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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-28

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Misinformation harms the refugees, minister tells ANA-MPA
  • [02] President Pavlopoulos to visit Israel on Tuesday
  • [03] Bells in Berlin, Mytilene will chime in unison on Tuesday, to raise awareness of refugee crisis

  • [01] Misinformation harms the refugees, minister tells ANA-MPA

    The misinformation that spread twice in Idomeni is bad for the refugees and puts their lives at risk, Alternate Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Toskas told ANA-MPA in an interview on Monday during a visit to Lesvos.

    "Our intention and the intention of most NGOs is to assist all those people. Therefore there should not be any kind of misinformation. Misinformation hurts refugees, places them in danger, especially in the area of Idomeni. We are trying to inform them by providing the right information. We tell refugees the truth: that the borders have closed, we tell them what options they have … what is the asylum procedure," Toskas told ANA-MPA.

    "Now, some NGOs don't like this situation. What can we do? The NGOs that should stay are the ones that are useful for the refugees and support the country and international agreements best," he added.

    Toskas, who is in Lesvos to examine the progress made in the building of new infrastructure that will be used to process asylum petitions, also said Greece is discussing with Turkey the technical side of the readmissions.

    "The way readmissions will take place is being discussed now with the Turkish side and the European Union. We're discussing the technical side, like the start date. Therefore it's an issue that hasn't concluded yet, but will do so in the next few days," the minister explained.

    Commenting on the sharp drop in refugee flows, Toskas said it should be attributed to Turkey's will to control the situation and not the weather, noting that it is obvious the neighboring country cut flows to abide by the EU-Turkey deal.

    [02] President Pavlopoulos to visit Israel on Tuesday

    President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos will carry out an official visit to Israel from Tuesday until March 31, at the invitation of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

    Pavlopoulos will meet the Israeli president on Wednesday morning and then visit the Holocaust History Museum. On Wednesday afternoon, the president will be conferred an honorary doctorate by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and give a speech on "European law and order in the labyrinth of the economic crisis".

    He will then meet Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein and attend an official dinner given in his honour by Israel's president.

    On Thursday, President Pavlopoulos will visit the Jerusalem Patriarchate and meet Patriarch Theophilos III and his visit will conclude with a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    [03] Bells in Berlin, Mytilene will chime in unison on Tuesday, to raise awareness of refugee crisis

    Bells in Berlin and the town of Mytilene on Lesvos will ring in synchronisation on Tuesday, as part of a Greek-German collaborative art project to raise awareness about the refugee crisis. At noon on Tuesday, the bell at Agios Athanassios Cathedral in Mytilene and the Freedom Bell in the Tower of Schöneberg Town Hall will toll at the same time, forming a "notional connection" in a call for sensitisation and action.

    The parallel tolling of the bells aims to unite two landmark locations in the refugee crisis: the island of Lesvos, whose coasts symbolise the passage into Europe, and the city of Berlin as the destination of the refugees' odyssey. The sound of the two bells as the toll will be mixed and broadcast via the internet.

    Behind the symbolic action are Greek artist and activist Varvara Papadopoulou and the German artistic platform "Neue Berliner Raume", working with the Mytilene church and the Schöneberg Town Hall.

    Papadopoulou, who is a front-line volunteer in the refugee crisis herself, noted that art "must be a punch in the stomach" and that most artists had a "comfortable" relation with the crisis.

    "When you have 5,000 people in a public space, such as Piraeus port, and hundreds of refugees are arriving by boat so that you have to give priority to women and children because there aren't enough tents for anyone, then you have a state of war and in this state, artists must be on the front line," she said.

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