Refugees are not just a problem to be tackled, they’re also an opportunity. That’s the optimistic take on Europe’s current refugee crisis from Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, governing the capital of a country that’s currently seeing 7,000 new refugees and migrants arrive every week. Discussing Athens’ response to the crisis during an interview at The Atlantic’s CityLab 2015 summit in London Monday, Kaminis suggested that migrants had partly helped sustain Athens during crisis.
“We had migration flows in the last years, and many migrants helped our social security system remain functional,” said Kaminis. “Many young people coming and participating in the system helped us to maintain it—young people with skills. We are old societies in Europe and we have to face that.”