Tags: EU | Migrants | The Latest

The Latest: 542 People Rescued in 24 Hours off Greece

Friday, 09 October 2015 05:12 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest developments as hundreds of thousands of people seeking safety make an epic trek through Europe. All times local.

10 a.m.

An Italian police aircraft carrying 19 Eritreans has taken off from Rome's Ciampino airport bringing the first refugees to Sweden under the European Union's new resettlement program aimed at redistributing asylum-seekers from hard-hit receiving countries.

The aircraft carrying the refugees was bound for Kallax Airport in Lulea, in the far north of Sweden.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, who was on hand to bid the Eritreans farewell, has said the transfer is proof that Europe has finally changed its migration policy.

Italy for years has demanded Europe shoulder more of the burden of the continent's refugee crisis. Even though most migrants prefer to pass through Italy en route to destinations further north, Alfano has been keen to show off the first flight to try to quiet anti-immigrant critics at home.

9:40 a.m.

Greece's coast guard says it has rescued 542 people in 12 search and rescue incidents from Thursday morning to Friday morning.

The rescues occurred off the coasts of the eastern Aegean islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Agathonissi and Farmakonissi, the coast guard said.

Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in their homelands have reached Greece so far this year, the vast majority on rickety boats or cheap inflatable dinghies from the nearby Turkish coast. Although a short sea journey, it can be fatal as the unseaworthy and overloaded boats sometimes sink.

Very few of those arriving in Greece want to stay in the financially stricken country, instead moving north through the Balkans to more prosperous European Union countries such as Germany, Austria and Sweden.

9:30 a.m.

Greece's coast guard says a wooden boat carrying a large number of refugees or other migrants has run aground on the small eastern Aegean island of Leros, while an infant died after the inflatable dinghy he was in partially sank off the coast of Lesbos island.

The wooden boat, carrying about 100 people, ran aground Friday on the northeast coast of Leros, the coast guard said. Those on board were being taken to shore by coast guard and private vessels that arrived to help.

In the Lesbos incident, the coast guard rescued 56 people from the sea Thursday night after the rear part of their dinghy burst, partially sinking the boat. A 1-year-old boy was recovered unconscious and transported to a hospital, but rescuers were unable to revive him.

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The latest developments as hundreds of thousands of people seeking safety make an epic trek through Europe. All times local.10 a.m.An Italian police aircraft carrying 19 Eritreans has taken off from Rome's Ciampino airport bringing the first refugees to Sweden under the...
EU,Migrants,The Latest
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2015-12-09
Friday, 09 October 2015 05:12 AM
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