Tag Archives: Greece

New dedicated migrant bus route prompts outrage in Greece

New dedicated migrant bus route prompts outrage in GreeceA new bus route devised specifically for migrants has sparked outrage in a town in northern Greece, with accusations of segregation and racism following hostility to migrants from some locals.   In 2016 an old military settlement in Diavata, on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, has been turned into a refugee camp for about 1,000 people, 30 of whom are unaccompanied minors. The camp has been met with hostile protests since the beginning. In 2016, when construction started, former Mayor Mimis Fotopoulos was assaulted by locals who opposed it. Protests by anti-refugee groups have been mounting since then. Most recently, in November, a “barbeque against illegal migrants” was organised by a group called “United Macedonians” where attendants ate pork and drank alcohol in view of the camp’s mostly Muslim residents. The action drew heavy criticism. Senior members of the governing conservative New Democracy party expressed their support for the barbeque, and one of them even attended. Other members of the party condemned the event. The “Ionia Committee”, another protest group of locals against the camp has been pushing for a separate bus line. Migrant and refugee numbers are rising across Europe In early November, a spokesperson claimed that the number 54 bus, which currently services both residents and the camp, “is filled with migrants and locals can’t fit on”, adding that there have been reports of harassment. On their Facebook page, the Ionia Committee described the approval of the new bus line as a “vindication of their struggle”. In a press release, the Communist Party of Greece said the decision on the new bus “caters to the far-right, ramps up racist views and is no cause for celebration”. Users on social media have also described the decision as “racist” and have drawn parallels with mid-century segregation in the US. Greek newspaper Documento likened the route to 20th-century segregation in the US Deep South with a headline saying it was like "Alabama '55", while local news outlet Alterthess in an editorial described it as "an ignorant decision that resembles dark times". A child holds a banner reading "Asylum and shelter for refugees" as an anti-racist group protests in solidarity with refugees and migrants outside the refugee's camp of Diavata The bus will go by the refugee camp and then follow a parallel route to the existing one. The municipality’s announcement claimed that the new line would “relieve line 54 which services Diavata”. Ioannis Ioannidis, the Mayor of Delta claims that it wasn’t the Committee, but the Municipality that requested the bus line and dismisses all criticism of segregation. “The issue is that OASTH has greatly reduced bus routes”, he told The Daily Telegraph. “The new bus will also pick up locals and visitors along the way, it will not start from the camp and head straight to the train station”. Evangelos Papadakis, a Public Information Officer in UNHCR’s Thessaloniki branch says they expect the new bus will benefit the residents in the area, but they will remain sceptical until its exact route and the particulars of accessibility to all are announced. According to recent data, there are 103,500 refugees staying in Greece. 71,368 arrivals have been recorded in 2019. More than a million refugees have passed through Greece since 2015. Hardened immigration laws have made it difficult for them to be relocated towards mainland EU. Anti-refugee protests have broken out in various locations across the country over the last few months.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Archaeologists in Greece find 3,500-year-old royal tombs

Archaeologists in Greece find 3,500-year-old royal tombsAmerican archaeologists have discovered two monumental royal tombs dating from about 3,500 years ago near a major Mycenaean-era palace in Greece’s southern Peloponnese region, the Greek culture ministry said Tuesday. A ministry statement said the dome-shaped roofs of both tombs near the Bronze Age palace of Pylos collapsed during antiquity, and the chambers became filled with so much earth and rubble that grave robbers couldn’t get in to plunder them. Recovered grave goods from the two tombs included a golden seal ring and a golden amulet of an ancient Egyptian goddess, highlighting Bronze Age trade and cultural links.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Greece rescues tourist floating in Aegean Sea for two days

Greece rescues tourist floating in Aegean Sea for two daysGreece has rescued a 47-year old woman floating in a rubber dinghy in the Aegean Sea for nearly two days, coastguard officials said on Tuesday. The woman, holidaying on a sailboat near the Greek island of Folegandros, boarded an inflatable boat around midday on Nov. 1 to get supplies. Seven coastguard vessels, three private boats, a plane, and a helicopter were involved in the search operation.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

UPDATE 2-Police find 41 migrants alive in truck in northern Greece

UPDATE 2-Police find 41 migrants alive in truck in northern GreeceGreek police found 41 migrants, mostly Afghans, hiding in a refrigerated truck at a motorway in northern Greece on Monday, officials said. The discovery came 10 days after 39 bodies, all believed to be Vietnamese migrants, were discovered in the back of a refrigerated truck near London. The refrigeration system in the truck where the migrants were found in northern Greece had not been turned on, and none of the migrants was injured, though some asked for medical assistance, a Greek police official said.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Greece proposes Parthenon marbles swap, says still wants their permanent return

