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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-08-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Upholding EU agreement on refugees in Turkey's interests, Alt. Defence Minister says
  • [02] Former ELSTAT chief to face charges for allegedly inflated 2009 deficit, Supreme Court decides
  • [03] Pre-registration of asylum applications īn mainland Greece completed

  • [01] Upholding EU agreement on refugees in Turkey's interests, Alt. Defence Minister says

    It is in Turkey's financial and international interests to uphold the agreement with the European Union on the handling of refugees, Alternate Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas said in an interview on the state broadcaster ERT on Monday. He linked Turkey's European course to a non-revival of the death penalty in the neighbouring country, as well as to upholding the EU-Turkey agreement.

    Using the issue of the refugees as a "political spearhead" would be a huge political mistake, Vitsas noted, but on the other hand, one had to also factor in the size of the aggressive action if Turkey's shores were left unguarded or the refugees were simply waved through.

    "The Turkish coast guard has an obligation to guard Turkey's coastal borders. This is its own obligation in relation to the country, not its international obligation. The measures that we are taking concern the guarding of the sea borders and preparation for the reception of refugees and international procedures relating to political asylum," he said.

    On the extradition of the eight Turkish military personnel that have sought refuge in Greece since the attempted coup in Turkey, Vitsas said this would be examined if their asylum application was denied but not if they were given political asylum on the basis of Greek and international law. Asked if this might have a negative impact on relations between Greece and Turkey, Vitsas noted that bilateral relations between states did not depend on such issues.

    "It would be as if Greece's relations with Germany depended on the fact that Germany does not extradite Mr. Christoforakos (wanted in Greece in connection with the Siemens case). These are issues that affect but are not decisive," he added.

    The minister also ruled out further cuts to wages for the military.

    [02] Former ELSTAT chief to face charges for allegedly inflated 2009 deficit, Supreme Court decides

    Greece's Supreme Court on Monday partially revoked a decision to drop charges against Andreas Georgiou, the former head of Greece's independent statistics agency ELSTAT, for presenting artificially inflated figures for Greece's deficit in 2009. The court accepted a motion filed in 2015 by then Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou, now a Supreme Court Prosecutor, that Georgiou should face criminal charges for making a false statement.

    As a result, Georgiou is once again indicted to appear before an Appeals Justices' Council for a new judgement on two counts, the original charge of misconduct for which he has already been indicted and the additional criminal charge of making a false statement.

    The court revoked a 2015 ordinance that decided against charging Georgiou and two senior ELSTAT officials - Konstantinos Molfetas and Athanasia Xenaki - for false statement at the expense of the public sector, aggravated due to the extremely high sums involved.

    According to the charges, the inflated figures for the deficit given by Georgiou and the other two officials in 2009 were used to justify Greece's entry into memorandum programmes.

    As a result, the case will now go before an Appeals Justices' Council for consideration once again.

    The issue of ELSTAT was first raised by the Athens Bar Association in 2011, in a lawsuit that had been shelved at the time, but was then revived in 2013 through a letter that the bar association sent to the Supreme Court prosecutor

    [03] Pre-registration of asylum applications īn mainland Greece completed

    The Asylum Service said on Monday the pre-registration of applications for international protection by refugees living on mainland Greece has been completed and applicants will soon receive a message on their mobile phone with the date and place of their next appointment.

    Asylum seekers will then be able to submit their official request to remain in the country, reunite their family or relocate.

    Those who didn't register but wish to do so now can obtain a registration appointment preferably through Skype, the Service said, adding that access to Skype will run more smoothly as the number of users will be much lower.

    Pre-registration started on June 8 and was supported financially and logistically by the European Commission, the UN High Commission for Refugees and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). Through this large-scale procedure, thousands of persons were provided with asylum seeker cards, allowing them to reside legally in Greece and have the right to access health and education services.

    A detailed statistical report based on the findings of the pre-registration exercise will be released in the coming days.


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