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How @tsipras_eu Dissolved All The Shades Of #Greek #Hope In Two Years

Hope is on the way , was Alexis Tsipras’ slogan that brought him to power in January 2015

While two years later,  Greek PM saw  “light in the end of the tunnel”, as he said on his  New Years Eve message,- exactly as his predecessor Antonis Samaras did, precisely two Januaries earlier ,before his fall,-  Greeks showed to  be more pessimistic than ever  about the country’ s economic prospects and their own finances in the coming year, according to  survey conducted on last days of last year

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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

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#GreekGov acceptance of the No Way Out in #NorthAegean isles due to EU-Turkey deal causing repetititve resignations in Ministry of Migration

Mytilene, Lesvos, September 2015, 25.000 refugees in the port area awaiting the boat to Athens

The third consecutive resignation within seven months has sent, reportedly, the Secretary General for Migration Policy Mr. Vasilis Papadopoulos, denounces the situation in the Greek islands “with the ever growing concentration of migrant and refugee population”, following the example of the previous Secretary General Odysseas Voudouris who resigned nearly two months ago …..

Read more: Greek to me ! Newsblog article 

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Seeking close economic ties with Iran, Greece the only country that blocked sanctions on the accused of financing terrorism Iranian bank

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#Greece’s Diplomacy Response challenged to the very edge by the Turkish BlackHawk landing

The Turkish officers who have already sought political asylum in Greece were not indicted with attempt to disrupt the country’s international relations, something that as one of the suspects’ lawyers said, would offer to some to consider the need for their extradition to Turkey imperative.

The charge could not stand because they did not come to raise a problem to the country.

It is  in fact a situation that has stressed Greece’s diplomacy response with major diconfort, since Greece, by Alexis Tsipras government is the country that has raised, more than any other country, the issue of  the human rights of Political Asylum Request….

Go to our Newsblog article by  Greek to me !

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President #Obama encouraged longer-term U.S.-Greece defense cooperation, commended Greece’s cooperation with Turkey, on his meeting with @tsipras_eu in Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland July 9  – President Barack Obama met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Warsaw on Saturday, the White House said.

“The president commended Greece’s cooperation with Turkey to reduce irregular migration and encouraged longer-term U.S.-Greece defense cooperation,” a White House official said, Reuters wrote .

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On “Religious Diplomacy” visit in #Greece, #Putin as a faithful asks for privacy moments on Mount Athos

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Russian President asked for privacy during the last hours of his trip to Mount Athos in Greece, and for personal pilgrimage time at the Garden of Virgin Mary, and especially during his visit to the Russian Monastery

 “I am glad to have the opportunity to visit again in Athos, which is rightly called the Garden of the Virgin Mary,” Russian President said  at the Mount Athos’ administrative center of Karyes, and stressed that “every man who walks on this earth of prayer, brings particular feelings.”

“The Holy Mountain is a unique defender of Orthodoxy,” Vladimir Putin said, praising the Mount Athos’ role in the strengthening of Christianity.

We look forward to the establishment of relations with the Holy Mountain” concluded expressing his pleasure for  that ” each year more and more visiting pilgrims from Russia.”

The Russian head of state  head privately to the St. Panteleimon monastery, after the official welcome ceremony  at Karyes, where he was welcomed by the Religious leaders and the Greek President , and lighted a candle and kissed the holy icon at Protaton church .

At St Panteleimon monastery, which is inhabited by Russian monks,  President Putin was met by the 102-year-old abbot Jeremiah and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Abbot Jeremiah is the older among all monks in the Athos society. Those who have met him say that he might become a Saint due to his special spiritual value. Greek media reported that he is the “spiritual father” (pnevmatikos) of President Putin

Putin has arrived at the monastic center of Holy Mount Athos on his second and last day of his visit to Greece on Saturday afternoon. He visited Mount Athos’ administrative center of Karyes, and the Protaton church which is under the ownership of the Holy Kinot, Athos’ high governing council.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos welcomed Vladimir Putin alongside local religious dignitaries, followed by a short service at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Putin  then addressed  members of the Holy Kinot stressing the importance of strengthening relations between Russia and Mount Athos , for the religious strength that this would provide to the Russian people

Russia and Greece celebrate 2016 as a cross-cultural year, marking the millennial anniversary since the first Russian settlement on the Holy Mount Athos.

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Mount Athos is a peninsula in northeastern Greece with 20 monasteries – 17 Greek, one Russian named after St. Panteleimon, one Bulgarian and one Serbian. The 20 monasteries rule Athos through their representatives that make up the Holy Kinot.

Vladimir Putin arrived in Greece for his two-day visit on Friday. During  his meeting with  Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras,

the Greek leader  said that strengthening ties between Moscow and Athens is the “strategic choice” of the Greek nation.

The Russian leader, during his speeches in Athens on Friday, but also on Mount Athos on Saturday,

repeatedly  underscored that Russia and Greece have common civilization values and Orthodox culture.

Russian Orthodox Church leader Kirill  had already arrived since Friday on Mount Athos to join Vladimir Putin during his visit today.

It is not the first time Putin is visiting Athos. Actually,during his visit to Greece in September 2005, he was the first Russian leader to visit the holy place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens on Friday.

Jointly with Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, Vladimir Putin visited the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens and attended the opening of the exhibition of the Ascension icon painted by Andrei Rublev in 1408, which is part of the State Tretyakov Gallery’s collection.

The Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens, where the icon is exhibited, houses one of the most famous collections of Byzantine art. Its exposition counts more than 25,000 icons and divine service items, jewellery pieces, sculptures, mosaics, frescoes, ceramic items and manuscripts covering the period from the 3rd to the 20th century.

 

The first collection of the museum, which was officially opened in 1914, was put together by the councillor to Queen Olga of the Hellenes (before marriage Grand Duchess Olga Romanova), founder of the Christian Archaeological Society George Lambakis.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to attend the opening of this unique exhibition of the Ascension icon, a masterpiece from the collection of Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery. This is a work by a great icon-painter, monk Andrei Rublev.

Andrei Rublev took his inspiration from the cultural and religious heritage of Byzantium, whose spiritual successor Greece is. Having mastered various elements and techniques of Byzantine artists, Rublev was able to add to and enrich them. Mr Prime Minister highlighted the Russian style of this icon.

For a long time, the name of Andrei Rublev was known only to specialists. It was only in the 20th century that his art gained broader recognition. Only five of his works, five icons, have survived. The Ascension is one of them. It exudes a sense of harmony and a balance of form that are inherent to the artist. The icon was painted in the early 15th century during the restoration of the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir.

I would also like to highlight that the exhibition is held as part of the cross-cultural years of Russia and Greece, whose launches the President of Greece and I declared in Moscow in January. I am sure that many more memorable events will be held in the course of this extensive project.

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Religious Diplomacy, notes Le Monde

By using “religious diplomacy” Moscow wants to break Europe’s unity against Russia because Greece has long opposed Western anti-Russian sanctions, an article in the French newspaper Le Figaro said.

“Vladimir Putin is the president of a country where the constitution proclaims the separation of church and state. At the same time, he is a religious person, taking into account his planned visit to Mount Athos, one of the most important orthodox holy places,” the article read.

Vladimir Putin’s cooperation with Tsipras may break the anti-Russian unanimity within the European Union. Greek Prime Mnister Alexis Tsipras, since he assumed his post  has repeatedly criticized Western sanctions against Russia.

The Russian president and Patriarch Kirill have a common mission during their visit to Greece, the article noted.

Ahead of the visit, Vladimir Putin wrote an article that was published  by the Greek newspaper Kathimerini , where the Russian leader underlined that

throughout different epochs religion and patriotism have helped the Russian and Greek peoples preserve their identity .

He added that Russia is indispensable for Europe.

“An alliance between state and church is becoming more and more visible in Russia,” the article read.

Recently, the Russian Orthodox Church proposed to establish a new monetary organization controlled by all countries.

According to Le Figaro, thus the Church criticized global dollar and euro dominance.