Greece proposes Parthenon marbles swap, says still wants their permanent returnGreece confirmed on Tuesday its readiness to loan treasures to the British Museum in return for being able to temporarily exhibit the Parthenon marbles but also said the proposal did not alter its long-standing demand for their permanent return. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Britain’s Observer newspaper on Sunday he was willing to lend important artefacts to London that “have never left Greece” in return for putting the marbles on display in Athens in 2021, when the country marks 200 years since the start of its War of Independence. Athens has repeatedly called for the permanent return of the 2,500-year-old sculptures that Britain’s Lord Elgin removed from the Acropolis temple during a period when Greece was under Ottoman Turkish rule.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Iranian tanker wanted by U.S. not heading to Greece: Greek prime minister

Iranian tanker wanted by U.S. not heading to Greece: Greek prime ministerAn Iranian tanker which the United States wants seized is not heading towards Greece as it sails through the Mediterranean, Greek Prime Minister Kyrikos Mitsotakis told France 24 TV on Thursday. The Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, left Gibraltar on Sunday. Ship-tracking data on Tuesday showed it was heading toward the Greek port of Kalamata on the southern coast of the Peloponnese and was scheduled to arrive next Monday.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Greece says it won't assist Iranian tanker sought by US

Greece says it won't assist Iranian tanker sought by USGreece said on Wednesday it won’t endanger its relations with the United States by aiding an Iranian supertanker sought by the U.S. but released by Gibraltar that’s currently in the Mediterranean Sea, believed heading for a Greek port. Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said Athens is under pressure from U.S. authorities, which claim the Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1 is tied to a sanctioned organization. The vessel can still enter Greek waters or anchor offshore, in which case Athens will “see” what it will do, Varvitsiotis added.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

US warns Greece not to give safe harbour to Iranian tanker

US warns Greece not to give safe harbour to Iranian tankerThe US has warned Greece that it risks facing American sanctions if it gives safe harbour to Iran’s Grace 1 oil tanker, in the latest standoff between the US and EU over the ship’s fate.  The Iranian oil tanker left Gibraltar over the weekend after a month in British detention and is now heading towards the Greek port of Kalamata.  "We have made clear that anyone who touches it, anyone who supports it, anyone who allows a ship to dock is at risk of receiving sanctions from the United States,” said Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state.  The Grace 1, now renamed the Adrian Darya 1, has not officially confirmed it is heading to Greece and the Greek government said it was monitoring the situation. "The vessel is cruising at low speed and there is still no formal announcement that it will arrive at Kalamata. The Merchant Marine Ministry is monitoring the matter along with Greece's Foreign Ministry," a Greek Shipping Ministry spokesman said. If it does seek to dock at Kalamata, the Greek government will face a choice between turning it away and risking US sanctions. The US said it had conveyed its “strong position” to Athens.  The US government says the ship and its 2 million barrels of oil are being used to support Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which Washington considers a terrorist group. Mike Pompeo warned Greece not to accept the tanker Credit: JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images The Trump administration made a failed attempt to get Gibraltar to further detain the ship but the British territories said it had no legal grounds to do so and so let the tanker sail.  The EU has not designated the Guard as a terror group and EU states say they will only move against the ship if it attempts to carry its oil to Syria, which is under European sanctions.  Iran is unlikely to release the Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker it seized in July, until it has reassurances that the Grace 1 is not in danger of interception by the US.  Iran initially indicated that the Stena Impero had been seized in retaliation for the Grace 1 but now claims that the ship violated maritime rules in the Persian Gulf.  Mohammad Rastad, Iran’s deputy transport minister, said a court in the southern port of Bandar Abbas would rule on the ship's fate but no court date has been announced.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Greece says has had no request from Iranian oil tanker to dock

Greece says has had no request from Iranian oil tanker to dock



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

UPDATE 1-U.S. has conveyed its 'strong position' to Greece about Iranian tanker -official

UPDATE 1-U.S. has conveyed its 'strong position' to Greece about Iranian tanker -officialThe United States has conveyed its “strong position” to the Greek government about an Iranian tanker that sailed for Greece on Monday after it was freed from detention off Gibraltar and Washington says is carrying oil to Syria, a State Department official said. Any efforts to assist the tanker could be considered as providing material support to a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, which has immigration and potential criminal consequences, the official said. The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar late on Sunday.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines