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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 7 April 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 7 APRIL 2018 21 GREECE €1 billion upgrade planned for Greek army The defence program comes amid rising tensions with Turkey, fast-tracked to meet Greece’s immediate needs Greece's army is set to receive a €1 billion upgrade, a move that has been fasttracked to meet the country's immediate land, naval and air forces' needs. The decision was made on Monday during a meeting of the Parliament's Arms Committee following a confidential briefing attended by Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, Hellenic Armed Forces General Staff (GEETHA) chief, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, and the heads of the General Army Command (GES), the Air Force General Staff (GEA) and the Hellenic Navy (GEN). The upgrade is no coincidence; it comes amid rising tensions with neighbouring Turkey. Matters reached new heights over the weekend, when Turkish politicians challenged Greece's sovereignty in the Aegean yet again. Meanwhile on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the two Greek soldiers still in custody in Turkey, and linked their fate to the eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece in 2016 after the coup attempt, and whom Ankara wants extradited. He slammed Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for allegedly going back on his word to extradite the servicemen, giving weight to the suggestion by government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos that Turkey is using the two soldiers for political reasons. Greece is looking to finalise the defence deal by 30 April in a bid to stay within budget, and not exceed the €1.1 billion ceiling set by the government. Among the priorities is an upgrade by the US to 85 of Greece's F-16 fighter jets, and the maintenance of its French-made Mirage-200s jets. While the navy's fleet of MEKO frigates need an immediate update. Greece to receive extra €180 million in migrant aid The European Commission made the funding commitment on Monday, acknowledging that Greece bore the weight of responsibility at the height of the refugee and migrant crisis in the region Greece is set to receive an extra €180 million (AU$288.3) in migrant aid from the European Commission for aid projects. Announced on Monday, the funds will be put towards the Emergency Support to Integration & Accommodation (ESTIA) programme, which will support an estimated 45,000 refugees and migrants currently residing in Greece. "Greece bore the weight of responsibility at the height of the Mediterranean refu- PHOTO: MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL TECHNOLOGY Jobs growth in Greece hits new record The trend upwards is in large part thanks to the country’s manufacturing industry, which expanded in March Business confidence has improved in Greece, and it is in large part thanks to the country's manufacturing industry which expanded last month. Manufacturing accounts for 10 per cent of the economy, and has led to firms employing additional staff, at the fastest rate on record. The expansion is being driven by an increase in new orders both at home and abroad for the eighth straight month with a need for more employees to simply keep up with demand. "March saw a further marked round of growth in the Greek manufacturing sector, despite easing slightly from last month's multi-year record," said IHS Markit economist Alex Gill. "Perhaps most encouraging was a record rise in employment. The latest figure adds to what has been a bumper first quarter for jobs growth, which will be hopefully reflected by a reduction in the official unemployment rate." At 20.8 per cent, the unemployment rate currently remains to be the highest in the euro zone. gee and migrant crisis," acknowledged the European Commission, and it continues to do so, with Greece still seeing daily arrivals of migrants and refugees. On Monday alone, Greece's coast guard rescued a boat carrying over 30 migrants off the coast of Samos. Meanwhile a lack of adequate facilities on the Aegean islands to deal with the staggering numbers has led to overcrowding in camps, which is expected to worsen as the cold weather subsides and more people start making the trek across the waters. The extra funding is a step in the right direction. Launched by the European Union in July 2017, ESTIA has assisted thousands of refugees and migrants to find urban accommodation. "Our humanitarian programmes for refugees in Greece are a clear and loud signal of European solidarity," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. "We continue to deliver on our strong commitment to help refugees in Greece live more secure, normal and dignified lives, and facilitate their integration into the local economy and society. "Our ESTIA programme is achieving real results to change people's lives for the better. I pay special tribute to the Greek citizens and mayors who have welcomed refugees in their municipalities with great empathy and care." 1,500-year-old bronze coins found at Greek harbour Over a hundred coins were found buried under a house in Corinth dating back to the original destruction of the Lechaion Harbour Archaeologists have uncovered 115 bronze coins dating back to 600 AD. They were found buried under the remnants of a house believed to have collapsed during the original destruction of the Lechaion Harbour of Ancient Corinth in Greece 1,500 years ago. The discovery is thanks to an excavation project at the site led by Chair of Comparative Literature and Classics at California State University, Professor Paul Scotton which commenced in 2016. Also taking part in the excavation, Professor of Classics at Bridgewater State University, Michael Ierardi says the oldest coins found could date as far back as the days of Roman Emper- that the owner did not come back." Also found as part of the excavation were two large Roman civic basilicas, which were popular building structures during the ancient Roman Empire. Believed to have been government buildings, one dates all the way back to the end of the 1st century, meaning they are likely from the early Roman colony founded by Julius Caesar. or Constantine the Great who reigned from 306 to 337 AD, while the most recent date to the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius 491 to 518 AD. But scientists are puzzled as to why the coins were left at the site for so long, and not retrieved by their original owner given they were not buried very deep. "It's notable that something so close to the modern surface was left," Professor Scotton told Newsweek. "There is some reason Meanwhile the team isn't stopping there, with the dig continuing at the ancient site with no end in sight just yet. "There is so much being done and so much to be done, I joke that my grandchildren are going to be working here," said Professor Scotton.
31 March 2018
14 April 2018