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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-01-28

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Commission spokesman on repurchase of Greek debt prospect
  • [02] Gov't: No legalisation of illegal migrants
  • [03] Criticism of univ. asylum
  • [04] Med Games 2013 lost 

  • [01] Commission spokesman on repurchase of Greek debt prospect

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA) -- The issue of repurchasing Greek debt is one of many ideas currently under discussion in the Eurozone, Amadeu Altafaj, a spokesman for EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Olli Rehn said on Friday.

    The spokesman, commenting on statements by Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou n the issue, said the latter met with Rehn in Davos and added that a discussion was underway -- currently in the Eurozone and the EU in general -- over finding an overall solution to deal with a debt crisis in the Eurozone. These discussions included the issue of the current and future financing mechanism, which will be discussed at a European Council on Feb. 4. (ANA-MPA).

    To view the entire article please contact the ANA-MPA's subscription department at 2106400560

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [02] Gov't: No legalisation of illegal migrants

    (ANA-MPA) -- The government on Friday reiterated its standing position that there will be no isolated or mass legalisations of illegal migrants in Greece, a day after the end of the occupation of an Athens law school building in central Athens by some 250 illegal migrants in demand of across-the-board legalisation of all migrants in Greece, both legal and illegal.

    After all-night negotiations with the illegal migrants and their local supporters, they finally abandoned the building, currently closed for renovation, in the early morning hours of Friday and were relocated to a neo-classical building a few kilometers away after a tentative agreement was reached with its owner.

    Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis also said that a prosecutor would launch procedures to attribute responsibilities to all those who had taken part in the procedure of occupation of the Law School.

    Meanwhile, members of the Solidarity Initiative for the hunger-striking illegal migrants at the Law School charged "wretched living conditions" in the neo-classical building.

    The illegal migrants, on their part, said they will carry on with their hunger strike until they are "vindicated".

    At this time, 157 of the illegal migrants and 15 members of a "solidarity committee" are being accommodated at the neoclassical building on Epirou street.

    Roughly 250 illegal immigrants -- all from North African countries -- abandoned an under renovation Athens Law School building in the early morning hours of Friday, ending a (ANA-MPA) standoff that drew even more attention to the spectre of illegal migration, while at the same time reopening heated debate on a controversial law that bestows "asylum" on practically every tertiary educational institution in Greece.

    The illegal migrants, all men, evacuated the building in downtown Athens and headed -- along with supporters affiliated with migrants' rights groups and leftist political groupings -- to the neo-classical building a few kilometres away at roughly 3:20 a.m. on Friday.

    The agreement foresees their stay there for no more than 15 days. (ANA-MPA)

    The entire group was ferried from the large island of Crete via ferry boat and arrived at dawn on Monday. Most of the migrants ostensibly lack residency papers and even travel documents, working as farm help and unskilled construction workers in Crete, one of the most prosperous regions in the east Mediterranean country of 11 million.

    "The government calmly and decisively ensured the peaceful and safe exit of this group from the university and the termination of the asylum's trespassing, all while at the same time defending the rule of law," government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said. (ANA-MPA)

    ANA-MPA photo

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [03] Criticism of univ. asylum

    (ANA-MPA) -- Main opposition New Democracy on Friday tabled an amendment that seeks the abolition of university asylum regime in its current form. The amendment was attached as a rider to a draft bill on setting up a fund for enterprises and development, which will be debated in Parliament next Tuesday.

    In its supporting report, ND noted that today, 29 years after it was first established, "university asylum constitutes a controversial institution with degenerative tendencies".

    The party argued that the law no longer served its original purpose, which was to ensure academic freedoms, the free exchange of ideas and unobstructed education and research.

    "Instead it creates an 'islet' that lends itself to committing all kinds of illegal actions and facilitates external interventions by all sorts from outside the universities," ND stated, pointing to the recent occupation of a Law School building by economic migrants and warning that university campuses might well become lawless enclaves where delinquent behaviours were protected.

    Its proposed amendment would abolish articles governing university asylum in a 2007 law and replace these with articles that specifically protect academic research, freedom of expression and the right to teach different ideas and views.

    The party has sought to differentiate its stance from that of the right-of-centre Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party, which tabled draft legislation to fully abolish asylum in universities a day earlier. Despite a statement earlier this week from ND leader Antonis Samaras that asylum should be abolished, the party has toned down its final stance to one of modifying asylum laws as these exist today. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


    [04] Med Games 2013 lost

    (ANA-MPA) -- The International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) decided in Paris on Friday that Greece will not host the 2013 Mediterranean Games, which were to be held in central Thessaly cities of Volos and Larissa, according to sources.

    ICMG, which met in Paris on Friday, said organisers in Volos-Larissa failed to meet deadlines in the contruction of required facilities, especially the athletes' village.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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