Court rules Greece must compensate refugees
Eight years after a boat accident involving migrants, the European Court of Human Rights has condemned Greece for failing to provide assistance. In January 2014, a fishing boat carrying asylum seekers capsized near the island of Farmakonisi in the presence of the Greek coast guard. Eleven people were killed in the accident. The Greek press welcomes the ruling.
Protecting lives is everyone's duty
The decision comes at the right time, says Maria Papamina, lawyer and coordinator of the Greek Refugee Council's legal service in Efimerida ton Syntakton:
“The European court accuses the Greek government of not having done what it could to protect human lives and of not having followed up on the complaints of the rescued people about the attempt of the port authorities to return them to Turkey. ... The decision comes at a crucial moment when the number of complaints about pushbacks in Greece is increasing dramatically. These violent and illegal practices must stop now. ... The protection of human life and dignity is everyone's duty and right and concerns us all.”
Greek voters also to blame
The electorate, with its vote, is complicit in what is happening, writes columnist Elena Akrita on the web portal News247:
“The Greek authorities have been guilty of the most shameful things on planet Earth. Inhumanity, intimidation, and the political instrumentalisation of weak souls. But others are guilty too, and they have not been brought to justice. They walk free. They water the flowers of evil with their poison and hatred. ... It is not only the Greek governments that are responsible for Farmakonisi. Those who vote for them are also guilty.”