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A Taste of #Lesvos in #Sydney by the Greeks Abroad

A group of friends in NSW with a keen interest in Lesvos have been working diligently to present A Taste of Lesvos on Sunday 2 April 2017 as part of the Greek Festival,

 

Sydney, 1946. Panagiotis Angelis and Efstratios Mihailaros, of Agia Paraskevi, arrive in Sydney and are welcomed by “horiani”.

 

Lesvos, Mindfulness for Impression : How Claire Lloyd made it home here…

 

Mytilenian Brotherhood of Sydney & NSW on the celebration of the 104th Anniversary of the liberation of the Island Lesvos., November 8th, 2016

 

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The #coup sent thryllic Christina Onassis superyacht to Lesvos, Vatera Beach waters

Saudi Arabian Prince Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud sailed into the port of Mytilene in the Aegean with two yachts, “Elegant 007” and Aristotle Onassis’ legendary yacht “Christina”.

The yachts anchored half a mile from the beach of Vatera in south Lesvos,

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In the name of a #Christian Europe some raised the Fences, said @atsipras to @Pontifex, Some #Refugees might be #Angels, said @EcuPatriarch

Tsipras welcoming the Pontifex

Tsipras welcoming the Pontifex

Pontifex at the refugee camp Lesvos, ED @EASO welcoming the Pope

Pontifex at the refugee camp Lesvos, ED @EASO welcoming the Pope

Lesvos holds the historical meeting , United Pray to God

Lesvos holds the historical meeting , United Pray to God

Pontifex, Bartholomew, bringing Christian word closer than ever

Pontifex, Bartholomew, bringing Christian word closer than ever

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In the name of a #Christian Europe some raised the Fences, said @atsipras to @Pontifex, Some #Refugees might be #Angels, said @EcuPatriarch

 

Stay with us on extensive Popes historical meeting coverage, by greek2m.org

 

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Migrants were “walking” on Aegean to find Edem of Lesvos 500.000 years ago

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The populations of the Lower Paleolithic Age “walked” through Aegean to reach Lesvos on their migration routes, which was the Garden of Eden land that helped survival

These populations simply passed Aegean on foot,   transferring cultural and technological achievements of their era “say Nena Galanidis, Associate Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Crete who has led the special archaeological research on Lesvos based on excavations that find today their epicenter at Lisvory, Lesvos area, near Kalloni gulf .

 

Lesvos, a land passage

Lesvos,  a big rich island today with incredible natural resources,  had been an ideal destination, a garden of Eden, at the prehistoric times , and had served deep back in history as the migration passage for the populations of that time,  the flows people of the lower Paleolithic era migrating during the glacier times in order to survive. And we don’t even know how much of “humans” that population had been

“Before 500,000 years, we have to imagine that this island used to join with Western Asia, and then to rule again. Today we all know Lesvos as an island, but had not always been  island throughout the hundreds thousand years of its history.

During the glacial periods of times, the sea level fell, while the ocean water was “locked” in the glaciers due to drought and cold, the sea level fell, and a decline of about 60 meters was enough to unite Lesvos (and most of the islands of the Eastern Aegean) with West Asia, adds professor Nena Galanidou.

Putting them together, we can see today that all of what we know as island group of East Aegean Sea, was the land end of Anatolia.

Such geophysical conditions were allowing the animal populations to be displaced, as well as the populations of progenitor species of the modern man, called hominids. “.

 

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The Paleolithic Findings, tools made of Lesvos rocks

The findings are mainly stone tools of the almond season, and large cutting tools, something like primitive cleavers. All are made exclusively from local rocks.

The paleolithic man who was active at the time, mainloy hunters and gatherers, had not yet learned any time of farming, to cultivate the land, therefore he was moving very often in areas where there was plenty of food.

 

Why did they stop in Lesvos?

“How and Why their archaeological imprint is visible to us today?, the archaeologist and excavatoror Nena Galanidou explains

The most probable explanation to me is that Lesvos has been the main stop during the hominids’ migration journey, because they found there prey, to feed themselves durin that jouney, and this happened on the shores of a large lake , Kalloni, the Beauty Golf of the island as it is known today. Also, they found the material to build their tools, in this place, but as well they find a point which can be for them very welcoming: the hot springs

Around the hot springs we find today a micro-environment that was created. It is no coincidence that Rodafnidia are located right next to the hot springs of Ai Yianni of Lisvori which is the only point with springs in Kalloni ( Beauty) Gulf. ”

 

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Lesvos , an Edem Garden

Lesvos during that time was a real paradise, as, indeed, it still is today, but far more blooming and wild. The seasons between the glaciers, sea levels were significantly falling, and the bed was beconing a huge land. People and animals of that time, were easily moving on foot from Asia Minor to the island, a place disposable of large food reserves.

