|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-11-16
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Greece shows solidarity with France after terror attacksGreece condemns terror attacks that killed 129 people and left 352 injured in a series of coordinated attacks at six locations in Paris.
Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday outside the French embassy in Athens and the French consulate in Thessaloniki to light candles, and lay flowers, honoring those killed in the terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, several buildings around Greece have been lit up with the colours of the French flag to show solidarity with France.
 Third prior actions bill to be introduced in Parliament on Tues.Á draft bill containing a third batch of prior actions necessary to unlock á 2-billion-euro loan tranche to Greece will be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
Initially, the conference of (political party) presidents will meet at 13.00 (local time) to decide the time and procedure of the debate in the plenum, with the government wanting a vote via the emergency procedure framework.
In the second phase, the draft bill will be sent to the relevant parliamentary committees, possibly on Wednesday, and on Thursday the plenum will debate and vote on the measures.
 Defence Min Kammenos rules out possible Greek military intervention in regionDefence Minister Panos Kammenos on Monday, in statements to ANT1 TV, ruled out the possibility Greece participating in military interventions
"Greece's role as a guarantor of stability in the wider region is more important," he underlined.
 Greek police had arrested, extradited terror suspect to Belgium in JanuaryGreek police arrested an Algerian national suspected of being a leading jihadist in Athens on Jan. 18, 2015 in collaboration with Belgian law enforcement authorities, according to a document sent to Parliament in March by then Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis.
The man, nevertheless, was not the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was sentenced by Belgian authorities in absentia for recruiting for ISIS in Syria earlier this year, but was a "person of interest" extradited to Belgium on the basis of a European arrest warrant on Jan. 28.
 Alien species threaten the European lakes and riversThe non-indigenous species do not only constitute a huge problem for the Mediterranean, but also for the European rivers and lakes, according to a European study with the participation of Greece
Over 755 alien species have invaded the waters of the European continent. The number has increased substantially in the last 60 years as a result of the globalisation.
Researchers have found that four countries (Germany, Britain, Italy and Russia) are the main entrance gates of the exotic species to European fresh waters. Germany, a country with huge lakes and rivers, has collaborated to the import of the most alien species in Europe.
The nuisance species, fishes and other marine organisms usually come from aquaculture plants where they have escaped from or from the freeing of fishes that were kept in domestic aquariums as pets.
 State Minister Pappas discusses TAP pipeline with Tony BlairMinister of State Nikos Pappas met with former prime minister of Britain Tony Blair on Monday at Maximos Mansion.
According to sources, the meeting focused on the proposed Trans Adriatic (TAP) pipeline.
Blair represents BP (one of the six companies-shareholders of consortium for Shah Deniz gas field), which heads the consortium.
 Flow of refugees to Lesvos showing slight decline, island officials reportThe flow of third country nationals from the opposite Turkish coast to Lesvos appears to be falling off slightly, based on arrival figures collected on the island over the last few days, authorities on the eastern Aegean island reported on Monday.
Over the 24 hours between 6:00 on Sunday and the same time on Monday morning, a total of 3,510 third country nationals were registered as refugees the Moria registration and identification centre, while the number arriving by boat during the same period reached 3,660.
Another 3,860 are currently waiting around the centre to be let in and 4,388 third country nationals -- most from the Middle East -- have been processed and are waiting to leave the island for the mainland.
 Greek police: Half million-plus refugee/migrant arrivals in north Aegean islesMore than 525,000 refugees and migrants, landed on varoius Greek islands in the northern Aegean in 2015, according to official figures released by Greek police on Monday.
Based on the numbers broadcast by the Aegean service of state broadcaster ERT, the vast majority landed on the island of Lesvos, where 353,000 people had been recorded arriving between the start of the year and Nov. 13.
Another 92,000 arrivals were recorded on the island of Samos in the same period, while 80,000 arrived on Chios.
In the first 13 days of November, recorded arrivals on Lesvos stood at 28,600; Samos 6,820 and Chios 7,609.
Meanwhile, authorities on the island of Lesvos offered reassurances on Monday that they are following all necessary procedures for the identification and registration of refugees and migrants arriving on the island and that they are taking sufficient measures to protect the local population.
