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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 15-04-20

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 20 April 2015 Issue No: 4938


  • [01] PM Tsipras calls for urgent EU response on migration issue
  • [02] Feverish deliberations underway after latest Mediterranean migrant disaster
  • [03] Latest tragedy highlights 'devastating results' of EU policy on migration, SYRIZA says
  • [04] Second round of talks between Greece and Brussels Group in Paris
  • [05] PM Tsipras meets Nobel laureate Paul Krugman in Athens
  • [06] 'Greece will remain in the eurozone,' Greek President says while receiving Paul Krugman
  • [07] Policy of strict austerity for Greece must end, Krugman says in Athens
  • [08] FinMin Varoufakis denies Schelling claims in statements to 'Der Standard'
  • [09] Government will not back down from four key positions, Stratoulis says
  • [10] Foreign Minister Kotzias to visit Washington, meet U.S. Secretary of State on Monday
  • [11] No agreement for 3-5 bln euro 'advance' to Greece, Putin's spokesman says
  • [12] Turkish Stream pipeline agreement may be signed with Moscow early next week, sources say
  • [13] ND spokesman sees no progress since February 20
  • [14] Greece's path lies through Europe, President Pavlopoulos stresses in Serres
  • [15] PM to visit Alternate Minister for Civil Protection on Monday
  • [16] Police operation at Athens University did not violate asylum, Civil Protection Minister Panousis says
  • [17] PASOK leader rules out 'Grexit' in statements to Alpha TV
  • [18] Historic Golden Dawn trial to begin on Monday
  • [19] Greek and Australian navy ships to conduct joint exercises to mark Anzac centenary
  • [20] Fire at Komotini mosque due to short-circuit, foreign ministry spokesman says
  • [21] Two foreign nationals arrested on European warrants for terrorism-related charges
  • [22] Police chase to catch migrant trafficker in Kavala culminates in arrest
  • [23] Search-and-rescue operation saves newborn twins, other migrants in Aegean
  • [24] Minor tremor shakes western Greece
  • [25] Magnitude 4.7 Richter earthquake shakes Lakonia
  • [26] A magnitude 4.0 earthquake recorded near Crete
  • [27] Memorial service for Jews killed in Holocaust held in Thessaloniki
  • [28] Greek gymnast Lefteris Petrounias wins gold at European championships
  • [29] Bronze for Vlasios Maras in Horizontal Bar at Montpellier Gymnastics Championships
  • [30] Showers and storms on Monday
  • [31] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM Tsipras calls for urgent EU response on migration issue

    In an appeal to European Union governments on Sunday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said they must urgently come up with a plan for dealing with the waves of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe, following the latest disaster in the Mediterranean.

    "The new humanitarian tragedy with hundreds of dead in the sea off Lampedusa fills us with grief and concern. None of us can stand by passively when hundreds of souls are lost in the Mediterranean, in their effort to escape war and poverty. Europe can not cite the foremost value of human life unless it takes action to stop this continuing tragedy. To stop the Mediterranean being a graveyard-sea and the European countries of the south being warehouses of human souls," Tsipras said in a statement.

    "I send an urgent plea to the governments of EU member-states to immediately form a cohesive plan to deal with the humanitarian crisis we are up against," he emphasised.

    He said that such a plan should act on three levels, namely:

  • Upgrading structures for handling migration and for search and rescue in the Mediterranean

  • Supporting European Mediterranean countries that received numbers of migrants and refugees far exceeding their capacities to cope, with a fair distribution of the burden on the level of financial aid and hospitality

  • Undertaking diplomatic initiatives for a peaceful resolution of conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya, as well as for an effective handling of jihadism.

    "I spoke on the telephone with the prime minister of Italy, Mr. Renzi, in order to express my grief for the victims of this tragic incident and my support for his proposal to immediately convene an urgent European Council on the issue of handling migration in the Mediterranean.

    At the same time, I repeated the proposal I had made to convene a conference of EU Mediterranean country leaders, so that the countries most directly affected by this phenomenon might coordinate and better highlight this issue on a European level. There is no time to waste. Tardiness costs human lives," Tsipras said.

