Relocation program of unaccompanied refugee minors from Greece across EU continues despite COVID-19

ATHENS, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The relocation program of unaccompanied refugee minors from Greece to other EU member states continues despite the COVID-19 challenge, after it was launched a few months ago by the Greek government and the European Commission, Greek officials said here Tuesday.

Greece's Alternate Minister for Immigration and Asylum Giorgos Koumoutsakos wished a better future to 25 minors who departed from Athens international airport for Portugal, repeating Athens' plea for more European solidarity on this matter.

Greece PM says won't accept strict EU conditions on COVID-19 aid - FT

(Reuters) - Greece will not accept strict European Union conditions on the use of the coronavirus emergency aid, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the Financial Times newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

“Greeks have matured a lot. And we want to do our own reforms”, he was quoted as saying

A six-monthly review of economic performance carried out by the European Commission was sufficient and that there was no need for any “additional strict conditionality,” he said.

Greece reopens islands to flights in bid to save tourism season

CORFU (Greece), July 2 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Greece reopened flights to its flagship island destinations as it raced to salvage a portion of the annual tourism season that is vital to its economy.

Over 100 flights are expected at 14 regional airports that include the popular islands of Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Crete, airport manager Fraport said.

All airports in the country are now receiving international flights and the ports of Patras and Igoumenista will again receive ferries from Italy.

EU "determined" to protect its external borders: EU foreign policy chief

ATHENS, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Josep Borrell, the European Union's (EU) high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said that the EU was determined to protect its external borders during his visit to Greece on Wednesday.

Against the backdrop of increasing tensions between Greece and Turkey, Borrell visited the land border separating the two countries at Kastanies in Evros in northeastern Greece, accompanied by Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias.

Greece extends lockdown at migrant camps

ATHENS, June 21 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Greece announced another extension of the coronavirus lockdown on its teeming migrant camps, hours after some 2,000 people protested in central Athens to mark World Refugee Day and denounce the government’s treatment of migrants.

The migration ministry said confinement for residents of reception and identification centres across the country would be extended to July 5. It was due to have ended on Monday.

Greece was quick to introduce strict confinement measures on migrant camps on March 21 and imposed a more general lockdown on March 23.

Greece, Italy sign accord on maritime zones in Ionian Sea

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece and Italy signed an agreement on maritime boundaries on Tuesday, establishing an exclusive economic zone between the two countries and resolving longstanding issues over fishing rights in the Ionian Sea.

The deal, signed during a visit by Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio, follows months of tension over natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region, where Turkey, Greece and Cyprus have been caught in a complex diplomatic standoff.

Greece: ‘We are ready for military confrontation with Turkey’

06 June 2020; MEMO: Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos has confirmed that his country is ready for all eventualities, including military confrontation with Turkey if it continued to provoke Athens, news agencies reported on Friday.

In a television interview, Panagiotopoulos revealed that his ministry had noted increasing Turkish provocations.

Greece: Coronavirus strands merchant ship crews at sea for months

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — For nearly four months, Capt. Andrei Kogankov and his oil tanker crew haven’t set foot on dry land. With global travel at a virtual standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian captain was forced to extend his normal contract. He still doesn’t know when he’ll be able to go home.

Countries across the world have imposed lockdowns, shut borders and suspended international flights to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Merchant ship crews have become unintended collateral damage.

Turkey envoy: Our activities in Mediterranean ‘within international law’

02 June 2020; MEMO: The Turkish Ambassador to Greece, Burak Ozugergin said his country’s exploration activities in the Mediterranean Sea are within the framework of international law.

The official was summoned by the Greek Foreign Ministry yesterday after the Turkish government’s gazette published applications by Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) for an exploration permit in the Mediterranean Sea.

Greece to evict over 10,000 refugees from shelters

30 May 2020; MEMO: Over 10,000 refugees in Greece that have been granted asylum now face eviction from accommodation facilities where they are currently staying, Anadolu Agency reports.

The country’s Ministry of Migration Policy plans to replace these refugees with asylum seekers on Aegean islands in an attempt to decongest camps there.

These facilities are intended to accommodate asylum-seekers whose applications are still being processed.

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