Image

Families ditch terror-hit holiday destinations in favour of ‘safe haven’ Mediterranean resorts – Mirror Online

Many families are opting to go to Spain and Portugal instead of Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt leading to a hike in prices

Source: Families ditch terror-hit holiday destinations in favour of ‘safe haven’ Mediterranean resorts – Mirror Online

Image

This is the #Borders Management List for #Greece. #Cruise and #yacht travelers will also be screened

DSCF2225

According to the draft Council implementing decision that set the 50 points  Recommendation for Greece to address deficiencies identified by the European Commission in the 2015 Schengen evaluation, vacationers on crusie ships or yachts should also be checked on the Aegean islands of Greece, among other measures on refugees identification and relocation proceedures.

Greece’s Urgent to-do List

The draft was leaked by Satewatch, the European civil liberties watchdog.These are some points :

  •  irregular migrants not to be allowed to stay or enter EU countries

Greece should “clearly state in the documents of ‘suspension of removal’ which are provided to the irregular migrants during the registration process, that the document does not give the irregular migrant the right to stay and enter other member states, and include, where necessary, certain obligations aimed at avoiding the risk of absconding”, the paper reads.

  • illegal immigrants to be returned

The Council also asks Greece to immediately start the procedures for returning illegal immigrants who do not apply for asylum and are not in need of international protection, and rapidly transfer them to Turkey in accordance with the bilateral readmission agreement between Athens and Ankara.

  • Athens to safeguard surveillance on whole sea border

Athens is also asked to improve sea border surveillance by creating an integrated and effective coastal surveillance system covering the “whole” sea border between Greece and Turkey.

“The surveillance system should provide the possibility to detect all vessels, including small boats that are crossing the sea border from Turkey to Greece; in order to identify, detect and apprehend illegal border crossers, the system should be supported by an offshore element: offshore patrol boats and vessels, helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and other means, as well as a sufficient number of land patrols on the island.”

  • first line border guards on alert

The recommendation also says that Greece should familiarise first line border guards with foreign terrorist fighters risk indicators, as well as consider cooperating with the Turkish border control authorities at the local level “as it exists at the land border with Turkey”.

  •     checks on crusie ships and pleasure yachts

The recommendation provides for checks on cruise ships based on the crew and passenger list, and on pleasure yachts coming from third countries at a border crossing points

 

Lifeguard

Criminalizing Volunteers 

Since the end of January 2016,  the European civil liberties watchdog Statewatch, had also released confidential documents revealing  the European Union plans to criminalize charities and volunteers who help refugees arriving on Greek islands.

The documents revealed that EU interior ministers who met in Amsterdam on January 27, 2016 want to criminalize as “smugglers” charities, local people, volunteers and scores of international humanitarians who have traveled to Greece to help pull drowning refugees from the sea and feed and offer dry clothes as they land on Greek island, Euractiv wrote.

Instead, the Council wants to create a state-run mechanism that forces people to register and work under EU-sanctioned rescue and relief plans, added Euractiv

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, stated that

“The (European) Council proposals would criminalise NGOs, local people and volunteers who have worked heroically to welcome refugees when the EU institutions did nothing, while other plans would incorporate those who “register” with the police to work under state structures. In a humane and caring EU it should not be necessary to “register” to offer help and care to people who have suffered so much already.”

 The story was first broken by The Times in London and all corresponding documents, including the leaked European Commission report, have been placed on Statewatch’s website. Statewatch’s full report is here.

 

Frauke-Petry-639599

Right-wing Germany asking for shootings 

Frauke Petry, leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) told the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper that Germany needed to reduce the influx through agreements with neighbouring Austria and a reinforcement of the EU’s external borders.

Deterrence includes the use of armed force ,Frauke Petry said

She said it should not be shy about turning people back and creating “border protection installations” – and that border guards should, if necessary, shoot at migrants trying to enter illegally.

Angela-Merkel-migrants-639762

 Merkel’s promise to turn All refugees back  

Mrs Merkel has said: “We need … to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that, once there is peace in Syria again, once ISIS has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained.”

Mrs Merkel said 70 per cent of the refugees who fled to Germany from former Yugoslavia in the 1990s had returned.