    [02] Feverish deliberations underway after latest Mediterranean migrant disaster

    Feverish deliberations were underway on Sunday between the European Commission and the EU member-states, in the wake of the tragic disaster in the Mediterranean, with up to 700 irregular migrants feared drowned in their attempt to reach Europe. The issue will be discussed during Monday's meeting in Athens between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Yiannis Panousis, in an effort to create Greece's own road map on migration policy to present to its EU partners.

    The prime minister is also working closely with his aides and government officials, according to sources, while Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Malta have raised similar concerns.

    An urgent meeting of EU foreign and home affairs ministers is planned in the next few days to decide on a new framework for dealing with the humanitarian crisis in the region that is responsible for the waves of migrants and refugees, which sources said was partly arranged in response to the concerns of the the Greek and other southern European governments.

    EU foreign policy and security chief Federica Mogherini is expected to raise the issue at the EU External Affairs Council taking place on Monday in Luxembourg.

    The European Commission, meanwhile, has emphasised the EU's "moral obligation" to respond to the problem and, according to foreign media sources, is designing a new strategy for migration to be adopted by mid-May.

    Government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis on Sunday repeated a call for action on a European level to deal with the waves of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean, in statements following the news.

    "The new sacrifice of refugees off Lampedusa shocks us all. The Mediterranean, from a seaway for cultures is converted to a watery grave for thousands of souls attempting to flee the flames of war," Sakellaridis said in a written statement concerning the shipwreck.

    "In these crucial hours, when along with the lives we risk also losing our humanity, action is demanded and not fine words. The European Union has an obligation to immediately undertake its responsibilities toward - chiefly - the waves of desperate refugees but also the European countries of the Mediterranean that receive them," the spokesman added.

    Sakellaridis also attacked the opposition parties over their stance on the issue, saying the latest tragedy "irreparably exposed" the fallacy of their claims that the Greek government was somehow responsible for the wave of refugees.

    "The refugee issue is an international humanitarian issue that cannot be resolved by shouting. Let us set aside populism and demagoguery. We are talking about human lives," Sakellaridis said.

    Hundreds are feared dead after a boat carrying roughly 700 people capsized at midnight, in Libyan water south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

    [03] Latest tragedy highlights 'devastating results' of EU policy on migration, SYRIZA says

    The latest incident involving shipwrecked migrants in the Mediterranean was yet further proof that European Union policy on migration has "devastating results" and must be revised, ruling coalition leader SYRIZA said on Sunday.

    "At a time when North Africa and the Middle East are in flames, a change in European policy is needed urgently," a SYRIZA press office announcement said.

    "The constant sinking of boats carrying refugees and migrants are shameful for our culture. We urgently need a different approach to the migration issue so that refugees are no longer treated as criminals but also a comprehensive solution to the issue, that does not unilaterally burden the countries of the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Italy," the party added.

    [04] Second round of talks between Greece and Brussels Group in Paris

    PARIS (ANA-MPA/ O. Tsipira) A second round of talks between a Greek team of economic experts and the Brussels Group began here on Sunday at noon. According to sources, Sunday's negotiations will focus mainly on labour issues.

    The first round of negotiations on Saturday was described by government sources as "productive" and ended with a decision to convene the Eurogroup Working Group (EWF) next Wednesday, April 22.

    The main aim of the meetings, they said, was to alleviate the differences between the Greek government and the institutions so that a green light can be given to financial aid for the country.

    During Saturday's six-hour meeting, the discussion focused chiefly on fiscal and macroeconomic issues.

    The talks between the two sides at the offices of Greece's OECD representation are expected to continue until next Tuesday, the day before the emergency EWG meeting is held. The Greek side is represented by the head of the team of economic experts George Houliarakis, the new general secretary for fiscal policy Nikolaos Theocharakis and the finance minister's advisor Elena Panariti.

    [05] PM Tsipras meets Nobel laureate Paul Krugman in Athens

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday received visiting economist and columnist Paul Krugman, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008, at the government headquarters in Maximos Mansion. The meeting lasted roughly an hour and a half, without any statements at its conclusion.

    [06] 'Greece will remain in the eurozone,' Greek President says while receiving Paul Krugman

    President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Saturday underlined his conviction that Greece will remain in the European Union and the eurozone, while receiving Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman at the presidential mansion in Athens.

    "Greece is orientated toward remaining in Europe and the eurozone. It will remain in the eurozone and your views and positions, especially in your last book 'End This Depression Now!', help us in order to, with our partners, modify specific points of the programme imposed on us. So that with these changes we can finally return to the markets and secure the growth prospects of the Greek economy," Pavlopoulos said.

    Referring to a lecture given by Krugman in Athens on Friday, the president said that this helped significantly in the effort Greece was making to remain in the euro area and the EU and to fully meet its obligations. He also praised Krugman for his contribution to the efforts to deal with the global economic crisis, saying his arguments had been instrumental in "dispelling the myth of so-called 'growth via austerity'".

    "In a large part thanks to you, it was proved that a policy of austerity undermines growth and undermines the institutions. Unfortunately, this policy increases inequalities and does not ensure sustainable growth for the global economy nor in the eurozone itself," Pavlopoulos said.

    Replying, Krugman said that things were at a "turning point" for both Greece and Europe. He said that steps were being made in the right direction and expressed his opinion that there was now a chance to "finally move forward."

    [07] Policy of strict austerity for Greece must end, Krugman says in Athens

    Influential Nobel-laureate economist Paul Krugman once again argued for an end to strict austerity policies imposed on Greece, during a press conference in Athens on Saturday. Repeating the position he expressed during a lecture delivered at the Athens Concert Hall on Friday night, Krugman urged the government to stick to its guns over austerity measures, such as calls for further cuts to wages and pensions.

    Krugman said that Greece had undergone a major fiscal consolidation in the last five years, making huge sacrifices, and that a primary surplus must now be achieved through structural reforms, not new austerity measures.

    Referring to reforms such as fighting tax evasion and others, he noted that results should not always be expected immediately and that what mattered was their implementation. He said the Greek economy had shown progress but disputed that this was the result of fiscal austerity. Regarding the negotiations underway with Greece's creditors, Krugman said that the lenders wanted Greece to make some concessions so that they can proceed to make an agreement.

    Commenting on investments, he noted that investing in Greece might carry a high risk at present but would also bring a much higher return if an agreement was reached, in comparison other countries where the yield was almost zero.

    During his lecture on Friday, the economist had urged the Greek government to accept an "honourable compromise" and advised against an exit from the euro, which he said would be a "nightmarish" move for Greece while also creating a major problem for the euro system.

    [08] FinMin Varoufakis denies Schelling claims in statements to 'Der Standard'

    VIENNA (ANA-MPA/ D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, in statements reported by a Washington correspondent of the Austrian newspaper "Der Standard" on Sunday, has categorically denied claims made by his Austrian counterpart Hans Jorg Schelling that Athens was not fully cooperating with its EU partners.

    According to Varoufakis the Austrian minister's claim was "untrue and insulting".

    Schelling had accused the Greek side of not wanting to cooperate and refusing to make a commitment, even through the other countries in the Euro zone had made unanimous decisions on what measures and reforms must be implemented in Greece. He had also referred to a "crisis of confidence" in the new Greek government, saying it was impossible to get anything down in writing.

    In his statements to the paper, Varoufakis said that the U.S. did not share the opinion of many in the Eurozone that the repercussions of a Greek exit from the common currency could be controlled, as well as his own opinion that "some of our partners are playing with fire."

    [09] Government will not back down from four key positions, Stratoulis says

    Social Insurance Minister Dimitris Stratoulis on Saturday insisted that the government will not back down from four key positions during negotiations with Greece's creditors, in statements to the Greek broadcaster SKAI.

    "We will not carry out the reforms wanted by Obama and Merkel. We will carry out those wanted by the Greek people," Stratoulis said.

