Monday, February 29, 2016

Migrant crisis: Greece needs EU help to avoid chaos, says Merkel

6 hours ago
 From the section Europe

Europe cannot allow Greece to fall into "chaos", German Chancellor Angela Merkel says, amid sharp divisions among members over the migrant crisis.
Austria and several Balkan countries have introduced restrictions stranding migrants in Greece.
Mrs Merkel said EU nations had not battled to keep Greece in the euro just to leave it "in the lurch".
She also defended her decision to open German borders to migrants, despite a resulting slump in her popularity.
More than one million people arrived to claim asylum last year, sparking opposition within her governing coalition and a rise in far-right extremism.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Greece becoming 'migrant warehouse' as refugees slowly trickle into Macedonia

Published February 28, 2016
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece –  Greece is fast becoming the "warehouse of human beings" that its government has vowed not to allow.

Hastily setup camps for refugees and other migrants are full. Thousands of people wait through the night, shivering in the cold at the Greek-Macedonian border, in the country's main port of Piraeus, in squares dotted around Athens, or on dozens of buses parked up and down Greece's main north-south highway.

On Thursday, hundreds of frustrated men, women and children abandoned their stranded buses or left refugee camps, setting off on a desperate trek dozens of kilometers (miles) long to reach a border they know is quickly shutting down to them.

Up to 70,000 migrants may be trapped in Greece next month: migration minister

Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:59am EST Related: WORLD, GREECE


The number of refugees and migrants trapped in Greece may reach 70,000 in coming weeks, Greece's migration minister said on Sunday, adding that a NATO plan to crack down on smugglers could limit migrant flows significantly.

Greece, a primary gateway to Europe for tens of thousands of people fleeing war in the Middle East and beyond, has been inundated with refugees and migrants after border shutdowns through the Balkans, stranding thousands in the country in the past ten days.

"We estimate that we will have a number of people trapped in our country which will be between 50,000 and 70,000... I believe in the coming month," Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas told Greek Mega TV.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Refugees in Greece

No way out

Greece starts to fill up as its neighbours restrict the flow of migrants to Germany
Feb 27th 2016 | ATHENS | From the print edition

The Economist

HIS sleeping bag around his shoulders, Khaled, a 28-year-old truck driver, sits in a corner of Victoria Square, a gathering point for migrants in central Athens. He is waiting for a smuggler to help him cross Greece’s northern border with Macedonia, closed since February 21st to Afghan migrants like him. Across the square, Mahmud, a restaurant manager who has come from Aleppo with his wife and three children, fears that the route to Germany may soon close for Syrians too. “We mustn’t get stuck in Greece,” he says firmly.

Truce halts most Syria fighting; Russia stops flights

Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:48am EST Related: WORLD, UNITED NATIONS, SYRIA



Fighting mostly stopped across western and northern Syria on Saturday and Russia halted its air raids, under a cessation of hostilities which the United Nations called the best hope for peace since civil war began five years ago.

Under the U.S.-Russian accord accepted by President Bashar al-Assad's government and many of his enemies, fighting should cease so aid can reach civilians and talks can open to end a war that has killed more than 250,000 people and made 11 million homeless.

Russia, which says it intends to continue strikes against areas held by Islamist fighters that are not covered by the truce, said it would suspend all flights over Syria for the day on Saturday to ensure no wrong targets were hit by mistake.

The Russia-Armenia alliance is threatening Turkey, a critical U.S. ally

The Washington Post

February 26 at 5:35 PM
The Feb. 21 front-page article “For Turkey, high stakes as troubles intensify” highlighted a critical development: The growing military alliance between Russia and Armenia is threatening Turkey, an indispensable U.S. ally and partner in the fight against the Islamic State.

Balkans Crimp Refugee Flow After Greece Warns of Disaster

 Boris Cerni  Jasmina Kuzmanovic
February 26, 2016 — 3:50 PM EET Updated on February 26, 2016 — 4:33 PM EET

Slovenia and Croatia cut the number of refugees they’ll let across their borders, potentially bottling up migrants arriving in Greece in what that country’s government warned could create a humanitarian disaster.
Slovenia told neighboring Croatia that it can accept only 580 refugees a day, a fraction of the thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East who have been crossing the country’s borders daily.

Migration Crisis Complicates Greece’s Efforts to Finish Bailout Negotiations

Struggle on two sides risks fragile government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Feb. 26, 2016 5:26 a.m. ET
The Wall Street Journal

ATHENS—A new deadlock over Greece’s finances is complicating last year’s brittle bailout deal, just as the country nears a showdown with the rest of Europe over efforts that would keep migrants stuck within its borders.

