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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tsipras at EUCO: 'Looking forward to a credible deal to reduce migration flows'
  • [02] Moscovici to ANA-MPA: 'Working hard in Athens' to reach deal with government
  • [03] Mission 'impawsible': 22-year-old's journey from Syria...with her cat Tabbous

  • [01] Tsipras at EUCO: 'Looking forward to a credible deal to reduce migration flows'

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M.Aroni) – Greece wants a credible agreement which will reduce irregular migration flows from Turkey towards the Greek islands, while creating a legal route for refugees to be relocated to the EU, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday arriving at the EU-Turkey summit meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

    "I'm looking forward to a credible agreement today in order to try to reduce or to stop the illegal flows from Turkey to the Greek islands but on the same time to create a robust legal way for the refugees from Turkey to the EU," the prime minister told journalists, noting that this means to create a credible mechanism for resettlements from Turkey to the EU.

    Tsipras said he also hoped the decision that the EU will take will be in line with international legislation, the Geneva Agreement and the European acquis.

    "And last but not least I'm waiting today to take a decision to assist Greece in these difficult circumstances, especially in our northern borders in Idomeni where we have to face a humanitarian crisis because of the unilateral actions in the Balkan route and I think this is the shame for our common culture," he noted.

    Tsipras said there must be a decision to deescalate the "bad situation" in northern Greece and to try to find a way to provide first aid and hospitality to the refugees, while at the same time to accelerate the relocation of these people so they can reach their destination.

    Speaking earlier at the European Socialists meeting held in Brussels, Tsipras said an EU-Turkey deal must serve two purposes: Stopping trafficking rings hat endanger human lives and opening a legal humanitarian route for the refugees.

    He said Europe right now has two choices: either to reach a collective solution on how to manage the refugee crisis or to manage the crisis with unilateral actions which would burden entirely the countries of first reception.

    During his speech he also noted the need for manpower and technical assistance to deal with the problem and the importance of a credible relocation mechanism from Turkey to the EU. He also said that Cyprus' positions have to be supported in the European Council Summit.

    [02] Moscovici to ANA-MPA: 'Working hard in Athens' to reach deal with government

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/M.Spintourakis) - European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday the Commission is working hard to achieve an agreement between the quartet of institutions and the Greek government in the negotiations which are underway in Athens.

    "We're working hard in Athens. We believe we must and can find a solution," the Commissioner told ANA-MPA.

    [03] Mission 'impawsible': 22-year-old's journey from Syria...with her cat Tabbous

    In the tent city at Idomeni, there is a tale (or possibly tail?) that's stranger than most. Peeping out from his inside his tent, the fastidious four-footed traveller refuses to step outside into the mud to greet us. Tabbous has followed 22-year-old Esra al-Aboud all the way from Damascus in Syria, making the perilous crossing over the sea, but he's still not very fond of water.

    "We couldn't leave him behind. He's a part of our family. How could we leave him behind," Esra said, explaining her decision to bring Tabbous with her on the difficult journey.

    "It was very hard...especially from Syria to Turkey. Cats are afraid of everything and especially water. He slept all the time. I carry him in a sling and not a cage," she said.

    She says Tabbous had his first birthday in the camp at Idomeni on Wednesday but prefers to stay inside the tent and stays glued to her when they go outside. "He sees a lot of people and cars and he's afraid. He doesn't leave, even when the tent is left open," she said.

    Esra's dream is to get to Sweden to join her brother and to study architecture. In Syria, she worked as a school teacher. She says that Tabbous will always stay with her and it's hard to argue, when she managed to get him this far, all the way to Idomeni from Syria. He's not the only four-footed "refugee" to escape from the war-torn country with his owners, however, as there have been numerous stories of refugees travelling with their cats and dogs to the relative safety of Europe.

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