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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.

Newsline: Greece, North Macedonia open embassies after name deal

Greece has upgraded its diplomatic mission to North Macedonia’s capital of Skopje to an embassy, following a deal to normalize relations with its neighbor — which renamed itself from Macedonia. A foreign ministry statement says Greece is also upgrading its representation in North Macedonia’s southern town of Bitola to a general consulate. (https://www.foxnews.com/world/greece-north-macedonia-open-embassies-after-name-deal) May 31 statement added that North Macedonia has upgraded its mission in Athens to an embassy and in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to a general consulate. The two countries this year ended a decades-long dispute over Greece’s neighbor’s name. Athens long claimed that plain “Macedonia” implied claims on its own northern region of the same name and on ancient Greek heritage.

Newsline: Greek Anarchists Vandalize U.S. Ambassador’s Home

Greek anarchists vandalized the Athens home of the United States ambassador with black paint on May 15, according to the police, in the latest protest against the authorities’ rejection of a convicted terrorist’s request for a furlough. The vandals defaced Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt’s home about 4 a.m. before fleeing on motorcycles, a police official said. Eight people were briefly detained for questioning before being released without charge because of a lack of evidence linking them to the vandalism. (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/world/europe/greece-anarchists-us-ambassador.html) It was the second attack this year on Mr. Pyatt’s residence: In January, the home was vandalized to protest the United States’ support for Greece’s deal to recognize Macedonia on the condition it changed its name to North Macedonia. Anarchists defaced the embassy in the same month, protesting “American imperialism.”

Newsline: Anarchists Break Into Switzerland’s Embassy in Athens

Members of the Rubicon anarchist group stormed the Swiss Embassy building in Athens on Monday morning. Ten people have been detained so far, the Greek AMNA news agency reported. According to police, as cited by the news agency, the embassy’s staff and private security officers said they are not looking to press charges against the anarchists (https://sputniknews.com/europe/201902181072530040-rubicon-anarchist-group-greece-switzerland-embassy/). Therefore, it is highly likely that the detained will be released. This is not the first time Rubicon has carried out such an attack. For instance, on 21 October, the group targeted the Embassy of Canada in Athens, breaking glass doors near the entrance. Moreover, it previously attacked the embassies of Spain, France, Germany, Iran, and Israel. Despite the international community’s requests, authorities have failed to stop the attacks.