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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 August 2018
GREECE 4 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 AUGUST 2018 Poll reveals majority of FYROM’s population will vote ‘yes’ The 30 September referendum is likely to solidify ‘North Macedonia’ as FYROM’s new name According to the official opinion poll carried out by the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, most citizens are in favour of the country's name chancing to North Macedonia. More specifically over 41.5 per cent of FYROM's population is reportedly going to vote 'yes' in the 30 September referendum as opposed to a 35.1 per cent that is against the deal. The name change will see Greece's neighbour enter NATO and the European Union. Support for the deal was shown to be stronger among the country's eth- nic Albanian minority, Kathimerini reported, with 88 per cent in favour. The Slav-Macedonian community that was represented in the poll opposes to such a name change. Over 66 per cent of the population said they will be voting in September and that they consider the referendum crucial for their country's future in the wider Balkan region. The question FYROM citizens will be called to answer with a 'yes' or 'no' is: "Are you in favour of EU and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?" DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM More Chinese real estate investors drawn to Greece Greek citizens worried about new housing bubble inflation Greece has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists and investors in recent years, establishing strong relations with the Red Dragon with consecutive Prime Ministers offering special business deals in the hope of rescuing the crisis-stricken country from debt. According to data from Chinese online news agency Sina Weibo, Greece is the sixth most popular destination in the world for Chinese real estate investors. Out of the 2,881 Golden Visas that Greece has issued from 2013 up until last month, 47 per cent (1,351 permits) have From Greek PM Alexis Tsipras’ visit to Beijing’s Forbidden City last year. PHOTO: ANDREA BONETTI /PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE’S OFFICE gone to Chinese nationals leaving the Russian and Turkish behind with 426 and 289 residence permits respectively. The Golden Visas allow nonEuropean Union citizens and their families to reside and work in Greece if they buy property in Greece that is worth at least 250,000 euros, Kathimerini reports. Even though the Golden Visa program is seen as a positive boost to the economy by the government, Greek citizens are alarmed as the influx of Chinese buyers is pushing real estate prices to new unaffordable heights for the median-income earner. International outcry over Dimitris Koufodinas’ relocation The infamous leader of the disbanded terrorist group '17 November' is still causing turmoil even from inside prison; '17 November' was one of the most dangerous and lethal terror groups in the west for decades. From 1975, when it emerged, Russia responds by expelling Greek diplomats In what was seen as a retaliatory move, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Greece's ambassador to Moscow on Monday and told him it was responding in kind to last month's "unfriendly decision by Athens to expel two Russian diplomats". More specifically, Greek Ambassador to Moscow Andreas Friganas was handed a note informing him "of tit-for-tat measures taken by the Russian side". According to Russia's state-backed news agency RIA, an unnamed source confirmed Moscow has also expelled Greece's trade representative as well as a Greek senior diplomatic employee responsible for the country's communications policy in Russia. This news comes after Greece expelled two Russian diplomats and barred two other people from entering the country back in July amid allegations that they bribed protesters to demonstrate against the pending agreement between Greece and FYROM. The envoys denied any in- volvement or knowledge of such illegal funding with the intent to prevent FYROM from becoming a member of NATO, even though Russia has strongly opposed NATO expansion to countries that once were under Moscow's influence. following the collapse of military rule and the assasination of the CIA station chief in Athens, until June 2000 when it murdered the British military attaché in Athens, the group had assassinated 23 people including Greek politicians, businessmen and journalists. The Greek government's decision to move Dimitris Koufodinas from high-security penitentiary Korydallos to an open-air prison that operates as an agricultural facility has infuriated Greek citizens and international officials alike. Following Europe, Turkey and the U.S. have joined the list of countries condemning the relocation of the convicted hitman. Meanwhile, over the past year Koufodinas has been allowed to take prison leave several times, a decision that had put the Syriza-ANEL government under fire more than once. US State department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, took to Twitter to share fears that "in a country with a history of political violence, he [Koufodinas] could exert his appeal to train a new generation of armed guerrillas". The 60-year-old still has a significant following among members of the radical left who support armed resistance. Koufodinas was also known as 'Poison Hand' due to his shooting skills. The U.S. feel that moving him from Athens to central Greece to pick fruits and farm the land after the long list of crimes against democracy he has committed, "doesn't make any sense". "We understand convicted Greek terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas was moved to a farm prison with lighter restrictions. He murdered 11, including US personnel, and is inspiring the Dimitris Koufodinas next generation of terrorists. We condemn in the strongest terms furloughs or any easing of his prison stay," the tweet continued. A Turkish government spokesperson also commented on the relocation, hinting to Greece's refusal to extradite eight military officers Turkey has declared as terrorists". “This has once again strengthened our doubts about the functioning of the judicial system in Greece," they said. "Granting tolerance to a terrorist disrespects the memory of our diplomats who were mar- tyred and their families." Justice minister Stavros Kontonis responded saying that "The sentence will continue to be served as normal," explaining that convicts were being moved to other facilities as part of plans to turn the vastly overcrowded Korydallos prison into a jail for defendants awaiting trial. "The transfer does not entail special treatment, a reduction of the sentence or partially unrestricted residence," Kontonis concluded, stressing that there are no 'luxury' prisons in Greece. Greece opens bidding process for huge Piraeus extension project Greece is preparing to open a competition for one of the biggest scale projects to be carried out at the port of Piraeus; the project will see the extension of the port to accomodate larger cruise ships. The tender opens on August 31 and the funding budgeted for the contractor to be named by October sits at 170 million euros. Chinese maritime giant Cosco that manages Piraeus Port Authority (PPA), has already tabled plans to transform Piraeus into a Mediter- ranean home porting hub, boost trade activity and further develop cruise travel. With the Greek shipping fleet still being the largest in the world and the Greek islands amongst the most popular tourist destinations, Cosco plans to use Piraeus' key location to upgrade the value of the wider area. The project aims to expand the southern zone of the port so that a new terminal can accommodate four next-generation cruise liners simultaneously, Travel and Tourism industry News journal GTP reports. Based on the 2017 numbers recorded by PPA the port saw a 93 per cent increase in pretax profits, amounting to 21.2 million euros compared to 11 million euros in 2016 with the net results up by 68.6 per cent to 11.3 million against 6.7 million in 2016. This great untapped potential, according to Cosco, could set Piraeus apart as a tourism destination with the construction of four new state of the art hotels on the port's premises.
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