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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 March 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 MARCH 2018 23 GREECE Greek counter-terrorism squad arrests five suspected of neo-Nazi group involvement The men are alleged members of far-right criminal group, Combat 18, and suspected of involvement in a series of arson attacks and explosions Five men have been arrested by Greece's counter-terrorism squad under suspicions of participating in a far-right criminal group, and involvement in recent arson attacks and explosions against leftwing activists and migrants. According to an official police statement, the antiterrorism squad made the arrests on Tuesday after raiding eight homes, six of which were in Athens. Police confiscated Molo- tov cocktails, 50 kilograms of explosives, shotguns, knives, cudgels, and drugs. Also found on the premises were flags with far-right symbolism, books, leaflets, and digital evidence. According to a police official, the men are suspected of having been members of the Greek branch of the far-right group Combat 18, also known as C18, and Un- aligned Meander Nationalists (AME) who are suspected of being behind over 30 attacks, among the targets Jewish memorials and the statue of the late Pavlos Fyssas who was killed by a member of Golden Dawn. The arrest was welcomed by Alternate Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection, Nikos Toskas who took to Twitter to express his views on the matter: "The fascist egg will not hatch in our country. Greek police are working methodically to protect society." More residential searches are currently underway. The men were to face court on Wednesday. There has been a rise in far-right violence in Greece of late, the most recent taking place 10 days ago. Five people were injured after an anti-fascist centre in Piraeus was attacked. Migrant living conditions in Greece condemned by NGOs Thousands of men, women, and children are stuck on the Greek islands in squalid living conditions expected to worsen as the summer rolls around Nine human rights and humanitarian organisations have reminded the Greek government of the thousands of men, women, and children trapped on the Greek islands. They released a report this week, reports New Europe, condemning the squalid living conditions, and lack of access to basic services and adequate protection. "The containment policy has turned the Greek islands, once a symbol of hope and solidarity, into open prisons that put the lives of refugees on hold for months on end, causing them additional suffering," said director of Amnesty International in Greece, Gabriel Sakellaridis. "The Greek authorities, with the support of the EU, need to immediately bring refugees to safety on the mainland." The containment policy forces asylum seekers to remain A man carries a child as he arrives with the Blue Star 2 passenger ship from the island of Samos, at the port of Piraeus. PHOTO: EPA-EFE/YANNIS KOLESIDIS on the island they arrived on until their asylum status is decided, regardless of whether there is accommodation available or access to services. The policy was put in place as part of the EU-Turkey deal, which allowed all new migrants crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands after the agreement came into force to be returned to Turkey. Since December last year the Greek government has moved 7,000 people from the islands to the mainland, but since then over 5,000 new asylum seekers have arrived on the islands. With almost 10,000 people in facilities that have a total capacity of 6,292, there is significant overcrowding with many forced to sleep on the ground or in tents in extreme weather conditions, with a lack of adequate and appropriate medical care and legal representation. With the number of daily arrivals expected to rise over the warmer months, the humanitarian groups are requesting Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to end the containment policy once and for all, and to transfer all people to improved conditions on the mainland. "People seeking protection from war or abuse should not feel unsafe when they reach the Greek islands," Greece researcher at Human Rights Watch, Eva Cossé said. "Greek and EU authorities should work to restore the dignity and humanity of people seeking protection, and start by scrapping the containment policy, which has caused tremendous suffering." Spouses granted permission to submit separate tax declaration in Greece The decision is in part an attempt to deter people applying for divorce to avoid or pay less tax Five men suspected of participating in the Greek branch of Combat 18 have been arrested by Greek police. PHOTO: NEWSIT Appeal for release of two Greek soldiers rejected by Turkish judge The soldiers are currently being held in custody in Edirne for accidentally crossing the Greek-Turkish border last week Two Greek soldiers who accidentally crossed the GreekTurkish border on Thursday have had their appeal to be released from custody denied by a Turkish judge. The soldiers have been kept in custody in Edirne pending a trial on charges of illegally entering Turkey. Following the rejection of their appeal on Monday, the Turkish court will next determine the charges the soldiers will face and set a trial date. The soldiers' legal representatives hope that the charges will not be extended to include espionage, reports Kathimerini. During a press conference on Monday, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias called on Ankara to see the matter for what it is, and not blow it out of proportion. "Turkey must enforce what is foreseen by international law and not turn an everyday procedure into a big legal and political problem," Mr Kotzias said. Married couples in Greece will now have the option to submit their tax declarations separately and receive separate tax clearance documents, following a ruling by the country's Council of State (CoS). Up until the CoS' decision, it was only legal for couples who had separated, or in cases in which one of the two had declared bankruptcy, to lodge separate submissions. "There is no reason, or any obvious reason of public interest at that, to justify the compulsory submission of a common income tax statement by both spouses," ruled the second section of Greece's highest administrative court. The decision came as a response to a case put forward by a Greek taxpayer who requested he be able to submit a separate tax return to his spouse from the tax year 2016 onwards. The ruling in the taxpayer's favour now extends to all taxpayers in Greece. Those wishing to submit a separate statement to their spouse have the right to do so, but will be required to inform tax authori- Greece’s trains and taxis on strike Train drivers staged a 24-hour strike, while taxi drivers protested Uber laws Getting around Greece on Tuesday was no easy feat, with both train and taxi drivers on strike. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias PHOTO: EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV All train routes were suspended over 24 hours, with train drivers demonstrating against being understaffed, along with the privatisation of the rolling stock maintenance company. The move to privatise is a result of the financial crisis, and the government's commitment to a privatisation program as part of Greece's international bailout. Meanwhile, taxi drivers walked off the job for nine hours protesting the laws pertaining to ride-sharing service Uber. The drivers expressed similar sentiments to those by taxi drivers around the world, accusing Uber of "siphoning work away" from licence-holders. The taxi Union Association of Athens, SATA, said that credi- tors had prevented ministers from cracking down on the platform. It is not the first time SATA has come out against Uber; in 2017 the association lobbied for stricter operating limits on app-based taxi services, but was unsuccessful. ties in advance. As a result, one spouse will not be responsible for the others tax dues. For example in the case that one spouse has due taxes of €1,000, and the other is owed a rebate of the same amount, they will not offset against the other. Rath- er, the rebate will be paid out, and the tax dues in three portions, reports Kathimerini. The CoS' ruling was in part an attempt to stop people applying for divorce in a bid to avoid or pay less tax, of which cases have increased in the past 12 months.
03 March 2018