Mediterranean boat tragedy: over 500 feared dead
The tragedy surrounding the boat accident off the southwest coast of Greece is taking on ever worse proportions. Hundreds of souls are said to have been below deck with no chance of surviving. More than 500 are now thought to have died, and nine suspected smugglers have been arrested. What responsibility do the authorities bear and how to address the failures in EU migration policy?
Traffickers not the only ones to blame
The EU is partly responsible for the deaths, news website In stresses:
“For years, the Mediterranean Sea has been a sea of death. People driven by poverty, violence and war seek a better fate in Europe. They cannot migrate legally because the EU’s immigration policy has been dictated for years by the far right, which cries ‘we have no room’, overlooking the fact that all European states were created through population movements. This means that people who want to get to Europe must go through traffickers. ... The easy explanation is to say that the traffickers are to blame for the thousands who drown. .... Yes, they are to blame, but they are not the only ones. ... The traffickers exist because Europe doesn’t want to take in the migrants.”
Solidarity remains the only way forward
Only through concerted action and on the basis of international law can a solution to such tragedies be found, the left-wing daily Avgi believes:
“For today’s Europe, not even the large number of deaths is reason enough to see this as an emergency situation or to discuss a change of policy in dealing with the refugee and migration issue. This was not even the case when unquestionably democratic governments were in power. Will it happen now that the scales are tipping in favour of Meloni, Orbán, Le Pen and the German and Spanish far right? ... There will be no solutions unless they are pan-European and based on the principles of solidarity, fair distribution and respect for international law and the rights of asylum seekers.”