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Over 400 refugees feared dead after boat capsized

Reporter: Dan Williams 丨 CCTV.com

04-20-2016 12:40 BJT

There was further tragedy over the weekend. More than 400 refugees are feared dead after a boat reportedly capsized. 41 survivors were taken to Greece for treatment.

The news that some 400 refugees drowned over the weekend once again highlights the humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding in the Mediterranean.

"Details as to exactly what happened remain sketchy, but it would appear the boat set sail from Libya for Italy before running into trouble. Now that is of course the more treacherous route and there are fears that as the European Union clamp down on the Turkey, Greece, Balkan route that more and more refugees will take even greater risks as they look to cross into Europe."

"If they can't go through the door, they go through the window, if they can't go through the window they go through a tunnel. That is what we have seen in many areas around the world where states are building borders, barriers up - instead of building bridges so we are going to see people risking their life," Anne Mehman with UNHCR said.

Well this news comes as the European Union announced it was going to make a further 83 million Euros available to Greece in order to improve the living conditions of the refugees living here. As you can imagine, that news here has been widely welcomed.

"It will definitely help. Because you have now in Greece around 55,000 people who are in Greece. The borders are closed they are going to remain in Greece. You have around 35 sites on the mainland and they need to be developed. To be equipped. To make sure they have access to basic services and this funding will help with that,"  Mehman said.

Well Greece has come under increased pressure from European Governments to halt the flow of refugees into the country. Under the EU-Turkey agreement, Greece needs to screen any new arrival and return those without a legitimate asylum claim. Now as you can imagine that has put significant pressure on the authorities in Greece. And there are still question as to whether the policy will be a success. And all the while, more and more refugees are taking even greater risks. And many are paying an even heavier price.

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