She urged other European countries to offer more help “because the numbers need to be reduced even further and must not start to rise again, especially in spring”.

 

articles190815-F-Turkey-Migrants.transformed

Greek Minister :Nato will blow the smigglers networks

 “[The smugglers] have used networks, infrastructure, the sea, and land roads through which they have been trafficking weapons, drugs, human trafficking, and cigarettes in the Mediterranean,”

Alternate Minister of  Greecce’s International Affairs , Xydakis stressed today talking to the Euractiv.

Referring to NATO’s role in Aegean, Xydakis said: “We know that NATO’s military assistance will be a deterrence means, it cannot rescue but it can collect information and deal a blow to smugglers.”

Asked by EurActiv whether that could take place at sea, the Greek official said that operations should also take place in the coastal areas of Turkey.

“As long as Turkey is part of NATO, we believe that something positive could happen. We need to break the smugglers network.”

 

9dce20d2cb34ecd40106e709e59bcb26

  Europeanising the Hotspots 

Belgian Interior Minister Theo Francken said that Greece “clearly lacks” the ability to handle the situation and that is why he called for the “Europeanisation of the hotspots in Greece.”

In essence, the Minister suggested that hotspots should act as a European waiting room, from where migrants that are not entitled to international protection (asylum) are returned to their country of origin.

Theo Francken for whom the Greek Migration Minister Mouzalas revealed that he  told him to “drive them back into the sea; go against the law; I’m sorry, but I do not care if they drown.”

 

pittella_

The EU Commission is to blame. Nothing was done 3-4 years ago

Europe is on the brink of collapse due to the “foolish and short-minded illusions” of EU member states, Gianni Pittella is the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) chief in the European Parliament said in an interview on Euractiv.

We are now facing the crumbling of Schengen, because nothing was done 3-4 years ago, when Greece and Italy were saving people from drowing in the Mediterranean, to the general indifference of all other member states. Having said this, we should all thank Greece for continuing to save thousands of refugees on an everyday basis, despite its difficult economic outlook. I do believe that Greek authorities must be helped concretely by Europe in order to fill gaps in the registration process. Again and again, selfish national rhetoric means that member states continue to look at the finger rather than the moon. Greece is not the problem.

The problem stems from the fact that the relocation system doesn’t work, nobody knows where to go, and who should pay, to return those who have no right for refugee status. The outdated Dublin system must be revised and Frontex has not yet started supporting member states in the control of external borders. Do we want to blame Greece for this? That’s a far too simplistic a response.

Honestly, the EU Commission has delivered here. Who is lagging behind? Who is not living up with the expectations? The member states.

Europe risks collapse as a result of the foolish and short minded illusion that we can face this problem by raising walls, closing borders, setting thresholds, discriminating on the basis of religion, or building a mini-Schengen.

Let’s start by penalising non-cooperation and rewarding those who cooperate.

 

galinos

“Schengen countries are just watching  “, Mayor of Lesvos to CNN

But instead of financial support, the European Union is now slamming Greece, claiming that it has not acted properly to patrol the continent’s borders.aid Spyros Galinos, Mayor of Lesvos, talking recently to the CNN 

“The Schengen countries are just watching this crime happening in the world and they didn’t take any action when it was happening”

 

 

 

Image

Live in a Greek Village, Climb Mt. Olympus: American Farm School’s Unique “Greek Summer” Program for High School Students

One of the oldest and most successful summer study programs for high school students, “Greek Summer” will take place June 29 – July 30 this year.

Hosted since 1970 by the American Farm School, the program welcomes high school students from throughout North America and the world aged 15-18 for an unforgettable experience in the Greek countryside, that culminates with a climb to the top of Mt. Olympus.

Hosted since 1970 by the American Farm School, the program welcomes high school students from throughout North America and the world aged 15-18 for an unforgettable experience in the Greek countryside, that culminates with a climb to the top of Mt. Olympus.

Live in a Greek Village, Climb Mt. Olympus: American Farm School’s Unique “Greek Summer” Program for High School Students

Beekeeping, American Farm School at Mount Olumpus Greece

American Farm School Program , Boating in the Sporades island

Live in a Greek Village, Climb Mt. Olympus: American Farm School’s Unique “Greek Summer” Program for High School Students.