The struggle on two fronts risks overwhelming the fragile government under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his ruling left-wing Syriza party, which barely managed to keep Greece in the euro last summer, even before the migration crisis deepened the strains between Greece and the rest of Europe.

The International Monetary Fund says it can’t lend to Greece without radical spending cuts by Athens or costly debt forgiveness by Berlin. Greece’s key European interlocutor, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is under such political pressure at home over barely controlled migration inflows that she’s less able than before to take an unpopular stand over Greece’s debt woes.

Greece Scrambles to House Stranded Migrants as Numbers Grow

Greek officials are looking to convert military sites, ferries into shelters

The Wall Street Journal

Feb. 26, 2016 10:53 a.m. ET

ATHENS—Greece was moving Friday to convert military facilities and ferries into temporary housing for the thousands of migrants who continue to pour into the country even as exit routes to the north are closing.

Greek officials estimated the number of migrants stranded in the country has doubled in the past few days to around 20,000, after Austria and several Balkan countries coordinated a tightening of their borders and started to send back Afghan migrants.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Austria hosts Balkan refugee conference without Greece

Austria has defended holding a refugee summit with West Balkan states without inviting Greece. Athens, however, has filed an official complaint with Austria, calling the meeting "non-friendly" and anti-European.

Deutsche Welle

Tensions are running high between Austria and Greece ahead of a conference in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss strategies to reduce migrant flows. Leaders from nine west Balkan states along the so-called Balkan route will attend the summit, but refugee-clogged Greece was not invited.
"These meetings (with the western Balkan states) take place within a format and with fixed participants," interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told news agency AFP.
Wednesday's conference, entitled "Managing Migration Together" will include foreign and interior ministers from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.
The ministers are set to discuss issues like border management and how to combat human smugglers, as well as improving the flow of information concerning their country's policies.
The Vienna conference will also attempt to create unified positions ahead of Thursday's EU interior ministers meeting, an official close to the talks said to news agency DPA.

Questions Linger Over Russia’s Endgame in Syria, Ukraine and Europe


The New York Times

MOSCOW — The partial truce that Russia and the United States have thrashed out in Syria capped something of a foreign policy trifecta for President Vladimir V. Putin, with the Kremlin strong-arming itself into a pivotal role in the Middle East, Ukraine floundering and the European Union developing cracks like a badly glazed pot.

Beyond what could well be a high point for Mr. Putin, however, lingering questions about Russia’s endgame arise in all three directions.

Refugee arrivals in Greece exceed 100,000 in less than two months

Figure was not reached until end of June last year, and rate of arrivals this year expected to climb further as weather improves
The Guardian

More than 100,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year, at triple the rate of arrivals over the first half of 2015.

At least 102,500 have arrived on the Greek islands of Samos, Kos and Lesbos, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Another 7,500 have reached Italy, and in the first six weeks of the year 411 people are known to have died attempting to make the journey.

In 2015 the threshold of 100,000 arrivals was not reached until the end of June. As spring approaches and the weather improves, the rate of arrivals this year is expected to climb further.

Clashes Erupt in Greece as Macedonia Bars Afghan Asylum Seekers

The New York Times
PARIS — A decision by the Macedonian authorities to block thousands of Afghan asylum seekers from crossing into the country from Greece set off clashes between migrants and the police on Tuesday, highlighting the challenges facing European nations as they seek to check the flow of people to the Continent.

Greek riot police officers forcibly removed groups of Afghan protesters from train tracks at a migrant camp in Idomeni, Greece, a crossing point to Macedonia and a gateway toward Northern Europe, after Macedonia abruptly announced that Afghans would be classified as economic migrants, disqualifying them from political asylum.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

If Sterling Goes Down on `Brexit,' It's Taking the Euro With It

 Eshe Nelson

 Manisha Jha

 Chiara Albanese

February 23, 2016 — 2:00 AM EET Updated on February 23, 2016 — 12:36 PM EET


Britain’s referendum on its membership in the European Union isn’t just a threat to the pound. It’s raising currency-market risks across the continent.
While the pound led declines among major currencies on Monday with its biggest slide since 2010, the euro had the second-largest drop, weighed down by signs of slowing growth. The cost of options protecting against losses on Europe’s 19-nation currency also jumped. The U.K.’s potential exit may damage trade and encourage other members to renegotiate their relationship with the EU, signaling scope for further losses in the euro in the run-up to Britain’s June 23 referendum.

