The counties are not companies, said in Rome the President of Greek Parliament

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Politics is one thing and companies is another, the President of the Greek Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou said during the Conference of Presidents of Parliaments of the Member States and the European Parliament, which takes place in Rome.

“There must be a clear message to all those who negotiate that the countries are not companies, the European Union is not a company to sign agreements and treaties concerning countries or the European Union as a company,” Konstantopoulou noted adding that this a questionable strategy which at the end of the day poses problems to the citizens and creates difficult living conditions as is the situation with countries that have signed memorandums.

“Therefore, we have to understand that these negotiations should not continue to be as secret as they are,” the President of the Greek Parliament said noting the need for a more democratic process.

by enikos.gr

Who was bribed by Germany in Greece? Greek Foreign Minister asks for key persons and evidences to be brought to Justice

NA-AO921_SIEMEN_20071227202444Greek Foreign Minister to Germany: Give us the bribery protocols

Kotzias- Foreign Minister: “In Greece we have major corruption scandals. Perpetrators of these scandals, of Greek identity continuee to live in Germany free.  The German justice should finally give us the protocols of testimonies in order to have the evidence about who was bribed in Greece. Germany cannot argue with pseudo-ethical exhortations and on the same time keep these people that have caused such scandals, like Mr. Christoforakos of Siemens, safely to be located in Germany. This should be stopped. The German justice must notify us of their deposits. We are a government who fights corruption, and also the wealth obtained by corruption methods. Germany should stop hiding such swindler. “

Key person of Siemens scandals in Germany commits suicide in perfect timing

Before his election  Alexis Tsipras had warned the German justice that the Siemens scandal should be brought before the courts by his government . And , voila, what a coincidence: The key person for the revelation of the scandal, Heinz-Joachim Neuburger, former chief financial officer of Siemens,”commited suicide” some days after the new governmenet’s election in Greece, a suicide shrouded in mystery, as the international press mentioned.The German press, for the most part has said that he was found dead at his home without clarifying how the suicide took place. Those close to Neuburger are puzzled by the suicide because he had recently settled a lawsuit filed against him by the company on bribery charges. He had been found guilty of paying bribes to procure contracts in foreign countries, including Greece. Despite charges, Neuburger insisted on his innocence until the end.  He contested that he had failed to combat corruption in the company. For this reason, he was the last of nine former executives to reach a settlement that called him to pay 2.5 million euros (less than what Siemens owed him in pension payments and other compensations). The settlement had been approved at a January 27 annual meeting.

Keeping its promises Greek governement of Alexis Tsipras sends  64 suspects to trial for SIEMENS/OTE €70m bribes scandal; among them 13 Germans

Ten years after the discovery of the scandal and judges have finally took the decision to refer 64 suspects to stand trial over bribes paid by German giant SIEMENS to secure a public contract. Among the 64 suspects are 13 German nationals, executives of the parent company. According to the judges decision SIEMENS has allegedly paid bribes of estimated €70 million to secure a contract and digitize the network of then Greek Public Telecommunications System OTE. The contract “Convention 8002″ was signed in 1997. Among the suspects is also the former powerful man of SIEMENS HELLAS Michalis Christoforakos, who escaped to Germany and authorities there refused to extradite him to Greece’s previous requests. The 13 German names mentioned refer to former executives of the parent company and former executives of OTE. The charges refer to “money laundering”, “active and passive bribery” and “accomplishment to such actions.” Theodoros Tsoukatos, the former consultant of former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, is also on the suspects’ list. “Tsoukatos appears to have distributed 1 million Deustche Mark and has maintained that the funds ended up in PASOK’s accounts.”* Others suspects  include top officers of the Siemens’ Greek subsidiary, as well as German nationals who are said to have approved payments and bribes to Greece. In their decision, the judges acquit 80 people of the charges. In November 2014, the Financial prosecutor had sent his 2,368-page report to a council of judges to make the final decision on whether the suspects should stand trial over the so-called Contract 8002, for Siemens to digitize OTE telecom’s network.

The suspects are said to include 19 Siemens and 14 OTE telecom executives.

It is alleged that nearly 70 million euros in bribes were paid to secure the deal. The only Greek politician who has been convicted in connection with the scandal is ex-Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis, who was given a three-year suspended prison sentence in 2011 after being found to have accepted payments of 450,000 Deutsche Marks (230,000 euros) from Siemens between 1998 and 2000.

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

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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.

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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…..”

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  • 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 ?

The Emergency Response Measures and Guidelines of the Greek CDC for the illicit immigrants’ Entrance Points and Reception Centers in Greece

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The Circular
Updated guidelines for the prevention of Ebola virus at the entrance points of the illegal immigrants in Greece has set the New Circular released by the General Secretary of Public Health, that is addressed to the staff of all the First Reception Centers and the Immigrants’ Detention Centers , the Coast Guard, the Greek Police, border guards and all the personnel involved in the procedures of the management of the illegal immigrants newcomers .
By the Circular, they’re described in detail 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.

