So far Italy and Greece have borne the brunt of the emergency in the EU, while Turkey is already coping with housing more than a million refugees.
Greece recently sent a ship to the resort island of Kos to speed up the registration of hundreds of Syrian refugees following mounting tensions over a huge influx of new arrivals.
While in Italy the situation was not much better. “We were faced with a very emotional scene”, Commander Massimo Tozzi, told the Italian news agency AGI, describing how some bodies were floating on the water. Three hundred and nineteen people, including a dozen women and children, were saved, according to Massimo Tozzi, commander of the rescue patrol.
Nearly 400 other migrants were picked up in the Mediterranean Saturday August 15 by other vessels taking part in the EU’s patrol and rescue operation, Triton.
The Corriere della Sera newspaper revealed that the migrants who lost their lives were in the hold of the vessel. When the sailors got on they discovered the bodies.
“Either the global community is able to resolve the Libyan question, or today’s (migrant tragedy) won’t be the last”, Alfano said.
Survivors of the hazardous crossing from Libya often tell of how traffickers lock migrants in the hold who pay less for the voyage – mostly black Africans.
“The human smugglers have found that road and flows of migrants have been growing, which is a cause of concern”, he said.
UNHCR European Director, Vincent Cochetel, has said facilities on the Greek islands are “totally inadequate”.
“There is still no care being provided for the refugees”, Vangelis Orfanoudakis said. The two fishermen filming the footage can be heard saying there are “many migrants” on the boat. The number is a little less in Italy, where 102,000 migrants have made the journey.
But after the precarious boat trip to Kos and sleeping rough on the streets, a young Syrian man, Anas, who is travelling to Athens with his daughter, feared more hardship was to come.
“Then when the Greeks saw what happened, they decided to pull us out of the water and bring us to land…” The ship is expected to speed up the registration process of about 7,000 refugees who are stranded on the Kos island.
Almost a quarter of a million migrants have crossed the narrow stretch of water from Turkey in small boats and dinghies to Europe this year, according to the worldwide Organization for Migration.
Note EU-Digest: the EU Commission and EU member states better get their act together on solving this crises which has the potential to result in a variety of serious consequences. It should also acknowledge and remedy the fact that this Middle East exodus of refugees to the EU is a direct result of a totally failed Western US led Middle East policy, which goes back many years and is only getting worse.
Read more: EU commission: Worst migration crisis since WWIIPress Examiner