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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-04-05

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Pope Francis to visit island of Lesvos next week
  • [02] Greek debt's sustainability issue must close with the completion of the review, says Econ Minister Stathakis
  • [03] Refugees apply for asylum to avoid readmission to Turkey

  • [01] Pope Francis to visit island of Lesvos next week

    Pope Francis intends to visit the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos on April 15, in order to draw attention to the plight of refugees and sensitise European and international public opinion to the issue. The Church of Greece on Tuesday confirmed that it had accepted the Pontiff's proposal to visit and had also extended an invitation to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the 'spiritual leader' of the Orthodox Church, to also pay a visit to the island at the same time.

    According to the ANA-MPA correspondent in Rome, news of the intended visit was leaked by sources in the Vatican, who also indicated that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew may travel to Lesvos and pointed to the very close, fraternal ties between the two primates.

    The Pope has repeatedly brought attention to the refugee issue in recent weeks, appealing to all relevant institutions to assume due responsibility. He also visited the Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, and called for an end to the loss of human lives as people tried to reach Europe in order to escape war and extreme poverty.

    According to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, the visit also hopes to mobilise the international community's efforts for an immediate ceasefire in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

    Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece briefed the Synod regarding the Pope's request and the Synod accepted the proposed visit, suggesting that it take place on Lesvos.

    The last visit by a Pope to Greece was that by Pope John-Paul II in the year 2000.

    [02] Greek debt's sustainability issue must close with the completion of the review, says Econ Minister Stathakis

    Economy Minister George Stathakis called "out of place" and "misleading" reports on an alleged "reversal of the Greek government's position on the debt".

    According to reports, Stathakis speaking on Tuesday at the Greek-German Business Forum organised by the Economist in Berlin has allegedly said that the Greek debt is sustainable until 2022 and the issue is its long-term sustainability.

    Stathakis also said that the issue of the sustainability of the Greek debt must close with the successful completion of the program review, otherwise the attraction of long term investments will be very difficult.

    The same reports claimed that Stathakis said that the negotiation will be completed around April 27 and estimated that that the reforms in the taxation and the pension system will 'pass' without problems in the Greek parliament.

    Moreover, Stathakis stressed that currently he 'sees' strong circular growth and estimated that the business climate in Greece gets better day after day adding that economic growth will be recorded in the second half of 2016.

    The Greek minister also said that the Greek privatisations will probably bring up to 7-8 billion euros profit.

    [03] Refugees apply for asylum to avoid readmission to Turkey

    The number of asylum applications has risen significantly lately causing concern to the authorities.

    More and more refugees at the hot spots of Lesvos and Chios have applied for asylum to avoid their readmission to Turkey provided that in this way the readmission process freezes. The refugees that have submitted the relevant application will remain at the hotspots.

    According to the schedule, a total of 1,000 refugees were supposed to be send back to Turkey from April 4 to April 6. However, only 136 persons from Lesvos and 66 persons from Chios were send back on Monday while has not yet been specified when the next readmission of refugees and migrants will take place.

    2,800 of the 3,021 persons hosted at Lesvos' hotspot have submitted an application while approximately 600 refugees and migrants of the 1,766 that are on Chios have also applied for asylum.


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