Greece's War of Words With Eldorado Escalates on Shorting Charge

 Nikos Chrysoloras

 Paul Tugwell


February 23, 2016 — 9:19 AM EET

Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis says Eldorado Gold Corp. Chief Executive Officer Paul Wright shorted the shares of his own company, comments the miner dismissed as “utter nonsense,” as tensions mount between the Canadian company and the government in Athens.
Eldorado shares fell 19 percent to C$3.53 on Jan. 12 in Toronto, the biggest one-day decline since December 2008, after Wright announced at a press conference in Athens that the company was suspending its investment plans for its Greek mines, blaming the attitude of the government.

Greek police remove people from border with Macedonia

Operation follows Macedonia’s decision to close frontier, leaving thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece


Greek police have started removing people from the country’s border with Macedonia after a snap decision to tighten border controls by the Balkan state left thousands stranded.

Authorities said the mostly Afghan migrants and refugees were being put on buses bound for Athens, in the south of the country, after the police operation started early on Tuesday. Journalists were not allowed to approach the area.

Police and empty buses had entered the Idomeni area before dawn. In one area seen from the Macedonian side of the border, about 600 people had been surrounded by Greek police, a witness told Reuters.

Monday, February 22, 2016

China’s missile gambit

The Washington Post's View

By Editorial Board February 21 at 7:04 PM

STEP BY incremental step, China appears to be digging into disputed territories in the South China Sea. That is the inescapable conclusion from the latest report that it has stationed a modern surface-to-air weapons system, the HQ-9, on Woody Island, the largest in the Paracel chain, controlled by China but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. Though the United States has no territorial claim, the new Chinese installations seriously threaten a central goal of U.S. policy in the region: to sail, fly and operate anywhere that international law allows. The installations also threaten to impose China’s unilateral resolution on claims that the United States has urged be settled through negotiation.

Crowd cheer fire at hotel being converted into refugee shelter in Saxony.

The Guardian
Suspected arson comes three days after protesters blocked bus carrying asylum seekers in east German state

A fire that destroyed a hotel being converted into a shelter for refugees in Saxony was cheered and celebrated by onlookers, German police have said.

The blaze at the building in Bautzen, eastern Saxony, began in the early hours of Sunday morning. Police are treating the incident as suspected arson. No one was injured.

Locals had cheered as the building caught fire, police said. “Some people reacted to the arson with derogatory comments and undisguised joy.”

China signals no South China Sea backdown as foreign minister goes to U.S.

Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:27am EST


China's South China Sea military deployments are no different from U.S. deployments on Hawaii, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, striking a combative tone ahead of a visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the United States this week.

The United States last week accused China of raising tensions in the South China Sea by its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, a move China has neither confirmed nor denied.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

China's Pivot To Latin America: Beijing's Growing Security Presence In America's Backyard

FEB 20, 2016 @ 08:40 PM 3,030 VIEWS

I cover foreign policy with a focus on Eurasia.


China’s extremely ambitious efforts under Xi Jinping to extend its reach around the globe and to put its economic clout to work aggressively pursuing its strategic goals have had considerable impact on Latin America. As I’ve written previously, the nature of Chinese economic engagement with Latin America, despite having some beneficial aspects, has also had long term negative economic and normative effects in the region and has strengthened anti-American regimes. China’s growing military presence in the region is having a similar effect, and, although it is still relatively limited, is serving to undermine, aided by Washington’s neglect, the United States’ strategic position in its own Hemisphere.

Turkey’s increasingly desperate predicament poses real dangers

The Washington Post
By Liz Sly February 20 at 7:09 PM
ISTANBUL — Turkey is confronting what amounts to a strategic nightmare as bombs explode in its cities, its enemies encroach on its borders and its allies seemingly snub its demands.

As recently as four years ago, Turkey appeared poised to become one of the biggest winners of the Arab Spring, an ascendant power hailed by the West as a model and embraced by a region seeking new patrons and new forms of governance.

All that has evaporated since the failure of the Arab revolts, shifts in the geopolitical landscape and the trajectory of the Syrian war.

What Russia's Failing Economy Means For Putin's Legacy And Military Ambitions

The WorldPost spoke with Sergey Aleksahenko, former deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank.
 02/20/2016 08:01 am ET | Updated 2 hours ago

THe Huffington Post

The World Post

Alexandra Ma
Editorial Fellow, The Huffington Post

Russia is in the middle of its worst economic crisis since 2008.

