Featured image: A boat carrying up to 750 refugees sank outside of the coast of Greece on the 14th of June. Source: Greek costal guard
There has been a lot of focus in the media on the implosion of a submarine for wealthy tourists visiting the Titanic on the 18th of June, and the death of the 5 people on board. Among countless of articles and reports about the incident, one video report from US media went as far as declaring that “the world mourns the loss of Stockton Rush, P.H. Nargeolet and their three passengers, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, and his son Suleman”.
What did not receive as much attention from the media was that only four days earlier, on the 14th of June, up to 600 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean sea, outside of the coast of Greece. Up to 750 people were on an overloaded fishing ship when it sank. Only 104 are confirmed to have survived, the rest are likely dead. While the passengers of the submarine had willingly paid 250.000 US dollars to get the chance to look at the Titanic, the 750 refugees on the fishing ship were people who out of desperation had to leave their home and attempt to cross the Mediterranean, hoping the chances for them and their family to survive would be higher in Europe. According to survivors there were as many as 100 children on board the ship, all of which most probably died.
According to numbers from the UN, 717 refugees are reported to have died or went missing in the Mediterranean in June until now. The total number of reported dead and missing refugees in the Mediterranean so far this year is 1.871, incomparable to the death of five wealthy “adventurers”.
This cynicism is not only seen in reporting of the media. After contact with the submarine visiting the Titanic was lost there was a massive search and rescue operation that included the governments of Canada, France, the UK, and the US and several companies. It is estimated that only the US participation has cost around 1.2 million US dollars.
The response to the ship with the 750 refugees was incomparable. It is reported that the Greek costal guard knew about the overloaded boat, in urgent need of assistance, at least 13 hours before it sank, without doing anything to rescue the hundreds of people aboard. Not only did the Greek costal guard chose to not help the boat before it sank, according to some of the survivors the Greek state was directly responsible for murdering the refugees. It is reported that the a vessel from the Greek costal guard attempted to attach a rope to the ship, leading to its sinking. A survivor explained the following:
“The third time they towed us, the boat swayed to the right and everyone was screaming, people began falling into the sea, and the boat capsized and no one saw anyone anymore” Another survivor stated that “the Greek captain pulled us too fast, it was extremely fast, this caused our boat to sink”.
While the survivors did not know what the aim of the towing was, the Greek State has been known for for applying a policy of “pushbacks”, in accordance with the interests of the main imperialist powers of the EU, where they attempt to tow boats with refugees out of their own waters to avoid the legal responsibility to rescue them.