Another tragedy has struck on the Aegean Sea, leaving at least 40 refugees and migrants dead, adding urgency for European leaders to find a solution. Nathan Frandino reports.
Death returns to Aegean Sea as Merkel fumes over European response
On Turkey’s western coast, more bodies have washed ashore after the latest tragedy on the Aegean Sea.
Officials say almost 40 refugees and migrants are dead after their boat sank on the way to Greece.
Police detained one man on suspicion of human trafficking. He denies any wrongdoing.
(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) MAN DETAINED BY POLICE ON SUSPICION OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, SAYING:
“I didn’t do it. I swear I didn’t do it. I had six relatives on that boat. I had six relatives and I don’t even know whether they are dead or alive. I was also on that boat.”
This is just the latest tragedy in a crisis that saw more than a million refugees and migrants arrive in Europe last year… an influx that leaders are struggling to cope with.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has long pushed for an open-door policy for refugees, is finding more and more opposition.
Outside an event held by Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, supporters of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party chastised the chancellor.
Inside, Merkel insisted that asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq would go home once the conflicts there had ended.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING:
“We must also tell people: you have a temporary resident status and we expect that once Syria is peaceful again, once IS is defeated in Iraq, you will go back home, taking with you the knowledge you have gained while here.”
Back in Turkey, as the Coast Guard unloads the victims, survivors face another decision: attempt the crossing again and risk death, or turn back and go home.