The country's economic output declined by 3.7 percent in 2015 and is projected to decrease by a further 1 percent in 2016, according to International Monetary Fund estimates published in January. Inflation soared to 15.4 percent in 2015, compared with 7.8 percent in 2014.

The decline is partly the result of the international sanctions imposed following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014. Large trade and investment partners, including the European Union and the United States, cut off Russia's access to foreign loans and capital markets and froze assets belonging to high-level Russians.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

NATO's support for Turkey is not unconditional

NATO warns Turkey it can't count on support in a conflict with Russia as tensions escalate
European diplomats warned that Ankara cannot invoke Article 5
Germany says that NATO cannot 'pay the price for a war started by Turks'
Turkey has called for international ground operation in Syria
Russia called Security Council meeting to halt Turkey's shelling of Kurds

PUBLISHED: 13:06 GMT, 20 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:45 GMT, 20 February 2016

Daily Mail

These 5 Facts Explain Why Turkey Is in Deep Trouble

Ian Bremmer @ianbremmer  Feb. 19, 2016


As Turkey ramps up its involvement in the war in Syria, it risks being hit by serious international blowback
It’s been a bad week for Turkey. As the country intensifies its military campaign in Syria, a bomb ripped through Ankara in apparent retaliation on Feb. 17, killing 28 people and injuring 61 others. Sadly, it’s an all too familiar sight. These five facts explain the mounting threats Turkey faces from Syria’s war next door.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Greece threatens to veto Britain-EU deal if states close borders to refugees

Europe’s negotiations about the UK’s membership and about the refugee crisis become entangled at Brussels summit

The Guardian

Greece is threatening to veto a new deal for Britain in the European Union if other member states close their borders to refugees.

The future of Britain’s EU membership has become entangled with the refugee crisis at a summit in Brussels, where the bloc’s leaders had been meeting to discuss the two issues separately.

EU leaders are grappling with how to deal with the biggest influx of refugees since the second world war, after more than one million people arrived in Europe in 2015. The movement of people has called into question the EU’s border-free Schengen zone and has thrown EU asylum rules into chaos. On Friday, Austria introduced daily limits on the number of migrants entering the country, triggering fears of further border closures.

Turkey Blames Kurdish Militia for Ankara Attack, Challenging U.S.

The New York Time
BAGHDAD — In blaming a Syrian Kurdish militia supported by the United States for a deadly car bombing in Ankara, Turkey added new urgency on Thursday to a question its president recently posed to the Obama administration: Are you on the side of a NATO ally — Turkey — or its enemies?

The militia, which adamantly denies any role in the bombing, is the administration’s most important ground force inside Syria in the fight against the militants of the Islamic State. But it is also fast becoming an enemy of Turkey, which views the militia as a national security threat because of its links to another Kurdish militant group that is battling for autonomy within Turkey.

EU Quarrels Over Refugees, With Greece, Austria in Crossfire

 James G Neuger

 John Follain


European leaders quarreled again over the refugee influx, with fingers pointed at Greece for doing too little to seal its border and at Austria and Slovenia for doing too much.
Conflicting national responses to the expected 1 million new arrivals in 2016 on top of a similar number last year left Germany with the heaviest burden and Chancellor Angela Merkel facing untold political costs.
“We must first avoid a battle among plans A, B and C: It makes no sense at all because it creates divisions within the European Union,” EU President Donald Tusk told reporters after meetings ended in pre-dawn hours on Friday.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Kurds Warn Turkey of ‘Big War’ With Russia If Troops Enter Syria

 Henry Meyer
Stepan Kravchenko


February 18, 2016 — 2:51 PM EET Updated on February 18, 2016 — 5:18 PM EET

Russia has promised to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria in case of a ground offensive by Turkey, a move that would lead to a “big war,” the Syrian group’s envoy to Moscow said in an interview on Wednesday.
“We take this threat very seriously because the ruling party in Turkey is a party of war,” Rodi Osman, head of the Syrian Kurds’ newly-opened representative office said in Kurdish via a Russian interpreter. “Russia will respond if there is an invasion. This isn’t only about the Kurds, they will defend the territorial sovereignty of Syria.”

Hundreds of armed rebels cross from Turkey into Syria, says monitor

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports 500 insurgents and Islamist fighters headed for town of Azaz where anti-Assad forces have lost ground

The Guardian

At least 500 rebels on Wednesday crossed the Turkish border, a monitor said, and headed for the Syrian town of Azaz in northern Aleppo province where opposition forces have suffered setbacks at the hands of Kurdish fighters.