Image

Wanted terrorist of Belgium attack had been established in Greece, but the Athens’ arrests are irrelevant, Brussels made clear

terror attack, Greece germany_greece_terrorist

The Belgium authorities made clear that the arrests in Athens have no relation with the terrorist  Belgium police had notified the Greek Police for, who appears to be  the  coordinator of the Belgium attack, and who has been found through the arrested extremists’ telephone calls, to be have established himself in Greece .

A spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecutor told Le Soir newspaper that two of those held in Greece were not among those suspected of being implicated in the suspected Belgian terror plot.

According to the newspaper La Libre the man, coming from Syria, and who has established himself in Greece since quite some time, has coordinated the terrorist cell that was about to commit an attack against police officers and police stations in Belgium.

Earlier on Saturday, Belgian media said authorities were seeking Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Brussels resident of Moroccan origin suspected of being the ringleader of the jihadi cell, and in hiding in Greecewrote the BBC .

The man reportedly maintained telephone contact with the brother held in the prison of Lantin of one of the two jihadists killed Thursday by police in Verviers, VTM reported Friday. According to the Flemish television channel, the police had been informed of suspicious telephone calls between an inmate of the Liège Lantin prison and a man returned from the fighting in Syria, now established in Greece.The prisoner also maintained regular contact with his brother, one of the two jihadists killed Thursday during the anti-terrorist action in Verviers.

Listening to their telephone conversations allowed the police to discover that the attacks were being prepared on Belgian soil, and identify the one who appeared to have managed the attacks, both on operational and financial level.

Belgian intelligence has asked the Greek authorities to intervene, but they have not done so so far.”, the Belgian newspaper La Libre, reported .

(original text in French here)

                            Aerodromos

In Greece, just one week before the critical national elections day, NO news said that the mastermind is believed to be established (since long time-!-) in Greece. Instead of that, the news were presented as if Greek Police had, simply, found one of the Belgium attack masterminds.

Greek police detained four people and anounced that the arrests were in connection with investigation concerning the Belgium operation against jihadists in the city of Vervries two days ago.

The private Skai TV reported Saturday evening on its online edition that “the detained people matched the description of a 27-year-old suspected to be the mastermind” of the planned terror attack of jihadists in Belgium.

Zougla.gr  wrote that three of the detained are Moroccans, while “the fingerprints of the one matching to the Belgian description and other details will be sent to Belgian authorities for identification.”

Newsit.gr, added that also “ DNA material will be sent to Belgian authorities.”

Mega TV in its prime time news said simply that “Belgian authorities sent a name and one mobile phone number to Greek police on Friday,” and implied that more detentions may follow.

Private Alpha TV  being more precise, though, said Saturday, Jan. 2015, on its prime time news program that the four persons were detained in an apartment in Pagrati suburb of Athens and that “one of them matched very much to the description sent by the Belgian authorities”. The TV reporter hinted that the mastermind might had called the inmate in Belgium “from Athens but maybe also from Turkey.”

Greek Ferry disaster: “And the sharks ate the passengers . Nine or two hundred, we don’t know…”.

The relatives of the lost up to now passengers of Norman Atlantic are day by day crying in agony, two weeks+, now,  after the disaster, without having from the authorities a word .Talking on the Greek media, and -trying still to keep their hope alive-, they describe how each family of them , tryied to follow up the movements of their beloved ones,  and how unexplainably, their relative’s traces were lost. Some families believe their relative might be in a hospital in Italy, and nobodyof them can accept that uncountable numbers of bodies are not found .

Greece today announced that the missing people are only nine( !) while ,the last week this number was 19. No explanations are given. Meanwhile, the Greek media reproduce the recent Italian authorities’ quote, that missing passengers might have disappeared because they might have been eaten by the sharks …

Autopsies will be carried out in the presence of a marine biologist after investigators said at least one of the nine bodies recovered from the sea presented with wounds resembling shark bites, the reports said.

                       GREECE_FERRY_FIRE_18438423

Day to day, filled up with pain and horror for the unthinkable accident, relatives almost re-experience the horrible hours on that ferry, where help was not there, alarms had not been ringing, and lots, and lots of people were mysteriously lost.

