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国际英语新闻:Over 100 migrants rescued off Crete island, as activists protest EU refugee policy

Source: Xinhuanet    2017-09-06  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

ATHENS, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A total of 103 refugees and migrants were rescued on Tuesday off Crete island, Greek national news agency AMNA reported, as activists protested EU policy on the refugee-migration crisis on the Acropolis hill here.

The nationalities of the 103 people who were on board the wooden boat have not been identified yet, but local authorities said they had all been safely transferred to Herakleion port.

A European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) plane and five boats took part in the search and located the boat when a passenger made a distress call to the European emergency number 112, according to AMNA.

Against this backdrop, banners raised by a small group of local Leftist activists in front of the Parthenon temple read: "Ferries not Frontex."

Protesters who posed with plastic boats like the ones thousands of refugees have used to cross the Mediterranean Sea since 2015, called on European member states to open their borders and create safe passage for incoming refugees instead of a building a "fortress" around Europe.

Other banners showed slogans calling for statesmen to acknowledge the refugees' right to stay and freedom of movement.

More than 1 million people have reached Greece mainly from Turkey's shores since early 2015 to continue their journey on to other European countries.

Following the deaths of thousands of people in the Mediterranean, EU member states stepped up efforts to shape a common strategy to address the crisis.

In autumn 2015, they launched a relocation program to ease the burden for Greece and Italy, while in spring 2016 after the closure of borders along the Balkan route, they made an agreement with Turkey to stem the influx via the Aegean Sea.

The flows via the Aegean Sea were dramatically decreased over the past year and smuggling rings shifted to northern African countries, sending boats towards Italy.


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