UN chief Guterres urges EU to define effective migration policy over migrant shipwreck

Hundreds still missing from Greek boat tragedy
Hundreds still missing from Greek boat tragedy Copyright Thanassis Stavrakis/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was shocked by the news of the deadly shipwreck off the Greek coast which killed at least 78 migrants, insisting that this was not a Greek problem, but a European one.

Thousands of people demonstrated in major cities across Greece on Thursday over the shipwreck of a migrant boat in the Ionian Sea on Wednesday, which left at least 78 dead and hundreds missing.


The protesters accuse Greece and the EU of turning Europe into a "fortress" and the Mediterranean into a "sea of the dead".

Greek authorities have arrested nine Egyptian nationals who were on board the ship, on charges of human trafficking.

Speaking in New York, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said he was shocked by the event and stressed that stronger action must be taken at the European level.

"Let's be clear. This is not a Greek problem. This is a European problem. I think it's time for Europe to be able, in solidarity, to define an effective migration policy for these kinds of situations not to happen again," he said.

Petros Giannakouris/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Protesters hold a banner during a demonstration following a deadly migrant shipwreck off Greece, in Athens, on Thursday, June 15, 2023Petros Giannakouris/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described the incident as "devastating" and said leaders must do everything in their power to stop it from happening again.

"It calls on us all, once again, to do everything we can to prevent this, to ensure that people do not choose these dangerous escape routes, and to ensure that we also achieve this by developing a common and mutually supportive system for managing escape migration in Europe," Scholz told reporters during a press conference in Berlin.

Photographs of the ship, taken by the Greek Coast Guard before the tragedy, show how hundreds of people were crammed on board.

This undated handout image provided by Greece's coast guard on 14 June 2023, shows people on a battered fishing boat that later capsized and sank off southern Greece.AP/PHOTO AVAILABLE TODAY, BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE

Survivors say that women and around 100 children were in the hold of the boat.

The 30-metre-long fishing vessel is said to have departed from the Egyptian coast and called at Libya before setting sail for Italy.

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