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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-04-06

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Meeting underway between government's economic team and institutions
  • [02] EU Commission presents options for fairer and sustainable asylum system
  • [03] Patrick the bear is freed into the wild after a year in human care

  • [01] Meeting underway between government's economic team and institutions

    A meeting between Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Economy Minister George Stathakis and Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Chouliarakis with representatives of the institutions got underway in Athens on Wednesday.

    According to finance ministry's officials, the meeting will focus on the process through which the negotiations will reach a draft agreement in the next days.

    The Greek side has already submitted its proposals on 1.8 billion euro package of measures on the pension and the tax system, as well as on the non-performing loans and is now expecting the response of the institutions.

    [02] EU Commission presents options for fairer and sustainable asylum system

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/ Ch. Vassilaki) - The European Commission on Wednesday started the discussion on the future revision of the Dublin Regulation, presenting options for a more "fair" and "sustainable" allocation system for asylum seekers among EU member states.

    The first option proposed concerns the maintenance of the existing Dublin criteria but with the addition of an "emergency relocation" mechanism to be activated in special cases, i.e. when a member state is "under disproportionate pressure."

    The second option concerns the transition to a new permanent asylum distribution system based on criteria such as "the size, wealth and the absorption capacity of each member state."

    "The responsibility is no longer connected to the place of first entry," the Commission stated on the second option, adding that different versions of this option are possible.

    Finally, the European Commission underlined that it will work on a series of measures to "support legal migration in Europe" and "integration policies". Among these measures are a more 'structured' resettlement programme and the revision of the European Directive on the Blue Card to more "flexible entrance requirements."

    [03] Patrick the bear is freed into the wild after a year in human care

    An orphaned young bear which was rescued in the mountains of Florina in northwestern Macedonia on March 2015 was released back into the wild on Wednesday after a year in the care of an environmental center.

    Patrick, the bear, who was just a few weeks old when he was found by the Arktouros Environmental Organization, lived under the close supervision of his carers who provided food and shelter but also training on how to survive in nature for when he would be released. When he was found a year ago, Patrick weighed just three kilos and was weak. A year later, he's a healthy young bear weighing 45 kilos that has learned to survive in nature.

    According to Arktouros, Patrick's care program was extended by almost two months because the unusually high temperatures in Greece didn't allow him to go into hibernation. Therefore, instead of releasing the bear during winter in a hibernation nest, he was kept until spring so that he would be freed directly in the forest.

    On Wednesday, Patrick was sedated and transported to a forest area, away from humans and inhabited regions, where he was freed. His carers left him food so that he wouldn't have a difficulty surviving in the first few days of his new life. The staff of Arktouros said they will continue to monitor his movements through an attached collar-transmitter that will provide information on his well-being.

    This is the third rehabilitation operation of an orphaned bear for the center and the most difficult, given the animal's very young age.

    Photo: AA Karamanlidis / Arcturos


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