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Archive for Greece

Newsline: US Ambassador angered Greeks

Russia and the U.S. have been engaging in a war of words over Greece after American Ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt made unfounded claims that Russia wants Greece to be in conflict with Turkey. However, it was a tweet made by Pyatt that has left Greek social media users not only confused, but angered. Pyatt retweeted US military Africa Command that alleges “New evidence of Russian aircraft active in Libyan airspace,” and added his own comment of “More evidence of Russian aircraft active in Libyan airspace as Russia continues to push for a strategic foothold on NATO’s southern flank south of Crete.” This of course outraged Greek Twitter users as Russia is not a threat to Greece, and by extension NATO’s southern flank close to Crete, but rather it is Turkey who frequently and openly threatens Greece’s sovereignty. (https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/06/19/what-did-the-us-ambassador-say-that-angered-so-many-greeks/) One twitter user reminded Pyatt that it was Turkey who publishes maps that shows the majority of Crete belonging to Turkey. While Ankara directly and openly announces that Greek islands, including the majority of Crete, belongs to Turkey, Pyatt as Ambassador to Athens is attempting to frame Russia as a threat to Greece – and Greek Twitter users were not happy about this.

Newsline: Chile to shut down its embassies in Greece, Denmark, Algeria, Syria and Romania

The Chilean ambassadors of Greece, Denmark, Algeria, Syria and Romania were informed, that they will have to finish their affairs before the end of the year, 24 Horas reported. The closure of the embassies are occurring in order to provide a greater national presence in Brussels, considered the unofficial capital of the European Union, as well as in Vienna (Austria). (https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/06/08/chile-to-shut-down-its-embassy-in-athens/) The measure was taken by Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera, after the Strategic Planning Directorate asked to evaluate the political, economic and development relevance of the different nations where Chile has embassies.

Newsline: Greek demonstrators hurl firebombs towards U.S. embassy in Athens

Demonstrators hurled firebombs in a march towards the U.S. embassy compound in Athens on Wednesday in a protest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-protests-greece/greek-demonstrators-hurl-firebombs-towards-u-s-embassy-in-athens-idUSKBN23A2ZL) Live footage showed demonstrators throwing at least six firebombs towards the heavily-guarded embassy in central Athens and police responding with rounds of teargas. The street passing infront of the embassy had been cordoned off.

Newsline: Turkish intelligence and embassy in Greece accused of expanding spying

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, or MIT) has expanded monitoring, illegal information gathering and intrusive surveillance activities in neighboring Greece, while the Turkish Embassy in Athens has engaged in similar operations in a blatant violation of international conventions, newly discovered secret documents have revealed. (https://www.nordicmonitor.com/2020/05/spying-by-turkish-intelligence-and-embassy-in-greece-has-been-expanded-secret-documents-show/) The documents expose expansive, clandestine and hostile activities conducted by Turkish intelligence and diplomats in a NATO ally country. The secret operations, although targeting members of government critic the Gülen movement, reveal how Turkey has been transformed under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan into conducting massive intelligence operations in a neighboring country and challenging Greek national security interests. They also tell the tale of the modus operandi of the new Turkey under one-man rule, often displaying the behavior of a non-rational, non-state actor in harassing, threatening and intimidating other countries in its immediate neighborhood.

Newsline: US Embassy Says Americans in Greece Should Apply for Extension of Stay

American citizens who are currently in Greece and unable to leave due to coronavirus travel restrictions have been advised to apply for an extension of their visa-free stay. The US Embassy in Greece issued an announcement, urging US citizens to try and get an extension of stay, reported SchengenVisaInfo.com. (https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/us-embassy-americans-in-greece-should-apply-for-extension-of-stay/) If they do not, “Greek authorities may impose a fine of 600 or 1,200 Euros per person upon departure, depending on the length of the overstay”, claimed Embassy officials.

