Friday August 29, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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 UNs 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 vessels 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 guards 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)  
Exam results spell trouble for some universities
Police names suspects in 400,000-euro heist
Rector takeover marred by protest
Greek PM reaches out to foreign officials ahead of crucial EU summit, troika talks
Foreclosures threat pushed back
An agreed foreclosure protection period currently granted to first-home buyers unable to settle overdue tax amounts will be conditionally extended beyond the end of the current year, when it...
Athens rental rates tumble
Reflecting the overall shrunken state of the Greek economy, rents for small, aging Athenian apartments of up to 60 square meters have fallen by a total of 50 percent since the recession star...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos, PAOK and Asteras Tripolis through to Europa League group stage
There was a triple success for Greek soccer on Thursday as PAOK, Panathinaikos and Asteras Tripolis made it through to the Europa League group stage. PAOK had a challenging task after a 1-0 ...
SOCCER
Olympiakos drawn against Spanish, Italian and Swedish champions in CL
Olympiakos will face the champions of Spain, Italy and Sweden in the group stages of Europe's top soccer tournament, the Champions League. Thursday's draw in Monaco was not particularly kind...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The Lotus-Eaters
Turkey, a country branded by some as undemocratic and maladjusted by European standards, recently elected a new president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a vote that was transparent and with a c...
EDITORIAL
A good start for culture
It took decades for a decision as obvious as keeping Greeces most popular museums and archaeological sites open all day and all week to be reached and acted on, and now we are beginning to ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Panathinaikos, PAOK and Asteras Tripolis through to Europa League group stage
2. Foreclosures threat pushed back
3. Exam results spell trouble for some universities
4. Police names suspects in 400,000-euro heist
5. Athens rental rates tumble
6. Transforming OPAP buys top-up firm
more news
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
3. Greece to relaunch tender for mutual horesebetting license
4. Venizelos invites Simitis and Papandreou to PASOK 40th anniversary event
5. Bad debt provisions hit Greece's PPC first half net profit
6. EU's Frontex to take lead from Italy in Mediterranean immigration crisis
Today
This Week
1. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
2. Merkel cites euros construction flaws as economy sputters
3. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
4. Purification rituals
5. Second man held over double murder in Mani
6. The battle against progress
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.