About 43 passengers from the Norman Atlantic who arrived in the Greek capital as survivors, described fighting in dispair to escape form the live hell :caught among flames, pelting rain and passengers who fought others to be rescued”, wrote the The Associated Press

The death toll from the ferry fire remains officially still ,11 persons that are announced.

Since the first moments of the Rescue Operation, the unaccounted lives- bodies- persons- and- souls, vary from 9 , that the Greek authorities announced today, January 13, to 98 that the Italian prosecutor had in Italy announced on December 29, and also to the nr. of 179, as also Italian Prosecutor Volpe appears by the Italian media have said at the first hours of the disaster.

It is still not clear whether the people missing had drowned, or whether they had failed to board the ferry, or burned in the ship helpless.

  •  The official statements by Greece

In Greece, the story about the floating flaming ditch is presented officially by the Ministers of Maritime and of Defense, since the early first day, by these points;

eleven deaths-ninteen/nine  missing-
very bad communication with Italy,
very bad weather to look for answers,
and,,, also, a confessed by Greek and Italian authorities possibility of these “unidentified” persons on the lists to be “just immigrants” that boarded simply illegally…..”

                   z155-820x418

  • the immigrants

It is still unclear how many people, including illegal immigrants, had boarded without being recorded.
The Italian prosecutor investigating the case, said Afghan stowaways were among the survivors who were rescued.

“Given that the ship was indisputably carrying illegal migrants who were probably hidden in the hold, we fear that we’ll find more dead people once we recover the wreck,” prosecutor Giuseppe Volpe said.

A Greek survivor who talked on Italian and Greek TV, said he had been in the garage area, where the immigrants were quite a lot .At least 5, he said, was the number he had seen , “moving like shadows” . But he also stated, the immigrants were lighting fire in the garage to warm up, since the temperature in there was very low .

  • Fire in the garage, say the survivors

It seems possible that the fire could have start in the garage, if the survivors’ testimony come true, since there were trucks carrying oil on board, as some of the passengers have said. But no definite statement or discussion is further made on that, also, by the authorities in Greece so far. Fears are, no news are going to be heard as the national elections ( Jan.25), come close.

Reports from the authorities on Patras port say the Safety Control that took place 9 days before the fatal trip, had been alarming for the fire doors that were not working properly, and this, according to marine engineers, is considered the most serious factor that le the fire to spread to the entire ship .

                        SURVIVER

  •  Rescue operation in question

The rescue operation was also conducted amid considerable danger and panic. Rescued passengers said the crew on board was unable to cope.

Captain Giacomazzi appeared on his testimony to insist that “all safety procedures were respected” –which sharply diverges from the testimony of survivors, who said that passengers fought to be rescued and that the crew were nowhere to be seen as the blaze spread out of control.

They said they received no instructions from crew members, that no alarm was given and that the deck of the ship became so hot that their shoes started melting.

Ute Kilger, a passenger from Munich, described how she saw a middle-aged man shove past women, children and the elderly to ensure he was winched to safety by a helicopter before them.
“He just went and sat in the basket, which was clearly designed for children. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” the 45-year-old lawyer told Italian media “I was finally finally lucky, I was saved after nearly 24 hours. This is a long time to fill with hope and with fear that you will die.”

                              na ro

  • At the end of the Day , is it safe to carry unknown number of unknown immigrants on an international passengers’ ferry line, in the womb of Europe ?

It would be ideal for any of the authorities ,in charge in Greece today for the immigration and trafficking through the country, (let’s say for the Ministries of Internal Affairs, of Maritime , and of Health, and for all the Departments and organizations of the Greek state for Safety), to be in the position to say that all immigrants in the country are checked at the entrance points and medically screened .

At least, this is what reports from the islands say, and what the Urgent Circulates that where sent to all ports of the country, and to all the immigrants’ entry points, by the Greek Center of Disease Control ( HCDCP) in Octob.2014, show . By the circulates which emphasize on the Guidelines for the shield of the country for communicative diseases and especially Ebola,

Maritime Companies should be aware and vigilant on protecting the health of the passengers, and should be on the alert for any possible symptoms associated with Ebola infection, especially in cases of passengers that might have visited Ebola affected areas

the Coast Guard, the Greek Police, border guards and all the personnel involved in the procedures of the management of the illegal immigrants newcomers are informed for all  the preventive measures that are required, by clear and simple instructions,, primarily for the direct identification of the origin country of the incoming immigrants, and also for the necessity of making obligatory the immediate medical evaluation.….

