“We open our arms, on these very moments, to those who are the weak, and I believe this reflects the feelings of the vast majority of the Greek people. Despite our difficulties we keep an attitude of dignity, and this is much greater wealth and much larger surplus ….”
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,
Find it also on Refugee Aegean No Way out Special Page
Go to our Greek2m.org Newsblog aritcle
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
President of Democray of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos hailed Merkel’s role in the refugee crisis during his recent visit to Germany, where he met with German Cancellor and also with the German Presiden Joachim Gauck .
Regarding the refugee crisis, the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos described it as an “existential matter” of Europe.
“All the peoples of Europe have to fulfill their debt towards genuine refugees without phobias and of course will have to work to end the war in Syria, which is the root of this evil,” he noted.
Concerning the guarding of EU’s external borders, he recognized the need for collaboration with EU countries and Frontex, but ruled out joint Greek and Turkish patrols.
Focusing on Turkey, Pavlopoulos said the country needs to live up to its commitment to control the flow of refugees and especially economic migrants who leave from Turkey, “often with the cooperation of the Turkish authorities.”
He also noted the need to reactivate the readmission agreements.
Regarding the threat of terrorism, Pavlopolos said that Europe must be ruthless with terrorists who commit war crimes and must not show any tolerance and urged people to distinguish between terrorists and refugees.
German Presiden Joachim Gauck described the refugee issue as critical and acknowledged that Greece is faced with an even greater burden as a result of the migration flows, in addition to the challenges of economic reform and that there is room for improving European solidarity on the issue, since it is in the common interest of Europeans not to leave Greece struggle securing its borders unaided.
For the financial and recession crisis that Greece is facing for six years long , the President stated :
“Greece will fully meet its obligations and our partners must also fulfill their own obligations.”
Following the [program] review, which should be finished as soon as possible to avoid a problem with the seemingly positive growth prospects of the Greek economy, it is necessary to immediately start talks on the Greek debt – not for a haircut, as it is not possible by European law, but other methods, which will lead to relief and have been accepted by our partners. Especially as regards the sustainability of Greece’s public debt and the so far, extremely dubious, austerity policy,” he said
German Presiden Joachim Gauck assured that Greece can depend on European solidarity, insisting on Germany’s commitment to seeing Greece remain in the European Union and underlined that Athens’ reform programme has become one of Germany’s main policies.
Referring to the “unprecedented” crisis that the Greek people are facing, Greek President Pavlopoulos asked the European partners to take into account the unprecedented crisis that tests the Greek people and to try to establish some mutual understanding despite some initial mistakes, obsessions and misconceptions.
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.