The Medical Screening Teams in the Detention Centers and the First Reception Centers, are required to complete a Screening Sheet with the travel history of the new coming immigrants , IN DETAIL, from the immigrants’ origin countries, and down the routes of trafficking that brought them to Greece. By this procedure any immigrants that might derive from West Africa .it is obligatory to be tracked

In case migrants have to be put into compulsory attendance for 21 days, the Medical Screening Team is asked to send daily to the Greek Center of Disease Control, (HCDCP/KEELPNO) a completed special form for the “Daily Statement of New Entrants Persons Affected countries. “

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• Special Training and education Program

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A special Training, Information and Education Program is carried step by step and to all the Aegean islands and the border areas as to urgently shield biologically the the country from Ebola virus

The intensive Program which has started since the mid of October , is implemented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP) at the entrance gates of the country,
with particular emphasis on the North Aegean islands, Dodecanese and Evros, where mostly illegal immigrants arrive. These days the Program is taking place at Rhodes island, the premier arrival point in terms of numbers , since the summer months of 2014.

The Greek CDC (HCDCP) stressed in a statement that, the information and training of the existing staff at the entrance points of illegal immigrants and the Detention Centers is considered essential for the preparation and shielding of the country from possible Ebola case introduction involiving all the staff of the Immigration, Citizenship and Identity Centers, the, Security Forces (Police, Coast Guards) , Regional Asylum Offices, Border Guard Service, as well as health professionals involved in the reception, management and treatment of new entrants people without legal documents.

Below is the Program of the Training and Information with indicative dates as it is developed and organized by the General Directors’ and the Presidents’ office of the Greek CDC by the Zoonoses Department of Epidemiological Surveillance and Intervention Office of the Greek CDC( HCDCP/ KEELPNO), and is implemented with the cooperation of local stakeholders
1. Region of Northern Aegean (EE Lesvos and Lemnos, Samos and Ikaria EE, EE Chios)
On 11/18/2014:
• GN Mytilene “Vostaneio”

• Health Centers Antissa, Kalloni Plomariou, Polichnitou,

• First Reception Centre Lesvos
• Identification Center of Lesvos Greek Police
• Central Port of Mytilene
• Police Department Lesbos
• Regional Office Asylum Lesbos

On 19/11/2014

• Samos General Hospital “Agios Panteleimon”
• Health Center Karlobasioy
• First Reception Centre Samos
• Central Port Samos
• Police Department Samos
• Center for Immigration Citizenship and Identity Greek Police Samos

On 21/11/2014

• Skylitseio General Hospital of Chios
• Health Center Pyrgi
• Central Port of Chios
• Police Department Chios
• Center for Immigration Citizenship and Identity Greek Police Chios

On 25/11/2014
• G.N.- Health Center Lemnos
• Port Myrinas- Lemnos
• Police Directorate Limnos

On 11/27/2014
• General Hospital – Health Center Ikaria
• Health Center Evdilos
• Central Port Ikaria
• Police Department Ikaria
2. Regional Section Evros

On 11/24/2014
• University Hospital of Alexandroupolis
• 216 KICHNE Alexandroupolis
• Centre for Health Feron
• Regional Office for Southern Evros Asylum
• Police Directorate of Alexandroupolis
• Border Guard Services of Lucky and Feron

On 26/11/2014
• General Hospital Didymoteichou
• 219 KICHNE Didymoteichou
• Health Centers Soufliou, Orestiadas, Righteous
• First Reception Centre Orestiadas
• Police Department Orestiadas
• Center for Immigration Citizenship and Identity Greek Police Ebro
• Border Guard Services Didymoteichon Orestiadas, silk, Carp, New Vissa
3. Regional Section Dodecanese:

On 12/02/2014
• General Hospital of Rhodes
• Health Centers and Archangel Emponas
• Regional Office Asylum Rhodes
• Police Directorate Rhodes
• Central Port of Rhodes

On 12/03/2014
• Vouvaleio General Hospital – Health Center Kalymnos
• Police Department Kalymnos
• Central Port of Kalymnos

On 04/12/2014
• State Hospital – Health Center Leros
• Police Department Leros
• Central Port Leros

On 08/12/2014
• General Hospital – Health Center Kos
• Health Center Antimahias
• Police Department Kos
• Central Port CosAegean ditch

Embargo, visas and Russian travel to Greece : a crisis, “diplomatizkaya” by all means…

 

Religious Travel to Greece, a most wanted travel attraction www.greek2m.org

Embargo, visas and Russian travel to Greece : a crisis, “diplomatizkaya” by all means….