    He noted that Greece was faced with a "broadside of pressure and blackmail" in order to back down but also had its own "negotiating tools, one of which is our geopolitical position."

    Stratoulis opposed the holding of new elections or a referendum, while confirming that the government was examining the introduction of levies to boost the social insurance system, clarifying that these will not be on bank transactions.

    He also dismissed reports that wages and pensions will be paid using government bonds or IOUs, stressing that these would be paid normally.

    [10] Foreign Minister Kotzias to visit Washington, meet U.S. Secretary of State on Monday

    Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is due to depart for Washington on Sunday, where he will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday. The Greek minister is scheduled to stay in Washington until next Thursday and have a series of meetings with U.S. officials. These will include a meeting with National Security Advisor Susan Rice and leading members of the Senate and U.S. Congress.

    The timing of the minister's visit is seen as significant, since it comes right after a visit by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and will serve to emphasise the geopolitical angle in Greece's case. It also takes place right after the recent G20 meeting, where the possible outcome of the negotiations with Greece was among the issues dominating discussions on the sidelines.

    Kotzias is then scheduled to visit New York next Friday, where he will meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the UN mediator for the Macedonia name dispute Matthew Nimetz, as well as Archbishop of America Dimitrios and representatives of Greek-American and Jewish-American organisations.

    [11] No agreement for 3-5 bln euro 'advance' to Greece, Putin's spokesman says

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA/ Th. Avgerinos)

    There was never any agreement to give Greece an advance of 3-5 billion euros from the anticipated profits of the Greek natural gas pipeline, the Russian president's press spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on the radio station 'Business FM' on Saturday.

    He denied a relevant report in "Spiegel" and pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made it clear during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that no one had asked Russia for financial assistance.

    Commenting on the agreement on the pipeline, due to be signed in Athens next week, he said the two sides had agreed that there would be meetings on the level of technical experts to hammer out the details of energy cooperation and stressed that Russia had not promised financial assistance "because nobody asked for it".

    During the press conference with Tsipras on April 8, Putin had referred to the possibility of "situations arising that will allow us not just to finance these or other plans that we discussed together today but also to resolve issues of credit relations on a broader framework during the implementation of these plans."

    Among others, he suggested that a major project bringing revenues to Greece could also mean such revenues might be used to repay the loans and that "we are not talking about assistance but cooperation, among others in the financial sector, in connection with specific major projects."

    Government sources in Moscow said the talks on the pipeline established the possibility of financing a major project, within the framework of EU laws. They said the cost of construction was estimated at 2.0 billion euros and the operation of the pipeline would bring the Greek state profits of up to 500 million euros a year, while it was expected to begin operating in 2019.

    [12] Turkish Stream pipeline agreement may be signed with Moscow early next week, sources say

    An agreement between Moscow and Athens for the construction of the 'Turkish Stream' pipeline expected to bring up to 5.0 billion euros to Greece may possibly be signed at the start of next week, government sources said on Saturday.

    According to an article in the Greek financial paper "Agora", the amount will be an advance on the profits to be made by the Greek side from transit fees. The article said signatures cementing the deal agreed in Moscow during a recent visit by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made by placed as early as Monday.

    The Turkish Stream, which will transport Russian natural gas via Turkey and Greece to the rest of Europe is expected to be implemented by 2019.

    [13] ND spokesman sees no progress since February 20

    Main opposition New Democracy spokesman Costas Karagounis on Saturday said that the government had made absolutely no progress since the Eurogroup agreement on February 20, as the economy daily sank deeper.

    "Instead of the finance minister implementing those things that he signed himself, he's wandering around the world giving theoretical lectures and travelling. Finally, they have an obligation to govern and even at the last hour turn into action the commitments they made, because the economy can't take any more," he said.

    [14] Greece's path lies through Europe, President Pavlopoulos stresses in Serres

    President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Sunday underlined that Greece's place is in Europe, in statements after visiting the home of late Greek statesman and his former Greek president Constantine Karamanlis in Serres, northern Greece.

    "Our path is within Europe and this is the road we will travel and travel victoriously," he said at Karamanlis' home village of Proti. "We are called on today to complete Constantine's Karamanlis' European vision."

