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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Consensus emerging at political party leaders' meeting, sources say
  • [02] Germany will seek common European solutions to refugee crisis on Monday
  • [03] Bonatti-J&P AVAX-Spiecapag consortium wins TAP project contract‏

  • [01] Consensus emerging at political party leaders' meeting, sources say

    There has to be a distinction between refugees and economic migrants, with irregular migrants detained in closed facilities, Greece's opposition party leaders were reported as saying on Friday, during an ongoing political leaders' council chaired by President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos. The meeting, which began at noon, focused on the handling of the refugee crisis.

    Sources said that a climate of consensus was emerging about what must be done from this point on, while the meeting had adjourned for the drafting of a joint communiqué. They clarified that this is not supported by Union of Centrists' party leader Vassilis Leventis or by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas, who walked out of the meeting early.

    Main opposition New Democracy sources also confirmed a climate of convergence, saying that the prime minister had accepted many of the party's positions, including the need for closed-type facilities for irregular migrants and effective guarding of the borders.

    The first part of the meeting was devoted to a presentation of figures regarding the handling of the crisis and questions put by the opposition party leaders.

    According to sources, Mitsotakis first raised the issue of creating detention centres, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras replying that the government will respect the Geneva Convention and that the solution lay in persuading Turkey to honour the agreements for the readmission of economic migrants.

    PASOK sources said the party's leader Fofi Gennimata also called for a plan that specified the number of refugees that can stay in Greece and asked Tsipras to clarify references by government ministers to numbers ranging between 100,000-150,000. Tsipras replied that the ministers had been misinterpreted, the sources said.

    In statements after leaving the meeting, KKE's leader said it had "unfortunately confirmed KKE's initial forecast that the course of this massive issue, the refugee-migration issue, in our country is not on a good path," and that EU decisions backed by the Greek government and other parties would lead to thousands of migrants and refugees being trapped in Greece.

    Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis suggested appointing a minister that will oversee the refugee crisis and all the relevant issues, during a political leaders' meeting on refugees on Friday, party sources said.

    Theodorakis also proposed creating separate centers for children of refugees and migrants and unaccompanied children, which will cater not just for their food, care and accommodation, but also for their education and social integration. According to the same sources, he also asked for a clear distinction between refugees and migrants and a national plan for the control of refugee flows.

    [02] Germany will seek common European solutions to refugee crisis on Monday

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA/F. Karaviti) – Germany is committed to finding a common European solution to the refugee crisis and cooperating with Turkey to limit the flow of refugees and migrants to the EU, government deputy spokesperson Christiane Wirtz said on Friday, commenting on the upcoming EU summit on Monday.

    Wirtz said that during the summit, the leaders of member-states will first meet with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss how to progress the EU-Turkey action plan, which will be followed by a meeting of the European Council to discuss the refugee crisis, the situation in Greece and how to assist the country.

    [03] Bonatti-J&P AVAX-Spiecapag consortium wins TAP project contract‏

    A Bonatti-led consortium with J&P AVAX and the French company Spiecapag won a tender for the construction of the land part of a TAP pipeline project, it was announced on Friday.

    It is the biggest contract of the project, which envisages construction of a 760-km pipeline stretching from the Greek-Turkish borders to the coast of Albania. The project was broken into five pieces, three in Greece and two in Albania.

    The Bonatti-AVAX consortium will undertake the part from Kavala to the Greek-Albanian borders (Ieropigi), with a length of 360 km, while Spiecapag will undertake the remaining 185 km of the pipeline stretching from Kipi to Kavala and two sections in Albania (215 km) between Bilisht and Topoje.

    The consortium will also build a passage across the Evros river, where TAP will be connected with TANAP, the pipeline linking Azerbaijan with the Greek-Turkish borders.

    The pipeline will have a diameter of 48 inches (1.2 metres) and a transport capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, in an initial stage. Works are expected to begin in mid-2016.

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