The representatives of police and other local authorities held a meeting chaired by the island's deputy mayor, Stratis Tzimis, to discuss security issues, following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
 President Pavlopoulos expresses condolences to French counterpart HollandeGreek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos in a phone contact with French President Francois Hollande expressed his deepest condolences as well as the support of the Greek people to France and especially the families of the victims.
Pavlopoulos underlined that this is not only a French tragedy, but a Greek one, and an international one. "Primarily it is a tragedy of the West, since unscrupulous Islamists turned, through France, against the Western civilization, against the Democracy, against the human rights," he noted.
Pavlopoulos pointed to Hollande that the main root of evil is the war in the Middle East and particularly in Syria which must stop as soon as possible adding that that this is primarily the responsibility of the European Union. "And in this direction Greece, an integral member of the European Union and the cradle of its culture, was, is and will be ready to cooperate," he stressed.
 Stricter security measures taken at possible Greek targets, Migration Min Mouzalas saysAny land operation will increase the flows of refugees, Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas warned on Monday in an interview with MEGA TV and assured that stricter security measures have been taken at possible targets in Greece after the terrorist attack.
On the possibility of the terrorist's passport to be fake, he said that this means nothing for Greece. Although Greece may be accused of not adequate controls, he said, the terrorist "was accredited as provided by the EU and the Schengen Treaty."
He also supported the intensification of controls and security measures as long as they do not turn Greece into a prison. "We should not condemn refugees fleeing from those who were responsible for the act of terror in Paris," he underlined.
 Moscovici 'hopeful' agreement on Greece will be reached, if not today, within the weekBRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ C. Vasilaki) European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici said he was confident that an agreement on Greece can be reached "if not today then in the days to come," in a doorstep statement as he arrived for the Eurogroup meeting on Monday.
Moscovici said he had "very positive, very fruitful meetings" with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and other ministers during his recent visit to Athens, on which he would update the Eurogroup.
"We are working on the first set of milestones, which are a precondition in order to decide for the disbursement of 2.0 billion euros that we really want to happen," he said, noting most of the milestones are already adopted or decided.
"There is still a way to go, we are not yet completely there, but I am hopeful and confident that with the spirit of compromise that we have, with the good cooperation with the authorities, we can make it if not today then in the days to come," he said, indicating that he expected a result hopefully within the week.
"We are not far from that but obviously there is still a little way to go," he added.
 Extraordinary meeting of EU Interior Ministers on November 20 in BrusselsThe Luxembourg presidency on Sunday called an extraordinary meeting of EU Interior Ministers on November 20 in Brussels after the tragic events in Paris
According to the announcement of the Luxembourg presidency, the decision was taken jointly with the French authorities.
 Institutions arrive in Athens to resume negotiations with Greek governmentThe representatives of the institutions arrived on Wednesday in Athens to resume negotiations in order to reach an agreement by the end of the week
Meetings with the economic staff began in the afternoon. Non-performing loans, the protection of first residence from foreclosures, equal measures for the 23 pct VAT on private education, the settlement of 100 debt installments and generic drugs' prices are the pending issues that need to be resolved for the disbursement of the 2 billion tranche. At the same time, the finance ministry will table in Parliament the provisions for uncollected rents and the taxation of income from rents.
 Greeks among the hardest workers in the world, OECD saysThe Greeks are among the hardest workers in the world, according to a report of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2014
More specifically, the Mexicans are first with 2,228 working hours a year, corresponding to approximately 42.85 hours a week on average, while the Greeks occupy the fourth place with 2,042 hours per year and 39.27 hours a week.
The last positions are held by the Dutch, the Norwegians, the Danes. The Germans hold the 36th place with 1,371 hours per year, corresponding to 26.37 hours per week. The French work 1,473 hours per year and 28.33 per week compared to the Americans who work 34.30 hours per week.
 Greek franchise business seek inclusion in 2014-2020 development programmeGreek franchise enterprises want to be included in the 2014-2020 Corporate Pact for Development Framework (ESPA), taking advantage of favourable financing terms and conditions offered by community funds
The issue was discussed during a meeting last week between Deputy Economy, Development and Tourism Minister Alexis Haritsis and a delegation of the Greek Franchise Union headed by president Stavros Tolias.
