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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-12-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece recalls ambassador to Czech Republic after country president's Grexit comments
  • [02] Greek NGO 'Agkalia' awarded Raoul Wallenberg Prize for 'outstanding' work with refugees

  • [01] Greece recalls ambassador to Czech Republic after country president's Grexit comments

    Greece recalled its ambassador to the Czech Republic on Tuesday, following a decision by the Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias who was responding to derogatory comments made by the country's President Miloš Zeman against Greece.

    The Greek ambassador, Panagiotis Sarri, will participate on deliberations on the issue in Athens.

    The latest incident concerned statements made by Zeman to Slovak news agency TASR last week, in which he was reported as saying that the Czech Republic should introduce the euro on the first day after Greece´s departure from the euro zone and added: "My only apprehension about the adoption of the euro amid the present stabilisation mechanism is that Czech taxpayers would have to cover the Greek debts. I was very disappointed by the outcome of the [summer] negotiations that were close to ´Grexit´ but finally resulted in Greece´s remaining in the euro zone."

    The foreign ministry is also irked by a series of hostile statements towards Greece which started last summer and continued until last week with no sign of abating and despite the moderate response by the ministry's spokesman, Konstantinos Koutras.

    Responding recently to these comments, Koutras had reminded that "the Czech Republic is a member-state of the EU thanks to Greece. No further comment for now."

    The ministry believes that recalling the Greek ambassador will send a clear signal towards Zeman, the Czech Republic, as well as other country leaders who often attack Greece with derogatory statements.

    [02] Greek NGO 'Agkalia' awarded Raoul Wallenberg Prize for 'outstanding' work with refugees

    The jury of the Council of Europe awarded the 2016 Raoul Wallenberg Prize to 'Agkalia', a Greek NGO operating on the island of Lesvos, for "outstanding achievements in providing frontline assistance to thousands of refugees irrespective of their origin and religion," the European body announced on Tuesday.

    The jury notes that Lesvos has become a European gateway for refugees and hails the exemplary work of Agkalia, saying it has been providing temporary shelter, food, water and medical aid to people in need, assisting some 17,000 refugees and migrants since May 2015. Through its work to assist refugees, Agkalia also promotes tolerance and human rights, the jury adds.

    Founded by Father Efstratios (known "Papa-Stratis"), who passed away in September 2015, Agkalia has continued to gain steady support as its devoted associates pursue the Father's endeavour.

    "As a small and flexible local organisation based on volunteers, Agkalia sets a leading example of effective action by European civil society on a burning global issue", stated Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, announcing the jury's decision. "Agkalia's activities reflect the fundamental values of the Council of Europe and contribute to its work to promote and protect human rights in Europe and beyond," he added.

    The award ceremony of the 10,000 euro prize takes place on 13 January 2016, at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg.

    The Council of Europe Raoul Wallenberg Prize was established in 2012 at the initiative of the Swedish Government and the Hungarian Parliament. The first prize, which is biennial, was awarded in January 2014 to Elmas Arus, Turkish film director of Roma origin.


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