    The president noted that Greece had to travel this path with the other European peoples and act together with these other peoples to "fix" Europe so that it returns to its original values.

    Referring to the former statesman, he cited Karamanlis' example and dedication to democracy, duty and to serving the public interest and unity during difficult times and in major decisions "beyond and outside sterile party conflicts".

    Pavlopoulos, who embarked on a tour of Serres on Sunday, was earlier received and shown around the house by the late statesman's brother Achilleas Karamanlis and Achilleas' son, Serres MP Costas Karamanlis. The Greek president also signed the visitors' book.

    Earlier, Pavlopoulos had attended a service led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at Agios Nikitas Church in the city of Serres. After the ceremony, the Patriarch said that the president's name will always be in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's prayers and expressed hope that when he next returns to Greece, the crisis will be overcome.

    The president also visited flood-stricken areas in the municipalities of Amphipolis in Mesolaggia before his visit to Proti and then attended an official luncheon held in honour of himself and the Ecumenical Patriarch at a hotel in Serres.

    [15] PM to visit Alternate Minister for Civil Protection on Monday

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will on Monday visit Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Yiannis Panousis at his ministry at 10:30, it was announced.

    [16] Police operation at Athens University did not violate asylum, Civil Protection Minister Panousis says

    Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Yiannis Panousis on Saturday defended the police operation to end an occupation of the Athens University administrative building, in statement to the Greek television channel Mega. He denied that this had violated university asylum and said that those responsible for the sit-in had wanted to present themselves as "heroes" by ending the occupation after Parliament had passed a law for the abolition of Type C maximum security prisons.

    Commenting on criticism voiced by ruling SYRIZA MP Vangelis Diamantopoulos over the police operation, Panousis said there was "no point engaging in this discussion" and called on those disagreeing with him to clarify what they meant by a "leftist police and leftist justice".

    He repeated his position that the police cannot solve social and political issues that the State has failed to deal with, citing as an example the problem at Skouries, Halkidiki and the community-dividing controversy surrounding the gold-mining operations in the area. Panousis said that he had called Production Reconstruction Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis about the specific issue, asking him to find a solution.

    The minister said that the police will insist on tactics of 'low-key' policing but pointed out that once the MAT riot police van and police presence in the troubled Exarhia district were removed, various gangs had stepped in to take control of the area.

    [17] PASOK leader rules out 'Grexit' in statements to Alpha TV

    Opposition PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos on Sunday ruled out the possibility that Greece may exit the euro but warned that it could find itself a "bankrupted pariah" within the monetary union.

    "I do not see a possible exit from the euro. I believe that is in nobody's interest," he said on an Alpha television morning news programme. According to Venizelos, however, the problem was that a country could become a "bankrupted pariah, a black hole in the euro, unable to do anything."

    "We will be a country in which nobody can make investments," he added, suggesting that even Greeks feared to place their small investments in the country and stressing that the main issue was whether Greece can carry out reforms to become competitive and attract investments.

    Regarding the issue of migrants, Venizelos called this a tragedy of Greek society and squarely blamed the rising tide of migrants on the "change in rhetoric" by the new Greek government. According to Venizelos, nothing had changed in Syria or Libya in recent weeks to justify the higher numbers and those arriving were encouraged by "the clashes between the ministers responsible, Amygdaleza, the wrong message that if you come to Greece, you can easily leave and go to Germany, Sweden..."

    Instead of re-examining the Dublin II treaty that was unfair to southern Europe, Greece's EU partners would kick the country out of the Schengen treaty because "we say ourselves we will not respect it," he said.

    [18] Historic Golden Dawn trial to begin on Monday

    The historic and unprecedented trial of party president Nikos Mihaloliakos and the leadership of his ultra-right Golden Dawn party - the first time since World War 2 that a Parliamentary party in Greece or on a global level is charged as a criminal organisation - is to begin on Monday, in a specially adapted courtroom in Korydallos prison.

