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

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece, institutions conclude first meeting in new round of talks
  • [02] Greece returns 202 migrants and refugees to Turkey with Frontex's assistance
  • [03] President Pavlopoulos urges for an end to war in Syria in meeting with Robert F. Kennedy HR head

  • [01] Greece, institutions conclude first meeting in new round of talks

    The first meeting in a new round of talks between the Greek government's economic team and representatives of the institutions to conclude the review of Greece's programme ended in Athens on Monday. Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said that it was "an introductory talk" that set a schedule for the first week of negotiations until next Monday and a road map until the Eurogroup meeting on April 22.

    According to the finance minister, there was no discussion regarding the Wikileaks transcript released at the weekend. Asked if the government was troubled by the fact that the European side appeared to be siding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Tsakalotos declined to comment.

    Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakis also attended the meeting at the Hilton Hotel, which was surrounded by protestors taking part in a rally organised by the civil servants' union federation ADEDY against austerity measures, with slogans demanded that the IMF leave Greece.

    There was stringent security around the hotel, with riot police preventing protestors from approaching, while one lane on Vassilisis Sofias Avenue was closed.

    [02] Greece returns 202 migrants and refugees to Turkey with Frontex's assistance

    Greece completed the first 202 readmissions of refugees and migrants from Lesvos and Chios to Turkey with Frontex's assistance on Monday, as part of the EU-Turkey agreement, it was announced.

    The operation, which included 180 escort officers deployed by Frontex, as well as Greek officers, is coordinated between the Greek and Turkish authorities.

    According to information provided by the Greek authorities, 136 people boarded from Lesvos - 135 and one woman - of the following nationalities: 124 Pakistanis, 3 Bangladeshis, one Iraqi, 2 Indians, 4 Sri Lankans and 2 Syrians. Another 66 people boarded in Chios – 56 men and 10 women: 42 Afghanis, 10 Iranians, 6 Pakistanis, one Indian, one Somali, one from the Ivory Coast and 5 from Congo.

    None of the migrants and refugees who were readmitted applied for an asylum in Greece, including the two Syrians who asked to return to Turkey. The readmission operation will continue in the coming days.

    [03] President Pavlopoulos urges for an end to war in Syria in meeting with Robert F. Kennedy HR head

    The world must aim at stopping the so-called Islamic State and ending the war in Syria President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Monday, during a meeting with Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, who was accompanied by the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Marianna Vardinoyannis.

    "Please relate to your country, the United States … that the entire civilized world should have two aims at this point: First, finishing with ISIS. It is inconceivable for civilization and our democracy to have this new outbreak of barbarism, called ISIS. And secondly, the war must end immediately so that refugees can return to their homes," Pavlopoulos told Kennedy.

    "These refugees didn't leave [their country] looking for a better fate in other European countries. They left because there was a war," he added.

    On her side, Kennedy mentioned the way Greeks have welcomed refugees despite the economic crisis. "The day before yesterday I was fortunate enough, because Mrs. Vardinoyiannis and I were able to visit Schisto [refugee camp]. And I have to admit that, considering the economic crisis facing Greece, it is very impressive the fact that Greeks were so accepting and open towards these refugees," she said. "The compassion t=Greeks showed towards them is impressive."

    Vardinoyiannis also commented on her visit to Schisto, saying it was emotional and also expressed her satisfaction with Kennedy's assessment that the camp was well organized.

    She also said that her institution is willing to cooperate with the State to organize a center that will accommodate unaccompanied refugee children, adding this issue was discussed in a meeting with Interior Minister Panos Kouroumblis earlier today. "This center will be a model for other such centers abroad," Vardinoyannis said.


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