Baby migrant boy found dead on coast of Agathonisi, Greek coast guard says

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A newborn migrant boy was found dead early on Saturday after his parents reached the steep shores of the Greek island of Agathonisi in a boat from Turkey, the Greek coastguard service said.

The baby boy was taken to hospital on the nearby island of Samos, where he was pronounced dead.

Greece is struggling to cope with the hundreds of migrants and refugees from the war in Syria making the short crossing every day from Turkey to Greece’s eastern islands, including Kos, Lesvos, Samos and Agathonisi. Thousands are waiting to be identified and ferried to Athens to continue their trip to other European countries.

European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans and Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos have promised Athens 33 million euros to help it tackle the migration crisis.

Former Greek premier Alexis Tsipras, who resigned last month to prepare for a snap election on September 20, and his main conservative rival Evangelos Meimarakis are fighting an unexpectedly tight election campaign and traded barbs on Friday over the issue.

Avramopoulos, in Athens, urged the parties on Saturday to avoid politicizing the issue. “With all my heart, I hope that the government that will take over after the elections will tackle the major economic issues along with the migration and refugee issues prudently and with responsibility,” he said after meetings with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Interim Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou.

 

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