“At least 500 rebels have crossed the Bab al-Salam border crossing on their way to the town of Azaz, from which they want to help the insurgents in the face of gains made by Kurdish forces in the north of the province,” the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel, told Agence France-Presse.

Ankara blast: Turkey vows retaliation for deadly bomb attack

49 minutes ago


Turkey has vowed to retaliate against the perpetrators of a powerful blast in the capital Ankara that left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured.
"Turkey will not shy away from using its right to self-defence at any time, any place or any occasion," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Officials said a vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

China 'has deployed missiles in South China Sea' - Taiwan

3 hours ago


China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea, Taiwan says.
Satellite images taken on 14 February appear to show two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system on Woody or Yongxing Island in the Paracels.
The presence of missiles would significantly increase tensions in the acrimonious South China Sea dispute.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said reports were a Western media invention.
But Mr Wang defended "the limited and necessary self-defence facilities" on islands inhabited by Chinese personnel as "consistent with the right for self-preservation and self-protection.... under the international law".

Migrant crisis: Greece ready to house more on islands

9 hours ago
 From the section Europe


Greece is starting to register migrants at four new reception centres on islands near Turkey, in line with a demand from the EU.
Five were supposed to have been completed by the end of last year. The fifth - on Kos - is not yet ready.

Merkel unmoved by refugee crisis criticism

Deutsche Welle

Germany will stick to its multifaceted response to Europe's refugee crisis, including aid delivered via Turkey, Chancellor Angela Merkel has told parliament. She's also backed the idea of a no-fly zone in northern Syria.

Merkel, in an address to Germany's Bundestag on the eve of a two-day Brussels summit, said Europe should work to improve the lives of refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan as the way to meet "our goal" of reducing migrant flows into Europe.
She described as "intolerable" the situation for besieged civilians in and around northern Syria's war-torn hub of Aleppo, saying "nothing should be left undone" in trying to establish a no-fly zone to save "many human lives."

NATO and Europe’s Refugee Crisis

The New York Times

The announcement last Thursday that NATO would send ships to patrol the Aegean in an effort to break up the smuggling rings ferrying desperate refugees and migrants from Turkey to Greece is, at this point, more a symbolic show of solidarity than anything else. Even so, it reflects a heightened sense of urgency about the refugee crisis and sends a strong signal that the Western alliance stands ready to help Europe cope with it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Migration crisis: Plan for reinforced border north of Greece

15/02 23:52 CET   | updated 02:10 mn ago  
Members of the so-called Visegrad group which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, are calling for a reinforced border north of Greece to help stop the flood of migrants into Europe.

Leaders from Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are proposing to create a second fence along FYROM’s and Bulgaria’s borders with Greece. (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia FYROM).

Monday, February 15, 2016

Britons held in Greece over large guns stash

14 February 2016


Three men have been arrested in north-eastern Greece on suspicion of trying to smuggle weapons and ammunition into Turkey, Greek police say.
Two are British citizens - the third a UK resident. At least one of them is reported to be of Iraqi Kurdish origin.
The men were in possession of 22 firearms and more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition, police say.
They are suspected of being part of a "criminal gang". They are due to be charged on Tuesday.
They have reportedly asked to speak in court in Kurdish.
The UK Foreign Office says it is "urgently looking into the reports".

Visegrad Group opposes Germany's refugee policy

Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic - known as the Visegrad Group - are set to discuss border protection and the refugee crisis. They might help Macedonia close its Greek border to migrants.

Deutsche Welle

The four Eastern European countries known for their restrictive asylum policy are set to call for the closure of the so-called Balkan route to migrants traveling to Western Europe, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported.
The Visegrad countries - Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic - invited representatives of Bulgaria and Macedonia to their summit in Prague on Monday. Leaders of the Visegrad states are expected to agree on helping Macedonia to block the migrants' path at its border with Greece, according to diplomats quoted by Der Spiegel.
"As long as a coherent European strategy is lacking, it is legitimate for the countries along the Balkan route to protect their borders," Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak told the German magazine. "We will help them with that."