Visit our updated on #PutininGreece Gree2m Special HomePage

 

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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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“We cannot afford #refugeescrisis Response in terms of #geopolitics only, said @tsipras_eu at @SupportSyrians conference

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The heavy burden that the refugee crisis has placed on cash-strapped Greece and especially the Greek islands

underlined Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the “Supporting Syria and the Region” conference in London, where the Greek PM met with top European officials including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, and the UK Prime Minister David Cameron   

Athens insists that refugees be relocated directly to the European Union from Turkey, and not cross through Greece.

Greece is asking for full implementation of the and pushing strenuously for the implementation of a refugee relocation tool that is currently moving at negligible rates.

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Merkel: focus on hotspots

During the meeting of the Greek Prime Minister and Angela Merkel , government sources said that Merkel asked that the Greek hotspots be completed by February 18, in time for the European Council in Brussels.

The government has repeatedly said that it will have implemented its commitments by that date, they noted.

The Greek government has also underlined that, once the Italian prime minister lifts obstacles to financing, there must be immediate implementation of the agreements in the EU-Turkey joint action plan.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and European Council President Donald Tusk, Tsipras emphasized the huge efforts being made by Greek authorities to manage the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants and called for a more comprehensive European

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Tsipras –Cameron on refugees issue 

According to government sources, Cameron expressed his full support for Greece and an agreement was reached on setting up

  • a bilateral team with British experts with knowhow in the readmission of Pakistanis, who will soon be coming to Athens.

The UK also offered

  • assistance to the Greek coast guard in the form of personnel and on a technical level, they said.

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Tsipras addressing the conference

Addressing the  ‘Supporting Syria and the Region’ conference, Tsipras urged the international community to adopt a “long-term, strategic approach,” to the still-unfolding Syrian refugee crisis, focused on “effective and humane management of refugee flows.”
“The Syrian crisis has humanitarian consequences that will stay with us for decades. We cannot deal with them by building walls or pushing back people in the sea and risking deaths. We cannot push people from country to country, as if they are someone else’s responsibility,” he said, addressing the donors conference.

“I wonder what would have happened to millions of Syrians if Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon had decided to build walls or if all of Europe had said : ‘Refugees aren’t welcome here.

What happens in the Mediterranean is not our problem,'” he added, pointing out that the Syrian conflict was now in its sixth year “with no end in sight”.

“As the UN Secretary General said, the international community has a heavy responsibility for this crisis.”

We cannot afford to see the consequences of the crisis only in terms of geopolitics and public order,” Tsipras pointed out.

“Greece has experience first-hand the humanitarian consequences of this crisis, and we insist on dealing with this challenge with humanity and on the basis of international and European values. Since July we have faced flows of over 900,000 people, of which around 500,000 were Syrians.

“The cost of managing these flows and the burden on state capacities has been enormous. The coast guard has rescued more than 150,000 migrants, many of our islands have hosted more people daily than their population. And the people of Greece are doing all they can to support Syrian refugees.”

 

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Tsipras for assistance to neighboring Syria countries

Tsipras called for a long-term approach and a “response that focuses on cooperation with and assistance to countries that neighbour Syria, which carry an enormous burden of millions of refugees.”
He called for pledges that ensure the integration of refugees in these countries while stemming migration flows.

  • “We have discussed relevant projects on the basis of the EU-Turkey action plan and we must work harder for this plan to succeed. We must push for education programmes and brave economic initiatives that create employment opportunities in Jordan and Lebanon”
  • “We must work on a robust resettlement programme to Europe and other countries,” he said.”

“At the same time, we need to press and support UN talks for a political settlement to the Syrian conflict that will end all attacks against civilians and confront terrorism.

  • “A political settlement of the Syrian conflict that will create conditions for reconciliation and will return civilians to their homes.”

300.000 UN Pledge

The Greek Prime Minister announced that Greece pledges 300,000 euros to the UN for 2016.
“It is a symbolic sum, ” the Prime Minister said,

“but the daily struggle of the Greek people to support and host refugees is not symbolic it is priceless,” he said.

 

Tsipras  also met with European Parliament President Martin Schulz.