Image

“Allah is Great”, written on #Archangel’s Church on Crete Set on Fire #Greece

Vandals on Saturday Dec 18, 2016 set fire on a Greek Orthodox church  of Archangel Michael in the Lagolio village of Crete.The unknown perpetrators, burned holy icons and part of the chancel and wrote “Allah is great” in Arabic on the walls,

Go to  Full Article by Greek to me !

Find it also on Refugee Aegean No Way out Special Page 

www-greek2m-org

Image

Migrant arrivals’ drop 90% in Greece, undercover agents come, EU-Turkey deal is the one

 

europol 16x9

Europol agents on the Greek islands 

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.

Undercover agents  already arrived

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.

 

newego_LARGE_t_1101_54675221_type13145

Arrivals drop in Greece , rise in Italy

“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.

 

trigmoi-sti-sumfonia-ee-tourkias-gia-to-prosfugiko

Transport and tourism harmed say MEPs

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.

Avramopoulos : there is no Plan B

 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” .

“till the end of the year”

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

 

president-of-the-european-parliament-martin-schulz-r-and-turkeys-minister-of-eu-affairs-volkan-bozkir-give-a-joint-press-conference-after-a-meeting-on-may-11-2016-photo-afp-1884633-eu-turkey

Martin Schultz: I stopped Visa process

“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.”

The EU-Turkey deal in dangerous moments

“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

 

 

Image

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

1-rodafnid0a-lesvosnews

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. “.

 

images (2)

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. ”

 

12342556_1685458338379270_2000650358276726175_n

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.

nhv2-2

Go our Special Page on greek2m.org

Image

Hepatitis diagnosed in Idomeni

99309c575fc89594e14c10f0e54bf723
A 9 year old refugee child from Syria has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A at the open refugee camp of Greece’s borders with FYROM, Idomeni, the Greek Centers for Disease Control announced, and is transfered to a hospital of Thessaloniki

The kid had travelled with his family from Syria to Greece, and meanwhile stayed for a couple of days in Turkey, his parents realtives said  to the authorities and the Disease Control doctors. His condition is stable, the Greek CDC announcement said on Saturday afternoon .
 

“The Greek CDC(HCDCP), in collaboration with local health agencies, has taken all imjmediated actions for the prevention and the entrenchment of the disease in vulnerable refugee populations”, the organisation’s Press Release said

 The measures include:

a) compliance with basic hygiene guidelines, such as hand washing hygiene, especially before preparing food and eating, and each time after toilet use, the disinfection of toilets, and the use of safen clean drinking water and

b) the timely recognition of cases, the provision of care and proper isolation.

c) Vaccination of close contacts of the patient and of susceptible individuals is also immediately after the diagnosis planned.

The Greek CDC, (HCDCP) also reminds by its announcement that  hepatitis A virus is not transmitted through simple  social contact in the general population.

Stay with us, 24/7

Find all the updates about Greece’s incredible humanitarian  crisis with the 50.000 refugees trapped in its borders,  on our Greek to me HomePage 

www.greek2m.org

Image

Balkan route closed, EU to declare

Greece-FYROM borders

The EU Ambassadors meeting

The Balkan route taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants to Europe is going to be closed, EU leaders will declare today Monday at their summit with Turkey in Brussels, diplomats and officials said over the weekend, after a meeting on Sunday, the news site  POLITICO revealed.

Their statement — to be approved by leaders today, Monday March 7— was discussed by EU ambassadors on Sunday afternoon.

“Irregular flows of migrants along the Western Balkans route are coming to an end; this route is now closed,”

according to a copy of the document obtained by the news site .

Der Standard leak

Two days earlier aslo, the Austrian Newspaper Der Standard claimed it has seen a draft of the communiqué which stated that the Western Balkan route would  immediately shut down and Europe would provide the necessary support to Greece to deal with the refugees and immigrants to be stuck in the country.

According to Der Standard, the draft of the communiqué included a readmission agreement with Turkey for immigrants who do not qualify for asylum. Also, Europe would ask Turkey to participate directly and constructively in the control of EU external borders in the Aegean Sea.

