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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkey accepts the return of economic migrants, EU sources say; over 6,200 refugees stranded onAegean islands
  • [02] Foreign Ministry condemns the provocative statements of Slovak PM
  • [03] Infant refugee dies at Mytilene hospital
  • [04] March 7 is a critical day, Alternate Defence Min Vitsas says; condition with refugees manageable-- police major general Tsirigoti

  • [01] Turkey accepts the return of economic migrants, EU sources say; over 6,200 refugees stranded onAegean islands

    Turkey has agreed to accept the return of economic migrants, EU sources on Friday said in exclusive statements to ANA-MPA.

    The decision will be included in the statement of the EU summit on Monday in Brussels, they said, adding however that Turkey will not accept the return of refugees from war zones.

    According to Financial Times, the EU is close to a breakthrough deal with Ankara that would see all non-Syrian migrants reaching Greek islands returned to Turkey, marking a crucial step in the bloc's hardening stance against the flow of people pouring into its territories. Citing two diplomats familiar with the discussion on Thursday, it also said that Turkey agreed to accept all migrants rescued in international waters by a NATO mission.

    Meanwhile, over 6,238 identified refugees and migrants are currently on the northeastern Aegean islands waiting to be transferred to the port of Piraeus.

    The number of identified refugees on Lesvos reached 4,067.

    [02] Foreign Ministry condemns the provocative statements of Slovak PM

    It is obvious that the Slovak Prime Minister, just a few days before the elections in his country, wants to invest his election campaign with vitriol and human drama, said Greek Foreign Ministry in an announcement on Friday.

    "We are unable to witness his delirium and understand how he hopes, if re-elected, to carry out his duties as prime minister of a country that will soon assume the presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union" said the Foreign Ministry in the same announcement.

    [03] Infant refugee dies at Mytilene hospital

    A one-year old infant died late Wednesday at Mytilene hospital where it was transferred from Moria hotspot with serious respiration problem.

    According to information, the infant had arrived with its mother on Lesvos early Wednesday. The mother said that the baby was suffering from serious respiratory problems since they were in Turkey where doctors had examined it.

    The doctors at Moria hotspot said that the baby was in critical condition and sent it immediately to the paediatrics clinic of Mytilene hospital where it died at 20:00 on Wednesday.

    A post-mortem examination has been ordered.

    [04] March 7 is a critical day, Alternate Defence Min Vitsas says; condition with refugees manageable-- police major general Tsirigoti

    There were 31,842 refugees and migrants all over the country until Thursday and 90 percent of them (28,657) were refugees, Alternate Defense Minister and chief of the Coordinating Management Centre of Refugee Crisis Dimitris Vitsas on Friday said in statements to ANT1 TV.

    He also stressed that the goal is the rapid identification of these refugees.

    The condition with the migrants and the refugees is for the time being manageable, said major general of Greek police on Lesvos island Zaharoula Tsirigoti in an exclusive interview with ANA-MPA.

    Tsirigoti, the first woman that was appointed major general of the Greek police, revealed that traffickers use childs to drive the boats with refugees that leave from the Turkish coasts by promising them that they will not pay for the trip.

    On the issue of minor refugees that are missing, Tsirigoti said that the Europol representative's statement that number of missing children reaches 10,000 does not reflect reality. "

    Moreover, Tsirigoti underlined that Greek Police in cooperation with the responsible ministries and other bodies is trying to open new hosting facilities in order to be able to host a large number of migrants and refugees. "The only tools the Greek police have are the readmission bilateral agreements and EU's readmission agreements with non EU countries.

    Referring to the stance of the Greek people towards the refugees and migrants she said "all the countries envy it".


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