Greek authorities lie about preventable migrant tragedy

Photo: Sara Prestianni/CC

The economic rush to the bottom and the callousness of capitalism is seen in the recent Greek boat tragedy. On 13 June, a boat carrying an estimated 750 refugees capsized. Seventy-eight are confirmed dead, while up to 500 are still missing.

The Greek authorities are already proven to have lied about events surrounding the tragedy. They first claimed they’d kept a “discreet distance” from the refugees’ boat. But survivor claims directly contradicted this. The authorities later admitted that they had attached a rope and attempted to board the vessel.

Officials also claim that the boat was on course for Italy, and didn’t need help. But analysis of tracking data shows this to be another lie. The vessel was basically stationary for hours.


Compare what the Greek authorities failed to do to prevent this tragedy, with the resources that have been made available to search for the OceanGate submersible near the Titanic wreckage.

We can’t trust the capitalist authorities to get to the truth of what happened 50 miles off the coast of Greece. There must be an independent, public, inquiry, democratically run by the trade unions and organisations representing migrants, to find answers.

The nationalities found on board represent a cross-section of the failures of capitalism worldwide – war, poverty, and climate change. Pakistanis, Egyptians, Syrians, Afghans, and Palestinians – men, women and children – are said to make up most of the 750 that paid extortionate fees to smugglers in the hope of escaping the instability and persecution in their home countries.

Tory and Labour governments, and exploitative international capitalist companies, have contributed to problems that breed migrant crises. The rapid withdrawal of the American troops from Afghanistan, supported by governments in the UK and Nato, following the failed, two-decades-long invasion, has contributed to the migrant crisis.


In many European countries, Britain, the right-wing governments’ and the bosses use refugees as a scapegoat, saying that’s what is putting pressure on our public services; in reality, it’s austerity that has cut services to the bone.

Since 1989, the European Union (EU) has built over 1,000 kilometers of border wall. Policies that fail to deal with the root causes show the short-sightedness of available solutions for capitalists.

Instead, socialist policies to tackle poverty, climate change, and war, and for a democratically planned economy are needed. And a mass workers’ party to fight for these radical policies.


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June 2023