Moreover, the draft stated, Der Standard  revealed, that the presence of Frontex in Greece would be enhanced, particularly at Greece borders with FYROM and Albania, while among FRONTEX responsibilities would be the proper functioning of the hotspots, where refugees will be registered and being prepared for their relocation to other European countries. EU countries should have done more than they have committed to do at this moment by April 1, as it is stated. According to the same draft, Europol would also participate in the process being also responsible for dismantling the trafficking.

Roadmap to Schengen

According to the Politiko article of Monday 03/07 , the ambassadors’ meeting did not last long and ambassadors also endorsed the aim to “take forward, as a matter of priority all the elements of the Commission roadmap,” according to a diplomatic source, who added that the draft statement was not controversial. The migration roadmap, which was put out on Friday, envisages a series of steps for the return to normality in the Schengen area by December, dismantling the internal border controls reintroduced by some member states.

The new commitment to close the Western Balkan route would end the “wave-through policy” that allowed migrants to cross borders with minimal controls.

12794617_991059250929453_3358439553702579786_n

Be aware of the other routes

The final statement stresses the need to be aware of other routes that migrants might take if the road running through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia is shut down. There are fears, especially in Rome, that migrants will try to travel north through Albania and across the Ionian Sea to Italy.

This scenario, we have to underline, would be the most nightmarish one for Greece’s tourism, paralizing at most Greece’s tourist attraction at the Western part of the country, the Ionian islands, where most of top world’s celebrities used to trravel especially on summer months .

EU on Turkey’s acceptannce

To help ease the humanitarian strain on Greece, where thousands of migrants are now stuck after borders were closed further to the north, the EU is counting on Turkey’s help.

“I am afraid we could have an intense discussion on that since some are complaining that the EU has been too soft with Ankara,”

said a diplomat.

The summit is intended to address the refugee crisis by making it clear that migrants will be swiftly returned to Turkey and that last year’s “open-door” policy, that made it possible for more than a million people to make their way to Germany, is over.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, in his meeting in Ankara with Tusk on Thursday, agreed to step up the return of illegal migrants from Greece as part of a bilateral readmission program with Athens, another official said.

But hours after European Council President Donald Tusk left Ankara last week, Turkish authorities on Friday seized Zaman, the country’s largest opposition newspaper.An agreement at the summit still faces such political hurdles, in particular unease within the EU over a domestic crackdown in Turkey, politiko article notes

“On Monday, I would like us to agree that all available EU tools, including accelerated relocation, should be used to address the humanitarian consequences for the refugees, not least in Greece, in a speedy and effective way,” Tusk wrote in his invitation letter to leaders who’ll gather in Brussels Monday.

Davutoğlu, who will take part in the first session of the summit, also confirmed Turkey’s readiness to take back Syrians rescued in international waters by a NATO-led operation.

NATO-FRONTEX deal

NATO on Sunday reached a deal with Frontex, the EU border agency, on how to coordinate efforts.

“We welcome that Frontex and NATO reached a common understanding today on the modalities of their cooperation in the Aegean Sea,”

said Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, in a joint statement Sunday with the Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. 

On some days, as many as two-thirds of the 3,000 people coming into Greece are non-Syrians. The plan is to give these people a one-way ticket home.

The statement that was worked on Sunday calls for members to approve a humanitarian package for Athens, presented by the Commission on Wednesday, before the next summit of EU leaders on March 17.

Part of the effort to help Athens includes a speeding up of the existing relocation programs for 66,400 refugees from Greece that has largely been moribund, diplomats said. The draft statement calls for action to “accelerate relocation to alleviate the heavy burden that presently weighs on Greece.”

Diplomats said they were optimistic that a consensus will emerge at the summit. The closure of the Balkan route will also soften the problem of Austria’s unilateral decision to impose a yearly and daily cap on the number of refugees the country will accept, a decision branded by the Commission as a violation of international law, said an official.

 

images (4)

SOURCE : POLITICO.

Image

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

 

tsipras_xatz (2)

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

giannelis-kountoura (2)

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