Greece says 22 die in migrant boat sinkings in Aegean Sea
Greece’s prime minister lashed out against European “ineptness” in handling the migration crisis Friday, after 22 more people drowned in two new shipwrecks Friday as boatloads of Middle Eastern refugees and economic migrants sought to reach the Greek islands in rough seas.
The Merchant Marine Ministry said 19 people were killed and 138 were rescued near the eastern Aegean Sea island of Kalymnos, in one of the worst accidents in Greek waters since the mass migrant flows started after the war in Syria.
The death toll in the Aegean over the past three days has now reached nearly 50, while in Spain rescuers found the bodies of four migrants and are searching for 35 missing from a boat that ran into trouble trying to reach Spain from Morocco.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras voiced sorrow at the new deaths, and lashed out at Europe’s “inability to defend its (humanitarian) values” by providing a safe alternative to the dangerous sea journeys in frail boats provided by smuggling gangs.
“I want to express … my endless grief at the dozens of deaths and the human tragedy playing out in our seas,” he told parliament. “The waves of the Aegean are not just washing up dead refugees, dead children, but (also) the very civilization of Europe.”
Tsipras laid responsibility for the tragedy with western countries, whose military interventions in the Middle East “were not to introduce democracy .. but to serve financial interests.”
“And now, those who sowed winds are reaping whirlwinds, but t....