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14 September, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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28 migrants drown in fresh tragedy off Greece

AFP
28 migrants drown in fresh tragedy off Greece
A migrant boy carries his pack on his back as he crossed the border line between Serbia and Hungary near Roszke village yesterday. AFP PHOTO

AFP, ATHENS: At least 28 people drowned in another migrant tragedy off Greece on Sunday, as Athens angrily defended its handling of the mounting refugee crisis in Europe.
Among those who lost their lives was a baby, the Athens News Agency reported, when the stricken boat carrying 112 people sank off off the southern Aegean island of Farmakonisi.
A search and rescue effort is under way in the area, the coastguard said, giving an updated death toll of 28 dead.
Another 68 people were plucked alive from the sea while a further 29 managed to swim to safety on a beach on the island, it said.
The coastguard was also still searching for four children missing after another boat capsized on Saturday off Samos, a Greek island just off the Turkish coast.
The latest tragedies follow the death of a Syrian toddler whose lifeless body was photographed washed up on a Turkish beach, becoming a heartwrenching symbol of the plight of refugees fleeing war.
The International Organisation for Migration has said more than 430,000 migrants and refugees had crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015, with 2,748 dying or going missing en route.
Interim Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou on Sunday branded criticism of Greece, which has been on the frontline of the surge of migrants trying to reach Europe, as “unacceptable”.
“Greece is strictly applying European and international treaties without ignoring the humanity of the situation,” she said on a visit to Lesbos, an island which has been struggling with the massive influx. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday called on Athens, already grappling with a deep economic crisis, to make more effort to protect the EU’s external borders. “We have a second external border, that’s between Greece and Turkey, where we need protection. And this protection is at the moment not being guaranteed,” she said.
“Greece needs to take its responsibility... we will also speak with Turkey.”
Meanwhile, German authorities warned Sunday they were stretched to capacity to welcome refugees arriving en masse, as Europe scrambled to
hold emergency talks on the unprecedented crisis.
Some 13,015 refugees arrived in Munich on Saturday alone, and at least 1,400 are expected Sunday to reach the southern German city—the end of their exhausting and often perilous journey through Hungary and Austria.
Germany has become the destination of choice for many refugees, particularly for Syrians after Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to relax asylum rules for citizens of the war-torn country.
However, with some 450,000 people arriving in Europe’s biggest economy so far this year, local authorities are buckling under the sudden surge.
“Given the numbers from yesterday, it is very clear that we have reached the upper limit of our capacity,” said a Munich police spokesman.
Federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt also weighed in, saying “effective measures are necessary now to stop the influx”.
“That includes help for countries from where refugees are fleeing and also includes an effective control of our own borders which also no longer works given the EU’s complete failure to protect its external borders,” he said in a statement.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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