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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-04-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Pavlopoulos: Balkan countries that don't respect refugees cannot aspire to EU accession
  • [02] More than 800 refugees and migrants break out of Chios hotspot, head for harbour
  • [03] Greece-Russia agreement for cooperation in quantum, nanotech research

  • [01] Pavlopoulos: Balkan countries that don't respect refugees cannot aspire to EU accession

    Balkan countries that do not respect the principles of humanism and the rights of the refugees cannot aspire to join the European Union or NATO, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Friday as he welcomed the Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor Crnadak. Pavlopoulos was referring to FYROM, without mentioning the country by name.

    "The refugee issue and managing it with humanism and respect of the rights of the people is a matter of principle for the European Union and of course Greece," Pavlopoulos said. "Therefore, countries in the Balkans that keep a stance which is against the principles of humanism … it is evident that, if they continue this tactic, they cannot consider a European path and NATO," he added.

    Speaking to Crnadak, the Greek President said Greece seeks to have the best possible relations with all the Balkan countries and stated that it wants cooperation in all sectors. Concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina's path towards the European Union, Pavlopoulos referred to a meeting Crnadak had earlier with Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, when Kotzias stated that the country is a positive example in the region and must be supported.

    On his side, Crnadak described the relations between the two countries as "excellent" and noted the two sides "agreed to deepen these good relations also at a political, diplomatic, touristic and economic level." He also expressed his satisfaction for Greece's full support on political and diplomatic issues and generally on the issue of experts as his country strives towards inclusion in the European Union.

    Commenting on the refugee issue, Crnadak said Bosnia and Herzegovina is not part of the Balkan route, adding that "unfortunately, we have not seen a unified and strong response on this issue by Europe".

    [02] More than 800 refugees and migrants break out of Chios hotspot, head for harbour

    Another 300 refugees and migrants escaped from the hotspot on the island of Chios late on Friday, hard on the heels of some 500 that had knocked down a fence and fled the hotspot earlier in the day, heading on foot for Chios harbour. The majority of the group, mostly made up of Syrian refugees, were families with large numbers of children.

    The group that had left on Friday afternoon had arrived at the harbour and were waiting for the scheduled Mytilene-Chios-Piraeus ferry to arrive and take them to Piraeus. Large numbers had entered the area of the harbour where the ships dock, something that is expected to make docking of the "Blue Star 1" expected in Chios at 10:30 very difficult.

    For unknown reasons, the ferry 'Tera Jet' chartered by the shipping ministry departed from Mytilene, where it had been docked for several days, and is heading toward Chios, where it was expected to arrive at 20:30 though no one knew exactly what it was going to do there.

    The migrants and refugees that broke out of the hotspot were originally urged to head for a camp in the town of Souda, seven kilometres away, where another 211 migrants and refugees that arrived on the island since Thursday were staying. The latest arrivals could not be transferred to the hotspots, where more than 1,500 people were housed in facilities designed for up to 1,200.

    Most of the group ended up at the Chios harbour, however, determined to board a ferry boat to Piraeus.

    The entire group entered Greece after the March 20 launch of the EU-Turkey agreement, which calls for them to be detained in a hotspot until a decision is made concerning their fate.

    According to law enforcement authorities on the island, the situation at the port "is not predictable".

    The break out follows hard on violent incidents on Thursday night, which led police to evacuate members of organisations operating within the hotspots as a safety precaution, including Doctors of the World volunteers, whose surgery suffered significant damage. According to sources, the Red Cross has also pulled out of the Chios hotspot citing safety concerns.

    Meanwhile, some 200 residents of the area near the hotspot demonstrated outside the Chios police station and town hall on Friday, protesting at the situation that has developed in the last few days and demanding that the hotspot be shut down. The residents are, however, agreed to the presence of the centre as a registration site, as opposed to a detention centre. Chios Mayor Manolis Vournos said the municipality feels the same way and has sent a solicitor's letter to the Migration Policy ministry indicating its intention to cancel the concession agreement for the land.

    [03] Greece-Russia agreement for cooperation in quantum, nanotech research

    Greece's Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation Costas Fotakis and Russian Federation Deputy Minister for Education and Science Ludmila Ogorodova on Friday signed an agreement for cooperation between the two countries in specialist new technologies, such as quantum technology, nanotechnology and related areas.

    According to an announcement, the agreement covers four innovative applications in quantum nano-electronics, nanophotonics, quantum information-communication and metamaterials. It extends an invitation to research and technology centres, universities and even public and private research companies to submit proposals in the area of quantum technologies by the end of next June. It envisages financing of up to one million euros in each of the four proposed areas, for programmes to be implemented over 24-36 months.

    The ministers noted that the agreement starting with crucial quantum technologies could progress beyond run-of-the-mill joint research projects and exchanges of scientists to joint investments and research facilities and to the exploitation of research results by institutions and companies for the benefit of the national economy and employment in areas with a high added value.

    In spite of the difficult conditions created by the economic crisis, Greece has research centres that have achieved international acclaim and excellence in the emerging field of quantum technology, which is at the cutting edge of innovative applications for next-generation information systems, security and telecommunications, improving the accuracy and sensitivity of diagnostic techniques, new 'smart' materials and nanotechnology breakthroughs.

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