Επιστολή του καθηγητή Ιωάννη Π. Ιωαννιδη (έδρα C. F. Rehnborg του πανεπιστημίου Stanford) προς τον κ. Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη

O Ιωάννης Π.Α. Ιωαννίδης κατέχει την έδρα C.F. Rehnborg πρόληψης νοσημάτων στο πανεπιστήμιο Stanford όπου είναι τακτικός καθηγητής παθολογίας, έρευνας και πολιτικής υγείας και στατιστικής. Έχει διατελέσει επίσης καθηγητής στα πανεπιστήμια Harvard, Tufts, Imperial College και Ιωαννίνων και είναι τακτiκό μέλος της European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Έχει τιμηθεί με επίτιμους τίλους και ανώτατες διακρίσεις από πολλά πανεπιστήμια και ερευνητικούς οργανισμούς. Τα δύο τελευταία βιβλία του (Τοκάτα για την κόρη με το καμένο πρόσωπο [Κέδρος 2012], Παραλλαγές πάνω στην τέχνη της φυγής και ένα απονενοημένο ριτσερκάρ [Κέδρος 2014]) βρεθηκαν στις βραχείες λίστες του Αναγνώστη για τα καλύτερα βραβεία της χρονιάς. Όπως αναφέρει 
στην ιστοσελίδα του
 χαίρεται να διδάσκεται από νέους ανθρώπους όλων των ηλικιών και να του θυμίζουν ότι δεν ξέρει σχεδόν τίποτα.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Πρόσφυγες ή εισβολή;

Του Α Ανδριανόπουλου

Ισλαμ σε μια χωρα επιδρα στις εξελιξεις ευθεως αναλογα με τους αριθμους των μουσουλμανων που βρισκονται εκει. Αν οι αφοσιωμενοι οπαδοι του Μωαμεθ δεν ξεπερνουν το 1% του πληθυσμου τοτε οι μουσουλμανοι ειναι φιλησυχοι, αγαπουν την ειρηνη και δειχνουν ετοιμοι να ασχοληθουν αποκλειστικα με την καθημερινοτητα τους. Αυτο ισχυει απολυτα σε χωρες οπως οι Ηνωμενες Πολιτειες η Αυστραλία η ο Καναδάς με ποσοστο μουσουλμανων απο 0,08 έως 1,8% .

Thursday, February 11, 2016

NATO Sends Warships to Aegean Sea to Stymie Smuggling, Help With Refugee Crisis

NATO is deploying three warships to the Aegean Sea to help stem Europe's spiraling migrant crisis, the alliance's chief said Thursday.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general, said the three ships currently under German command had been ordered to move to the area "without delay" to stymie deadly smuggling works.

The vessels — from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 — will be deployed to a section of the Mediterranean called the Aegean Sea, a body of water separating Greece and Turkey that serves as one of the main arteries for refugees and migrants trying to enter Europe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

EU executive to push Greece, Italy more on migration

Tue Feb 9, 2016 2:47pm EST

The EU executive will push Greece and Italy on Wednesday to do more to control migrants arriving across the Mediterranean, as time runs out for Athens to fix frontier chaos or be suspended from Europe's free travel zone.

EU leaders will meet next week under growing pressure to get the migration crisis under control before warmer spring weather encourages a surge of new arrivals.

More than a million people reached Europe last year, putting pressure on security and social systems in some EU states and exposing deep rifts within the 28-nation bloc.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Greece expects bailout review to resume next week: minister

Mon Feb 8, 2016 3:43pm GMT


Greece's lenders still need to be persuaded that Athens can plug a bigger than expected fiscal gap when talks on reforms needed under an international bailout resume next week, the finance minister said on Monday.

Talks between the heads of the EU/IMF mission reviewing Greece's progress and the government over a tough pension reform plan, fiscal targets and the handling of bad loans, took a break on Friday after four days of meetings.

Why ring-fencing Greece from Europe won’t solve anything

By Tania Karas February 9, 2016


IDOMENI, Greece — The European Union’s weakest link could become an open-air refugee camp if some European leaders get their way. Amid concerns that Greece is failing to protect Europe’s external frontier, calls have grown louder to quarantine it by helping Macedonia seal its southern border — which refugees must cross to continue their journeys north — and suspend Greece from the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone.

Such proposals would effectively ring-fence Greece from the rest of the EU, trapping tens of thousands of asylum-seekers in a politically and economically fragile country with neither the infrastructure nor funds to care for them. Most migrants know this. Hence, Greece has never been their destination. It is merely a conduit to more affluent nations deeper into the continent.

Protests Grow Against Greek Plans to Build Migrant Camps

Residents on the Aegean island of Kos block a Greek army camp
The Wall Street Journal

Updated Feb. 8, 2016 9:48 p.m. ET
ATHENS—Protests against Greek government plans to build camps for refugees and other migrants escalated on Monday, further testing Greece’s ability to meet European Union demands to control the massive inflow of people via the Aegean Sea.

