJimMorisson

    Good point. The Guardian were also quiet on this incident. Behold, the intolerance of the illiberal faux-Left.

  5. Cole

    That might be because the Sun and Mail are full of nasty, vicious and often dishonest reporting. Media Watch is there to expose it and call them out. About time someone did it.
    I’m sure no-one on the mainstream left would support the scummy activities of the SWP. We probably dislike them more than people on the right.

  6. Mike Stallard

    Adam, where do you live? How do you feel when someone lies on the ground outside your house with his flea bitten dog, filthy clothes and the intention of settling in?
    Before you get cross, Mohamed, Mohamad, Abdurrachman and Hasan are all refugees and they were in my class last night (they are being cared for by the social services) and thoroughly enjoying themselves.

  7. Mike Stallard

    I have a relative who really cared about the poor. She is dead now. Having been at the very top of her local Labour Party, she still lived in her Council House and died in a public ward in a NHS hospital. To the very end of her life, she was out there helping anyone and everyone she met. She could have been seriously rich. She chose to stick to her Socialism. I admire her a lot for that. Don’t you?
    She presented a vision of what the Labour party ought to be. University educated Public Schoolpeople, often the children of millionaire Labour Party Activists, who demonstrate for a few very violent moments in a very public place (My dear, the Publicity!) are nothing to do with real Socialism.

  8. damon

    It’s certainly a pretty crass Daily Mail article, but this one by Adam Barnett doesn’t give many solutions to this ongoing problem. Where should these migrants go? They were in Turkey, which allows them to cross to Greece. If it was something that Turkey wanted to stop I’m pretty sure they could (remember the film Midnight Express).
    I was in Athens two years ago and that place is almost overrun with illegal immigrants.
    Guys were going around with stolen shopping carts looking in all the wheely bins and taking out stuff that had any value. It’s not just war refugees, but people from all over Africa and Asia.
    What is to be done with them? They can’t all go to Sweden.

    I saw this news report on BBC London last night. Homeless migrants living alongside London’s canals.
    What to do about it?

  9. Tommo

    Well done the Mail for telling it like it is !!!

    We have often gone on holiday to Naxos or Paros. Not this year. Who wants their two weeks of beach relaxation disturbed by that lot?

  10. Tommo

    They should be sent back from where they came from !

  11. Mr Fox

    I live in the UK and I have cherished the island of Kos for many years. I appreciate these scared people have fled to a safe haven, but what really irritates me is foreign internationals do not wish to obide by the whatever country’s laws they go to. Readers will call anyone who speaks against such articles as racist or bigots well I say your uneducated, because I’m a realist who has to live amongst people who do not care for our laws. most people that support refugees etc are rich people who are aware they won’t be getting the new neighbours.

  12. Mr fox

    There’s no such thing as honest reporting. You think honesty makes headlines. Let me give you an example .. Guy commits a theft.. But it’s reported as a armed robbery with associates

  13. MissyM

    OH Deary Me.Wake up Sheeple.Mainstream Media Lies.They are funded by the corrupt banksters who run this country.The ultimate Ignorance is the rejection of something you obviously know nothing about.Most people dont want the Truth,They just want the constant reassurance that what they believe is the Truth.If you add up the Crime Committed by all all the ordinary criminals in Britain,it is a pathetic dot by comparison with the trillions of fraud,tax extortion to pay for waste.Look how many millions of people have been killed and murders that have been committed by the Government?
    We are now living under a communist regime,and as Mussolini said,Fascism and communism are the Government collaborating with large corporations to defraud the people.

  14. MissyM

    These People because that is what they are in my eyes,Have lost their Homes,They are fleeing Illegal Wars in their countries,Their Families,children and fathers are being killed on a daily basis.I cant believe some of the RACIST Comments on this Thread.STOP being Brainwashed by the Mainstream Media.This is their Hidden Agenda.They want us all to Hate Each other,Kill Each other so they can get on with their Hidden Agenda.Yes let’s all blame the Immigrants,It is all their Fault why all this is happening in the first place.We go over there and Kill their Families and bomb their Countries Illegally.THOUSANDS are dying every day,Thousands have been killed and are still being killed.Where do you expect them to go? Do your research.The truth is out there.

  15. Steve Karagiannis

    I thought Birmingham was like a refugee camp too!!! Did i run to my tabloids to sell a disgusting story and travel agent for compensation??? The tourist you reporters interviewed a shit! Get your facts straight! Just think,when their paperwork is ready they will all waiting to enter the UK! Now with Cameron in charge again you are more likely to have one of them as your neighbour!!! They are PEOPLE!!!! At the end of the fucking day its Britain’s and the USA fault of all this!!! LEARN TO KEEP OUT OF OTHER COUNTRIES BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!! You invade so your country can profit TRILLIONS while you make these 3rd world countries people slave away for hardly anything!!!! We felt sorry for them pour people! Instead of sitting at your desk criticizing GREEKS you should stop and ask yourself who is actually benefiting from this situation???? The answer is the TURKISH SMUGGLERS!!!! And for your information,Brits in Kos and the rest of the islands and Greece are discussed with all you here at home by these awful comments! The DAILY FAIL and HANNAH ROBERTS and PAUL DACRE will get what is coming for them! Before commenting on holiday destinations like KOS where its economy depends on its reputation because they only ger 4 months now of solid business, make sure you actuall visit the place! Mr.Tumbe makes more sense and makes blogs and papers like the Daily Fail look like they were meant for 4 yearolds!!!

  16. vermilion J

    I think you have a nerve to say that Britain’s record of taking in migrants is ‘shameful’. In case you hadn’t noticed, we are taking in over half a million every sodding year and the capital city has been totally taken over by them. ‘Shameful’? Up your arse, you commie moron.

  17. vermilion J

    Yes. How dare people complain about their countries being taken over by third worlders? The audacity of it.

  18. vermilion J


  19. vermilion J

    And those same corrupt banksters were the ones who threw open the borders and let the whole world come and live here for free.

  20. Sean

    What a troll-like response. The article was about British holiday makers complaining about refugees at their holiday destination, not Greeks complaining.
    Furthermore, Syria is not a third world country.

  21. LOL

    Have a family of them live in your appartement, a***hole.

  22. Quetzol-43

    Yep, they are nothing else but refuse.

  23. Quetzol-43

    The likes of Adam feel empathy for refugees only as long as they don´t live anywhere he lives.

  24. Sean

    *apartment* was the word your overstressed brain cells were grasping for…

  25. Robin Winter

    Why are we letting so many refugees in councils and housing associations say they have thousands of people on thier waiting lists some which would so much love a home of thier own. But then perhaps the government can conjure up thousands of new homes with ammeanities and services to match. I am so ashamed of our government both my parents were in the war so we could be a free country now we let the EU and Germany tell us what we should be doing.
    When we let refugees in and possible IS terrorists in the back door on your head be it Mr.Cameron

  26. willowbel .

    You see it’s people like this who have no officially ruined it over 80% are not from
    Syria and are not refugees only economic opportunities. Thanks to you thinking these poor people are fleeing a war and look at the war in Europe. Throwing food away water away and taking selfies on the beaches flying the Isis flag chanting God is great. Yes that’s just like a refugee.

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