x

Society

Drowned Refugees Bodies Keep Floating Up Off Greek Islands

ATHENS – Two weeks after more than 30 refugees and migrants drowned in three separate incidents in the Aegean trying to reach Greece, bodies are showing up and being recovered, the lastest a young child off the island of Naxos.

Officials said it was believed to be that of a 3-year-old but no identification as is often the case after hundreds have died trying to reach Greece and the European Union since 2015.

The discovery was made Jan. 8, two days after four other bodies belonging to a man, a woman and two pre-teen girls were found, three off Naxos and one off the nearby island of Paros, adding to the grim toll.

On Dec. 22, 12 people, all believed to be from Iraq, were rescued from an inflatable dinghy off Folegandros in the southern Cyclades, 180 kilometers (112 miles) southeast of Athens.

The bodies of three unidentified men were recovered from the sea but survivors of that incident said that at least 17 others were missing and two days later 41 people were rescued after a sailboat carrying about 80 migrants overturned off Paros.

As Greece has tightened patrols off its eastern Aegean islands, close to the Turkish coastline, smugglers based in Turkey have increasingly packed yachts with migrants and refugees and sent them toward Italy.

Turkey has accused Greece of pushing them back – which Greece has denied despite video evidence seeming to show it happened – but the European Union hasn’t sanctioned Turkey for allowing human traffickers to keep sending more in violation of an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal.

Turkey is holding some 4.4 million refugees and migrants who went there fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homelands, predominantly Syria and Afghanista, in hopes of reaching the EU which closed its borders to them, dumping the problem on Greece, as well as Italy, Malta and Spain.

In 2021, more than 116,000 asylum-seekers crossed the Mediterranean to reach EU countries, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said. The agency said 55 percent went to Italy, 35 percent to Spain and 7 percent to Greece, the remainder were heading to Malta and Cyprus.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

RELATED

ATHENS – Greece's answer to Turkey continuing to send F-16 fighters jets into Greek air space will be to file a demarche – a diplomatic complaint with Turkey every time although they will likely be ignored as they had been before.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.