Tag Archives: Macedonia

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.

Italy keeps ‘jus soli’ for migrants children

Italian citizenship for immigrant children, known as ‘jus soli‘ (‘law of the soil’), “isn’t in the government’s contract” Premier Giuseppe Conte said, but added that he hoped for a “calm reflection” of the issue in “the appropriate fora“.

Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio rejected the idea that the government would discuss jus soli. “It won’t be a measure that this government discusses, also because there’s already a law in Italy that regulates citizenship,” Di Maio said commenting on the suggestion of Conte.
The reflection hoped for by the premier is a personal feeling of his,Di Maio underlined.

At present a child born of an Italian parents receives Italian citizens by jus sanguinis, so does a child born in Italy of unknown or stateless parents under ‘jus soli‘, meaning Italy practices mixed system as many other EU states.

The jus sanguinis principle has positive influence on the prevention of statelessness: children born to European nationals anywhere in the world don’t run risks of being stateless.

The right to a nationality is not directly addressed in the European Convention on Human Rights, however the European Court (ECHR) uses the other tools to deal with the issue, as the right to respect for private and family life.

Citizenship is a serious thing and comes at the end of an integration path, it is not a ticket to the Luna Park”, Matteo Salvini said, facing a weighty problem of 600,000 foreigners who illegally remain in Italy. Pointing at this challenge, he rejected the attempts of center-left to reform the laws that regulate the Italian citizenship of the children of immigrants .

The European Convention on Nationality (ECN) indicates minimum standards for the protection of individual rights in the context of acquisition and loss of nationality.

While the ECN allows states to require that the children of immigrants in this case are residing lawfully on the territory of a state, but this condition is not regarded under the 1961 Convention, postulating the states need to grant nationality also to undocumented children born on their territory.

Iceland and Republic of Macedonia (Northern Macedonia) are European countries that have ratified the ECN without having ratified the 1961 Convention, and therefore on legal grounds require a residence permit of stateless children born on their territory before granting them access to nationality.

 

Athens recalls ambassador from Moscow

Tensions between Athens and Moscow culminated in July, when Greece expelled two Russian diplomats from the country over national security concerns, prompting Russia to retaliate.

 

Greece has recalled its ambassador to Russia, Andreas Fryganas, according to mass media reports. It is unclear if Greece has plans to restore the previous level of diplomatic relations.

The experts say the protracted argument will hit Russian tourism to Greece, already losing support while state is increasingly interested in developing infrastructure at Black Sea, especially  in Crimea. Reorientation of tourist flows from Greece to Crimea would become a substantial resource for growing economy of the peninsula in need for renovation and modernization.

Earlier Greece expelled two Russian diplomats and imposed a travel ban on two other, accusing them of meddling in security issues and attempting to bribe Greek officials.

Explaining the decision over the Russian diplomats, Athens stated they intended to thwart a deal between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece, which would allow Macedonia to join NATO.

A protracted argument between Greece and Macedonia was settled this June, after Skopje decided to agree to change the name to North Macedonia.

Russia expels two Greek diplomats

Russian Foreign Ministry had summoned Greece’s ambassador to Moscow and informed him it was responding in kind to what it called an unfriendly decision by Athens to expel two Russian diplomats.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Greek Ambassador Andreas Friganas and handed him a diplomatic note informing him of “tit-for-tat measures taken by the Russian side.”

Previously Greece officials said they had expelled two Russian diplomats in July and barred two other people from entering the country for trying to bribe officials and foment demonstrations to thwart a deal to allow Macedonia to join NATO.

Athens expelled Russian diplomats under “Brussels pressure”

Greece decided to eject Russian diplomats under the pressure from the European Union and the US in order to favor its partners ahead of the NATO summit, said Igor Pshenichnikov, expert for the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, TASS agency reports.

“It is clear that Greece’s authorities made the decision to expel Russian diplomatic staff members under the pressure of their advisers from Brussels and Washington. This is a gift that Alexis Tsipras made for the NATO summit,” he said, answering the question on why it was done now, as the country had not expelled Russian diplomats following the Skripal poisoning case. “Any excuse can be found, and it is not worth talking about. May it weigh on the conscience of Greece’s current authorities.”

“Of course, it is being done for a reason. Bad relations with Russia are a condition for Tsipras’ good relations with Washington and Brussels. This is obvious,” the expert said.

The Western countries do not quite like benevolent relations between Athens and Moscow both at the official level and between ordinary citizens, Pshenichnikov continued. “All of this definitely irritates both Brussels and Washington. We know that the Americans are constantly instructing the Greeks, so to say, to scale back Russian-Greek cooperation both at the official level and at the level of public diplomacy and creating obstacles all the time,” the expert concluded.

 

Macedonia invited to NATO accession talks after name change

In line with the Alliance Open Door Policy under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the invitation to Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to start accession negotiations. However Stoltenberg made it clear that the talks can start only when the name issue is settled, “you can’t have it both”, he underlined. The Alliance is ready to start negotiations with Republic of “North Macedonia” (“Severna Macedonia”) as soon as the legal procedure of renaming is concluded.

Stoltenberg added that NATO is fully committed to integration of the countries, aspiring to join the Alliance, judging each on its merits. “NATO door is open to all European democracies, which share the values of Alliance, and which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership” the Secretary General confirmed.

N.Macedonia to open EU accession talks end June

Many people were sceptical about the possibility of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. We are there, thanks to the dedication, the commitment, I would say the courage, the leadership, and the hope that the Prime Ministers, the Foreign Ministers have put in this process” – said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini at ceremony of former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece of the signature of agreement on the name issue at Prespa lake.
“The European Union and the two of us personally have been accompanying this process step by step” – Mogherini reminded. “We are here today, first of all to thank the two sides, because they make us all Europeans proud of the capacity to find – through diplomacy, through dialogue – a win-win solution for a problem that was long-standing for too many decades. It makes Europe more peaceful, more united and that also opens the way for the entire region of the Balkans to live in a different kind of atmosphere.”
Regarding EU membership perspective for Severna Macedonia Mogerini continued:
the EU External  Actions service has already  recommended as the European Commission to start the negotiations, and in a fortnight the European Council (28-29 June).
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