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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 04 November 2017
GREECE 24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2017 Best Regional Airline Award 2018 for Aegean Athens-based Aegean airlines celebrates its 18th year of operation with a prestigious award and an expansion that includes 18 new routes. The Greek commercial aviation company has just won AirlineRatings 2018 Best Regional Airline, a long way from its tiny two-jet fleet flying from Thessaloniki to Heraklion, Crete back in 1999. The airline flew 12.5 million passengers last year to destinations ranging from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and London to Cairo, Moscow and Tel Aviv. Its fleet now boasts 47 jet aircraft that includes turboprop subsidiary Olympic Air (former Olympic Airways) and flies mainly A320s and A321s, and a new A319 on its short-to PHOTO: AEGEAN AIRLINES fying and speeding up the passenger experience. Aegean currently offers seat pitch of 30 inches in economy and 33 inches in business, and its frequent flyer program and Star Alliance membership have made it more competitive. Meanwhile, Aegean plans on expanding available seats by 700,000 in 2018 to reach 16.6 million. medium-haul routes. "It is now Greece's biggest airline with a fleet of modern aircraft, a good reputation among travellers and bold plans for expansion," said the institution judges. "The airline is also heavily in- volved in promoting its home country by providing a platform for Greek regions and products." Aegean also received the 2017 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Fast Travel Gold Award for simpli- It plans to connect Athens with 81 destinations while upgrading passenger facilities such as lounges: Thessaloniki and Larnaka have already been upgraded, with Athens International Airport due to open one upgraded lounge next month with a new second lounge to follow early next year. Stray dogs of Athens at the heart of new documentary The film pays homage to the volunteers making a difference in crisis-stricken Greece A new documentary by Menelaos Karamaggiolis gives insight into life in Greece over the past seven years using the stories of stray animals. Part of the Cine Doc initiative, Greek Animal Rescue features Menios as the protagonist: a three-legged dog who is sick and has suffered a history of abuse. Having formerly lived in Aspropyrgos, an industrial desert next to a tar lake that is known to swallow animals and humans, he has since been adopted by a family in England and is finally living a happy life. Paying homage to the many tireless volunteers working throughout Greece during the crisis, the story features a group of young volunteers coordinated through Facebook who work in Aspropyrgos and look after the stray dogs. Meanwhile, Greek Animal Rescue, an animal welfare organisation based in London launches a European campaign for 'Greekies' - strays from Greece that are particularly popular for adoption abroad. According to filmmaker A still from Greek Animal Rescue. PHOTO: KATHIMERINI Karamaggiolis, Greece's strays are popular for adoption given how grateful they are when given a new home, due to their horrible prior living conditions and they have a reputation for openly returning the love they receive. The film carries a message of hope, which is precisely what keeps the strays living, the hope of a new beginning. Produced with the support of the Onassis Foundation and Onassis Cultural Center, the film is part of a series of social documentaries titled Meetings with Notable People in recognition and celebration of the everyday heroes who manage to find their own way to live through crisis. In demand of family reunification, refugees launch hunger strike The group, which includes children, started to refuse food on Wednesday A group of refugees stranded in Greece started refusing food on Wednesday in protest at the system in place for processing refugees, which can take several months to complete. Several dozen refugees launched the hunger strike near the parliament building in Athens. The group was predominantly made up of women and children from Syria, some stranded in a makeshift camp for over 12 months, holding onto signs that read 'Reunite our families'. "I have not seen my husband, my child, for more than one year and nine months," Syrian Dalal Rashou told Reuters. "I miss him and every day I am here in Greece I cry. I don't want to stay here, I want to go to my husband." It has been reported in Greek media that in May Greece and Germany allegedly made an agreement to slow down the refugee reunification programs, but the government continues to deny such claims. "What we've managed to do on family reunification is to have an increase of about 27 per cent this year compared with last year," said Greece's Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas, and denied accusations that refugees were being forced to pay for their reunification flights. According to Deutsche Welle, those who receive asylum in Germany are generally legally permitted to have spouses and children join them, while unaccompanied minors can bring their parents and sib- lings. However, in many instances, German immigration authorities have given refugees subsidiary protection instead of asylum, under which there is a two-year suspension on family reunification. Currently there are up to 60,000 refugees in Greece from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan awaiting approval to go on and be reunited with their families throughout Europe, with the waiting period ranging between 10 months and two years, while in other cases they may not qualify. Flights from Greece to Iraq to resume It has been years since flights to Iraq have been available from Greece, and today, Saturday 4 November the hiatus will come to an end. The two countries reached an agreement on Wednes- day to resume flights. A statement from the Iraqi Transport Ministry said that a delegation from the Iraqi civilian aviation authorities had signed a draft agreement in preparation for the final version of the agreement to be signed by Transport Minister Kazim Fanjam. The new agreement about the exchanged flights will replace a version signed by Greece and Iraq in 1971, says the ministry. Meanwhile, there will also be a new memorandum citing that both countries will run 10 passenger flights and two cargo flights per week, that will replace an earlier MOU signed in 2009. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with China’s president Xi Jinping. PHOTO: GTP HEADLINES DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greece and China look to promote further economic cooperation This week the two countries signed a series of memoranda under the Greece-China Action Plan 2017-19 On Thursday Greek and Chinese state officials, together with representatives of various major enterprises, signed a series of memoranda to promote bilateral economic cooperation under the GreeceChina Action Plan 201719. The two countries made progress on the details of various projects as part of the three-year action plan. This included the signing of an agreement between China's largest coal producer Shenhua and one of Greece's biggest investment groups Copelouzos Group for a 75 per cent share of the four wind parks developed by the Greek company. Meanwhile a three-party agreement was also signed by the two and Greece's Power Public Cooperation, making Shenhua a partner in PPC Solar Solutions. An MOU was also signed by Greek power transmission operation ADMIE with China Development Bank, and Chairman and CEO Manos Manoussakis could only speak highly of the cooperation which he said had already improved ADMIE. "Today we signed a very important memorandum of understanding with China Development Bank in order to explore the possibilities for financing our new projects and our company's working capital," said Mr Manoussakis. "Ahead of us, there are great interconnection projects between the mainland of Greece and the Greek islands, and also international interconnection projects in the Mediterranean sea." The Greece-China Action Plan was first confirmed during Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' visit to Beijing earlier this year, and was followed up by a visit to Athens by a Chinese delegation led by National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) vice head Ning Jizhe. "The basis of this cooperation we believe is that Greece's growth strategy meets China's Belt and Road Initiative and the benefits are mutual," said Greece's Deputy Economy and Development Minister, Stergios Pitsiorlas. "Today we have the first tangible results. The signing of a series of agreements and MOUs are the first steps in the implementation of this action plan, therefore we are on the right path." Mr Jizhe said he was pleased with the collaboration and that results had already been achieved with the hope to continue building on their cooperation.
28 October 2017
11 November 2017