As Greek to me first exclusively has revealed, since early summer 2014, it has been a common practice for over seven months now, to let immigrants from the Aegean islands travel on commercial lines by the ferries to Athens, where they are allowed to stay for one month.

As anyone can easily guess , the trip from Patras to Italy by the ferry , is just the next piece of the trafficking road to the rest of Europe.
By the Norman Atlantic disaster, one of the tragic elements of the story that came to light is for sure.

Immigrants frequently travel that way and usualy are  unidentified and unknown. In numbers, place of origin and, of course, names.

Is that proper, in the womb of Europe ?

Immigrants’ Tsunami “chocking” the Aegean islands: URGENCY for National Compliance to Ebola Protection Guidelines

Mytilini portOver 800 migrants intercepted crossing MediterraneanAegean ditch

A complete Guidelines’ index has been sent  since October 2014 by the Ministry of Health and the Greek Center for Disease Control (HCDCP), to all the authorities in charge, and the Greek Coastguard, by an updated guidance of preventive measures for Ebola and the Contagious Diseases, concerning the entry of illegal immigrants into the country.

According to what is proposed by the Greek CDC, -Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP)-, the Medical Control groups on charge for the immigrants’ medical screening, are required

  • to complete in detail the forms of the screened individuals,

by their travel history to West. Africa.

  • In case of Ebola suspected cases,

-the immigrants should enter a compulsory attendance period of 21 days,

  -while the team of doctors on Greece’s borders should send daily to Greek CDC a special form of “Daily Declaration of Persons entering Greece from the Ebola affected countries.”

But the number of illicit immigrants entering Greece continues to be out of control, as are the circumstances hosting them all over the entry points of the country, which means basically the Aegean islands.

Have a look on Greece’s immigrants reports published to the media on November 2014

Refugees’ Tsunami ‘chokes’ the islands,“Vima” newspaper

“From the beginning of 2014 until September 30, the number of those who entered  Greece illegally from Turkey by the sea, has reached the number of 29,894, an increase of 271% over the nine months last year. wrote on the first days of November “Vima” newspaper.

There is an impressive increase on the  number of arrivals of refugees and illicit immigrants” said the he UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Athens Mr. C. Tsarbopoulos, on his interview.  People are sleeping just in front of you at the ports, underfoot or on the balconies of police stations and detention facilities, which are able to accommodate 10 to 15 people but is overloaded by  70, each one at least“..

Most are refugees from Syria.The islands have been proved to be unable to handle the increased flow of recent months, as obvious to anyone.

“The checking and tracing proceedures of the newcomers,  (registration, identification, medical screening and referral to appropriate services) should be immediatly addressed on all the country’ s entry points” underlines since then the UNHigh Commissioner.

But small islands do not have any infrastructure, as the “vima” article successfully notes. “During the summer, as an accommodation place, the courtyards of schools and churches are used. During the winter, however, the cold and rain make it unbearable, but still for the immigrants this is the place”.

On Chios, Samos and Lesvos islands of the Aegean, where the detention centers exist , “the volume of the illicit immigrants’ populations exceed three to four times the centers’ capacity.Samos center hosts actually instead of 240 people, 900, “Mr. Tsarbopoulos said.

Tragic circumstances in Tilos
Only on Tilos, during the last three days ( November 2014), the number of illicit immigrants that reach the island was over 330 people, according to the mayor of the island Maria Kamma-Aliferis.

During the summer the immigrants used the courtyard of an elementary school, instead of a campus “Now they have to be transferred to the courtyard of a monastery. Water does not exist, it is carried by a tank. It has only a toilet, but no shower. We take the children at home to wash. Yesterday we had a baby 23 days. There are two rooms where the children sleep and rest in the open air , in sleeping bags which brought the UNHCR. Volunteers cook in large cauldrons which we usually use at festivals. We call for an organized space with capacity for 100 people, which will live for two-three days with dignity, with containers, toilets, showers, doctor and nurse “concludes Kamma lady.

