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Alert Guidelines for personal safety by the Ministry of Defense in the areas of migrant populations in Greece, by Greek to me !

It is considered dangerous to walk alone in the areas close to Greece’s hot spots and refugee camps, which are located all around Greece, and especialy in the North Aegean islands  . Read the Guidelines of the alarming document sent officially by the Greek Mnistry of Defense to the Armed Forces personel on our Greek to me ! Newsblog article

 

Find this in our Special Page Aegean islands No Way Out

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Greek Migration Minister blamed by his own party MP for trapping thousands of flows on N.Aegean isles voluntarily, and not due to EU- Turkey deal

Go to our greek2m.org Newsblog article

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Urgency for Actions, says the @UNHCR, while #EU barters humans to #TurkishBlackmail

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URGENT! Situation escalates warns the UNHCR

With increasing border restrictions across the Balkans, the UNHCR agency has early warned for the escalation of the situation into a humanitarian crisis similar to that on the Greek islands last autumn, and especially Lesvos .

Solving Europe’s refugees and migrants’ situation and preventing a new crisis in Greece (which has meanwhile occured, thoug, just in a few hours,  as soon as borders closed, after the 7th of March), requires a number of clear actions, Adrian Edwards,UNHCR spokesperson told a press briefing in Geneva.

 

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Emergency  Actions required

Among the most urgent of these actions when it comes to Greece is the need for

  • better contingency planning,
  • with increased accommodation capacity
  • and other support.

“The authorities are trying to respond now to prevent a further deterioration of conditions throughout Greece.

But, more resources and better coordination are critical for averting wider suffering and chaos,” Edwards stressed.

UNHCR is continuing to support the response operation and has set up field offices in eight locations and deployed additional staff including mobile emergency teams who quickly move to wherever the changing situation demands.

registration and asylum

UNHCR is urging the Greek authorities with the support of the European Asylum Support Office and EU Member States to strongly reinforce its capacity to register and process asylum seekers through the national asylum procedure, as well as through the European relocation scheme.

 safe pathways

In the overall management of the situation will also help, the UNHR has said,

  • Increased regular pathways for admission of refugees from countries neighbouring Syria
  • More resettlement and humanitarian admission,
  • family reunification,
  • private sponsorship, and
  • humanitarian and refugee student and work visas

UNHCR will convene an important conference on this topic in Geneva on 30 March and hopes for concrete offers in this regard.

All the above measures serve to reduce demand for people smuggling, onward movements, and dangerous boat journeys. They thus save lives.

UNHCR spokesman underlined.

relocation in question

” It should concern everyone that despite commitments to relocate 66,400 refugees from Greece, states have so far only pledged 1,539 spaces, and only 325 actual relocations have occurred,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards underlined.

Not a “Safe country ” is Turkey …

 

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The FIDH Worldwide Movement for Human Rights strongly condemned by an official Organization Press Release, the EU States’ and Governments’ decesion of March 7, along with the Trurkish Government, and called on the EU and its member States to stop trying to push migrants away at all costs, stop bartering migrants as goods, but create instead legal and safe channels including through increasing their unconditional resettlement capacities.

the cynical ‘migrant swap’

With the help of NATO, the EU will ‘return all new irregular migrants’ crossing the Aegean Sea to Turkey. Given that migrants reaching Europe are mostly Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis in need of international protection, FIDH is worried that these people will not have access to a fair and effective asylum process

According to the plan, the EU would resettle a Syrian from Turkey for every Syrian returned to Turkey

The mere idea that the EU could condition resettlement of Syrians on Turkish willingness to readmit other Syrians is repulsive., codemns FIDH President, Karim Lahidji

‘The announced ‘migrant swap’ shows once again the EU complete lack of consideration for migrants’ dignity and rights. Do we have to remind the EU and Turkish leaders that they are not bartering goods but dealing with human beings, some of them in urgent need of protection? The mere idea that the EU could condition resettlement of Syrians on Turkish willingness to readmit other Syrians is repulsive.’

Karim Lahidji, FIDH president

According to EU Heads of State and Government, for this plan to be ‘legal’, Europe must grant a ‘safe country’ status to Turkey.

‘Under no circumstances can Turkey be considered a ‘safe country’ for migrants. The EU’s decision to turn a blind eye to the deteriorating human rights situation and the lack of an adequate asylum system does not mean it is a safe country. Refugees may be at risk of deportation, in violation of the principle of non-refoulement. This decision only sadly shows that in order to outsource its responsibilities, the EU is caving in to Turkish blackmail using migrants as bargaining chips.’’

Geneviève Jacques, FIDH chargée de mission on migrants’ rights
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@tsipras_eu office strongly denounces #Visegrad countries’ #BlameGame”

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“Today, the relocation program in other European countries has just reached the 0.17% of its implementation. The EU – Turkey agreement has not started, and the same happens with the readmission agreements for refugees who do not have right to submit for asylum”, government sources said in Athens Friday evening.

By a  Non- paper release the Greek Prime Minister’s office noted that

“Greece has repeatedly stressed that on this stage of the refugee crisis, only a United Europe by a common policy of solidarity and humanism can manage the problem effectively. The blame game has no practical effect. Success can only be implement by the full commitments of all sides. This is the position that has the support of the majority of the EU member countries  and the European institutions “.

