Tag: Greece

Where there’s a wall, there’s no way: refugee crisis needs a better idea

In metaphorical terms, the migration crisis has driven Greece to the wall, with more than 850,000 asylum seekers landing on its shores in 2015. This year, the expression may take on a more literal meaning, depending on whether you believe the bluster of rightwing European leaders.   In recent days, Hungary’s hardline prime minister, Viktor […]

An ill wind

IN BERLIN they speak of “Plan B”; in Brussels the fear is of the U-turn. Whatever the term, the prediction is the same: that Angela Merkel is on the brink of reversing the generous policy towards asylum-seekers that saw more than a million of them reach Germany last year. For now, Mrs Merkel sticks to […]

EU slams illegal Israeli settlements but insists it is not boycotting the state

The EU has reiterated its commitment to a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis, and criticised Israel’s settlement policies, which are illegal under international law. On 18 January, the EU unanimously adopted a resolution asserting that deals and agreements with Israel can only apply to its pre-1967 internationally recognised borders.   Despite fierce opposition from […]

Sweden and Denmark Add Border Checks to Stem Flow of Migrants

The continued flow of people along Europe’s migration trail, from Turkey and Greece to the Balkans to Scandinavia, faced new impediments on Monday as two of the northernmost destinations further tightened border controls in response to political, economic and logistical pressures.   Sweden, once one of the most welcoming of nations for refugees, introduced new […]

Migrant crisis: One million enter Europe in 2015

The number of migrants and refugees crossing into Europe by land and sea this year illegally has passed one million, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. This represents a fourfold rise on the total last year. Most crossed by sea, with more than 800,000 travelling from Turkey to Greece. Half are migrants from Syria. […]

Amid strong Israeli-Greek ties, Greece’s parliament to recognize Palestinian state

Even as Israel and Greek ties reach new highs with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scheduled to meet twice next month with Greece’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek parliament is expected to call on its government on Tuesday to recognize a Palestinian state.   The declaration is expected to take place after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud […]

Netanyahu signs natural gas deal

It’s also important for our foreign relations. Many countries have expressed interest. Not just Greece and Cyprus, whose leaders I’m going to meet in a few weeks. Jordan, and of course the Palestinian Authority as well, are interested. Turkey and Egypt are also interested, and we’re discussing this with them.”   The prime minister said […]

Greek parliament moves towards legalising same-sex unions

It has required decades of campaigning and more than a few tears, but the Greek parliament will take the first steps towards legalising same-sex unions in a country that has long rebuffed the move.   The step made on Monday has spurred fierce debate, with the Greek Orthodox bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta calling on the […]

EU ministers fail to reach unanimous refugee deal: official

EU interior ministers failed to reach unanimous agreement on Monday on a plan for binding quotas to relocate 120,000 refugees and take the strain off Greece, Italy, and Hungary, officials said.     “Yes, not everyone is on board at the moment,” Luxembourg minister Jean Asselborn told a press conference in Brussels after an emergency […]

EU deadlocked on agreement to distribute refugees across countries

BRUSSELS – EU ministers failed on Monday to break a deadlock over sharing out responsibility for sheltering some of the hundreds of thousands of people who have sought asylum in Europe this year, leaving the shape of a final deal in doubt.   Determined opposition from a core of ex-Communist eastern states blocked efforts by […]