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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-04-17

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 says Lesvos visit brought 'solidarity of the Church' to refugees, Greek people
  • [02] Alt. Defence Minister visits refugee camp at Katsika
  • [03] Free entrance to monuments, archaeological sites on Monday
  • [04] Freighter rescues 41 migrants in waters off Greece's southwest coast
  • [05] FM Kotzias meets UNSG's envoy for name dispute Matthew Nimetz
  • [06] 'Noor 1' heroin ship engineer dies of unknown causes

  • [01] Pope Francis says Lesvos visit brought 'solidarity of the Church' to refugees, Greek people

    Speaking about his visit to the island of Lesvos in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, Pope Francis said his visit with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and of All Greece, aimed "to signify the unity in charity of all the disciples of the Lord."

    He thanked all those "who accompanied" the trip with their prayers, noting that the visit had brought the "solidarity of the Church" to the refugees and the Greek people.

    The Pope said that with Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos, they were able to meet individually with more than 300 refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, North Africa and other parts of the world.

    "So many of them were children!" the Pope said, noting how some of the children had witnessed the deaths of parents or companions. "I saw so much sorrow!" he continued, and recounted the case of a young Muslim man, with two young children, whose Christian fiancée was killed by terrorists, who cut her throat, because she would not deny Christ and renounce her faith. "She is a martyr!" the Pope said, noting that the young man had sobbed profusely.

    [02] Alt. Defence Minister visits refugee camp at Katsika

    Alternate Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas on Sunday paid a visit to the problem-ridden refugee and migrant camp in Katsika, Ioannina in order to talk with the camp's residents and learn about the problems they face. He stressed that the government's priority was to evacuate the informal camps set up at Piraeus port and Idomeni, to redesign the accommodation centres and improve coordination between all ministries in providing services.

    The minister was greeted by a "welcoming committee" of small children and spoke with families, walking among the tents and was briefed on living conditions at the centre. He noted that Greece had been asked to very rapidly create places to accommodate more than 50,000 refugees that had become stranded in the country over the last 46 days, after countries to the north closed their borders, and that some centres - like that at Katsika - had more problems than others.

    "Our goal is to very quickly overhaul the existing hospitality centres so they reach at least a medium standard. But we will not stop there," he said, explaining that the government was moving from large centres to smaller ones, which will at some point reach a point of stability. He said that work was underway at an old children's camp in Agia Eleni, to which a significant number of camp residents at Katsika will be transferred in the next few months.

    "First the agreement must work, in order for the flows from Turkey to stop. This will stabilise the population of refugees and migrants. Once it is stabilised, then there will be a readjustment regarding relocation in Europe and establishment in Greece. Hospitality centres like Katsika will not have a long life," he promised.

    Those that the Agia Eleni camp had no room for would be taken away, with additional Greek regions accepting some refugees at a later stage, he added.

    The minister then departed for the refugee camp in Filippiada.

    [03] Free entrance to monuments, archaeological sites on Monday

    There will be free entrance to all monuments and archaeological sites in Greece on Monday, April 18, to mark International Day of Monuments and Sites. The measure applies to all sites and monuments except those that are normally closed on Mondays, which will keep to their regular working hours.

    In honour of the Olympic Games taking place in 2016, the holiday is this year was this year dedicated to sports heritage and its role in improving human life. The Greek ICOMOS Committee has therefore organised a public debate on the issue that will be held at the Kaftantzoglou auditorium at the National Technical University of Athens School of Architecture (Averoff building on Stournari Street) on Monday, starting at 19:30.

    Among the speakers will be the head of the Greek ICOMOS Committee Athanasios Nakasis, the head of the Hellenic UNESCO Commitee Katerina Tzitzikosta, and Culture Minister Aristidis Baltas, among others.

    [04] Freighter rescues 41 migrants in waters off Greece's southwest coast

    A freighter operating under instructions from the shipping ministry's Search and Rescue Coordination Centre rescued 41 migrants and refugees in a wooden boat 95 nautical miles southwest of Pylos, on the west coast of the Peloponnese. They were taken to Kalamata port, where they were detained.

    According to the latest count, meanwhile, there are 3,734 migrants and refugees currently staying at Piraeus port. The ferry boat "Ariadne" arrived from the island of Lesvos on Saturday night with only three migrants and refugees on board.

    [05] FM Kotzias meets UNSG's envoy for name dispute Matthew Nimetz

    Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Sunday had a meeting with the UN Secretary General's Personal Envoy for the Macedonia name dispute Matthew Nimetz in Luxembourg. Nimetz was briefed on the Greek government's thoughts and on the progress that has been made in the area of confidence-building measures between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    Nimetz briefed the Greek minister on his activities and on the discussions he is having in the context of his mandate.

    [06] 'Noor 1' heroin ship engineer dies of unknown causes

    A 32-year-old Indian crew member of the ship "Noor 1" has died, after he was rushed to Tzanio Hospital in Piraeus. The man was staying at the Drapetsona police station when he complained of feeling unwell on Saturday and was taken to the hospital, where he died.

    An autopsy and toxicological exams will be carried out in order to determine the cause of death, which remains unknown.

    The man was one of the nine-member crew of the 'Noor 1' when it was caught carrying two tonnes of heroin in June 2014 in Elefsina. All nine had been held on remand and then released after the 18-month maximum incarceration before trial had elapsed, but were staying at the police station because they were unable to rent alternative accommodation.


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