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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-01-18

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Thessaloniki cancer hospital wins first prize in international thoracoscopic surgery competition in Cincinnati
  • [02] Refugee issue and economic crisis discussed at ND leader's meeting with Italian president
  • [03] Theodorakis accuses government for attempting to control media through blackmail
  • [04] Tourism minister Kountoura meets King Felipe VI of Spain
  • [05] Human Rights Watch highlights problems faced by migrants with disabilities at Greek camps

  • [01] Thessaloniki cancer hospital wins first prize in international thoracoscopic surgery competition in Cincinnati

    The Thoracic Surgery-Oncological Clinic at Thessaloniki's Theagenio Anti-Cancer Hospital has won first prize for the best presentation of a thoracoscopic surgery at an international competition held in Cincinnati, Ohio in the United States.

    The presentation was carried out by the head of the clinic Nikolaos G. Barbetakis, a thoracic surgeon, and the clinic's surgical team.

    "The implementation of advanced thoracoscopic surgery is the present and future of minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Our clinic continues the tradition it established in 2006 and offers modern therapeutic methods using cutting-edge techologies, in spite of the economic crisis, aiming at the best results for cancer patients. The award of our thoracic surgery team and the international recognition of our efforts indicates the high level of Greek medicine and makes us all proud," Dr. Barbetakis said.

    Three years ago, the same clinic was designated a "Centre of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery" on a European level and also operates as an international training centre for thoracoscopic surgery.

    Thoracoscopy involves the insertion of an endoscope, a narrow—diameter tube with a viewing mirror or camera attachment, through a very small incision (cut) in the chest wall. For many patients, thoracoscopy replaces thoracotomy and avoids many of the complications of open chest surgery, reducing pain, hospital stay, and recovery time.

    [02] Refugee issue and economic crisis discussed at ND leader's meeting with Italian president

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday met Italian President Sergio Mattarella, currently in Athens on a two-day visit. During the meeting, both sides noted their shared concerns over the handling of the refugee and economic crises, while highlighting the dangers from rising populist and eurosceptic trends in Europe.

    They also reaffirmed the good relations between Greece and Italy and the excellent level of cooperation between them on a bilateral and multilateral level.

    Mattarella and Mitsotakis both agreed that a broader political consensus was needed for a realistic and responsible handling of the major challenges now facing European unification, with emphasis on promoting the reforms needed to boost growth and employment.

    They also noted the need to ensure implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement for the migration crisis and to keep channels of communication between the EU and Turkey open, in order to help Turkey follow the path that will bring it closer to European values and principles.

    Mitsotakis expressed concern over developments relating to human rights and the rule of law in Turkey, saying that Ankara must respect international law and international treaties. Greece, he added, remains a pillar of stability in a region that is becoming increasing unstable.

    He also briefed the Italian president on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus issue and Greece's steadfast support for the prospect of a functional and viable solution, without occupation troops and outdated guarantee regimes.

    Mattarella noted that a solution of the Cyprus issue would be a historic development in the region, which would globally broadcast a good and positive signal at an especially difficult time for the world.

    [03] Theodorakis accuses government for attempting to control media through blackmail

    Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis accused the government on Wednesday of unleashing an attack against the media using regulatory and law enforcement agencies as leverage, during his speech in parliament, which was discussing issues relating to the agricultural sector.

    Theodorakis was referring to news on Tuesday that a former SYRIZA MP and former president of "Avghi" newspaper, Vasilis Moulopoulos, was invited by bankrupt DOL media group "to help resolve the structural and economic problems of DOL".

    "We are facing a government attack against media. Using the regulatory and law enforcement agencies as leverage, SYRIZA undertakes to control and bring into line media groups it used to curse. The aim is for all media to speak in one voice. It's a new dimension in communication. A new dimension in interweaving interests," he told lawmakers, adding that the government has decided to take matters into its own hands "by taking over media groups".

    He also linked DOL's decision to appoint Moulopoulos to a preliminary report published on Monday by a parliamentary committee which investigated bank loans granted to political parties and media in the past few years, which found that there are no political responsibilities.

    "On Monday, the examining committee delivers its report and – lo and behold – there is no political responsibility for anyone. Was everything you said about the triangle of corruption between media-banks and parties all a lie? Are they all innocent? Where are the revelations with which you threatened your predecessors in power?" he said.

    "I hope journalists resist it," he added.

    [04] Tourism minister Kountoura meets King Felipe VI of Spain

    Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura on Wednesday had a brief meeting with King Felipe VI of Spain at the Palacio Real el Pardo. Kountoura is currently representing Greece at the FITUR international tourism exhibition in Madrid, where the Greek National Tourism Organisation has a pavilion.

    During the meeting, which took place during an event hosted by the Spanish royal family for the ministers and officials of states participating in the exhibition, Kountoura talked about Greece and Greek tourism.

    At the Greek pavilion, the minister had meetings with representatives of the Spanish and international travel industry, as well as travel agencies specialising in package holidays to Greece. She is also scheduled to give press conferences to the Spanish media in order to promote and advertise Greece as an attractive worldwide tourism destination, hoping to increase the flow of Spanish tourists to Greece.

    [05] Human Rights Watch highlights problems faced by migrants with disabilities at Greek camps

    Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with disabilities are not properly registered by Greek authorities and their access to basic services at hotspots and migrant camps in Greece is often impaired, Human Rights Watch reported on Wednesday.

    The group cited a number of incidents where people with sometimes multiple disabilities were unable to see a doctor, while 15 cases were unable to use the camp bathrooms and toilets because these were not accessible.

    After an investigation at camps in Greece, Human Rights Watch found that many asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities were not properly registered, partly because of the rushed registration process and partly because staff needed better guidance. According to the group, disabilities that were not immediately obvious were not recorded, so that the number of people with disabilities was underestimated.

    It also noted that the infrastructure at camps was not designed to give disabled access, with only two of the 15 facilities visited having ramps for the toilets, while in most cases the rough terrain and large distances prevented people with disabilities from reaching toilets and bathrooms. In addition, the UNHCR, eight international humanitarian aid organisations and one local organisation working at Greek reception centres all said they had few or no targeted programmes to meet the rights and needs of people with disabilities and also noted serious deficiencies in the mental health services needed by migrants and refugees.

    Human Rights Watch urged the European Union and its member-states to provide additional funds to Greece and ensure that aid is distributed fairly in all facilities, while also urging Greek authorities, the UNHCR and non-governmental organisations to ensure that people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups have equal access to help and essentials, such as water, hygiene, food, shelter and medical care. Failure to ensure this was a violation of the UN Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities and EU law, it noted.

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