Three children and one woman drowned yesterday when the bottom of an overcrowded dinghy which was transporting them from the Turkish coast fell out.

The video released by the Hellenic Coast Guard from the rescue effort southeast of Chios showed shocking images that can leave no one untouched by the drama of refugees and migrants.

Greek state officials from the first moment condemned the criminal – as they described it – indifference of human smugglers who abandoned 20 human beings without life vests.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that such news has captured public attention. Our country’s archipelago has often been transformed into a grave of children and adults who simply seek a better life in a European promised land.

Responsibility does not lie only with smuggling rings which exploit human pain.

Turkey is also to blame.
Turkish authorities must at long last assume their share of responsibility. Its Coast Guard must make a stronger effort to limit the “business” of criminal gangs operating on its territory.

Since that cannot come about with the mere pious wishes or statements of Greek politicians, the government must make every possible effort to convince its European partners to exert the necessary diplomatic pressures on Ankara.

These children are dying in European waters.

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