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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-15

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Angelina Jolie's visit to Lesvos postponed until Wednesday
  • [02] Disappointed migrants, refugees return from FYROM after braving raging torrent
  • [03] Sports ministry submits anti-doping bill at parliament

  • [01] Angelina Jolie's visit to Lesvos postponed until Wednesday

    The arrival of American actor Angelina Jolie to Lesvos has been postponed for Wednesday at 09.00 (local), it was announced. Jolie, who acts as UNHCR's Goodwill Ambassador, will visit the refugee camps in Moria and Kara Tepe.

    [02] Disappointed migrants, refugees return from FYROM after braving raging torrent

    Clearly downcast, a number of the migrants and refugees that attempted continue their journey to Europe by crossing a raging torrent into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) were returned to Greece and the mud-choked camp at Idomeni on Tuesday. They were part of a group of hundreds that set out for the village of Hamilos on Monday, to cross a swollen river at an unguarded point along the Greek-FYROM border.

    Among them 65-year-old Nour Edin, wheelchair-bound due to serious health problems, who returned on Tuesday morning with his daughter and grandson.

    "We put ourselves through hardship for no reason. The whole thing was a dead end. We stayed out in the cold yesterday and my father couldn't take all that. He's very sick," his daughter told ANA-MPA. On Monday, on her way to Hamilos, the same woman said her father was attempting the journey because he couldn't keep living in the mud and wanted to reach Germany with his children.

    The 65-year-old and his wheelchair had been carried across the river by four young refugees, including his grandson, on Monday. At the time, he seemed determined to continue his journey. They managed to cross the river but not the FYROM border and after 24 hours of unbelievable hardship, they returned to the Idomeni camp, disappointed and confused.

    Another Syrian refugee, 20-year-old Amar, followed the group to Hamilos but only to act as interpreter for two journalists and not to join the desperate push to reach Europe. He said he would wait for the results of the EU summit in two-three days time and then decide his next move.

    "I want to be sure that I've done everything to get to my destination before I attempt to apply for a relocation programme," he told the ANA-MPA. Though most refugees continue to hope that the upcoming summit will provide a solution to their problem, more and more are seeing the relocation programme as their last hope of reaching Europe.

    Visiting Idomeni on Monday, European Asylum Support Office (EASO) representative Jean-Pierre Shembri stressed that the refugees must be made to understand that the relocation programme is the only way into Europe.

    "Going through traffickers is not a option. We are trying to promote a responsible and safe way, so that there is a fair distribution of refugees in the EU member states," he said. He also reported a change in the refugees' approach concerning where they wanted to go, with more willing to consider relocation as they understood that this was the only way and willing to consider more destinations than the one or two countries they had originally aimed for.

    "We need to exploit this momentum and ensure that registration proceeds rapidly," the EASO official said. For the refugees fearing that they will be separated from their families or never reach countries where a family member is already installed, he offered assurances that each case will be examined individually, taking into account the family situation, language and other factors that help integration.

    [03] Sports ministry submits anti-doping bill at parliament

    Greece's Culture and Sports ministry submitted to parliament on Tuesday with emergency procedures a draft bill that will harmonize Greek anti-doping law with the new anti-doping code implemented by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    The bill will be discussed on Wednesday at the Educational Affairs Commission and then at the parliament plenum on Thursday. It will be voted on after a maximum of ten hours of deliberations.


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