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Report from Greece 11 March 2016

More than 700 refugees arrived today on #‎Lesbos. Camps will be full in 2-3 days of good weather, volunteers claim. There are around 3000 refugees currently at the port of #‎Piraeus, which saw more than 2000 arrivals today. Refugees continue to be put on buses and moved from the port to the camps in and around Athens. For example, at least 1,000 of them were moved today to new camps in #‎Larissa#‎Trikala (castle), near the village #‎Koutsocheronext to Larissa and in #‎NeaMakri close to Athens. Piraeus is able to keep, ideally, between, 2,000 and 4,000 refugees, yet new refugees land to Piraeus every day. Seeing this, refugees need to be transferred to other camps, yet these are reaching their capacity as well, and Greece is facing a problem of not knowing where to put newly arriving or awaiting refugees. Volunteers also report that Afghans stationed at port, some of whom have been there for as long as two weeks, are often uninformed about the option and the possibility of moving to one of the camps. Although volunteers do their best to disseminate the information, the amount of people is incredibly large and new refugees are constantly arriving, which makes it difficult to properly inform refugees about their rights and options. Volunteers are still urgently needed every day, especially during nights in the port, and every day 10-18 in #‎Elliniko warehouse.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:41

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Resistance as Greek bailout demands pension ‘reforms’

January and February have seen an angry mass campaign of protests, demonstrations and strikes across Greece against the raft of measures proposed by the government to try to meet the WONGA-like demands of the 3rd Bailout European lenders, who require 1.8billion Euros ‘savings’ from pension ‘reforms’. Pensions have already been cut at least 11 times since 2010. The measures include further cuts in pensions, an increase in retirement age to 67, big hikes in monthly social security contributions, tax rises and the removal of fuel tax exemptions for farmers.

On January 8th hundreds of pensioners and workers marched against the proposals.

On January 21st thousands of professionals –lawyers, doctors, engineers  – held a protest in Athens, while seamen held a second day of strikes keeping ferries tied up in port and farmers blockaded roads in Northern Greece. Unions say that a planned increase in pension contributions, combined with tax hikes,will lead many professional groups to handing over 70-85% of their annual income.

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Last Updated on Friday, 19 February 2016 22:02

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Greek match delayed as players stage sit-down protest over migrant deaths

A Greek second-tier league match was delayed on Friday when players staged a sit-down protest against the death toll of migrants trying to reach the Aegean islands.

The gesture of solidarity took place before the game between AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos in the Thessalian city of Larissa.

As the match kicked off all 22 players plus coaches and substitutes sat in silence for two minutes in a show of respect to the hundreds of refugees who have lost their lives trying to escape conflict or persecution in countries such as Syria and Iraq.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 30 January 2016 23:32

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Europe’s refugee story has hardly begun

The 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?

But these problems are sideshows compared with the big, existential issues that a second summer of uncontrolled migration into Greece would bring.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 February 2016 23:31

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Breivik caught with weapons in Germany prior to massacre

Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was stopped in 2009 during a routine control in Germany with weapon parts and ammunition but the incident was never reported to the Norwegian police, a German documentary filmmaker claims.

Breivik was stopped during a routine check outside the Germany city of Wetzlar, located north of Frankfurt, probably in the beginning of 2009, ABC Nyheter reported. 

“Three and a half years ago, I received information that the German authorities almost caught Breivik in 2009,” German documentary filmmaker Daniel Harrich said. 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 16 January 2016 23:14

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