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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-03-17

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Government and institutions still at odds over energy market, official says
  • [02] Mitsotakis: 'The country is in limbo and about to become a pariah'
  • [03] Eleven wineries from Crete travel to Düsseldorf's 'ProWein' exhibition
  • [04] Serres to host 1st Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum (BBSF) on May 25-26
  • [05] IOM: Over 10,000 asylum seekers relocated from Greece to EU countries

  • [01] Government and institutions still at odds over energy market, official says

    The differences between the government and the institutions over energy market issues remain, an official at the environment and energy ministry said on Friday, after the conclusion of the first part of a teleconference that began at 14:30 Greek time.

    The institutions are insisting on the sale of Public Power Corporation (PPC) units, the official said, whereas the government is asking for more time. "There is a policy where we aim to look at everything by the end of the year," the official noted.

    "We quarrelled for two hours but I hope that we will find a solution by Monday," the official joked, adding that an attempt was underway to arrive at a framework agreement of two to three paragraphs in the Memorandum of Understanding by that time.

    According to the same sources, meanwhile, there is no discussion underway about the sale of a 17 pct share of PPC (the percentage held by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund), and there never has been.

    The teleconference is now continuing, with Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou arriving at the finance ministry to discuss labour market issues.

    [02] Mitsotakis: 'The country is in limbo and about to become a pariah'

    For months now, the government has generated nothing by insecurity and uncertainty in Greece, main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday, in a statement on video that was released to the press.

    "The country is in limbo and about to become a pariah. We will not allow this," he said, renewing his attack on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his government.

    "The review is not finishing. The citizens' confidence is evaporating. The recession is returning. Investments are not coming. And the latest thing is the export of terrorist parcels abroad," ND's leader said, pointing to growing insecurity on all fronts and "growing dangers".

    "Those in power have shown inability and carelessness and political dishonesty. Every time they arrive at a dead end in the negotiations with the creditors they announce one more Parliamentary inquiry - as they did today for health. Our position is crystal clear: Transparency in everything, transparency everywhere and for all things," he added.

    At the same time, Mitsotakis said, the main issue and what society was urgently demanding was an exit from the crisis.

    "We are working dynamically and creatively for this," he said, repeating ND's call for early elections as the only solution. Greeks did not deserve to lose everything, he noted, for the sake of forces "that want to hold onto power at any cost to the citizens."

    "We are ready. We have a plan. We have daring. We unite the Greeks and know that the future does not wait," he concluded.

    [03] Eleven wineries from Crete travel to Düsseldorf's 'ProWein' exhibition

    Eleven wineries from Crete are participating in the biggest international wine exhibition held in Düsseldorf, "ProWein", between March 19-21.

    The wineries that participate are Alexakis Winery, Diamantakis Winery, Douloufakis Winery, Efrosini Winery, Idaia Winery, Lyrarakis Winery, Michalakis Estate, Minos - Miliarakis Winery, Domaine Paterianakis, Strataridakis Bros Winery and Domaine Zacharioudakis.

    According to the "Wines of Crete" network, a large wine bar has been set up at the Cretan kiosk at Hall 9, 78, where visitors can taste more than 130 wine labels, explore the 11 local indigenous wine varieties and learn about the island's wineries.

    Participation in the event is supported by the Cretan Prefecture. ProWein is the world's leading trade fair for wine and spirits, the largest industry meeting for professionals from viticulture, production, trade and gastronomy.

    [04] Serres to host 1st Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum (BBSF) on May 25-26

    The city of Serres in northeastern Greece, the second-largest city in the province of Macedonia after Thessaloniki, is to host the first-ever Balkans and Black Sea Forum (BBSF) on May 25-26.

    The forum will be attended by EU officials, representatives of Balkan and Black Sea organisations and institutions, international organisations, diplomats, business leaders and members of the academic community, who will discuss a series of crucial issues at the forefront of international current affairs.

    The organisation of the conference will be handled by Geo Routes Cultural Institute (GRCI), operating under the aegis and with the support of international organisations in Europe and the Black Sea regions - such as the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), the European Banking Federation (EBF) and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) - acting in collaboration with the Serres Regional Section.

    GRCI head Yiannis Balakakis noted that the forum is a new initiative that is starting in Greece and aims to boost cross-border cooperation and promote bilateral and multilateral relations, as well as economic ties and sustainable economic growth, between the 17 countries in the region.

    The main theme of the 2017 BBSF will be "Cultural Tourism, a key to Sustainable Growth" in line with the UN resolution naming 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The forum will take place annually, at a different location each year, with tributes to two countries each year.

    The Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) is a sponsor of the Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum. The countries participating include Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.

    [05] IOM: Over 10,000 asylum seekers relocated from Greece to EU countries

    Over 10,000 asylum seekers have been relocated from Greece to other European Union and associated states since the start of the EU relocation program, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is implementing the plan, said on Friday.

    Since the beginning of March, 367 people left Greece for Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain bringing the total number of people relocated from Greece to 10,004. Another 475 people were relocated from Italy to Belgium, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovenia in the same period. This brings the total number of people relocated from both Italy and Greece to 14,439 since the scheme's launch in October 2015

    IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson welcomed the new milestone and highlighted the benefits of the program during an official visit to Greece this week.

    Germany (3,093), France (2,764) and the Netherlands (1,486) have received the most asylum seekers to date under the scheme, mainly from Greece, while the European Commission has lauded Finland and Malta for being on track to meet their respective target numbers.

    As of 28 February 2017, Syrians comprised most Italy and Greece relocation beneficiaries (58 percent), followed by Eritreans (29 percent), Iraqis (10 percent) and other nationalities (3 percent). Women accounted for 38 percent of those relocated; 33 percent of the beneficiaries were under the age of 18.

    There has been a notable upward trend in relocations from Greece where more than half of the overall progress to date has been achieved just in the last five months of the program. More than one third of the 10,000 beneficiaries that traveled under relocation from Greece to date have done so in the last 100 days.

    Relocation beneficiaries to date from Greece were mainly Syrian (81 percent) and Iraqi (14 percent). The program has also relocated 207 unaccompanied migrant children from Greece, with Finland accepting the largest number.

    "The unique strength of the EU Relocation program lies in its double impact both at the political level and for individuals," said Ambassador Thompson. "Not only does relocation demonstrate cooperation, solidarity and a genuine Union, it has also made a big difference for each of the nearly 14,500 people that have relocated from Greece and Italy to start new lives in other EU member states."


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