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
A permanent return to frontier controls in Europe would cost countries in the Schengen open-borders area about €110 billion over the next decade, the French government’s official think-tank said on Wednesday (3 February).
The Schengen agreement is a centrepiece of European integration. But, under pressure from voters alarmed by an unprecedented influx of migrants from Africa and the Middle East, several governments have already temporarily reintroduced controls at their borders with fellow European Union states.
A study by France Strategie, a think-tank directly attached to the prime minister’s office, said the drop in cross-border tourism and trade brought on by a permanent end of the free-travel area would cost Europe 0.8 percent of economic output over 10 years.
Germany reimposed controls on its border with Austria, after a record number of migrants travelled to southern Germany from Hungary, via Austria.
The influx of migrants also pushed Austria to restrict road and rail traffic on its border with Hungary.
The migrants entered the EU illegally, without Schengen visas.
Hungary became a hotspot as a gateway to the Schengen zone, so it built a fence on its border with Serbia.
The fence was much-criticised in the EU – but Serbia is outside Schengen, so Hungary argued that it was quite justified.
Hungary later erected fences on its borders with EU members Slovenia (in Schengen) and Croatia (not in Schengen).
On 4 January the focus switched to Schengen members Denmark and Sweden.
Denmark stepped up border controls with Germany, hours after Sweden extended identity checks on all travellers to reduce the influx of migrants.
Sweden is now refusing entry to anyone who has no photo identification.
It has slowed traffic across the Oresund road-rail bridge.
More than 160,000 people applied for asylum in Sweden last year – the highest per-capita figure in the EU.
In a December speech, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker insisted that free movement under Schengen would be safeguarded and “Schengen is here to stay”.
Schengen is often criticised by nationalists and Eurosceptics, such as the French National Front (FN), Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) and UK Independence Party. They say it is an open door for migrants and criminals.
When can countries reimpose border controls?
Under the Schengen rules, signatories may reinstate internal border controls for 10 days, if this has to be done immediately for “public policy or national security” reasons.
If the problem continues, the controls can be maintained for “renewable periods” of up to 20 days and for a maximum of two months.
An EU regulation in 2013 specified that such controls “should remain an exception and should only be effected as a measure of last resort, for a strictly limited scope and period of time”.
The period for temporary border controls is longer in cases where the threat is considered “foreseeable”. The controls can be maintained for renewable periods of up to 30 days, and for a maximum of six months.
But an extension of two years maximum is allowed under Article 26 of the Schengen Borders Code, in “exceptional circumstances”.
In the Schengen zone currently six states have border controls in place: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden.
Hungary’s controls affect two non-Schengen states: Croatia and Serbia. Last October it also imposed temporary controls on the border with Schengen member Slovenia.
In 2005 France reimposed border controls after the bomb attacks by Islamist militants in London.
Austria, Portugal and Germany reimposed border controls for some major sporting events, such as the Fifa World Cup.
How are non-EU citizens affected?
A short-stay visa costs €60 (£44; $68).
But the visa costs €35 for Russians, Ukrainians and citizens of some other countries, under visa facilitation agreements.
The EU has no visa requirement for citizens of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia who have biometric passports. These Balkan nations all hope to join the EU.
Kosovo is excluded from the arrangement.
Non-EU nationals who have a Schengen visa generally do not have ID checks once they are travelling inside the zone. But since the Paris atrocity those checks have become more common.
Since the scrapping of visas for travellers from the Western Balkans there has been a surge in asylum applications from that region.
Most of the asylum claims are submitted in Germany, which already has well-established diaspora communities from the Balkans.
Now the EU aims to establish a common list of “safe countries of origin”, including the Western Balkans and Turkey. It would help speed up the processing of asylum claims, and give a legal basis for sending many applicants home.
Greek 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.