The delegation briefed the political leadership of the ministry over the activities and the dynamism of the franchise business in Greece, which emerges more and more into a credible tool of healthy development in the country. The franchise business has established more than 8,000 sales points around the country with a workforce of more than 30,000.
 Dragasakis sees lifting of capital controls by early 2016ANA-MPA -- There were no margins for complacency concerning the recapitalization of Greece's banks, government Vice-President Yiannis Dragasakis warned in an interview with the newspaper "Real News" published on Sunday. He said it was possible for this to be completed successfully within the current year and that conditions will exist for the lifting of capital controls in the first months of 2016.
Apart from the recapitalization of the four systemic banks, the government was also preparing a comprehensive policy aiming to create a parallel system of financing institutions and tools that will facilitate the mobilisation of domestic resources and also give access to "the pool of global liquidity," he said.
Dragasakis played down fears that Greece's banking system will be "de-Hellenised" as a result of recapitalization and said the aim was a system where banks served society, employment, innovation and growth instead of the other way around.
On the issue of non-performing loans, he said the government's intention was to protect people's homes but stressed that loans could not continue to be issued to "businesses that systematically have their debts in Greece and their profits abroad."
 1,792 refugees to arrive at Piraeus port"Ariadni" ferry carrying 1,792 refugees from Mytilene and Chios is expected to dock at Piraeus port on Friday
Another 583 refugees have been transferred from Mytilene to Kavala.
 Wolves return to Mount Parnitha near AthensThe reappearence of wolves after roughly half a century in the Mt. Parnitha national park, overlooking Athens from the north, has been documented by the environmental advocacy group Kallisto
The presence of wolves on Parnitha was confirmed with the use of infrared photographs, taken from by automatic cameras left on the mountain for six months, following a request for research support by the forestry service.
The cameras recorded a wolfpack of 7-8 wolves.
According to Kallisto, the incident is "interpreted as a natural re-settlement of a dispersed species", adding that the presence of wolves in the mountainous area does not constitute a threat for hikers.
 Street in Keratsini to be renamed Pavlos Fyssas in memory of murdered rapperThe official renaming of Panagis Tsaldaris street in the working-class Piraeus district of Keratsini to Pavlos Fyssas street, in honour of the anti-fascist rapper, who was murdered on September 2013, will be held on Monday, at a special event organised by the municipality of Keratsini - Drapetsona.
"A young fellow citizen, Pavlos Fyssas, was murdered in cold blood by a member of the fascist gang of Golden Dawn. It was a cowardly murder of a man who through his songs and his general attitude fought against fascism," the mayor of Keratsini Christos Vrettakos said in a statement.
 Bellini's 'I Capuleti e i Montecchi' at Athens Megaron from Nov. 13ANA-MPA -- The 'Megaron' Athens Concert Hall is to host a production of Vincenzo Bellini's classic opera "I Capuleti e i Montecchi" (The Capulets and the Montagues) based on the story of Romeo and Juliet for six nights, starting next week on November 13.
An inaugural joint production of the Greek National Opera, the Fondazione Arena di Verona and the Fondazione Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, it is directed by Arnaud Bernard, with sets by Alessandro Camera and costumes designed by Carla Ricotti.
Lukas Karytinos will conduct the Greek National Opera orchestra and chorus for six shows in the Athens Megaron on November 13, 14, 15, 18, 20 and 21.
 Lesvos Museum's 'Aegean: Creation of an Archipelago' exhibition to travel to ChicagoANA-MPA -- The critically acclaimed exhibition "Aegean: Creation of an Archipelago" put together by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest is to open in Chicago's National Hellenic Museum on November 23, where it will remain until August 31, 2016.
Previously exhibited in Rome, Athens and Thessaloniki, "Aegean: Creation of an Archipelago" explores the Aegean Sea's literally groundbreaking history, marked by extinct civilizations, volcanic eruptions, tectonic shifts and the rise and fall of islands - as well as the birth of myths and legends.
Organised by the Lesvos museum in collaboration with the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), the University of the Aegean and the University of Crete, it features rare artifacts and a wealth of photographic and audiovisual displays tracking the area's history, both human and geological, over millions of years.
