Tag Archives: Greece

Migrant shot dead at Greek border

Significant numbers of migrants and refugees have gathered in large groups at the Greek-Turkish land border and have attempted to enter the country illegally. I want to be clear: no illegal entries into Greece will be tolerated. We are increasing our border security,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, reacting upon the tense situation at external EU border from Turksih side.

Greek border police have shot dead a migrant attempting to reach Europe as clashes grow following Turkey’s announcement that the border was “open.”

The Greek border is being besieged by thousands of migrants being convinced they can reach EU welfare havens following Ankara’s decision to stand down.

Following clashes that saw migrants attacking police with rocks and other objects, one victim was shot through the mouth and died at the scene.

“This is the first reported death among immigrants trying to cross the border from Turkey to Greece,” tweeted journalist Jenan Moussa. “A Syrian man is shot dead by Greek border guards. Here is the video.”

Idlib: Greece veto of NATO statement

The Permanent Mission of Greece to NATO vetoed a statement that the Alliance was preparing to issue in support of President Erdogan, following the recent killing of 33 Turkish troops in ongoing operation in Idlib, Greek newspaper Vima reported, refering to their own sources. (Image: social media)

The Foreign minister of Greece, Nikos Dendias, issued direct instructions to representatives to use a veto if the text of the joint statement does not include a Greek proposal to refer to compliance with the March 2016 EU-Turkey declaration on refugees and migrants.

President Erdogan vowed to allow refugees to travel to Europe from Turkey, and as a result thousands of migrants stuck on the Turkey-Greece border have clashed with Greek police, protecting exterior EU borders.

Greek police fired tear gas at people who have amassed at a border crossing in the western Turkish province of Edirne, some of whom responded by hurling stones at the officers.

The clashes occurred after Ankara announced it would no longer prevent refugees from crossing into Europe following the death of 33 Turkish troops in northern Syria in battle for Idlib.

NATO: Greek delegation walks out

20.02.2020 AMENDMENT. Upon the request of NATO press office the information below is amended. Herewith is the received quote: “Acting President Attila Mesterhazy was not chairing the meeting and therefore did not ‘interrupt’ the discussion at any point.
We kindly ask you to correct your article and replace his name with ‘chairperson’ who will remain unnamed.

20.02.20 16:30 II AMENDMENT: During telephone conversation with Europe Diplomatic Magazine Marietta Giannakou named the chair of the meeting Lord Campbell of Pittenweem. “Lord Campbell prevented us to express our opinion” Marietta Giannakou said. She was at the point to leave Brussels, and promised to send a statement as soon as she arrives to Greece.

ORIGINAL INFORMATION:

19.02.2020 The Greek delegation walked out of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels on February 19 in protest at the stance of new acting president Attila Mesterhazy (pictured: from left to right Attila Mesterhazy, Jens Stoltenberg).

The incident took place as the five-member Greek delegation, which is made up of lawmakers from the country’s main political parties, were raising the issue of the contentious Turkey-Libya maritime boundaries agreement and Turkey’s violations of international law and Greek sovereign rights.

In a joint statement, the members of the delegation said that the president had been systematically interrupting their speech, leading them to withdraw in protest.

The delegation was made up of Marietta Giannakou from ruling New Democracy, Manousos Voloudakis, Theodora Tzakri and Marios Katsis from SYRIZA, and Andreas Loverdos from the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) alliance.

20.02.2020 AMENDMENT. Upon the request of NATO press office the information above is amended. Herewith is the received quote: “Acting President Attila Mesterhazy was not chairing the meeting and therefore did not ‘interrupt’ the discussion at any point.
We kindly ask you to correct your article and replace his name with ‘chairperson’ who will remain unnamed.

EU opposes Turkey drillings

“Following the latest announcement by Turkish Authorities that the drilling ship Yavuz is going to be dispatched for a new drilling operation, the EU recalls its position concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone” reads the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“Concrete steps towards creating an environment conducive to dialogue in good faith are needed. The intention by Turkey to launch further exploration and drilling activities in the wider region goes, regrettably, in the opposite direction.

“The international law of the sea, the principle of good neighbourly relations and the sovereignty and sovereign rights over the maritime zones of all Member States have to be respected. All members of the international community must abide by these principles and should refrain from any actions undermining regional stability and security.

MEPs debate situation in Greek migrant camps

Members of Euorpean Parliament expressed concern of to the dire conditions in the refugee camps on the Greek islands, more worrying as the winter approaches, and complained for the lack of solutions. (Image above: illustration).

“In a debate with Commissioner Avramopoulos and the Finnish Presidency, many speakers stressed that this will be the fourth winter with thousands of asylum-seekers living in unacceptable conditions on European soil. MEPs described the situation in places such as the Moria camp as “explosive” and “shameful”, and urged the Greek authorities to speed up transfers to the mainland, giving priority to the most vulnerable people.

The lack of solidarity of EU member states with Greece was also raised during the discussion. Some MEPs blamed the Council of the EU for not being able to reach an agreement for a new common European asylum legislation, which should contribute to alleviate the pressure on Greece.

In a separate debate, MEPs referred to the difficult conditions in which asylum-seekers are living at the Bosnian camp of Bihać, close to the border with Croatia. They underlined that the overcrowded facility lacks minimum services, such as running water, sanitation and electricity, demanded its immediate closure and the transfer of the refugees and migrants to adequate reception centres.

Many of the speakers also denounced illegal pushbacks of asylum-seekers at the Croatian border and called on the European Commission to investigate the numerous allegations of violence by the Croatian police against those attempting to request asylum in their territory.

Greece faces new migration wave

Greece intends to reinforce border patrols, move asylum-seekers from its islands to the mainland and speed up deportations in an effort to deal with a resurgence in migrant flows mostly from Afghanistan, using Turkey as a transit country.

The government’s Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence convened on August 31  for an emergency session after the arrival this week of more than a dozen migrant boats carrying around 600 people, the first simultaneous arrival of its kind in three years.

The increase in arrivals has caused an additional pressure on Greece’s overcrowded island camps, all of which are operating at least twice their capacity.

Moria camp on the island of Lesbos (Greece) – a facility where conditions have been described by aid organizations as inhumane – is also holding the largest number of people since the deal between the EU and Turkey was agreed.

The government said it would move asylum-seekers to mainland facilities, increase border surveillance together with the EU  border patrol agency Frontex and NATO, and boost police patrols across Greece to identify rejected asylum seekers who have remained in the country.

Greece faces migrant unrest at borders

Greece urged crowds of illegal migrants who have gathered in the fields along the country’s northern border to return to their initial settlements, otherwise they could face sanctions. (Photo above: illustration).

Migrants equipped with smartphones started to arrive at a field next to a camp of Diavata near the border with Northern Macedonia on April 4.

By April 5  morning there were more than 100 tents pitched in the field, presumably provoked by spread via social media information of plans for an organized movement to cross Greece’s northwest land border with Albania in early April. There were children seen among migrants, who showed up next to the border.

In Athens, a group of some dozens of migrants squatted on the tracks of the capital’s main railway station shouting “Germany!” and “Open the borders.” Several more were at the station under heavy police presence.

Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas appealed to the migrants at the border to return to the accommodation centers.

It’s a lie that the borders will open,” he told Greek state television ERT. “In international treaties, there are obligations but there are also sanctions”.

Mr.Vitsas expressed hope that those who came to the border upon their own initiative would leave by night, without any risking further escalation.

Social media has already reported clashes between marching migrants and Greece police.

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