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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,
Till the end of June , up to 50 ‘guest officers’ will be deployed by Europol on rotation at key points on the external border of the EU to strengthen the security checks on the inward flows of migrants, in order to identify suspected terrorists and criminals, a EUROPOL press release announced.
They will help reinforce security at the external borders of the EU by
- supporting the secondary security check process,
- by cross-checking data against data held in specialist counter-terrorist and other databases at Europol, and
- by facilitating rapid and secure information exchange between Member States.
This will not include first line border control, although the officers will work closely with those from Frontex involved in such a task. The officers will work under the responsibility and legal framework of the country of deployment.
Europol’s Management Board approved the recruitment of up to 200 counter-terrorist and other investigators for deployment to migration hotspots in Greece and other countries, EUROPOL press release said, adding that . Europol will form this pool of law enforcement officers through their secondment from national services in EU Member States.
On previous weeks, the Slovenian director of Europol’s newly-established European Migrant Smuggling Center (EMSC) Robert Crepinko, had told on an interview that 10 undercover officers had already been stationed on the islands of Chios, Samos, Lesvos and Leros where refugee registration centers are in operation, as well as in Piraeus Port, doing secondary security checks to assess the possibly dangerous migrants before they would enter the EU
Crepinko added that the Europol agents would also offer aid to the Greek authorities, in the effort to locate and stop migrant smugglers operating in Greece.
New trafficking migration routes in Europe
The Slovenian official said that “We are looking into possible new routes that the migrant smuggling networks would use and we already have some developments in the new routes that have been used by organized crime,” , citing information that migrant traffickers are exploring options through Albania and Bulgaria.
“The drop in the number of arrivals on the Greek islands was dramatic.” Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri said on Friday , presenting the data of 90 percent drop on the number of migrants arriving in the Greek islands in April, compared to the previous month.
But for the first time in a year, the latest UN figures present more migrants arriving in Italy than Greece, trying to make their way into Europe
9,149 migrants arrived to the shores of Italy in April, while Greece received 3,462 people, figures of the UN’s refugee agency show.
Fewer than 2,700 people had entered in April.the European Union’s border agency Frontex said Friday, putting the drop down to the effect of the EU’s migrant agreement with Turkey and tight border controls at the Greek -FYROM border.
In March, before the EU-Turkey deal came into force, under which Ankara pledged to take back migrants from Greece, 26,971 people arrived to Greece, while 9,676 arrived to Italy.
Different countries of origin
But migrants arriving in Italy are not coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the three major groups trying their luck through Greece.
Asylum seekers making their way through the Mediterranean are primarily from Nigeria, Gambia, Somalia and other Sub-Saharan African nations.
Concerns that migrants will increasingly take the Italian route have prompted fears of another mass influx, leading Austria to plan to restrict access through the its Brenner border crossing with Italy, the eurobserver wrote.
The EU Commission has expressed concern over the effect this could have on the viability of the passport-free Schengen zone.
Several MEPs at the European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg.on Wednesday May 11, demanded, addressing to the European Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, the lift of “intermediate steps of Schengen roadmap”, and warned the Commissioner that the internal border checks could seriously harm both transport and tourism in Europe.
Rumors that move EU – Turkey agreement focus form Turkey to Greece as a “plan b”, are not real
the European Commissioner on Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos answered to the European Parliament and underled that there is only one plan based on solidarity and tackling of traffickers on EU – Turkey deal implementations. Avramopoulos stressed that “rumours can do only harm” .
These border checks are “exceptional and temporary” European Commissioner said, assuring the MEPs that the aim is to lift them by the end of the year, at the latest
This happened on parallel, on the same day that President of the European Parliament was announcing the No to to Turkey’s visa liberalisation
“The Turkish Parliament has not yet fulfilled and I stopped the process”, said Martin Schulz, explaining why the Commission sent to the European Parliament the 72 visa liberalisation benchmarks of which seven , he said are not yet met .“This is a point of disagreement, we should not hide it,” Martin Schulz added talking to the reporters on a press conference with the Turkish Minister of European Union Affairs.This happened on parallel, on the same day that President of the European Parliament was announcing the No to to Turkey’s visa liberalisation
Martin Schulz said that
the scope of Turkey’s anti-terror laws were “so far reaching that we think that some of the measures are touching not directly the fight against terrorism but, for example, the freedom of expression and of media.”
“We are trying to save the package,” Volkan Bozkır, the Turkish Minister of European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator told the reporters .
Volkan Bozkır described as parts of the package the opening of chapters, the €3 billion plus €3 billion, energy platforms, economy and customs union and also EU – Turkey readmission agreement
The deal between the EU and Turkey to end the migrant crisis is facing “a very dangerous moment” Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir said, heightening more tension between the two sides in honoring the deal, whie Europe is seeing the recent encouraging results
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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 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. “.
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.
“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. ”
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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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
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
…. 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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