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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-07-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Court issues first-time ruling in Greece on female genital mutilation case
  • [02] Greek public debt at 174.1 pct of GDP in Q1

  • [01] Court issues first-time ruling in Greece on female genital mutilation case

    ANA-MPA - In a landmark decision in Greek justice, the Athens Administrative Appeals Court placed a temporary hold on the expulsion of a Kenyan woman because of a threat of being subjected to forced genital mutilation (FGM) and of her three children tortured if she returns to her country.

    It is the first time a Greek court uses Geneva Convention of 1951 rules to grant protection on an FGM threat (decision 419/2014). In a 2009 note by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, FGM was included as a legitimate factor for granting asylum to a woman and any of her children under such a threat.

    The Kenyan national arrived in Greece on September 3, 2002 in order, as she said, to get financial help for a foot operation on one of her children. She applied for international protection under the Convention at the regional asylum office for Attica for herself and her children, aged 13, 5 and 3 years old. (The youngest is a legitimate child of an American citizen.)

    In her application, she said she did not want to return to her country because she belongs to the Kikuyu tribe, which practices FGM on all females, and she could also be subjected to the same under the organisation Mungiki, which is active in many Kenyan areas. The regional asylum office rejected her application on the grounds that she and her children did not meet the Geneva Convention's classification conditions for refugee status.

    The woman then applied to a relevant Justice ministry committee to ask for a review of her case in order to be issued international protection. The committee again rejected her application on the grounds that she did not submit "incontrovertible evidence proving that her fear due to the threat of being subjected to FGM by the Mungiki organisation can be seen as justifiable and substantiated on objective facts, in order to conclude that there is immediate and unavoidable threat to her life or physical safety if she returns to her country of origin."

    The ministry's committee also concluded that "there is no provable danger that upon her return to her country she would undergo severe harm consisting of a death sentence or torture, as in Kenya and especially Nairobi (her last recorded residence), there are no conditions of international or domestic armed conflict that would lead to the conjecture of serious injury due to indiscriminately practiced violence."

    It concluded that the woman and her children did not meet conditions related to refugee or additional protection status according to standing laws, but it said all four fulfilled conditions that allowed residence permits to be issued for humanitarian reasons. It thus referred the case to the administrative court.

    The woman took recourse to Greek courts on the grounds that if she and her children returned to Kenya they would be tortured or treated inhumanely and that her children would be either conscripted into criminal organisations, abducted by them or be persecuted - in the youngest's case - for being a legitimate child of an American citizen.

    The court accepted her plea on a temporary basis and said their return to Kenya by Greek authorities could harm them irreparably, exposing them to physical abuse. It suspended the Justice ministry committee's decision until the court could give a final ruling and ordered state authorities to abstain from any act that would result in the forced exit and repatriation to Kenya of the woman and her children.

    The court also ordered that if the special document certifying she had applied for asylum has been removed by authorities, it must be restored and extended in date if expired. ANA-MPA

    [02] Greek public debt at 174.1 pct of GDP in Q1

    ANA-MPA -- Greece's public debt reached 174.1 pct of GDP in the first quarter of 2014, Eurostat said on Tuesday. The EU executive's statistics office, in a report released here, said that the Greek public debt fell by 1.0 pct compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, but it was up 13.5 pct compared with the first quarter of 2013. Eurostat said that from the total 174.1 pct of GDP, 131.3 pct were loans and 42.4 pct other securities. In absolute numbers, the Greek debt fell to 314.8 billion euros, from 318.7 billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2013.

    Greece had the highest public debt in the EU, followed by Italy (135.6 pct) and Portugal (132.9 pct), while Estonia (10 pct), Bulgaria (20.3 pct) and Luxembourg (22.8 pct) the lowest public debts.

    Eurozone's public debt rose to 93.9 pct in the first quarter of 2014, from 92.7 pct in the previous quarter, while in the EU, the public debt rose to 88 pct from 87.2 pct.

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