Briefs from Greece – January 2018

Posted by at 22 January, at 10 : 40 AM Print

Erdogan on his visit to Greece


Erdogan’s visit to Greece

Erdogan’s visit to Greece.


THE LAUSANNE Treaty is the cornerstone of Greek-Turkish relations, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during joint statements with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his visit to Greece. Tsipras stressed the need to end Turkish airspace violations in the Aegean, adding that Turkey’s casus belli threat against Greece is inconsistent. On Cyprus, Tsipras reiterated it is primarily a problem of illegal invasion and occupation. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Greece’s Republic, greeted his guest by responding one-by-one to the claims against Greece that Erdogan raised in an interview with a Greek private TV station. Erdogan tempered his remarks when Alexis Tsipras received the Turkish president. “We as a country, as Republic of Turkey, never covet the territory of another country. We are two peoples that have lived very close to one another. We have citizens of Turkish descent that live on Greek territory and vice versa,” Erdogan said.



US Ambassador on Thessaloniki Port privatisation

“WE have seen the difficulties privatization faces in Greece, as in the Thessaloniki port, where it’s unclear who the private investors actually are and where their money comes from,” US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt underlined.



The Eurogroup approved the staff-level agreement

THE Eurogroup approved the staff-level agreement between the Greek government and its creditors, in the context of the ongoing third evaluation of the country’s bailout programme. Also The Eurogroup elected Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno as its new president, replacing Jeroen Dijsselbloem.



UNESCO adds rebetiko to its Cultural Heritage list

THE Greek musical genre rebetiko was inscribed on UNESCO’s 2017 representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage during its annual meeting held in Jeju, Korea, between December 4 and 9.



Around 1,000 refugees to be transferred to mainland

SOME 1,000 refugees and migrants belonging to vulnerable groups were removed from camps on the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos.



Greece exiting the bailout program

GREECE will have exited the bailout program in the summer of 2018, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a videotaped message to the 19th Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum in New York. Tsipras said that Greece is in a comeback and that the Greek economy is showing positive signs after years of recession. A growth rate of close of 2 pct is expected for 2017, the PM said, while he cited EU Commission estimates that the growth rate would reach 2.5 pct in 2018. Unemployment has dropped 6 pct since this government came to power, and foreign direct investments reached 3 billion euros the first 9 months of 2017, up by 69 pct compared to the same period in 2016.



Greece’s winning destinations for 2017

ACCORDING to official data released by Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura at the Seventh Regional Conference for Productive Reconstruction, Crete and the Ionian islands, particularly Zakynthos, Kerkyra and Paxi are among Greece’s winning destinations for 2017. They are popular, they are attracting more tourists, and revenue is rising.



The president of the Council of State

THE president of the Council of State, Nikos Sakellariou, has publicly accused Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis of meddling in the work of the judiciary when he criticised the high court’s recent ruling regarding the income and assets declaration of judicial functionaries.



Bid to accelerate asylum applications

IN a bid to ease growing pressure on overcrowded refugee camps on Greece’s eastern Aegean islands, the government is drafting a law to accelerate the process of granting asylum to refugees.



Kostas Gavroglu in favor of the Muslim minority in Thrace electing their muftis

IN a move that would reverse a policy of decades, Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs Kostas Gavroglu came out in favor of the Muslim minority in Thrace electing their muftis, professional jurists who interpret Islamic law and rule on family law issues. The remarks came straight on the heels of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s calls for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty and his attack on the Greek state for mot allowing the popular election of muftis, which is banned even in Turkey. The timing of his statement could create the impression in Turkey and at home that the government is caving in to the demands of Erdogan as a concession. But it also comes after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced legislation that will abolish the existing mandatory application of the sharia, the corpus of Islamic law, among the members of the Muslim community in Thrace.



Deutsche Bank for Greece’s economy

GREECE’S economic prospects for 2018 are positive, and the country is expected to complete the successful exit from the fiscal program in August 2018, a Deutsche Bank report said. In a report titled “Greece in 2018: Finally some light at the end of the tunnel,” the research analysts argue that the successful outcome is based on the fact that “for the first time in a long while political incentives between Greece and European creditors are reasonably well aligned.”



Tourism is the only magnet for investment

INVESTMENTS in Greece continue to lag, with the exception of those aimed at tourism, which continues to flourish in the crisis-hit country, helping – along with an increase in product stock – the economy grow this year, according to an Alpha Bank report.



Thirty-two Turkish nationals request asylum

THIRTY-TWO Turkish nationals who were rescued by the Greek coast guard, after arriving on a rubber dinghy on the islet of Inousses in the eastern Aegean, have applied for political asylum, sources said on Saturday. Another man who also on board the boat is believed to be the smuggler and was arrested by police. Authorities are expected to charge them with illegal entry to the country and then examine their asylum request. They are being held at Chios’ police station.



Wall Steet Journal on Greece’s economy

GREECE’S economy is growing again and the country was able to tap the bond markets again, Wall Steet Journal said in an article entitled “How the EU Survived the Populist Wave in 2017.”



Seven Greek Shipowners at Top of Lloyd’s List

GREEK shipping continues to be at the top of the world, despite the economic crisis that continues to plague Greece. In the highest position of Greeks, is the Angelicoussis Shipping Group, of John Anthony Angelicoussis from the island of Chios, who is also eighth in the world ranking. Second Greek is George Prokopiou (Dynacom / Dynagas), while 3rd place among the Greeks is Angeliki Frangou (Navios), also from Chios. Fourth is George Economou (TMS / DryShips). Peter Livanos (GasLog / DryLog) from Chios, Petros Pappas (Star Bulk) and Nikolas Tsakos (TEN, Intertanko) from Chios, complete the 7th Greek places.



Greece’s universities in the grip of violence

A SHARP spike in incidents of violence, and criminal activities, on the grounds of universities across the country has fueled concern among academics who say they are powerless to intervene. Concerns about incidents of violence at university faculties peaked on Saturday after assailants wielding wooden sticks attacked students at an Athens University campus on Academias Street in central Athens, sending four of them to the hospital. That incident came just two days after a group of unidentified vandals used iron bars and wooden sticks to wreak serious damage at the University of Macedonia (UOM), in Thessaloniki, northern Greece.



A plan for changing Greece, Mitsotakis says

MAIN opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrapped up ND’s 11th conference with the message that the party was ready to govern the country “and to lead Greece where it deserves to be.” The conference was earlier addressed by former premier and ND party leader Antonis Samaras, who noted that his government had been toppled before it had a chance to complete its work, which had included the greatest fiscal adjustments and largest debt reduction, as well as the largest number of privatisations and reforms.



Nick Larigakis of AHI in Greece

PRESIDENT of American-Hellenic Institute (AHI) Nick Larigakis has been working for over four decades to strengthen ties between Greece, Cyprus, and the US. In an interview discusses his multi-faceted activity in maintaining contacts and briefing American institutional players on timely political issues that concern the Greek-American community, as well as Greece and Cyprus. The president of the AHI expressed the hope that the US can help Greece with investments.



Tsipras denounces stance of countries refusing refugees

“EUROPE today has a social excessive deficit and is not addressing it,” Prime Minister Tsipras told a news conference upon the conclusion of EU summit. “In the eurozone, a strong and binding social pillar is the precondition for stability and viability. No monetary union can function with societies within it operating at different speeds,” Tsipras said.


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