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Greek Coast Guard Picks up 237 Migrants in Eastern Aegean

migrants-boatA total of 237 undocumented migrants and three human traffickers were intercepted within 24 hours in several incidents in eastern Aegean Sea islands, the Greek Coast Guard said on Friday.
The three suspects were arrested when they allegedly attempted to disembark 93 migrants from a wooden vessel on the island of Symi.
Another 27 immigrants were spotted off Agathonisi. They punctured their rubber dinghy and had to be pulled from the water.
A total of 75 migrants were recovered in three separate incidents off Kos and an additional 42 were found shortly after they had reached Chios.
The number of immigrants entering Greece this year is expected to triple in comparison to 2013, to some 30,000 persons, Greek Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told the Greek Parliament.
Varvitsiotis attributed the increased flows, to a large degree, on the ongoing crisis in Syria and the jihadists’ atrocities.
Thousands of undocumented migrants attempt to enter Greece illegally each year, aided by trafficking networks, hoping to continue their trip to western European countries. Hundreds lose their lives in sea tragedies.
Greece and other southern European countries have been requesting more support from their European counterparts through financial and technical resources to address the mounting challenge and share the economic and social burden fairly.

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