It is no coincidence that paleontological objects of the findings have been discovered at the area close to the Gulf of Kalloni, were Aristolis of Ancient Greece discoverd Biology, 2500 years before, but hundreds thousands years after the homisids had chose it .

Today  the are is a remarkable and perfect ecosystem, a birdwatchers’ destination, and the Gulf itself becomes each year the source of the best omega 3 food in the world, sardines of Kalloni.

At the prehistoric times Kalloni Gulf was hosting a huge collection of birds, animals and plants, the findings reveal.

Close is the Polychitos area, Vrisa also, were the Museum of Natural History is based hosting many of Paleolithic findings.

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We plan special campaigns and travel programs for the islands especially hit by refugee flows said @tsipras_eu

 

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Alexis Tsipras(right) , Nikos Hatzinikolaou (left), on air, Star channel

Talking live on Star Channel TV and  Nikos Hatzinikolaou show, the Greek Prime Minister undelined that Tourism is in the heart of the government’s priorities, and especially the islands and areas that have been hit by the refugees flows numbers at most.

Alexis Tsipras assured that all the measures will be taken to protect the tourist activity in Greece and especially the first receptor areas, the islands of Aegean.

Prime Minister stated that his office, and personally him is in close contact with the Ministry of Greek Tourism, and the Minister Elena Koudoura, as well as with the Mayors of the islands to find in common the proper solutions and action plan demanded to aware the travel community and travelers to Greece  on the safety of their travel, and more, he said, to give them a reason why to visit these isles, that gave the paradigm of humanism to a changing Europe

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Greek Minister of Tourism Elena Koudoura, by Lesvos, Mytilini port background

 

Alexis Tsipras also clarified that Greece’s position was pro FRONTEX and NATO presence in Aegean as to support , but also confirm to the international community that Greek borders  are properly guarded by Greece

 

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Fusing #Culture in #Greece’s refugee bomb. What the Nomination of #Lesvos for #European Capital of Culture in 2021 revealed 

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…. But life kept flourishing on this blessed land always, despite the difficulties and the agony of the neighboring wars . Pain was transformed to hope in this place, loss was soothed by the solidarity of the society’s heart, and survival struggle was empowered by the inspiration the nature of this isle evokes, day and night by its unprecedented beauty, to common people, as well as artist, philosophers, religious persons and philanthropists throughout the years .

And , truly , this is what the aim of a European Capital of Culture is supposed to be .

“ Do you plan to assimilate the refugees that are going to stay in the island …..”

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Children taken from their mothers on refugee boats

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Shifts of the route towards smaller islands are the firsr results of Frontex and NATO presence in the Aegean

Are you Syrious Organizaion posted noted on its facebook page today,  that yesterday, the highest refugees arrival rate of the last 40 days occured on  Greek islands, and  presented the figures.

The Mayor of Lesvos Spyros Galinos, confirmed, talking to Greek media today that arrivals of the last couple of days exceed the number of 1500 daily, which is huge for this season of the year , he noted

Meanwhile the Greek Prime Minister finds himself in the middle of the refugee storm talks with the European leaders at the Migration EU summit, without the presence of Ahmet Davutoglou, though , who  cancelled his trip to Brussels due to Ankara terorist attack, two days earlier .

Are You Syrious?’s post 6 hrs

#GREECE‬: Yesterday, 4,611 new refugees were registered on the Greek islands, which was a significant increase and represents the highest arrival rate since 9 January. Yesterday’s arrivals include

  • 2,091 refugees on Lesvos,
  • 1,264 on Chios,
  • 652 on Leros,
  • 300 on Samos,
  • 68 on Kos and a smuch as
  • 223 on Southern Dodecanese.

By 9PM today, at least 634 people have landed on Lesvos shores, more than 1,000 have arrived to Chios , while 20 refugees have arrived to Kos last night, including a pregnant woman whose amnion broke right when she arrived on the island and a cesarian had to be made. She and her baby are fine.
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Today at 3 o’clock in the morning, the Greek Coastguard attempts to stop a new boat from reaching the coast of Lesvos resulted in a havoc and the boat almost crashed on sharp rocks near Skala Sykamia. The tragedy was prevented at the last moment by the intervention of the rescue boat belonging to the team ‘Sea Rescue’.