    The Appeals Court justices presiding will be called on to make a historically-important decision and judge whether Golden Dawn is a legitimate political party or a Nazi-type criminal group operating under the guise of a political party. According to Appeals Court chief prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos in his arguments on the case, the founding of Golden Dawn was an "abusive exercise of the right to found a party" since it did not serve the operation of a democratic system of government and sought to impose its goals through violence.

    They judges also deliver justice for the victims of the defendants' actions and decide whether these were the targeted actions of a structured and fully coordinated criminal group. Among others, the court must decide if these acts were carreid out "in implementation of the founding 'principles' and goals" of Golden Dawn or whether they were isolated incidents not connected to directions given or choices made by the party.

    The choice of the Korydallos courtroom as a venue has sparked controversy, meanwhile, with reactions from the local authority, which fears the trial will seriously disrupt the municipality and a large number of schools in the area. Complaints were also voiced by lawyers and the media, who say the venue is too small to enable them to properly do their job. Once it begins, the trial is expected to last roughly a year and involves 69 defendants, more than 100 defence lawyers, numerous attorneys representing civil suits, as well as hundreds of witnesses. Among the 69 defendants are all the MPs in Golden Dawn's previous Parliamentary group.

    Three of the defendants do not face charges for the key offence in the case - the murder of musician Pavlos Fyssas - but only on secondary charges. They include the wife of the main suspect for the stabbing Giorgos Roupakias, Margarita Mikelatou, who is only charged with perjury, Theodoros Stefas who is charged with illegal weapons possession and Anastasios Hilios, who is charged with weapons possession and with dealing in and possession of drugs.

    Also up on charges are two former Golden Dawn MPs, Stathis Boukouras and Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos, who later denounced the party and its practices during the course of the investigation, resigning from its Parliamentary group to become independents. In spite of this, Boukouras is still charged with leading a Golden Dawn 'attack squad' in Corinth in racist attacks, while Alexopoulos is charged with "public hate rhetoric" against the democratic state and against groups targeted by GD as "racial or political enemies".

    The judicial investigation into the party's activities was launched after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas by Giorgos Roupakias on September 18, 2013 in Keratsini, during an attack also involving other Golden Dawn supporters. An investigation of the incident showed that members of the party had coordinated their actions on that evening, instructing Roupakias to go to the location where Fyssas and his friends could be found. Acting on a letter sent by then public order minister Nikos Dendias, Supreme Court Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani ordered that the preliminary investigation be broadened to include a series of racist attacks that had been reported and had stagnated as isolated cases throughout the country.

    This led to a report by Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor Haralambos Vourliotis describing Golden Dawn as an "active Nazi-type criminal organisation operating since 1987 to the present day with a military structure, hierarchy and branches throughout the country." He said party leader Mihaloliakos acted as "Fuhrerprinzip" and Christos Pappas as second in command, while violence was Golden Dawn's central message.

    Nikos Mihaloliakos and leading party members were then arrested in September 2013 and many of them were remanded in custody.

    The case comes to trial with an Appeals Justices' Council indictment that also includes the minority opinion of Appeals Justice Nikos Salatas, who presented the case, raising questions about whether the criminal organisation charge is supported by the evidence presented.

    In addition to the Fyssas murder, the trial is also expected to look into the party's role in the murder of a Pakistani worker, attacks on Communist Party of Greece (KKE) members in Perama, attacks on Egyptian fishermen, attacks on centres in Ilioupolis, on Crete and in other areas. The prosecution's proposal stresses the Nazi-type structure of the party, Mihaloliakos' leading role and the fact that its action peaked after 2012 when GD entered Parliament.

    [19] Greek and Australian navy ships to conduct joint exercises to mark Anzac centenary

    The Hellenic Navy warship "Kountouriotis" and the Royal Australian Navy ships "HMAS Success" and "HMAS Anzac" will carry out joint naval exercises in April and May to commemorate the Anzac centenary, marking the 100th anniversary since Australian and New Zealand forces participated in World War I and the Gallipoli campaign that began in April 1915.

    The crew of the "HMAS Anzac" will observe exercises carried out at the Souda base in Crete on Monday and also participate in another exercise taking place in the southwestern Aegean on May 5.