In addition to its scientific and educational character, this exhibition appeals to a broad audience with images reflecting the beauty of the Aegean and the power of its landscape, its flora and fauna and the natural phenomena that have inspired men to create myths and art.
The exhibition opening will be preceded by a presentation, with remarks by Dr. William A. Parkinson, Curator of Eurasian Anthropology & Associate Professor of Anthropology at The Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Dr. Nickolas Zouros, Associate Professor at the University of the Aegean and Director of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest.
Talking to the ANA-MPA on Thursday, Dr. Zouros said the exhibition aimed to present the processes that had created the Aegean Sea in an accessible and attractive way for a broader audience, also featuring activities for younger visitors, while highlighting the archipelago's history and its present-day ecosystems and attractions.
The exhibition will be shown concurrently and will complement another major archaeological exhibition on ancient Greeks in Chicago, entitled "The Greeks: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great". This will be exhibited at Chicago's Field Museum, running from November 2015 until April 2016, and display well-known masterpieces from Greek archaeological museums, as well as recent archaeological finds that have never been outside of Greece.
 Passenger traffic in Greek airports up 10.1 pct in Jan-OctPassenger traffic in Greek airports took off in the January-October period this year, totaling 45.3 million passengers, from 41.1 million in the corresponding period last year, Greece's Civil Aviation Authority said on Tuesday
Passenger traffic was up 10.1 pct compared with the same period in 2014, offering optimistic messages that traffic could reach 50 million passengers by the end of the year (44.9 million in 2014).
 Greece elected to the UNESCO Executive Board for 2015-2019Greece was elected to the Executive Board of UNESCO for the period 2015-2019, with the highest number of votes (165 of 186 cast) in Electoral Group I (countries of Western Europe and North Africa), in the elections that took place on Wednesday, 11 November, at the Organization's headquarters in Paris
"Our country's election to the Executive Board of UNESCO is the result of systematic promotion of our candidacy, under the instructions of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, by all of our country's Diplomatic Missions abroad and, of course, by the Greek Permanent Mission to UNESCO.
 Artist Anna Lascari to represent Greece in Caracas' 1st Biennale of South: People in ResistanceGreek artist Anna Lascari's «Left of the Parthenon» was chosen to represent Greece at the the Biennale of South, which will take place in Caracas, Venezuela under the title I Bienal del Sur: Pueblos en Resistencia (First Biennale of South: People in Resistance) in the period between November 1, 2015 and February 28, 2016.
Greece is the only southern European country participating in the program, in will which feature 100 artists from 40 countries.
The work is a 3D animation produced exclusively for the Biennale of South, and symbolically depicts an image of suffering and hardship from the ongoing crisis on Greece, a country that some political quarters charged was used as a "guinea pig" for the implementation of neo-liberal policies of austerity and also the resistance of the people.
According to the artist, "one could potentially add to the 'labels', which always represented the image of Greece, some new ones. Thus, on the side of emblematic terms like the 'Parthenon', the 'Acropolis' , or 'cradle of Democracy', new predicates are added, such 'insecurity', 'fear', 'anger', 'social turmoil', communal and alternative practices of solidarity'.
In the 2 minutes of its duration, the 3D animation shows the panic of a cat, trapped on a balcony of a closed office somewhere in the commercial center of Athens. The cries of the cat, which initially revealed her despair, are gradually escalated to a threatening roar, staring insistently the spectator, who although no participating to the drama he can't help not to be moved by it. Finally, the cat disappears, leaving an encapsulating, trapping, emptiness, a void.
The organization of the Biennale was an initiative of Venezuela's Ministry of Popular Power and is materialized under the auspices of the Institute of Representational and Spatial Arts (IARTES). The objective of this ambitious international event is to bring together creative people from the southern hemisphere, but also of a South transcending any notion of geographical border, with the scope of building a common space to communicate their desires, their dreams and their needs.
According to Biennale's curator Morella Jurado, IARTES' general director, this common field could work as an artistic platform for a fruitful exchange of "political experiences and new aesthetic proposals in the view of building a common battlefront, outside the commercial rings and forging its own character".
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