Newsline: Israeli Embassy in Greece shuts down due to coronavirus

Israel’s Embassy in Athens announced it is shutting its doors for two weeks in the wake of an employee testing positive for coronavirus. “As a precaution and out of concern for public health, the Embassy of the State of Israel will reopen on 23 March 2020 following two weeks of voluntary closure since the discovery of an Embassy employee diagnosed with coronavirus,” said an embassy statement. “The Ambassador and his diplomatic team will continue working from their homes.” (https://www.aa.com.tr/en/latest-on-coronavirus-outbreak/israeli-embassy-in-greece-shuts-down-due-to-coronavirus/1760051) Eleven new cases have so far been reported in Greece, the Health Ministry announced on Monday, raising the total number to 84, including 81 Greek nationals. Of the total 56 infected people are part of a group that was infected during a trip to Jerusalem. 47 of them contracted the virus during the trip and they infected 9 others after returning to Greece.

Newsline: Turkey protests over arson attack on diplomat’s vehicle in Thessaloniki

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the attack saying they “strongly protest the arson attack on the private car of the staff member of our Consulate General in Thessaloniki” and their reaction to this incident “was demonstrated both before the Greek Ambassador in Ankara by our Ministry, as well as the Greek authorities in Athens through our Embassy, and necessary verbal and written demarches were delivered.” (https://greekcitytimes.com/2019/12/26/turkey-protests-over-arson-attack-on-diplomats-vehicle-in-thessaloniki/) The statement continued to note that “Unfortunately, similar incidents against Turkey’s diplomatic staff in Greece and their properties have been on the rise during the recent years. We expect the Greek authorities to prevent such offences, to take all necessary measures to protect our Missions and staff, and to ensure that the perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice and face the penalty they deserve.” Unknown persons threw a molotov cocktail at the vehicle of a Turkish diplomat from the Consulate General of Turkey in the early hours of Monday morning, setting it on fire. According to police reports, the attack occurred around 2:30am on Ioanni Vamvakari Street, in the upper city area of Thessaloniki.

Newsline: Assailants set Turkish consulate employee’s car on fire in Greece

Unknown assailants set the car of a Turkish consulate employee ablaze early on Monday in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, a police official said. “There was extended damage,” said the official who declined to be named. There were no injuries. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-turkey-police-car/assailants-set-turkish-consulate-employees-car-on-fire-in-greece-idUSKBN1YR0OZ) Authorities were investigating the incident which took place around 3:30 am.

Newsline: Greece expels Libyan ambassador in dispute with Turkey

Greece ordered the expulsion of the Libyan ambassador in the latest escalation of a dispute over a controversial deal signed between Libya’s U.N.-supported government and Turkey on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the ambassador had been summoned to the ministry in the morning to be informed of the decision and was given 72 hours to leave the country. Turkey’s foreign minister condemned the move as “outrageous,” while the Libyan foreign minister described it as “unacceptable.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/greece-expels-libyan-ambassador-in-row-with-turkey/2019/12/06/f158bb5a-1819-11ea-80d6-d0ca7007273f_story.html) The deal reached between Libya and Turkey would give Turkey access to an economic zone across the Mediterranean, over the objections of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, which lie between Turkey and Libya geographically. All three have blasted the accord as being contrary to international law. The deal has added tension to Turkey’s ongoing dispute with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt over oil and gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

Newsline: U.S. Ambassador Injured in Cycling Accident in Greece

U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt returned to Athens after an accident while cycling in Mani, southern Greece, on July 5. In a tweet, the ambassador thanked the Areopoli Health Center staff and for well-wishers. “A big thank you to Areopoli Health Center staff for excellent care I received after my recent cycling accident in Mani & thank you to all my Greek friends who called to say perastika. I’m unhappy it cut my trip short but look forward to returning to Athens on my road to recovery,” he said. (https://www.thenationalherald.com/252547/us-ambassador-injured-in-cycling-accident-in-mani/) According to information of the Athens-Macedonian News Agency in Patras, Pyatt was transferred from Areopoli to Athens in an ambulance accompanied by a doctor after injuries sustained on his legs. Well-wishers included Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, who spoke to him by phone.