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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Tsipras receives UN Special Envoy for Migration Sutherland
  • [02] A prime minister with delusions is dangerous, says ND spokesman Koumoutsakos
  • [03] 150 applications for asylum rejected

  • [01] PM Tsipras receives UN Special Envoy for Migration Sutherland

    The course of the implementation of EU-Turkey agreement and the European Migration and Asylum policy dominated Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' meeting with UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration Peter Sutherland on Thursday at Maximos Mansion.

    "On behalf of the United Nations, I would like to express my gratitude to Greece for all the work it has done and is continuing to do until now to handle the refugee crisis," Sutherland said. Tsipras and Sutherland stressed the importance of solidarity among EU member states and of the immediate and complete implementation of the relocation and resettlement mechanisms.

    During a brief discussion before the cameras, Sutherland said that the "collapse of the Schengen Treaty is an economic disaster and a disaster for the European Union, so the United Nations consider that there should be greater commitment on a local and global level for responsibility sharing."

    "You come at a crucial time though we are in an improved position compared with two months ago," Tsipras said. "The good thing is that there is now an agreement that the government hopes will remain," he added, referring to the EU-Turkey deal.

    "We still need your assistance and cooperation. We have nearly 56,000 refugees trapped in Greece and we want to provide them with assistance and facilities and the prospect that they will at some time join the relocation programme in order to reach their destinations," the prime minister said.

    Sutherland recognised the Greek authorities and the citizens' efforts for the human and effective management of the crisis and said that the UN is at Greece's disposal to assume an active role in its management.

    Finally, both parties agreed that the international community should show determination in seeking a political solution to the conflict in Syria.

    [02] A prime minister with delusions is dangerous, says ND spokesman Koumoutsakos

    "For the first time, a government imposes measures of 12 billion euros and celebrates," main opposition New Democracy spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said in a press briefing on Thursday.

    "Citizens will have to pay for the government's lies. A prime minister with delusions is a dangerous prime minister," he said.

    "A storm of 1.8 billion euros will follow as well as the mechanism of automatic cuts," he added. "And the Greeks will have to bear the cost in the name of a vague promise of future debt restructuring, while a debt haircut is ruled out."

    "Because the government has not solved any problem of the Greeks, it 'manufactures' enemies," Koumoutsakos said.

    The commitment to primary surpluses for such a long time is not possible, as this will condemn the country to a memorandum without end. "Let's proceed with our proposals on debt relief. Extending the repayment period, cutting interest rates and converting them to fixed rates. We must focus on the substance that is the connection of the debt with the GDP. We need to give growth momentum to the economy, something that the government shows no concern for," he underlined and added that the outcome of the Eurogroup is a vague and ambiguous reference to the issue of debt.

    ND spokesman accused the government of not being concerned over the debt sustainability, and damaging the country's development, while the country has been loaded with new loans and privatizations have frozen. "Over the past years very important steps had been made, such as debt haircut with debt reduction by 100 billion euros, repurchase of debt with a debt reduction of 30 billion euros," he noted.

    Koumoutsakos called the decision of the 2012 Eurogroup a "foundation decision," and accused Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of not suppoting any of those achieved in the past.

    Regarding the call for elections, New Democracy spokesman said it is a responsible stance and it is dictated by the overall unacceptable situation. "Not only regarding the budget, the real economy, the security, the refugees, and the situation in education. It is urgent that the worst government of the post dictatorship regime leaves," he underlined.

    [03] 150 applications for asylum rejected

    A total of 150 asylum applications from migrants that entered Greece after March 20 were examined at first and second degree and were rejected.

    According to well informed sources, the readmission procedure will be launced for those migrants that their application was rejected.

    Meanwhile, 50 migrants and refugees that are currently on the island of Chios expressed the wish to be sent back to Turkey within the framework of the European Union -Turkey agreement. Their request has been recorded and has been officially submitted to the Turkish authorities.

    Police said that long stay on the island and the lack of whatever prospect to reach Europe via Chios was the reason for their request.

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