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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Mother of Syrian boy suffering from cancer hopes family will be reunited soon
  • [02] Frontex asks for 1,500 extra police officers, 50 returns experts to assist Greece
  • [03] FM Kotzias says Greece-Albania can use international law to resolve issues
  • [04] Refugees and migrants protest against closed borders in Idomeni
  • [05] Ionian Islands plan first water airport network in Greece

  • [01] Mother of Syrian boy suffering from cancer hopes family will be reunited soon

    The mother of the Syrian boy who is suffering from cancer and is in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant said on Monday she's hopeful she will be allowed to go to Germany along with the rest of her children to help her son.

    Rami, who his mother said he is 11 years old and not seven as initially reported, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma five years ago – just after the start of the war in Syria began. While he was in hospital, his family was displaced from their home in Tadamoun by violence. His father and Rami eventually made their way to Germany via the smuggling routes, where the boy was able to continue his therapy in a hospital.

    Speaking at a press conference, his mother Manal Babouli said she submitted a request to reunite the family to the relevant Greek authorities. The family is possible compatible donors for Rami and getting in Germany in time is crucial for saving the life of the young boy.

    Speaking of her family's turmoil in Syria, she said: "I couldn't take him to the hospital any more so I decided to take him to Lebanon where he continued his therapy for another seven months. But the high cost [of treatment] forced us to leave together for Turkey where Rami was hospitalized for three months until his doctor send him along with his father, at his own expense, to the University hospital in Munich, where he has been treated in the past 4 months."

    Babouli also has three more children aged 3, 8, 14, as well as an 18-year-old nephew, with whom they all crossed the Aegean on February 22. She said she reached Idomeni in a few days and when she realized the borers would not open, she appealed to Greek NGO "Arsis", who set them up in a hotel in Thessaloniki.

    Speaking at the same press conference, the lawyer of the Greek Council for Refugees, Nikos Garypidis said he believed the procedure would be completed in a few days. Until then, Babouli with her children will continue to be hosted at the hotel provided by "Arsis".

    [02] Frontex asks for 1,500 extra police officers, 50 returns experts to assist Greece

    The European Union border agency Frontex on Monday asked EU member-states and other countries linked to Schengen to send 1,500 police officers and 50 experts in readmissions and returns to reinforce Greece. The aim is to support Greece in the return of migrants to Turkey.

    A Frontex announcement said that several member-states have already committed to sending additional officers.

    There have been intensive talks in the past two days between all the parties involved, including the European Commission, Greece, the other EU member-states and EU agencies such as Frontex, EASO and Europol, on how to best coordinate their efforts to implement the European Council decisions of March 18.

    Frontex will continue to assist Greek authorities in monitoring borders, search-and-rescue operations and the registration of migrants at hotspots, as well as with returns and readmissions procedures, the announcement said. Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri pointed out, however, that Frontex can only return migrants once Greek authorities have examined each case in detail and have issued a final return decision.

    [03] FM Kotzias says Greece-Albania can use international law to resolve issues

    Greek and Albanian Foreign Ministers Nikos Kotzias and Ditmir Bushati agreed on Monday that any problems between the two countries should be resolved on the basis of international law and European civilization and for the benefit of both peoples.

    The statement came at a joint press conference during Bushati's visit to Athens.

    "We're on a good path to find solutions to issues that constitute our common interests and to promote solutions for issues that constitute a point of disagreement," Kotzias said after the meeting, adding that the two sides have already found common ground to discuss and resolve problems.

    "The criteria are international law, European culture and the needs of our people and our countries," the Greek foreign minister said, noting the two countries should renew and upgrade their Friendship Agreement.

    On his side, the Albanian foreign minister said he's confident there's an understanding in both countries for the different nature of the problems which concern their diplomatic relations. "It is issues that are left from the past, with a significant importance, problems of current affairs, but also issues of our common future," Bushati said, adding there are no taboos in Greek-Albanian relations.

    "Our relations at a national and personal level are very good," he noted, and stressed that an even more established relationship between the two countries would also have a positive impact in the region.

    During their talks, the two ministers discussed, among other issues, the rights of the Greek minority in Albania, as well as the importance of Albanians who live in Greece and constitute, as Kotzias said, a bridge of friendship between the two countries.

    [04] Refugees and migrants protest against closed borders in Idomeni

    Dozens or refugees and migrants of different nationalities continued to protest against the closing of the borders in Idomeni on Monday, saying they were disappointed by the decisions of the last EU-Turkey summit.

    Protesters blocked railway tracks in the neutral zone between Greece and FYROM and requested that they will be allowed to continue their trip to northern Europe. They held cardboards with slogans such as "Merkel, you've let us down", "If you don't want to give us human rights, at least give us the rights you would give to animals".

    Others shouted they wouldn't eat or drink until the borders open again.

    Earlier, Yazidi Kurds marched inside the village of Idomeni in an effort wanting to attract attention to their own cause, which is that they are a minority hunted by ISIS which has been persecuted and kidnapped and that the only solution is to open the borders.

    [05] Ionian Islands plan first water airport network in Greece

    Ionian Islands Regional Authority plans to spend around 200,000 euros to build the necessary infrastructure in ports and to approve licensing of four new water airports in Cephalonia, Ithaka, Lefkada and Meganisi, after approving licenses for Corfu and Paxi islands.

    Theodore Galiatsatos, regional authority in Ionian Islands, speaking to ANA-MPA said the Ionian Islands Regional Authority will soon have the first water airports network in Greece.

    Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis is working intensively to speed up environmental approval for water airports and to simplify environmental licensing procedures for future applications.

    "Hellenic Water Airports" has set an ambitious goal to establish hydroplane operations in Greek islands. Tasos Govas, chairman of "Hellenic Wate Airports", speaking to ANA-MPA said that company was cooperating with top companies and recently reached an agreement with Aktor FM, a company focusing on airport installation management and offers operation, maintenance and management of building facilities and installation services.

    Yiannis Anastasiadis, the CEO of Aktor FM, said his company sees great potential in this investment and said the project will have a huge growth dynamism positively contributing to the country's economy.

    Galiatsatos said the Ionian Islands Regional Authority has begun contacts with a hydroplane company in Croatia.

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