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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Tsipras: Summit results a step forward
  • [02] PM Tsipras hails Eurogroup commitment to debt relief talks
  • [03] Merkel stresses need to make humanitarian conditions in Greece viable
  • [04] Greek-FYROM buffer zone remains closed
  • [05] Greece pushing for solution that will include returning refugees, migrants to Turkey
  • [06] 1,300 refugees and migrants to arrive at Piraeus port on Tuesday

  • [01] Tsipras: Summit results a step forward

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ Aroni, Spinthourakis) - "I think that the results of the summit could only be described as a step forward," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras early on Tuesday said and stressed the need to make more steps forward, because the images from Idomeni are tragic.

    "If the officials are not moved by these images and if some believe that the problem does not concern the European civilization and the future of the EU, then they are wrong and there will be a huge impact on the EU," he stated.

    The Greek prime minister expressed his content over the change of climate in the EU summit and the fact that the discussion was set on a good basis. "The discussion was focused on finding a substantial solution for curtailing refugee flows from Turkey in cooperation with Turkey," he underlined adding that Turkey presented some "tempting proposals," surprising many. The prime minister stressed, however, that these proposals included some key details that need to be worked out.

    Tsipras stressed that the summit will continue on Tuesday in Izmir, where a "historic meeting" will take place on the updating of Greece-Turkey Readmission Agreement so that Ankara accepts all migrants who are entitled to international protection. "This agreement can be the first step for combating traffickers."

    "Not only Greece was not isolated in this meeting, but the countries that wanted to isolate Greece did so," he stated and added: "Fences were actually built for those who wanted to build fences."

    Tsipras estimated that the next summit on March 17-18 will be critical and stressed the importance of respecting the needs of each other.

    [02] PM Tsipras hails Eurogroup commitment to debt relief talks

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed statements by the Eurogroup on Monday according to which Greek debt relief talks will start as soon as the first program review has concluded.

    "We welcome the Eurogroup's commitment to proceed with debt relief as soon as the review of the program is completed," Tsipras tweeted on his official account.

    [03] Merkel stresses need to make humanitarian conditions in Greece viable

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/Ch. Vassilaki) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel early on Tuesday referred to the negative impact of the continuing flow of refugees and migrants on Greece.

    "In today's summit of the 28 member states, we looked into ways to improve the humanitarian conditions in Greece and make then viable," Merkel said in statements to journalists after the EU summit with the participation of Turkey.

    Regarding Turkey, the German Chancellor said that it has made important steps for the protection of its borders and the improvement of the refugees' living conditions. She also referred to the Syrian refugees' access to employment as well as programmes implemented for their support.

    Finally, the German Chancellor said that the readmission agreement will be implemented once a final agreement is reached in the next summit on March 18.

    [04] Greek-FYROM buffer zone remains closed

    Nobody has managed to cross the Greek-FYROM buffer zone as it remains closed since Monday morning.

    A total of 13,000 refugees are estimated to have gathered at Idomeni.

    [05] Greece pushing for solution that will include returning refugees, migrants to Turkey

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M. Aroni) – Greece is pressuring at the EU-Turkey summit in Brussels for a solution that will include returning refugees and migrants from Greece to Turkey, on the condition that it they will be directly resettled to EU countries, government sources said on Monday.

    According to the same sources, the Visegrad Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland) are disagreeing with the return of Syrian refugees to Turkey, claiming it is not a safe third country.

    The Greek government criticized this stance, saying its "hypocritical", as these countries are not accepting refugees, do not cooperate for any solution and at the same time they're closing the borders, the sources said. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is asking for a decision on the refugee crisis to be taken tonight, saying that if there isn't, then the Balkan route should reopen to allow refugees to continue their journey.

    The Greek side is also saying that if the "Plan A" is not accepted – the return of refugees and migrants to Turkey – then we must go to "Plan B" which entails returning only migrants to Turkey.

    [06] 1,300 refugees and migrants to arrive at Piraeus port on Tuesday

    Three ferries with 1,300 refugees and migrants from the islands of eastern Aegean are expected to dock at Piraeus port on Tuesday.

    More specifically, "Blue Star 1" will carry 795 refugees from Mytilene and Chios. "Diagoras" will carry 313 refugees from Rhodos and "Nisos Mykonos" will carry another 222 from Samos.


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