Bottles of water for toilet
On Symi, while arriving at the port, tourists are confronted with refugees hanging like bunches from the balcony of the police station. They hold empty bottles of water which they use .for.. toilet

“Last year they arrived in Simi 2,700 illegal immigrants,” says Mayor. Av. Papakalodoukas. “There is only one boat of the Coast without radar and often a damaged machine. The summer 14,000 yachts and 500,000 tourists visited the island. The worst is that the island has only one doctor.

High Commissioner

The High Commissioner had urgently  stressed the need for a contingency plan ahead of winter.

  • “First, they need space for the short stay of refugees and migrants, as plots with container.
  • Second, we must strengthen the Coast Guard and the Police to procedures quickly to fleeing refugees from the islands.
  • Third, we must ensure the first medical examination and care of all those who suffer, which is a crucial requirement and constitutes society. And, fourthly, to put these people basic necessities, such as individual hygiene items, blankets, etc., “says. Tsarbopoulos.

All this is in the interests of local communities, because the refugees will arrive anyway, and will just stay in ports, roads and squares, without being checked medically.

Once they pass the first inspection, they all are making their way to Piraeus with the ferry.  On their hands they  hold  a memo expulsion of command to leave the country within 30 days . In case they are Syrians, they get a  a six-month suspension of deportation  which gives them the right to stay for six months .

          metanastes-plakakia3

Gallery

Should Noman Atlantic have ever left Patras? Safety reports have shown the opposite. Greece prays…..

36fdae31-f47c-48a8-b974-45b138953a31 upl54a08f52e55ba 1581587 stream_img norman12_210139299 raiploio5_692_355 κατάλογος     It has not been made clear how the fire started, but on Sunday afternoon,  the President of the Commercial Navy Engineers’ Association denounced on air, talking on Real FM Radio, and Emilio Liatsos’ Air Program, that the Norman Atlantic Ferry, specifically, had been checked and found problematic on the engineer screening that took place in Patras, a couple of weeks ago, and it had been officially announced that the Ferry was not technically totally approved to travel. Norman Atlantic, he said , should never have left for this trip… As the night was getting darker, more dark was covering the hours of agony for the 300 passengers that were still trapped on this nightmare. Greek public and the media holds their breath praying for all the endangered lives

The tragedy took place on early Sunday morning hours, when Norman Atlantic was caught in flames . The fire didn’t really stop burning till now, although it has been set under control, claim spokesmen of the Greek authorities that inform the media in Greece.

Image

Santas do run around Greece, up the mountains and down the sea , but is there any gift…?

Thousands dressed as Santa Claus, flooded Chania streets on Saturday December 27, participating in the 4th Annual Santa Run. Regardless of the cold and damp weather PARTICIPATION WAS HUGE, enough to make the traditional Chania port  …red, as well as the streets and every single corner of the traditional Cretan town . The run, that was held for charity in Chania, the second largest city on the island of Crete, takes place every year during the Christmas period.

santa 473775_10151232533933962_1248636714_o santa run 1 sANTA cHANIA But also, another  Santas event was organized on Crete, this time up on the mountains, where twenty fans of canyoning descended a beautiful canyon on the island. The event was organized by the Cretan Canyoning Association.The descent of the association took place in the canyon of Eligas,  by the 20 Santa Claus dressed members of CCA, of men and women.

maksan agios3 agios4 agios5 agios11

The Cretan Canyoning Association started operations ten years ago, with the purpose of mainly educating young people to the standards of French and Italian canyoning schools and also the preservation and repair of secure locks, the exploration, the security and the mapping of new canyons in Crete. and al laround Greece .

A couple of weekends before Christmas, Athens was “miraclously” dressed in Red, the morning after a night when the city had turned to a battle- field, by the  hundreds of Santas marathon runners.

Like  a miracle picture in the eyes of the Greeks, the visitors, and anyone who happened to find himself in Athens during the 6-7 of December weekend, Santas ran through the city with festive cheer Sunday morning, a few hours after the same city, in the same streets had become a war field as protestors torched the downtown with Molotov cocktails. In the morning it was all clean and ready for the first ever Athens Santa Run, and smiling, the  600 “Santa Clauses” gave the street a festive feel again. More on our earlier story .