  • Apart from usual landing sites, refugee crisis has hit the small island of ‪#‎Kastellorizo‬, where more than 700 refugees have landed in the past 48 hours, many of them already sleeping in the open as island’s facilities have a maximum capacity of 500 refugees.
  • Additional 153 refugees have landed on ‪#‎Ro‬ island yesterday, where there are no solidarity groups or any other support.

If refugees continue arriving at this rate, all of them won’t be able to board the ferry towards Athens when it arrives on Friday. According to reports from the ground, the Greek Coast Guard and police are overwhelmed as people continue to arrive.

Turkish coast guard has prevented some crossings to the island this morning, but wasn’t able to stop all of them.According to some opinions, shifts of the route towards smaller islands are the firs result of Frontex and NATO presence in the Aegean, creating more dangerous route for the refugees instead of helping them.

 

 

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#NATO officers at Mytilene Port, Lesvos, February 16, 2016 Photo by Laura Lizancos, via Information Point Volunteers Lesvos, fb

 The smugglers’ warning

Earier this week smugglers have warned NATO and Frontex won’t stop them, and that they have their plan B’s on the sea routes to successfully continue carrying refugees to Greece

 

 

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Turkey is  Sinking the boats, say the refugees

Volunteer voices from Lesvos denounce that Turkish Costgard is sinking refugee boats

On International Volunteers Lesvos – Refugee Crisis, Nili Lowicz-Darby posted , 5hrs

A message just received that a Boat of refugees north north west of Karakos, Lesvos is in Turkish waters and it is “confirmed that Turkish coastguard are hosing the boat with water jet” which means they are sinking the boat using water cannon, a boat of refugees of which at least one third will probably be children and babies.

 

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Greek media:  Children were taken from mothers by Turkish Coast Guard among attempts to sink their boat

According to Local News reports two Syrian refugee women made a complaint to Greek port authorities and humanitarian organizations upon their arrival on the island of Lesvos on Thursday February 18th morning, that a Turkish coast guard vessel took several children from a boat where they were together with their parents and took them back to Turkey.

Furthermore, that the coastguard officer attempted to sink the boat while it was sailing in Turkish territorial waters.

According to eye-witnesses, Omar Sindu, refugee from Syria:

«The Turkish coast guard patrol boat took the children and some other passengers form the boat. Several passengers resisted because they did not want to return to Turkey. Then the Turkish coast guard tried to destroy the boat, in an effort to force the passengers to get on the coast guard boat. But the boat increased speed and managed to escape.

We are later rescued by a Greek boat that took us to Lesvos.”

Accoding to the Greek media reports the UN High Commission for Refugees is informed and trying to reunite the two families.

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#NATO officers arrived in Lesvos, flotilla expected tomorrow, while #smugglers warn they won’t be stopped

Smugglers: NATO won’t disrupt our networks

People smugglers in Turkey have told Sky News NATO’s warships will not be able to stem the flow of migrants and refugees heading across the Aegean Sea to Europe, or disrupt their networks.

 

Mohammed has been involved in the human smuggling trade for the last two years.

He said to Sky News, the gangs are too well organised and there’s too much money involved for it to be halted.

“The smuggling will not stop – as long as people want to be smuggled the smuggling networks will continue to operate,” Mohammed told Sky News.

“Turkey has tried to stop it but we the smugglers are well prepared and are always one step ahead.

“We don’t bribe the police but if one policeman or two finds out about our operations they will come to the smuggler and tell him we know what you are doing – then the smuggler will bribe him with a few hundred dollars.”

NATO says its mission will not be involved in rescuing migrants, or turning their flimsy crafts around and away from Europe.

 

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The German supply ship Bonn, which will lead the Nato flotilla heading for the Aegean Sea Photograph: Ingo Wagner/AP

 

 NATO ships expected to arrive on February 19th

Defence ministers from the 28 countries in the US-led military alliance agreed in principle to the mission and have asked officials to look at a variety of options for establishing patrols along the Turkish and Greek coasts and other smuggling routes. Several member states have offered to send reinforcements to the three-ship mission.

The Nato intervention is justified as an attack on human traffickers,

US defence secretary Ashton Carter explained. “There is now a criminal syndicate that is exploiting these poor people and this is an organised smuggling operation.”

The NATO ships have been ordered to the Aegean to begin the mission “without delay”, and are expected to be in place on Friday, even though the details of their role are still being filled in, said US air force general Philip Breedlove.

“This mission has literally come together in about the last 20 hours,” Breedlove told journalists. “I have been tasked now to go back and define the mission, define the rules of engagement, define all of what we call special operation instructions, all of the things that will lay out what we are going to do.”