    In order to mark the centenary and the special role that the island of Limnos played in these events, the "HMAS Success" will take part in memorial ceremonies in Limnos and in Athens. The ship has a crew of 235 and has been taking part in a mission in the Middle East since December. It will be open to the public on April 24 from 10:00 until 15:00.

    Anzac Day is observed on April 25 each year, originally to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

    [20] Fire at Komotini mosque due to short-circuit, foreign ministry spokesman says

    A fire that broke out in a Komotini mosque on Friday was probably caused by a short-circuit, Greek foreign ministry spokesman Konstantinos Koutras said on Saturday, responding to a Turkish foreign ministry announcement on the issue.

    The spokesman said that the initial signs pointed to faulty wiring, while the fire brigade's full investigation will be completed early next week, at which time an experts' report will be released regarding this incident and the damage to trees in the gardens of another nearby mosque.

    The fire broke out in the early hours of Friday and caused damage to the entrance and part of the mosque's roof. The Turkish foreign ministry announcement also noted damage to trees in the garden of a small mosque a few hundred metres from the spot, saying this raised questions about whether the two incidents were linked and calling for a full investigation.

    In his reply, Koutras suggested that Turkish authorities show equal zeal in the investigation of incidents where Greek-Orthodox monuments were destroyed in Turkey.

    General News

    [21] Two foreign nationals arrested on European warrants for terrorism-related charges

    The counter-terrorism service has arrested a 47-year-old German national and a 56-year-old Turk on European arrest warrants for terrorism-related charges issued by French and German authorities, Greek police said on Saturday.

    The two fugitives were arrested in the Athens district of Pagrati, as a result of cooperation between the Greek and German counter-terrorism services.

    Police sources said that German authorities had sought the arrest of the two suspects on the grounds that they are linked to an operation linked to a terrorism investigation recently carried out in Germany, without supplying further details to the Greek side.

    The 47-year-old German arrived in Greece 15 days ago and was arrested last Wednesday. Following his arrest and identification of his fingerprints, Greek authorities realised that there was an earlier warrant for his arrest issued by French authorities, again on terrorism-related charges.

    The Turkish suspect was arrested on Saturday and has been in Greece since 1987, while he had applied for political asylum just one month ago.

    The German national has been taken to Korydallos prison pending arrangements to deport him back to Germany, while the Turkish national is due to appear before a public prosecutor on Sunday.

    [22] Police chase to catch migrant trafficker in Kavala culminates in arrest

    Police on Saturday announced the arrest of a 39-year-old Moldovan migrant trafficker, after a sensational pursuit from a police checkpoint in Komotini and through the streets of Kavala in the early hours of the morning. The suspect was arrested after a tussle with a police officer in a Kavala pedestrian road, during which he was slightly injured and finally overpowered.

    During the chase, the man also hit a number of parked cars and collided with a taxi, so that his car was too badly damaged to drive and immobilised. He then tried to escape on foot, attempting to mingle with the crowds on the pedestrian road but was spotted by a police officer, who gave chase.

    Also arrested were nine migrants that entered Greece illegally, who were found in his car. The 39-year-old is now being held under guard at Kavala General Hospital, where he received treatment for minor injuries.

    [23] Search-and-rescue operation saves newborn twins, other migrants in Aegean

    Two newborn twin boys, their parents and three women were picked up from a coast guard vessel by an Air Force Superpuma search-and-rescue helicopter on Saturday, during an operation to rescue irregular migrants in the Aegean, northeast of the island of Agathonissi.

    The helicopter transported them safely to the island of Samos at 5:24 on Saturday morning.

    [24] Minor tremor shakes western Greece

    An earthquake shook the port city of Patras and other areas of western Greece at around 16:30 on Saturday afternoon.

    According to the Athens Observatory Geodynamic Institute, the quake had a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale and its epicentre was located in north Ilia, in the Peloponnese.

    The EuroMediterranean seismological centre gave a magnitude of 4.4 on the Richter scale for the tremor and placed its epicentre near the village Vardas in Ilia.

