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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-31

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Amendments to conclude review to be debated on Wed-Thurs in Parliament
  • [02] Greek, Bulgarian FMs discuss collaboration in transport, energy, tourism in Sofia meeting
  • [03] EU must share responsibility for refugee crisis, PACE President says on Lesvos
  • [04] 55.7 pct of Greeks in favour of welcoming refugees in the country - poll
  • [05] More than 110 irregular migrants rescued off the coast of Crete

  • [01] Amendments to conclude review to be debated on Wed-Thurs in Parliament

    The amendments needed to conclude the review of the Greek programme will be discussed by the Parliament plenum on Wednesday and Thursday, Parliament President Nikos Voutsis announced on Tuesday.

    Voutsis also informed the Conference of Parliament Presidents that the developmental law will be tabled late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday and will be discussed following regular procedures, being forwarded for discussion by the appropriate Parliamentary committees on Friday.

    In other business, the Conference of Parliament Presidents elected the three vice-presidents and 24 members of the Supreme Council for Staff Selection (ASEP), responsible for recruitments in the public sector. According to Voutsis, the goal was to fill the vacant positions in the rest of the independent authorities within June.

    [02] Greek, Bulgarian FMs discuss collaboration in transport, energy, tourism in Sofia meeting

    Possible collaborations in transportation projects such as motorways and railways, as well as in tourism and energy were discussed in a meeting between Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov in Sofia on Tuesday.

    "There are many meetings with the Bulgarian side that will increase in the coming months, as Greece and Bulgaria, as agreed with Mr. Borisov, constitute an anchor of stability and security in Southeast Europe," Kotzias told the Independent Balkan News Agency after the meeting.

    He also said both sides agreed in the need to organize more unofficial meetings between the leaderships of the two countries. "The first one is the meeting of the two governments with the participation of several ministers; the second is a visit of the Bulgarian prime minister to Greece and the third is the repetition of the SEECP in October," he added.

    [03] EU must share responsibility for refugee crisis, PACE President says on Lesvos

    Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) President Pedro Agramunt on Tuesday said that responsibility for the refugee crisis must be equally shared between Europe's member-states, after visiting facilities for migrants and refugees on the Aegean island of Lesvos.

    Agramunt called for a transition "away from the Europe of fences, where the few struggle with the refugee crisis, to the Europe of solidarity."

    The PACE president, who visited a camp set up by the Lesvos municipality at Kara Tepe, the Moria hotspot and facilities set up by Caritas Hellas, said his visit was a fact-finding mission concerning the processes for implementing the EU-Turkey agreement. He praised the Kara Tepe camp as "impressive" and also spoke well of the facilities set up by Caritas Hellas, though he avoided commenting on conditions in Moria.

    "The purpose of our visit was to stress our concern over refugee flows and asylum seekers in the country. To focus on the living conditions for these people and what the European Union must do," he said. The efforts being made by Greece were plain to see, he added, noting that Greece needed "our full support and solidarity".

    "We must do more. The migration and refugee crisis is a European issue and that is how we must treat it, sharing responsibility more fairly with the members of the Union," he said. While the EU had already done much to help, Agramunt added, its member-states needed to do more and meet their obligations in terms of the relocation of refugees.

    He said that the conclusions of his visit to Greece will be presented at a PACE session on June 22 that will be attended by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    [04] 55.7 pct of Greeks in favour of welcoming refugees in the country - poll

    More than half of Greeks (55.7 pct) support the policy of welcoming refugees in the country, according to a poll conducted by Kapa Research on behalf of the Regional Association of Attica Municipalities, presented on Tuesday.

    However 60 pct of those questioned wants the government to "limit in every way possible the entrance of refugees," against a 37.5 pct that wants to facilitate their passage. At the same time, 93.6 pct said European leaders mishandled the refugee crisis and 86.9 pct have negative view of Turkey's demands incorporated in the EU-Turkey deal for migration.

    Asked whether they perceive the presence of refugees as a threat, 49.3 pct of respondents answered positively while only 23 pct see it as an opportunity for the country.

    Describing their feelings created by the refugee crisis, 67.4 pct said "anxiety", 48.5 pct said "solidarity" and 47.6 pct said "compassion", followed by "anger" (46.5 pct), "fear" (29.6 pct) and "tolerance" (12.9 pct). Those who said they are worried explained they believe the presence of refugees in the country will contribute to lower wages, an increase in crime and a change in national identity.

    [05] More than 110 irregular migrants rescued off the coast of Crete

    More than 110 irregular migrants, including 33 children, were rescued by the Hellenic coast guard from a sinking vessel spotted off the coast of Crete on Tuesday. Some of the migrants were collected by the coast guard, with the help of a ship from Iraklio and nearby private vessels, while others managed to get to the shore unaided.

    The migrants were then put on a coach and taken to a site where their registration and identification could begin, while authorities looked for a site where they might be accommodated, finally taking them to an indoor basketball court in Neapoli.

    Based on the migrants own report, they had set sail from Turkey three to four days earlier, bound for Italy. The traffickers had taken up to 8,000 euros per person but as the vessel was passing by Crete, they claimed the ship had developed engine failure and abandoned the migrants in waters off the coast of Milatos.

    According to sources, one of the two migrant traffickers has been arrested.

    Meanwhile, a ship arrived at the port in the Cretan town of Sitia on Tuesday morning in order to carry more than 65 migrants that have been staying in Sitia's port in the last few days, after they were abandoned by traffickers in the region of Kouremenos. All had undergone a medical examination, with doctors referring four children and three pregnant women to the Sitia hospital for observation and treatment.


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