Zakynthos immigrants registering

Police on Zakynthos are expected today to start registering hundreds of illegal immigrants rescued on Monday from a motorship drifting off the Ionian island. After taking the particulars of the 714 Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani immigrants – who spent a week in unsanitary, cramped conditions aboard the Turkish-flagged Brenler – police will start processing their applications for asylum. According to immigrants’ testimonies, the 50-meter Brenler left the Turkish port of Izmir on October 29 and dropped anchor two miles out to sea. The immigrants were brought on board in caiques and crammed into the hold. Their final destination was to be somewhere along the Italian coast. On Sunday, the ship caught fire during soldering work in the hold, and its engines shut down. Greek authorities were contacted by mobile phone from the ship, whose position was located with help from the mobile phone company. The Inner Cabinet is to meet again next Thursday, and is expected to discuss economic policy. On November 21, it will approve the new state budget.

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