Image

Dear EU, do you protect European citizens from Ebola entering our borders ?

images λΕΣΩΟΣ

Biosafety, threatened really on EU borders?

By the Ebola threat multiplying day-to day in the Western world, the border control has become one of the major topics on Ebola within the western world , especially after Obama ordered the tightening of airport screening on travelers from African countries.

Today, 26 US congressmen urged the US President to toughen airport screenings, ban citizens of impacted West African countries from traveling to the U.S. and consider quarantining travelers who have recently traveled to those countries, noting that  the disease could spread in the U.S. as infected individuals might not show symptoms for 21 days after being exposed to the deadly virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

A similar official question to the European Parliament has been raised by the EMP  Gianluca Buonanno (NI)

 Answer(s) 
According to the data and statistics available, more illegal immigrants from Africa arrive in Europe, including Italy, every year than cross the US border from Mexico. Furthermore, there are serious problems in the EU relating to the lack of controls and the spread of infectious diseases, such as Ebola and tuberculosis, that accompany illegal immigration from Africa.

President Obama is using the American military in patrol, surveillance and border defence operations on the border between the US and Mexico in order to locate and drive back the many illegal immigrants entering the United States via that border.

Does the Commission agree that it is time to follow the United States’ lead and implement a policy of border surveillance and protection by deploying a specialized European military force which can take appropriate action to prevent the entry into European territorial waters of persons who are not entitled to do so and who largely come from countries in which the Ebola virus occurs?

But how really serious are on this error, within Europe, governments like, let’s say the Greek gov, on assessing the true dangers, and preventive react on such  Emergency, before it is too late? Greece for example seems like if the problem has never hit its door.

Apart from the Emergency Preparedness for Ebola that is held by the truly experienced on Emergencies  Greek CDC, no one says a word about  the possible fears of illicit immigrants reaching the Aegean islands to be infected by Ebola , as if this possibility could not even exist . But how come, this awareness to exist even in Albania, for immigrants arriving there from African countries through Greece, and the Greek authorities not to say a single word .

  • In August 15, the Newsweek Magazine revealed that Albanian police had detained 40 illegal immigrants from Africa and five of them had been kept under quarantine after exhibiting symptoms of Ebola, as Macedonian newspaper Vecer had reported, the Newsweek had wrote.
  • These five, quarantined, illicit immigrants had illegally entered Europe via Greece, the article emphasized .
  • Since early summer, when the Ebola spread was still on the rise,  the threat of the nightmarish disease entering the Mediterranean societies, by the boats that carry hundreds illicit immigrants daily,  evoked by strong rumors about the Pisa Hospital that had been closed and kept under quarantine, which where never declined scientifically , or politically, in a straight way.

While the Controlling Borders Guideline was the major WHO strategic for containing Ebola in Africa, since the early days of the disease spread, but, though, could not, and has not been accomplished in the African countries and their borders, with today’s frightening epidemic results, and even though, at this very  moment,  the Border Control for Ebola has reached, as a main issue, even the -far away, geographically,-  borders of Mexico to the US, Greece, which happens to be just on one of the closest points of the West to the African hit countries by Ebola, has just ignored any trace of risk that might exist on her East Aegean sea, borders and land, which happens to be the most critical East -to- West Borders of Europe on bio- safety and safety levels

  •  On the Greek Lesvos island, on NorthEast Aegean where the iliicit immigrants are arrested and kept, as soon as they cross the sea borders, and are definitely not screened for Ebola, the detention of all these thousands of immigrants from the African countries,  has been shaped on the most critical , summer months till now, by  a “bipolar policy” practice. While the new detention center on Lesvos that is built by the government’s, and the European budgets, looks rather than a high-risk criminals’ jail than a detainee center, the alternative center that was used during the summer was almost open and free.

