Priests act to assist migrants

Priests from seven villages in Arta, northwestern Greece, have written an open letter to local newspapers decrying the treatment of migrants by farmers and businessmen in the area, it was revealed yesterday. The priests took action following a fire on Christmas Eve at an abandoned chicken shed in the village of Kostakioi. Some 120 Romanian migrants were using the shed for accommodation. Though nobody was injured in the fire, the incident highlighted the poor living conditions of migrant workers in the area. It is estimated that some 3,000 foreigners, mainly from Romania, Afghanistan and Iraq, are working on farms in Arta. The priests blasted the local community for not doing enough to care for the migrants. «Dozens of people from distant countries find themselves at our doors, naked and in need,» the priests wrote in their letter. «A total lack of charity and shame has allowed medieval working conditions to return. We are not interested in these people’s needs, illnesses and suffering.»