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Embargo, visas and Russian travel to Greece : a crisis, “diplomatizkaya” by all means…

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  • Expectations for exclusion of the Greek exports from the Russian embargo expressed by the Greek government 
  • Greek Government spokesperson: “Our Relations with Russia are good”
  • Greek Minister of Tourism: Extensive talks with the Russian side, diplomats involved also

Near half a billion Euros is the bill for Greece, from the Russian embargo on imports, a loss unbearable for Greece and Greeks, on this moment, by the farmers of fresh fruits to appear as the most desperate, since the announcement of the news . The Greek authorities and politicians remain, though, impressively optimistic till now, expressing their estimate, that due to the progress of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, Greece would be excluded from the embargo of Russia’s countries’ list. “Our Relations with Russia are good”, commented on Real Radio Thursday morning the government’s spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi .

Meanwhile, Greece had to face the Russian Travel Agencies’ tsounami which unfolded just the days before, accutely and rapidly, in less than a week .
On Tuesday, another Russian travel agency had gone bankrupt, leaving about 500 of its clients stranded abroad, and depriving about 1,300 voucher holders of their vacation, as the Russian News Agency, Itar-Tass reported .
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The Russian Travel Agencies’ Domino 

After tourist agencies Neva, Roza Vetrov Mir, Expo Tour, Ideal Tour and Labirint, that have all wound up their activities since mid-July, on Tuesday  The IntAer travel operator joined the list of bankruptcies on Tuesday in tourist agencies sector.

IntAer said on its website on Tuesday, August 5,  that it had halted its business “due to a sharp fall in demand and purchasing power and the rise in the exchange rates of foreign currencies and the negative political situation.”

In Greece, Olga Kefallogiani, the minister of Tourism in Greece, had appeared reassuring that the problem will be solved but on the first day, at the start of this sequel. Olga Kefalogianni, commenting on air to Manos Niflis, on the Real fm Radio, she pointed out that “the Russian side intends to compensate Greek hotel owners who have been damaged by the bankruptcy of Labirint. We keep in touch, and on constant talks with the Russian side”, she said, “not only with the businessmen, but also with the embassies”.

The Greek minister of Tourism had expressed her satisfaction “for the fact that the private tourist companies showed maturity”, she said, and she stressed that Greece has made a good impression to the tourist market of Russia. She reassured that the Russian customers of the agency in Greece — who are estimated at 8,000 to 10,000 — will soon return to their country.

IntAer’s civil liability was insured at Reso-Garantia insurance company to the total amount of $1.7 million according to the Tass. Russian Tourist Union spokeswoman Irina Tyurina said the union had already sent an inquiry about the number of clients affected by the suspension of IntAer’s activities.

The spokeswoman said IntAer was a small travel agency and therefore “the number of tourists who will be affected will not be so large as was the case with Neva or Labirint travel agencies, for example.”

Meanwhile about 15,000 Russian tourists who have bought travel services from Labirint are currently waiting for their return to Russia.

About 20 tourist companies have gone bankrupt in Russia since 2010 when a series of bankruptcies rocked the Russian tourism sector, while the Current conflict with Ukraine as well as EU sanctions against Russia seems to be worsening their position.

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 Russian tourists in Greece, a “good deal”

Earlier this year, when predictions and expectations for Russian Travel to Greece where much higher for both sides, the Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni had promised to to make visa proceedures from Russia obviously simpler, on purpose to abolish the visa from Russia at all. On her meeting in Moscow on April 2014 with the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, Alexander Radkov, he had described Greece as a “strategic partner” and had noted the rapid advances in bilateral Greek-Russian relations in tourism.

Alexander Radkov, the ANSA MED had wrote, had emphasised that the number of Russian tourists choosing Greece as their destination had increased 80 percent compared within the previous year,mentioning also as very interesting the point that Greek tourists to Russia had also increased in numbers during 2013, contrary to the austerity, by an “equally, impressive 30 percent rise” as he had said.

Visas in 48 hours anbd less

Stating to the press after their meeting, Radkov had thanked Greece’s General Consulate in Moscow for their work, “noting that the season had been a success”

He pointed out that Russians  book holidays at the last minute, which meant that they would select destinations that either did not require visas or where visas could be obtained relatively easily.

Kefalogianni, talking to the reporters, had underlined that roughly 900,000 visas were issued by the Greek consulate in Russia in the first nine months of 2013, adding that Greece was the only EU country “that made this progress, to issue visas within 48 hours and would do anything possible, within the framework of the Schengen treaty, to help Russian tourists. 

She also noted that Greece intends to raise the issue of further simplifying visa procedures with its EU partners notes the Itar-Tass