He declined to comment on whether the Nato crews would join local coastguards in rescuing migrants whose boats had sunk or were failing.

The Bonn patrol

Nato has sent a patrol of three warships to intercept migrants trying to reach Greece by sea and send them back to Turkey, as Europe steps up efforts to contain the refugee crisis.

The Nato flotilla will be led by the German navy’s flagship, the Bonn, supported by Turkey’s frigate Barbaros and the Canadian frigate, Fredericton.

The German-led patrol will be backed by planes that can monitor the flow of people attempting illegal crossings.

Greece and Turkey have agreed that any migrants they intercept will be sent back.

“They will not be taken back to Greece. The aim of the group is to have them taken back to Turkey. That is the crucial difference,” said the British defence secretary, Michael Fallon.

“This is the first time we have seen a group tasked with returning migrants. That has not happened before. So that is quite an important development.”

The UK does not have any ships involved but is looking at how it could contribute, Fallon told journalists after a meeting of defence ministers in Brussels, where the plan was hammered out.

“It could definitely help save lives in the Aegean and it could help break the criminal gangs that are trafficking migrants from Turkey into Europe,” he added.

The NATO alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, initially denied that the ships would try to stop people from crossing into Europe. “This is not about stopping or pushing back refugee boats,” he said.

Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, had already indicated she favoured a far more robust approach and had secured Ankara’s permission to send some refugees back to Turkey, the Deutsche Welle newspaper reported.

the smugglers network

For Turkey and its smugglers, the flow of people is big business. Each dinghy crammed full of desperate people is estimated to generate €50,000, the middleeastmonitor.com writes.

At night, when busses fill up far away from the coast in Turkey, the smugglers are let through depending on the fluctuating regulations, to make good business sense the article adds.

“The government cracks down on certain crossings, changing the flow of refugees to Lesvos; at the moment the refugees arrive on the north coast of the island. The Turkish government had a crackdown on smugglers from Izmir aiming for the south of Lesvos, an hour-long, lethal journey with faulty lifejackets and dinghies in choppy waters, so they find themselves capitalising instead on the five times longer and thus five times more dangerous route to arrive on the north coast. People have to pay €1,500 to risk their lives crossing the Aegean on a good day (many times more expensive than an official, and safe, ferry); when it is windy the charge is €500 or €700 at night, when the chance of survival decreases. This is how the smugglers capitalise on the status of extremely vulnerable people fleeing from war.”

Greece out of Schengen , not the solution

Excluding Greece from the passport-free Schengen area will not solve Europe’s migrant problem, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday after meeting Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens.

“Let me be clear, excluding Greece from Schengen solves none of our problems,” Tusk told reporters

Council President acknowledged the crisis was testing European cohesion to its limits.

“For all those talking of excluding Greece from Schengen, thinking this is a solution to the migration crisis, I say no, it is not.

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In #Greece, the work is done, reports from #Lesvos to EU, #EDP MEP Marielle de Sarne

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“I was at Lesvos, Saturday and Sunday. I saw the work of the Greek Coast Guard and the Greek border guards, I saw the Greek ships– more Greek ships than Frontex ones, by the way –, I saw the work they are doing in rescuing and welcoming the refugees.

I visited the hotspot of Lesvos, one of the main access to the EU.”

“There were 700 arrivals in January 2015, there was in January of this year already 33.000 arrivals.”

“These arrivals have been managed by the Greeks. With a little help from Frontex, of course; more would be better. Arriving refugees are controlled, they are registered, they are photographed.”

Marielle de Sarnez was in Lesvos duringhe last two days of Januar2016. She met representatives from NGOs, Greek Coast-Guards and police, as well as the mayor of Lesvos, Sypros Galinos.

The Greeks do the job, so let’s not divide us by finger-pointing this country.

This is the message she delivered to the Commission and the Commissionner for Migrations Dimitris Avramopoulos today in the European Parliament.

“I want to say to the European institutions, the Council and the Commission, that the message they gave a few days ago – a distrust message vis-à-vis Greece and a hypothetical quarantine of Greece – was not a message of good politics. It was not an inspired message.”

“Obviously as you want to keep Schengen, as we all want, let’s consider the Greece border as the European border and let’s not try to play and let’s not try to be divided.”

The work is done, so let’s really stick together and then let’s take decisions.

The first decision that I ask you to take is to require Turkey to put and end to this criminal traffic and the criminal smugglers’ activities: 3.000 euros per adult, 1.000 per child, half price for storms and, moreover, the sold life jackets are usually fake lifejackets.

“That would be already a concrete, necessary and vital action from the European Union.”