Residents on the Aegean island of Kos, where locals and riot police have been clashing daily since Friday, blockaded an army camp where the government wants to build a migrant registration and screening center, preventing construction work.

THIS is what could push Greece out of the euro

Holly Ellyatt   | @HollyEllyatt
22 Hours Ago

The pressure of thousands of migrants is piling on the pressure on a Greece struggling with a stagnant economy, rising social tensions and political pressure and could push the country back towards an exit from the euro zone, analysts Eurasia Group have warned.

Europe has been left reeling from the influx of migrants heading to the region, most of whom are fleeing civil war in Syria in the Middle East. However, Greece is struggling more than others as it and Turkey have become the first port of call for the migrants.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cheap Cigarettes Are Burning Greece's Finances

By Nikos Chrysoloras
February 8, 2016 — 2:01 AM EET

On an unremarkable morning on Stournari street in downtown Athens, just a few blocks away from the epicenter of every riot the city has seen during its recent crisis years, two men of Asian origin politely and openly hawk cigarettes to passersby.
The illegal packs of R.G.D.-branded smokes cost 1.50 euros ($1.70) each, less than half the price of 20 Marlboros or Prince at one of Greece’s ubiquitous street kiosks.
As Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras walks another tightrope between creditor demands for additional belt tightening and a social backlash, the scene exposes an unhealthy truth: Greeks could smoke, drink and gamble their way out of their next financial hole, if only they were taxed on all of it.

Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales - source

Fri Feb 5, 2016 5:15pm EST


Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month's sanctions relief.

A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Greek Pensions Reform Sparks Clashes in Test for Tsipras

 Marcus Bensasson

 Eleni Chrepa


February 4, 2016 — 3:02 AM EET Updated on February 4, 2016 — 7:07 PM EET

The 38-year-old Greek banking and commercial lawyer is part of a month-old bar-association boycott of the country’s courts, in protest against the government’s pension-reform plans. He says they cripple small businesses and the self-employed, raising the tax and social insurance for a young lawyer with annual income of 20,000 euros ($21,900) by 27 percent to 13,800 euros.
“A reform is supposed to be a new scheme that helps you improve an existing situation,” said Vrysopoulos, who started his own law firm in 2011. “This is not a reform at all. It’s a way to get more money to repay your loans as a country.”

Don't Let Greek Pensions Threaten the Euro

4 FEB 2, 2016 2:00 AM EST
By Editorial Board


Greece is a small country, but for much of 2015 its problems were big enough to threaten the survival of the euro system. A year after Alexis Tsipras took charge as prime minister, the government seems committed to meeting the obligations demanded by its creditors in return for further aid. Neither side should allow the remaining sticking point -- pension reform -- to jeopardize the euro again.

The Greek economy is still in intensive care, and the unemployment rate is stubbornly high, but the situation is improving. The economy is expected to shrink by only 0.7 percent this year, and 2017 could see growth of 1.9 percent. The nation’s credit rating has been upgraded.

Anti-austerity protests are paralyzing Greece

Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas, Reuters
Feb. 4, 2016, 10:07 AM          3,123  3

ATHENS — Scuffles broke out and the police used teargas during a mass rally in Athens on Thursday as Greeks railed against government pension reforms needed to meet demands of international creditors.

Demanding an end to austerity, about 50,000 Greeks marched on Parliament in central Athens. Breaking away from the main block of demonstrators, black-clad youths hurled stones and petrol bombs at police officers, who responded with rounds of teargas and stun grenades, Reuters witnesses said.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Greece's Economy Is Getting Crushed Between Austerity And The Refugee Crisis

The most common arrival point for refugees entering Europe is a country in dire economic straits.
 02/03/2016 05:46 pm ET | Updated 21 hours ago

The refugee crisis is testing the limits of Greece’s flagging economy, jeopardizing its ability to handle a flow of refugees that shows no signs of slowing.

Added to the existing strains of austerity, the renewed economic pressure from the crisis is stoking fears within the Greek government that a new wave of anti-refugee xenophobia could take hold unless the European Union and Turkey significantly step up to help manage the crisis.

A report by Yannis Stournaras, the governor of the Bank of Greece, confirms as much. The report, presented to the European Central Bank’s general council on Dec. 17, compiles existing research on the economic effects of the refugee flows to demonstrate the risks the crisis poses for Greece.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


BY JOSH LOWE ON 2/3/16 AT 12:36 PM


Brussels has accused Greece of “seriously neglecting” its obligation to protect the EU’s external border and urged the country to step up measures to control migration.

