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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-05-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] LGBTQI rights are human rights, says Justice minister
  • [02] Serres to host Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum on May 25-26

  • [01] LGBTQI rights are human rights, says Justice minister

    The rights of the LGBTQI community are human rights and their protection is part of Greece's political identity, Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis said on Wednesday to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

    "The LGBTQI rights are human rights, whose respect and protection is an element of our political identity, the democratic society in which we believe in and our culture, while development and progress on a national and international level will only come about through the elimination of all kinds of discrimination and by ensuring peaceful coexistence," he said in a statement.

    "Respect of human value and dignity without any discrimination on the basis of any identifying element, such as race, color, national or ethnic origin, genealogical background, religious or other beliefs, disability, age, family or social status, sexual orientation and identity or gender characteristics, as well as the institutional safeguarding of human rights, are values inextricably inherent in the principles of the rule of law and our democracy, and are therefore a priority of the Greek State," he added.

    Kontonis recalled that in the past, one of the main causes of racist and discriminatory behavior against individuals was their sexual orientation and gender identity noting that, in the past few years, Greece has made significant steps in legislating laws that stop injustices against LGBTQI people and restore social justice.

    [02] Serres to host Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum on May 25-26

    The first forum for the cooperation of Balkans and Black Sea countries will be hosted in the northeastern Greek city of Serres on May 25-26. The city hopes the forum will mark the start of an institution that will serve as a tool for the efforts of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organisation to promote economic cooperation.

    The focus of the forum will be on the prospects for sustainable growth leading up to 2030, examining areas such as energy routes, the digital economy, women in positions of responsibility, agriculture, the environment and use of resources, maritime and land transport networks, culture and sustainable tourism.

    It will feature 42 speakers from governments, local authorities, universities, international organisations and multinational companies of strategic importance, with 350 delegates participating. Assisting in its organisation are 100 volunteers from the city of Serres.

    In a press conference about the forum, Serres Regional Deputy Governor Yiannis Moysiadis said it was an important event for the city. He noted that there will be parallel events highlighting the area's local culture and traditional cultural heritage, as well as tours to local sights and tourist attractions.

    The head of GeoRoutes Cultural Institute that helped co-organise the forum, Yiannis Balakakis, noted the volatile conditions currently prevailing in the Balkan and Black Sea region and said that the forum will seek ways to promote economic cooperation and growth in the area. He said Serres was chosen to host the forum so that, in line with Geo Routes' aims that seek to highlight a different aspect of Greece as a region possessing both tourist attractions and the necessary infrastructure.

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