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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 February 2016
GREECE 20 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2016 Greece to spend over €1b this year to deal with refugee crisis The cost of dealing with the refugee crisis in Greece this year could exceed €1 billion, or more than 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product, Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas told parliament on Thursday. His warning came as NATO confirmed that one of its rapid reaction forces would begin patrols in the Aegean aimed at tackling human traffickers who send refugees and migrants across the sea in dinghies from Turkey to Greece. Earlier this week, Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras told MPs that the country's central bank sees the fiscal impact of the refugee crisis at €600 million this year. However, Mouzalas said that his department expects it to be higher. "We think that the expenses will surpass €1 billion," he said. "The money that we have received [from the European Union] so far, but which has not been distributed yet - through no fault of ours - is enough to construct the hot spots and relocation camps and to operate them for six or seven months." Shipping and Island Policy Minister Theodoros Drit- DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Government issues travel advice for Greece The Australian government has issued updated travel advice for those venturing to Greece via the Smart Traveller website. The instruction updated on Friday 12 February is encouraging travellers to check with their transport or tour provider for information on road disruptions, which are likely to result in blockages at ports and airports. According to the website, "farmers are currently conducting approximately 75 road blockages nationwide, including on the Athens to Thessaloniki national road, the Patras to Korinthos highway and entrance/exit junc- tions to the Attiki Odos near Vari". The past few weeks have seen local farmers protesting against the government's proposal to suspend subsidies, in addition to social security reforms which will result in a tax high and pension contributions. The website also advised travellers to "follow local media for latest information", but reassured that the level of the advice has not changed and that Australians are advised to "exercise normal safety precautions in Greece". Disruptions are expected to continue throughout this weekend, 13-14 February. Tourism on the rise in Cyprus Refugees and migrants wait to get a cup of tea as they find temporary shelter in a terminal building, after their arrival at the port of Piraeus. sas said Thursday that he expects the five hot spots, where migrants and refugees will be registered and processed, as well as the two relocation camps (one in Athens, the other in Thessaloniki), to be operational by the end of the month. In Brussels, NATO officials confirmed that an agreement had been reached on patrols in the Aegean to track down or deter human traffickers. "This is about helping Greece, Turkey and the European Union with stemming the flow of migrants and refugees and coping with a very demanding situation ... a human tragedy," said NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg. Hours after the agreement to deploy NATO's maritime force in the eastern Medi- terranean for fighting smugglers, the vessels set sail. Supreme Allied Commander General Philip Breedlove said the mission plan would be refined during the time they were en route. Under the terms of the agreement, NATO will return migrants to Turkey even if they are picked up in Greek waters. Source: Kathimerini Three die in Hellenic Navy helicopter crash Mechanical failure or pilot error is believed to be the cause of the fatal helicopter crash on the Aegean islet of Kinaros earlier this week. The Agusta Bell 212 Hellenic Navy helicopter crashed into a hillside in the early hours, taking the lives of its three passengers. Captain Anastasios Toulitsis (36), co-pilot Constantinos Pananas (34) and radar operator Eleftherios Evangelou (35) were on board, participating in the Astrapi (Lightning) 2/16 nighttime exercises. "Today is a day of mourning for the Greek people, the nation and the country's armed forces," said Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, who was attending a NATO summit in Brussels. "Greek officers, in peacetime, have entered the pantheon of heroes while doing their duty, while abiding by the oath they took when they entered the armed forces. They fell while keeping us all safe. We are devastated." A panel of experts was as- sembled to investigate the crash, as weather conditions between Leros and Amorgos, where the island is located, were rather mild to have contributed to the accident. The site of the crash was not discovered until 7.00 am by the island's inhabitants, after both Greek and Turkish forces took part in the search. Only Toulitsis' body has not yet been recovered. Meanwhile, Kinaros island, inhabited only by one Greek Australian family, is among the state assets the troika has suggested Greece sells in order to cover its debt. People living on islets with fewer that 150 inhabitants would have to relocate - however, Mikes Katsotourchis, his wife Irene and their son George are determined to stay. The couple returned to the tiny Dodecanese island from Australia back in 2000, as it has always been Irene Katsotourchis' dream, and they were later joined by one of their children. PHOTO: EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU. The Greek part of the island welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors Last year marked a spike in Greek Cyprus tourist arrivals, which hit a 14-year high, reaching 2.65 million, a 8.9 per cent rise since the previous year. This was down to a surge in British visitors attracted by the cheaper euro, but also due to Cyprus' reputation as a safe destination, facing significantly lower terrorist threats, compared to its neighbouring countries. According to the Cyprus Tourism organisation, the arrival figures were the best since a record 2.69 tourists in 2001. More than 78,000 people arrived in December 2015, compared with 57,000 in the same month of 2014. A large part of this rise is attributed to arrivals from Britain, which spiked 19 per cent, due in large part to the strength of the British pound against the euro. To cater for this surge of British tourists, more direct flights were scheduled and a closer cooperation among industry agents in both countries has taken place. There was also a 43 per cent hike from Israel and 38 per cent from Greece, although arrivals from Russia, which has been a strong supporter of the Cyprus tourism industry in the past, dropped by 17 per cent. Income from tourism accounts for around 12 per cent of Greek Cypriot GDP and has been a key factor contributing to the economy exiting recession in 2015. Greek scientists among the world’s most influential minds Seven Greek academics appear in the Thomson Reuters corporation's 2016 list of the World's 3,000 Most Influential Scientific Minds. The list provides a yearly acknowledgement to those scientists who "have made the most significant global impact within their respective field of study", based on an analysis of the number and quality of citations each receive. Most of the scientists on the list come from the world's top universities, notably from the United States, but also from Super Puma Hellenic Navy helicopter performing a test flight. The Katsotourchis family house, the only one on Kinaros islet. Britain, Germany, China and Australia. The Greeks who were distinguished among thousands of peers around the world are Dimitra Daferera and Moschos Polissiou of Athens Agricultural University; Meletios-Athanassios Dimopoulos and Gerasimos Filippatos of Athens Medical School, IT professor George Karagiannidis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and National Technical University of Athens professors Dimitris Rakopoulos and Constantinos Rakopoulos.
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