The European Commission on Tuesday endorsed a damning report into Greece’s border controls that concluded: “ Greece is seriously neglecting its obligations and there are serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border controls that must be overcome and dealt with by the Greek authorities.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Europe’s refugee story has hardly begun

Paul Mason

Monday 1 February 2016 18.45 GMT

The Guardian

With a million new refugees expected in Europe this year, Greece faces a diplomatic onslaught and an existential crisis

he refugee story has hardly begun. There will be, on conservative estimates, another million arriving via Turkey this year – and maybe more. The distribution quotas proposed by Germany, and resisted by many states in eastern Europe, are already a fiction and will fade into insignificance as the next wave comes.

Germany itself will face critical choices: if you’re suddenly running a budget deficit to meet the needs of asylum seekers, how do you justify not spending on the infrastructure that’s supposed to serve German citizens, which has crumbled through underinvestment in the Angela Merkel era?

40 percent of Germans demand Merkel's resignation over refugee policy, poll says

Unhappy with her government's refugee policy, four out of 10 Germans want Chancellor Merkel to resign, a new poll has shown. The news came just after the ruling grand coalition unveiled its new asylum package.
Deutsche Welle

While 39.9 percent of Germans surveyed by the pollster Insa for "Focus" magazine said Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy is grounds for her to step down, 45.2 percent of the more than 2,000 people polled said they did not believe she should leave office. The remaining 15 percent did not state an opinion.
Merkel has long enjoyed high popularity ratings among Germans but that support has dwindled in recent months, particularly as the numbers of asylum seekers entering Germany from the Middle East and North Africa has increased.

Monday, February 1, 2016

BofA: The Oil Crash Is Kicking Off One of the Largest Wealth Transfers In Human History

A $3 trillion shift year from oil producers to global consumers.
 Joe Weisenthal
February 1, 2016 — 4:49 AM EET


Economists are still hotly debating whether the oil crash has been a net positive for advanced economies.
Optimists argue that cheap oil is a good thing for consumers and commodity-sensitive businesses, while pessimists point to the hit to energy-related investment and possible spillover into the financial system.
A new note from Francisco Blanch at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, however, puts the oil move into a much bigger perspective, arguing that a sustained price plunge "will push back $3 trillion a year from oil producers to global consumers, setting the stage for one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history."
Blanch and his team already see evidence that the fall in the price of crude is having a positive impact on demand, and say that it could accelerate even further if prices don't pick up.

U.S. Warship Enters Waters Claimed by China Without Approval

  Alan Bjerga
January 30, 2016 — 5:53 PM EET Updated on January 31, 2016 — 8:58 AM EET


The Pentagon confirmed it sent a ship into waters claimed by China, calling it a “freedom of navigation” operation meant to challenge attempts by that country and others to restrict navigation in the area.
The USS Curtis Wilbur got to within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of Triton Island in the South China Sea, Defense Department spokesman Mark Wright said by e-mail Saturday.
The island, administered by China, is part of the Paracel islands chain in the South China Sea also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou ignored a rebuke from the U.S. and visited an island in the contested area earlier this week, reiterating claims to the disputed waterway.

U.S. Broadens Fight Against ISIS With Attacks in Afghanistan


WASHINGTON — The United States has carried out at least a dozen operations — including commando raids and airstrikes — in the past three weeks against militants in Afghanistan aligned with the Islamic State, expanding the Obama administration’s military campaign against the terrorist group beyond Iraq and Syria.

The operations followed President Obama’s decision last month to broaden the authority of American commanders to attack the Islamic State’s new branch in Afghanistan. The administration — which has been accused by Republicans of not having a strategy to defeat the group — is revamping plans for how it fights the terrorist organization in regions where it has developed affiliates.

Economists to Cameron: refugee crisis response 'morally unacceptable'

In open letter to PM, more than 120 leading economists including former UN and World Bank officials say UK can do far more

The Guardian

More than 120 leading economists, among them former government, UN and World Bank officials, have lambasted the UK government’s response to the refugee crisis, calling it seriously inadequate, morally unacceptable and economically wrong.

In an open letter to David Cameron, the economists argue that as the world’s fifth-largest economy, the UK “can do far more” and are calling on the government to take a “fair and proportionate share of refugees, both those already within the EU and those still outside it”.