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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Doctors Without Borders leave Greek island hotspots, temporarily leave Idomeni
  • [02] Abramovic at ancient theatre of Epidaurus on March 28 for Callas documentary
  • [03] Greek industry body recommends 20 pct tax on large investments‏

  • [01] Doctors Without Borders leave Greek island hotspots, temporarily leave Idomeni

    Doctors Without Borders, one of the key non-governmental organisations helping refugees and migrants arriving in Greece, on Wednesday announced that it will stop all activities linked to the hotspots on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos. The NGO said the decision was prompted by its objections to the EU-Turkey agreement on refugees, which it described as a "cynical mechanism" that jeopardised asylum and showed "contempt" for humanitarian needs.

    The NGO has also temporarily withdrawn from the refugee camp in Idomeni, this time citing concerns about the safety of its staff but promising to monitor developments and return as soon as possible.

    As the head of Doctors Without Borders Greece Marietta Provopoulou explained, this was standard procedure for the organisation's missions throughout the world, with priority given to the safety of the personnel. She noted that the organisation's cleaning team was back at work in Idomeni but the medical team was still staying away, while there was constant contact with the refugees.

    On the Greek islands, the NGO was involved in transporting the refugees to the centres and also in running medical clinics within them. The group will continue to assist in rescue activities at sea and providing emergency medical assistance, as well as a programme providing psychological support for shipwreck survivors in Leros and Agathonissi.

    On Lesvos, the NGO will continue to operate a transfer centre at Mantamado, where new arrivals receive first aid, as well as rescues at sea on the northern coast and mobile medical units for those outside the hotspots.

    Provopoulou noted that Doctors Without Borders had never been the only organisation providing medical care at Moria, the Lesvos hotspot, though its departure would necessarily create a gap in the aid offered. She said the group was investigating the possibility of supporting local hospitals when serious cases were referred to them from Moria.

    Commenting on the decision taken by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs like Doctors Without Borders to restrict their activities at hotspots, the spokesman for the Greek Coordinating Body for Managing the Refugee Crisis Giorgos Kyritsis noted that the government considers NGOs allies in its efforts to protect human rights.

    "There is an agreement in place but the implementation framework has opaque points. We are in contact with the organisations and consider that the misunderstandings will be overcome and cooperation with them will continue," he said.

    With respect to the camp at Idomeni, Kyritsis said the tension among the residents there appeared to be subsiding and that there was no reason for NGOs to fear for their safety.

    [02] Abramovic at ancient theatre of Epidaurus on March 28 for Callas documentary

    Renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic will be at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus in the Peloponnese on March 28 to film scenes from a documentary on the life of legendary Greek-American soprano Maria Callas.

    Abramovic has been in Greece since the beginning of March to present a new project collaboration between the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) and the Greek Cultural Organisation NEON, titled "As One".

    As part of the documentary titled "Seven deaths - the documentary", Abramovic will be walking around the theatre, possibly in a reference to Callas' unforgettable performance of "Medea" in 1961. Filming in the ancient theatre was made possible after the Central Archaeological Council gave permission to the crew.

    [03] Greek industry body recommends 20 pct tax on large investments‏

    The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) on Wednesday recommended a cut in the taxation of large investments to 20 pct and expanding the option of offsetting losses with future earnings from five years currently to 10 years, to safeguard offsetting high losses recorded in the years of successive recession.

    SEV also recommended the set up of regional commissions to resolve pending tax disputes which could raise at least 100 million euros annual tax revenue for the next five years.

    Eftihios Vasilakis, member of SEV's board and head of the tax affairs commission, presenting the Federation's proposals, said that SEV was supporting the idea of a tax certificate – which was introduced in 2011 and 2014 - and led to an increase in tax adherence of enterprises to 92 pct, to expanding a tax base by 5.5 billion euros to annual tax revenue of 400 million euros for the state.

    Vasilakis said that over taxation of the most productive and efficient workers of the private sector was a recipe for failure adding that "instead of introducing investment incentives based on tax honesty and consistency, we raise nominal tax factors to the benefit of tax evasion and tax avoidance in an environment of limited liquidity".

    He noted that Greece occupies one of the top positions in a list of EU and OECD states in corporate and labour taxes and recommended expanding the use of e-transactions and e-billing, actions which could boost competitiveness and benefit both enterprises and the state. A survey conducted by the Athens Economic University showed that such a benefit for enterprises could reach 1.5 billion euros annually and for the state up to 1.0 billion euros.

    Haris Kyriazis, a member of SEV's board recommended that the state should award productive spending leading to profitability and encouraging emblem investments on technology, infrastructure, environment, manufacturing, etc.

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