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Greece: Freighter ran aground with refugees

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The Greek coast guard picked up around 200 refugees off the island of Kea this morning. Her small freighter had run aground in front of the port of this Cycladic island. Tugs had previously left the boat in an inflatable boat. This was reported by public service broadcasting (ERT), citing the coast guard.

According to information from coast guard circles, the people had started from the Turkish Aegean coast. They were on their way to Italy so as not to have to stay in Greece. Because of stormy winds, which in places had reached 9, the ship ran aground off the island of Kea, it was said.

Greece has suspended the asylum procedure for refugees who have come from Turkey since March 1. This initially applies to a month. All migrants who have arrived since March 1 are held in closed camps for later identification.

Steinmeier: Situation of refugees in Greece “dramatic”

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has pointed to the continued dramatic situation of refugees in the camps in Greece and on the Greek-Turkish border. „The children, women and men live there under the most difficult conditions,“ Steinmeier told the t-online.de portal today.

The planned admission of 1,600 minors in Germany and other EU countries is “the least we can do” in these circumstances. He was „very happy“ that the participating EU states „set a sign“ here, the Federal President said. „At the same time, we cannot do without the protection of the EU’s external borders, including protection against uncontrolled border crossings,“ he emphasized, however. With regard to Turkey’s actions, he added: „Europe must not be blackmailed by a cynical policy that deliberately sends thousands of people to a dead end.“