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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 4 March 2017
GREECE 22 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 MARCH 2017 The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre handed over to the Greek state DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Turkish marine commandos seek asylum in Greece Two Turkish marine commandos were detained in Greece by the authorities after crossing the Evros borders on 15 February. Two days later, they presented themselves to the Greek authorities, requesting asylum. According to the Turkish authorities, the two men are members of the notorious 'Death Squad', a special operations team of marine commandos trained to carry out assassinations. They have allegedly been part of a plot to assassinate Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan during the failed coup attempt in July 2016, and are since wanted in Turkey. Turkish lawyer claims to be Christ "The time we have all been afraid of has come," joked Andreas Dracopoulos, during the ceremony in which he handed over the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre to the Greek State, last Thursday. The foundation's co-president was reading tweets from concerned citizens and friends of the $827 million Cultural Centre, which has already been deemed as one of the most important projects taken on in Athens in recent years (some even claim it is the single most important since the Parthenon). Designed by the acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano, the centre, which hosts the National Library of Greece, the National Opera of Greece and a park that hosts a vast array of cultural events, was built on public property and was conceived as a donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the country. Yet, some fear that, in the hands of the Ministry of Culture, it will soon lose its sta- tus as one of the most visionary cultural organisations in Greece, presenting cuttingedge programs, and will become an instrument of political favouritism and suffer from all the maladies associated with the public sector. For his part, Alexis Tsipras acknowledged the great obligation and challenge of the state to continue the significant work done during the brief period that the centre has been open to the public. The Greek PM said that the centre proved that 'culture is not reserved for the elites' (the Cultural Centre has attracted over 760,000 visitors so far), and praised the foundation for this 'selfless donation' in times of crisis, when the state had to cut back on spending, leaving the culture sector deprived of essential funds. The SNF has donated €50m in funding for the next five years, while another €20m has been raised through the paid membership program. German initiative to relocate refugees from Greece Petition holds Angela Merkel accountable for quiet boycott of the EU decision A citizen initiative in Osnabrück, a city in the federal state of Lower-Saxony in north-west Germany, is trying to raise awareness of the plight of the 50,000 refugees stranded in Greece. The initiative, named '50 from Idomeni', presented a petition on Monday, signed by more than 50,000 people, to the Federal Ministry of the Interior to honour the country's pledge to admit 27,300 refugees from Greece and It- aly by September 2017. So far, the relocation process is advancing at a very slow pace, with only 2,200 refugees having been relocated to Germany. This came as a cause for concern for the people behind the initiative, who wrote an open letter to chancellor Angela Merkel, asking for the significant increase in the monthly refugee intake. "The relocation program, which was adopted by the EU in 2015, is intended to re- lieve Italy and Greece − the two countries which have led hundreds of thousands of refugees to Europe in the last two years," reads the petition. "In particular, Greece, which suffers even under the economic crisis and the austerity policy imposed by the EU, is massively overburdened with a dignified accommodation and care for the refugees." Holding the chancellor accountable for ‘quietly boycotting’ the decision (which could be instrumental in her losing the upcoming elections), the statement dismisses this stance, saying that it is out of "neither a necessity nor a moral justification. In Germany, there are plenty of vacant refugee shelters where people can temporarily stay. There are a number of municipalities that have agreed to be accepted and there are still tens of thousands of volunteers who would welcome and support the fugitives". Independent Greek brewery makes €100m claim against Heineken Macedonian Thrace Brewery is claiming damages from the Dutch brewery for alleged unfair competition Macedonian Thrace Brewery has lodged a claim against a subsidiary of Heineken, Athenian Brewery, for damages of at least €100 million. According to founder and director of the family-run brewery, Demetri Politopoulos, the company was set up in 1996 to capture a good portion of the Greek beer market, an aim that failed and is being attributed to Heineken abusing the Greek brewery's dominant market position through alleged unfair competition, reports Dutch News. This is not the first case of its kind to be brought against the Dutch brewery. A Greek court ruling was made back in December 2015 against Heineken for abusing its dominant market position in Greece. Heineken is appealing the €31 million fine imposed by the Greek anti-cartel authority at that time, however, claiming that there is enough competition in the market by citing the fall of its own market share from 70 to 50 per cent. The claim will be heard at the company court in Amsterdam. A Turkish lawyer has sued his family for dismissing his claims that he is Jesus Christ. Ismail Taksiran first made the claim in 2011 and was met with a harsh reaction from his kin, who beat him, insulted him and prevented him from fasting, praying and practising his religion. Last week, the man took his father, mother, brother and sister to court, demanding that each pay him 10,000 lira as damages. The trial has been postponed. Mayor of Patras defeats Golden Dawn in court The Golden Dawn trial is still ongoing, with no sign of reaching an end soon, however, the Nazi party did lose one significant trial in Patras. Setting a legal precedent, the court acquitted the city's mayor, Kostas Peletidis, for refusing Golden Dawn a permit to use a public space for a gathering, as well as denying the party's request to deliver the names of migrant children enrolled in public schools. The party responded to the mayor's stance with legal prosecution. Soon after, a massive movement to support Peletidis was created, with a petition signed by thousands of Patras citizens. In his testimony, the mayor of Patras (who ran in the elections as an outsider supported by the Communist Party) made reference to the Greek people's history against Nazism which is at the core of the Golden Dawn ideology. "These people are requesting for Greek children to be separated from and alien, while still in nursery," said Peletidis in court. "Is there such a thing as an alien child?" French Institute in Athens vandalised The French Institute of Athens, one of the city's oldest and most iconic cultural organisations, was the victim of vandalism on Monday, when arsonists torched a car parked outside the premises. The unidentified vandals subsequently entered the institute through the courtyard, broke windows and tried to set it on fire. Although police arrived almost immediately after the combustion, the arsonists had already managed to leave the building, having caused minor damage. Founded in 1907, the French Institute has been a symbol of the strong Greek-French relationship (largely due to the work of Octave Merlier, its director from 1938 until 1961, who, among others, was responsible for sending the cream of Greek intellectuals to France during the Civil War). There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, nor any kind of justification or reasoning for this "mindless and criminal act against an institution that is a symbol of GreekFrench friendship", as mentioned in the statement issued by the Foreign Ministry of Greece.
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