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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FinMin Tsakalotos meets with institutions on taxation, new talks on Saturday
  • [02] Mouzalas: Greece asked EU to activate relocation, readmission of refugees
  • [03] NATO's Stoltenberg presents operation plan for the Aegean

  • [01] FinMin Tsakalotos meets with institutions on taxation, new talks on Saturday

    A meeting between Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Chouliarakis with the heads of the quartet of institutions ended on Thursday evening, with the two sides discussing the changes in the system of taxation.

    According to a senior ministry official, the institutions presented their own proposals on taxation and a new meeting has been scheduled for Saturday.

    Currently, the mission chiefs are meeting with Rural Development and Food Minister Vangelis Apostolou to discuss a national plan for the development of the agricultural economy.

    On Friday, at 11.00 (local) the government will meet again with the mission chiefs to negotiate on issues concerning the financial sector and the completion of the institutional framework on non-performing loans. Two more meetings will follow at 14.30 and at 18.00 on competitiveness and closed professions and on the setting up of the new public revenues body respectively.

    [02] Mouzalas: Greece asked EU to activate relocation, readmission of refugees

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni) – European Union interior ministers discussed the implementation of the EU-Turkey action plan during their meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas after the meeting.

    The minister said his EU counterparts also finally discussed after a long time the issue of relocation and readmission of refugees and migrants to Turkey, with many member-states – except those of Eastern Europe - stating they will participate and promising to increase the number of people they accept. Member-states also pledged to cover the needs of Frontex and EASO in staff.

    Mouzalas said Greece noted the need to activate relocation and reminded his peers it is obligatory and he also suggested practical solutions on how Turkey can help in this. On the issue of readmissions, the minister said Greece asked the EU for help to speed it up, without stripping refugees of their rights.

    As to the issue of Turkey's designation as a "safe third country" Mouzalas expressed the opinion that insofar as Turkey hosts 2.5 million refugees and the EU and UNHCR intervene to check the living conditions in the camps, then the neighboring country is indeed a safe third country.

    [03] NATO's Stoltenberg presents operation plan for the Aegean

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis) - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg presented the three parts of the organization's operation in the Aegean on Thursday, during a press conference in Brussels ahead of his meeting with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker.

    The first part is the enlargement of the Alliance's activity areas in Greek and in Turkish territorial waters, in cooperation with Frontex, he said, highlighting the crucial role of Lesvos.

    The second part concerns strengthening NATO's cooperation with Frontex through the exchange of information and personnel and the third is the participation of five NATO ships and helicopters.

    Asked on whether rescued refugees will be returned to Turkey, Stoltenberg said that the country has agreed to that, but noted that NATO will also take into account the rules that apply to the country from which the ship comes from.


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