The Non Paper strongly emphasizes “despite the common EU engagement in refugee crisis response, a number of Central European countries (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic), are trying to devise a different policy on a completely different direction, by the following characteristics:

  • Closing borderS between European countries to refugees in violation of the humanitarian principles and solidarity  which are the signatories to the framework of the European institutions.
  • Continuing unacceptable pressure on Greece to depart from the rules of international law and stop the refugees rescues in the sea area.
  • Lobbying the EU to close the Greece’s borders .
  • Depositing “ideas” unrelated to any notion of humanitarian management of the refugee and unthinkable for the European value framework.

These proposals, the Non Paper continues:

  • Incorporate an unacceptable extreme right xenophobic rhetoric, unprecedented in European politics.
  • They aim to create buzz for domestic political consumption.
  • They distract the common European policy on a hugely important issue.

The government estimates that “European reaction against such political behavior is still not required”but calls for a more decisive answer in this regard stressing that it is currently necessary for Europe to address the issue in the way that has been decided.

“Neither refugee flows can be stifling, nor the refugees can be treated with fences, closed borders and camps.

Decisive implementation of the European decisions and the agreement with Turkey is the only way for a humane and inclusive management of the refugee issue.

Our country is leading the fight to implement a policy similar to the humanitarian face of Europe and prevent the fragmentation of the European area and the far right regression ” concludes the statement of the Prime Minister’s office .

Earlier in Friday, February 5, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received in his office in Athens visiting French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and German Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere.

Greece will honour its commitments regarding the management of the refugee crisis and underlined that everyone must honour their commitments.

Alexis Tsipras said after the meeting and added that Greece was bearing a huge burden, at a time of great economic difficulty,though the highest cost, he said, have been  the lives lost at sea.

“We are talking about numbers when we refer to flow. For us an important number is that of those who have lost their life in the Aegean. We must not believe that this tragedy is something that simply happens that we can do nothing about to make it stop. Our first priority is our duty as human beings, to stop the tragedy in the Aegean,” he said, in statements before the cameras.

 

In statements after the meeting with Tsipras, Cazeneuve said that the goal was to restrict refugees flows “because Europe can’t accept such a large number of refugees in 2016, as that which passed through the EU’s external borders the previous year.

He said that France will contribute 60 police officers to Frontex, who will come to Greece, and also use 18 expert staff specialising in identifying fake documents, to assist Greek authorities.

 

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, who was also visiting the Greek PM office had earlier told his country’s media that

Germany will be sending two coast guard boats, and gradually 100 employees, to Greece from March 1 to support government efforts to secure the EU’s external borders

The German Minister who has expressed his wishes to maintain solidarity in Europe has noted that the aim should be to do everything possible in order to maintain the right to free movement in Europe, with the participation of Greece.”

“We must all contribute and those who are under more pressure due to their geographical position, like Greece, deserve the support of Europe,” Maziere has said.

“We all have to do our homework, the European Commission and member-states,” he said, adding that that all parties should “honor agreements and European law,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had told Kathimerini in a written interview.

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on AlJazeera article of Stephen Kinzer ,former New York Times foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents.

“Gaps” on Brussels group discusssions approach, by information leaked from Brussels

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The “Brussels Group” of the European creditor representatives is continuing reviewing the list of the Greek reform plan of the 18 points- list , but gaps on the approach between Brussels and Athens have been expressed according to information leaked unofficially,said  Kostas Hardavelas on his radio show Sunday moning.

According to Greek TV broadcaster MEGA, the Brussels Group has to review many files, therefore it is possible to reach an agreement after the coming weekend. The discussions are still ongoing since Saturday morning when the EU officials had described as encouraging the fact that there is a commitment for a constructive conversation as to apply the political commitment to reach an agreement .

However, the EU officials have stressed that “there is still a lot of work” to do, the ANA- MPA wrote.

“We want to clarify that Greece itself must prepare the overall list of reforms in a convincing way that the commitments of the 20th February Eurogroup will be implemented”, EU sources said.

They also reiterated that the purpose of the meetings within the Brussels Group is “to discuss the Greek proposals for reforms and to help ensuring that the Greek list of reforms is reliable and complete.”

The set of reforms Greece is struggling to agree on, was sent to its EU-IMF creditors on Friday, March 27.

” There will be no recession measures, or increases of VAT rates. On the contrary, we are presenting a comprehensive programme that will allow us to have a primary surplus in 2015 of 1.5 percent of the GDP, if of course the problem of the economy’s liquidity is resolved on time.”, Greek Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis was quoted as saying. “As you are aware, we have a noose around our necks” he added.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated on an interview with RealNews on Sunday that “the lack of liquidity is naturally hampering the situation, but this will be resolved once an agreement has been agreed on.”

According to Nikos Filis’ statements, the parliamentary representative of governing SYRIZA party, the list of 18 reforms stands to earn 3.5 billion euros (3.8 billion dollars) in 2015 from the measures, which include fighting tax evasion using a direct on-line system connecting businesses and tax offices, issuing licenses for the country‘s media, online gambling and VAT increases.

The Greek delegation consists of the President of the Economic Advisors Council,   Giorgos Chouliarakis, the General Secretary of Fiscal Policy, Nikos Theocharakis and Elena Panariti, the advisor of the Greek FInance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
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