Friday November 28, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Minister orders judicial probe into immigrant drownings

Survivors pray at a makeshift basement mosque in western Athens on Friday.

Faced with mounting criticism over the migrant boat tragedy that left two people dead and 10 missing in the eastern Aegean on Monday, Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on Friday ordered a judicial probe into the incident.

During an official visit to Athens on Friday, European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom described the drownings off the coast of Farmakonisi as “a terrible loss of life” and said she was keen to see the results of an independent inquiry.

Her comments came on the back of strong-worded statements by the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR, Amnesty International, the Council of Europe and political parties. An inquiry was also requested by junior coalition partner PASOK.

Survivors, who on Thursday were transported to Athens, have suggested that coast guard officers tried to tow the vessel back to Turkey – which is illegal under EU law. Some witnesses also accused officers of kicking and threatening migrants.

Leftist SYRIZA opposition on Friday called for Varvitsiotis to resign. A statement by the party said that keeping the minister at his post “was sending a signal to coast guard officials to react in a similar way in future cases.”

The conservative minister on Friday rejected allegations of a push-back. Varvitsiotis said that the coast guard vessel’s coordinates, as recorded by radar, showed that it towed the migrant ship toward Farmakonisi, not Turkey. He also quoted testimonies by other witnesses who claim that the coast guard’s intervention was the only thing that saved them.

Rights activists on Friday said that at least some of the survivors had no knowledge of these testimonies.

ekathimerini.com , Friday Jan 24, 2014 (20:05)  
Seven PASOK MPs voice support for party leader
New law could transfer control of unused buildings
Greece set to accept continued role for IMF
Independent Greeks MP claims bribe attempt
PPC profits power up in Jan-Sept
Public Power Corporation’s impressive profits in the first nine months of 2014 create significant scope for a reduction in electricity rates and are the result of a cut in spending on fuel a...
Papastratos banking on exports
Leading tobacco firm Papastratos on Wednesday announced that a planned investment of 25 million euros in the transformation of the company’s factory into an exporting center is in the works....
Inside Business
SOCCER
PAOK is one win from Europa League´s last 32
A late brace by Stefanos Athanasiadis gifted PAOK a precious win at Dynamo Minsk on Thursday, meaning that the Thessaloniki team is one win away from graduating from the group stage of the E...
BASKETBALL
First defeat for Olympiakos in Euroleague
Olympiakos suffered its first Euroleague loss of the season going down 89-70 at Laboral Kutxa on Thursday, although the Greek team remains the favorite to clinch the top spot in its pool. Th...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The presidential election paradox
A few days ago, speaking with a visiting colleague who neither works in Europe nor covers events here, I suddenly felt how much we Greeks take for granted some things that should have worrie...
COMMENTARY
Scraping together the 180 MPs will not be enough
Even if the coalition government was to scrape together the 180-MP majority it needs to elect a new President in the 300-seat House, skeptics say, what will change really? There is one evide...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. PAOK is one win from Europa League´s last 32
2. First defeat for Olympiakos in Euroleague
3. PPC profits power up in Jan-Sept
4. Papastratos banking on exports
5. Saudi group Olayan to enter Costa Navarino
6. Bank-financed property transactions rise a notch
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece paralyzed by major strike, flights cancelled
2. Greek diplomat dies in fall under Thai train
3. Greece scrambles to find food, shelter for 700 migrants on crippled ship
4. Chief suspect in Piraeus bar shooting arrested
5. Scraping together the 180 MPs will not be enough
6. Troika talks to continue after failure to wrap up negotiations in Paris
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
3. Extremism from a bygone era
4. Greece paralyzed by major strike, flights cancelled
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. Cosco’s Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.