On Friday, February 7, Greek authorities discovered the bodies of four immigrants. The immigrants drowned while a coast guard vessel was towing their boat last month.
The Greek divers recovered the bodies of two adults and two children from the bottom of the Aegean Sea.
According to the Greek coastguard there were also other bodies at the bottom of the sea but the authorities have not succeeded in their recovery.
Some of the survivors accused the Greek coastguard authorities of causing the accident by pushing their boat away toward Turkish territorial sea. These accusations triggered a strong reaction from several human rights groups and political parties. Greek prosecutors have since launched an investigation to examine what the exact cause of the accident was.
The Drowning of Immigrants has become a common phenomenon in Greece due to the so-called “push-backs.” After this last incident, Greece has been accused of violating the EU law by trying to push the boat back to Turkey.
However, the Greek authorities refused the accusations and stated that they were trying to tow the boat towards Greek territorial waters.
The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has set illegal immigration as a priority for his government and for Greece’s European sixth month rotating presidency. Many are those who complain that Greece has been overwhelmed by immigrants, particularly in combination to Greece’s economic recession has boosted an anti-immigrant rhetoric. Nonetheless, there are many political parties and organizations who criticize this anti-immigrant sentiment as they claim that the Greek government has adopted xenophobic and racist policies.