Iliicit Immigrants that had crossed the borders through the sea and were sent there to stay for months, does not mean they are screened for diseases, It just happened because the other detainee centers were overcrowded. They were kept there during the whole summer, -over six hundred of them in numbers-, a kind of open camp, used in the past for schoolkids vacations, and were,- arbitrarily, by the local authorities-, treated more like visitors rather than detainees, with personal cards from the campus that allowed them to walk in the community, shop, swim on the  beach, and openly interact with the local community. Lately, the new Maire of Lesvos island has ordered this open shelters’ evacuation, for safety reasons, community sanity and hygiene, but the problem, has just  moved even closer. To local residents and tourists.

                     Πρόσκοποι της Λέσβου για τους παράνομους μετανάστες

  • Today you see dozens of illicit immigrants staying openly at the islands’ port, and more importantly, you may easily travel with them on the boats to and from Athens and use even the same boat toilets with them .On Thursday, October 9, the Maire of Lesvos island, D. Gallinos, sent a furious letter to all the Greek Ministers the issue might concern, asking them to seriously protect Global Health Safety, local Safety and Travel Safety by facing seriously, just a simple picture: Undetected immigrants , undiagnosed, simply lying their life on the front of the islands’ port ..  Who takes the responsibility of this phenomenon and major Risk? Who signs for the dozens of undetected immigrants to travel among citizens and tourists , on the same boats?
  • No official answer has so far be given by the Greek government, even though Greek to me ! has first raised this story since June of 2014, leading to an instant reaction of the independent MP Vasilis Kapenaros who made formal question to the Greek Parliament,  asking straight the Greek Ministers in charge, for not only the biological safety issues, by the error for Ebola coming first, but also  for a live terrorism threat, since dozens of immigrants every day travel by the ferry boats with no escort of Greek police, undiagnosed and undetected.
  • On Wednesday, the Authorities in Greece,  have also warned of a three-fold rise in the number of immigrants entering the country this year, as the enet.gr wrote. The UNHCR urged the EU countries to provide ports for reception and to process asylum seekers’ applications, calling further the 28-member bloc to provide emergency financial aid to Italy, Greece, and Malta, to help them manage the wave of Syrian refugees making illegal sea crossings.

Image

Dengue Fever back in Greece, man dies by autochthonous infection. New malaria- dengue combo Alert in India

Greek Man’s Death in Greece prompts  dengue scare in the country, hit also by West Nile virus and malaria,  while a new malaria-dengue combo sets India on the Alert

An 80 year old man from Agrinio , Western Greece, died in hospital on August 30, after contracting fever , which seems the first endemic infection in the country since 1920. The Greek Center of Disease Control has already set his family under dengue infection control testing , as also does to other villagers who undergo Blood tests to check for a possible endemic source in Greece

Dengue fever is spread particularly by the Asian tiger mosquito which has increasingly been seen in Europe. but  is also considered the main carrier of West Nile Virus, which emerged in Greece since 2010 , and since then, hundreds of infections, and also deaths,  have been reported in Greece.

Although health officials believe the elderly man in western Greece had contracted dengue fever, they are describing it as a probable rather than a definite infection, because of the complications of the case.

There was evidence of West Nile Virus in his blood when he died in hospital in Patras, Greek  CDC specialists report,  but the dengue fever findings were stronger.

He also had an infection and low platelets (thrombocytopenia) –, both of them, symptoms of the dengue viral disease.

We are dealing with a disease we haven’t seen for several decades,” said Dr Sotirios Tsiodras of the Greek Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It might be an isolated case but we want to make sure there are no further cases. We need to take it very seriously,” he said.

As well as blood tests, mosquito traps have been set up in Agrinio as part of an entomological investigation.

 004ef491bc142dc409554457857bb4f9 cutr
On the same moment , In India, Mumbai, city doctors see a dangerous trend in vector-borne diseases in the city with people coming with both dengue and malaria infection. Though the number of such cases is not high, doctors say that it has now become important to check for both the diseases if there is fever to avoid complications and death. Talking about severity of dengue, doctors say that it is affecting major organs this time and therefore people shouldn’t neglect fever.

People getting dengue, malaria together
Dr Khusrav Bajan, intensivist at PD Hinduja Hospital, said: “There is one per cent chances for a dengue patient to get malaria and vice-versa. This year, surprisingly, we are seeing people infected with both these diseases. The numbers are few but this is something we have not seen earlier.”