    [25] Magnitude 4.7 Richter earthquake shakes Lakonia

    An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 on the Richter scale shook the prefecture of Lakonia in the Peloponnese late on Saturday evening.

    According to an announcement by the Athens Observatory's Geodynamic Institute, the quake occurred at 19:46 and its epicentre was located in a region under the sea about eight kilometres east of Neapoli and 174 kilometres southwest of Athens.

    [26] A magnitude 4.0 earthquake recorded near Crete

    An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 on the Richter scale was recorded near the island of Crete at 22:20 on Friday night. No damages were reported.

    The epicentre of the tremor was in the sea off Lenta, south of Iraklio, and was felt in the region of Mesara and southern Crete. It was located 63 kilometres south southwest of Iraklio and 32 kilometres south of Tympaki at a depth of 10 kilometres and was not the same as that of a recent 6.1 magnitude earthquake that shook the island on Thursday.

    [27] Memorial service for Jews killed in Holocaust held in Thessaloniki

    A memorial service commemorating the six million Jews killed in Europe during the Holocaust, among them 50,000 Greek Jews from Thessaloniki, was held on Sunday by the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki at the Monastirioton Synagogue in the city.

    The service was addressed by Athens University Asst Professor of Modern and Contemporary Greek and European History Hagen Fleischer and attended, among others, by the U.S. consul, a number of MPs and Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris.


    [28] Greek gymnast Lefteris Petrounias wins gold at European championships

    Greek gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias came away with a gold medal at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Montpellier, France on Saturday, after an impressive performance on the rings that earned him 15.866 points and first place.

    The silver was shared by French athlete Samir Ait Said and Russia's Denis Abliazin.

    [29] Bronze for Vlasios Maras in Horizontal Bar at Montpellier Gymnastics Championships

    Veteran Greek gymnast Vlasios Maras added another medal to his collection on Sunday after placing third in the Horizontal Bar event at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Montpellier, France.

    Maras received a total of 14,666 points and was beaten by the UK's Sam Oldham with 14,766 in second place and Croatia's Marijo Moznik with 14,833 who won the gold.

    The bronze medal was the 32-year-old athlete's eighth at a European championship, after winning five gold medals for the same event in European competitions held in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2010, a silver medal in Lausanne in 2008 and a bronze medal in Montpellier in 2012.

    Weather forecast

    [30] Showers and storms on Monday

    Rain and localised storms are expected in many parts of the country on Monday, clearing up later in the day. Mainly northerly winds with a maximum speed of 6 Beaufort. Cloudy with possible rain in the north and northeast with temperatures from 8C to 18C. Same in western parts, with possible storms on higher ground and temperatures between 10C-20C. Cloud and rain in the afternoon in the eastern mainland, temperatures 9C-20C. Cloudy skies and light rain in the Cyclades islands and Crete, with temperatures between 14C-21C. Sunny in the eastern Aegean and Dodecanese, 9C-22C. Cloudy in Athens, with local showers in the west and north, 11C-19C. Cloudy and wet in Thessaloniki, 9C-16C.

    [31] The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    AVGHI: Plastic money against tax evasion

    DIMOKRATIA: PM's office fears fires as in 2007

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: What Schaeuble's threat for default within the euro means

    EPOCHI: The negotiation enters the home straight

    ETHNOS: Everything in one package for a deal in June

    KATHIMERINI: Double trap for Tsipras and 'past the 11th hour' solution scenarios

    KONTRA NEWS: Foreign power intercepting ministers' discussions

    KYRIAKATIKOS RIZOSPASTIS: No expectations for 'negotiations' and 'social dialogues'

    LOGOS: Sweeping change in education

    PROTO THEMA: [PM] Tsipras' plan and the five billion from the Russians

    Reanews: They are asking for a minimum pension of 320 euros

    TO ARTHRO: Simpleness and inexperience

    TO PARON: 200 politicians in SDOE's net

    TO VIMA: Everything is hanging from a thread

    VRADYNI: Pension now with 14 to 25 years insurance

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