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It’s all Greek to me ! and you should Not Miss them, while on a Cruise to Greece

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As with any cruise, while visiting Greece, there are a few things to treasure that might surprise you and which you should no way miss them. Remember, it’s the moments that count in the journey fo life, so go for these Greek irresistible experiences.

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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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#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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Hot pots important, but detension centers also needed, says Commissioner @Avramopoulos, announcing planning of #Dublin reforms

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“Hotspots are important. But detention centres are also needed for those ordered to return to their home countries, particularly if they are not willing to return voluntarily,”

said European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos on Friday said in an interview with EurActiv.

Dublin reforms under planning

The Greek Commissioner also said that while systematic registration needs to happen, and while all hotspots need to become operational as soon as possible,  need to step up relocations need to be stepped up too, but also, we are also precisely planning systemic reforms that are urgently needed ,by the EU Committees, ahead of the Dublin reform that is coming in spring.

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No country threatened with Schengen expulsion

“What we are trying to do is to safeguard and to strengthen Schengen,” Demitris Avramopoulos underlined.
If we want to continue to move freely internally, we simply have to better manage our external borders.
“We are helping Greece to do that, and I know that Greece is making efforts too.
But it is not just about borders. This is precisely what the inhabitants of the Greek islands show on a daily basis. They give food, donate clothes, help those vulnerable people who arrive – they have been doing this from the very start, because it is the right and humane thing to do.”
It is this sense of humanity and solidarity that we have seen also in other places in Europe, such as Italy and Sweden – but unfortunately not enough everywhere.”

 

via Avramopoulos: No country threatened with Schengen expulsion | News.

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What shall we do when the borders close?

The shock of a million foreigners has set European racists reeling. It has made bureaucratic machines crack and sputter. The micromanaging states of Europe want this disaster of irregularity, chaos and non-registration to end. Better a drowned refugee than a non-registered one. Better an imprisoned child than a smuggled one. Keep THEM in those white boxes and keep those white boxes in barbed-wire fences and have volunteers – registered, of course – keep refugees in line. Sort them by nationality, gender, age, vulnerability, take their fingerprints and check just HOW MUCH they suffered, because we don’t accept just anyone here, you know. Write their number on their hand, tag their fingernails, count the cups of soup they get, stamp their papers, give them thirty days to get to Level 2 or it’s Game Over. Then their journey begins again, and when they get here next time, the open camp will be a detention center, the food-distributor a prison guard, the registration will be for a flight back home. And where will we, the soup-cookers and clothes-distributors, be then?The incompetence of Greece and Europe has made people believe this can’t happen. But this is an illusory hope. Sure, Greece is incapable of managing registration, let alone keeping a million people detained. But Big Brother Europe has plenty of force to spare. Frontex-officials are coming to the islands like a plague of black locusts, gnawing apart nonconforming support structures, ridding the Balkan route of the insufficient Greek Coast Guard and insubordinate volunteers. In due time, tent camps will have disappeared and there’ll be a clean, white wall

“We cannot cope with the numbers any longer”, the Dutch prime minister says. Just imagine what he’ll be saying in June, when the Aegean sea will be warm and still.

We have to prepare for this. Europe is freaking out already, and it has given itself two months to save itself from the refugees. Only its boundless incompetence and disunity have allowed migrants to travel for this long. But with a near-fascist government in Poland, a straight-out racist ruling Hungary (with an even worse opposition), and the whole of Central Europe just waiting for an excuse to shut their borders, we can’t rely on hope or prayer anymore.

Source: What shall we do when the borders close?

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The #Lifejacket Graveyard, #Lesvos by @SusanSarandon

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LESBOS, GREECE — This is the ‘Mountain of Misery’ or the ‘Lifejacket Graveyard’ in the north of the Greek island of Lesbos. Whatever you choose to call it, this massive reminder of the resilience of the human spirit stretches to the horizon.

This year eight hundred thousand people have found their way to Greece in hopes of a better life. If they make the treacherous crossing safely, many more obstacles lie ahead. Those from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq will be fast tracked and can make it through the Macedonian border where depending on their wealth, they may ultimately find their way into Europe. The others from Eritrea, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Mali, Gambia, Morocco and Iran will be stopped at the border because they are not officially refugees.

They will then be stuck, not able to move forward, not wanting to go back.

Today, there are rumors they will be deported.

Tonight I spent time with a family from Iran. I gave them dry socks, blankets, soup, and a tent. I could not give them hope.

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RYOT and The Huffington Post are teaming to up present “The Crossing,” an immersive reporting series hosted by Susan Sarandon chronicling the refugee crisis as it unfolds in Greece.

 

Watch our Snapchat (@HuffPost) and The World Post‘s Instagram feed (@TheWorldPost) for coverage this week, and check back for upcoming virtual reality and 360 films about the people making the perilous journey from the Middle East toward safety.

 

  • Susan SarandonRYOT/The Huffington Post
  • 12/18/2015 05:51 pm ET | Updated 9 hours ago