Greece attacks Berlin for rejecting the arms embargo on Turkey – ANHA | HAWARNEWS

In an interview with the Politico American newspaper, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that Germany is not responding to its leadership role in the European Union when it rejects Athens’ calls for an embargo on arms shipments to Turkey.

Dendias said: “To set a good example, I cannot understand Germany’s reluctance to use the enormous power of its economy to link states to international law.”

Dendias added: “I understand the economic aspect in Germany, but I am sure that the latter also understands the tremendous contradiction in providing arms to a country that threatens peace and stability in two countries of the European Union. This is really the definition of contradiction”.

He added that he does not understand why Greece raised the matter in Berlin rather than Germany realizing on its own, that this does not correspond to its role in Europe.

The chancellor pointed out that if the leaders of the European Union do the same as they did at the October summit, that means they have not learned their lesson and it will be a wrong signal to be sent from Europe to all the countries of the world.

The Foreign Minister stated that he looks forward to working with the next US administration, as President-elect Joe Biden and new Secretary of State Anthony Blinken are well acquainted with the region and the Greek-Turkish issues.

He said: “I think the region needs the presence of the United States, especially its military presence, in a way that compensates for the lack of a European military presence in the region.”



Turkey: Turkey on target

Since the signing of the Ankara Agreement in 1963, Turkey It was one of the closest partners of the then European Economic Community. With the signing of the agreement for a Customs Union in 1995 and its consideration as a suitable candidate for accession, it seemed that relations between the Eurasian country and the Union were at their best. Following the rise to power of President Tayyip Erdogan, relations between the Union and Turkey have been deteriorating, until reaching the current situation.

The government of Erdogan, aware of the geostrategic situation in Turkey, has tightened the rope on more than one occasion to exercise pressure on its European neighbors. Its privileged geographical position, bordering on Iran and Iraq and being the country that moves the Syrian war away from the borders of the Union, makes it a main actor to solve important geostrategic challenges. This role has come to interfere in the EU’s own policies, since most of the refugees from the Syrian war who have entered Europe have entered through Turkey and – on many occasions – with the consent of the authorities (causing one of the biggest humanitarian crises in decades).

Likewise, since gas was discovered in 2013 in the Eastern Mediterranean, conflicts over the delimitation of territorial waters between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey have been increasing. The Cypriot government, following Turkish explorations, has requested on more than one occasion the imposition of sanctions on Turkey. The drilling in the seabed would not only have caused seismic movements in parts of Greece and Cyprus, but also would have violated – according to these countries – their territorial sovereignty. Despite the lack of a common front within the European Union regarding sanctions against Turkey, The Union has already imposed sanctions against Turkish citizens related to the Government, as well as against companies involved in oil exploration and those who support them.

In addition to tightening the rope with the EU, Turkey also has diplomatic disagreements with the United States. Since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, the intersection of accusations and the clash between the two powers has increased, at first they were the accusations of the then vice president, Joe Biden, on the possible financing that the Turkish Government was providing to Al-Nusra (one of the local affiliates of Al-Qaeda), the support of the American troops to the Kurdish militias or the increasing rapprochement between the Turkish Government and Russia from Vladimir Putin. The constant friction has led the Erdogan government to also consider Turkey’s possible exit from NATO, which would mean the definitive break with the West.

At the height of this dispute, the statements of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, about Islam, caused a new clash between Tayyip Erdogan and the European Union. The Turkish president questioned the mental health of the French leader and called on other Muslim countries to boycott French products as a gesture of protest.

All these acts have been rejected by the European Union, which has been verified through the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell who has expressed, together with Parliament and the Commission, their rejection of both President Erdogan’s personal attacks and the boycott of French products, which is contrary to the tariff agreements in force between Turkey and the Union. In addition, the turbulent situation in Cyprus has also led to the imposition of economic sanctions by the Union as well as to rethink the commercial relationship that gives a status singular and preferential to Turkey.

As is always the case when international sanctions turn out to be the tool of choice, the main losers are foreign companies who have made investments and are already present in the market. As for Spanish companies, Turkey has become one of its preferred investment destinations having increased investments from 2012 to 2019 between 3 and 4% per year. In addition to Spanish investment, commercial relations are intense given that Turkey is one of the main destinations for Spanish exports of automobiles and other metallurgical resources, while Turkey -for its part- exports a large quantity of textile products to Spain.

The risks posed by diplomatic tension and instability impairs trade relations with Turkey. In particular, the legal certainty on which the foreign investments already established and that bet on the Ottoman country as a developing market and regional ‘hub’ rest (as it enjoys a privileged position as a gateway to the markets of its surroundings). Proof of your promotion and ambition from the local authorities of consolidate Istanbul as ub financial and commercial of the region is the Istanbul Financial Center project, which aims to turn Istanbul into a center for business by 2022.

However, the Turkish government does not seem to be concerned about the increase in tension and is sparing no effort in clashing head-on with its European allies and the United States. It would seem that Erdogan’s dream of asserting Turkish influence over the region passes – with the support of Russia – through feel comfortable on the target.

* José María Viñals Camallonga. Socio en Squire Patton Boggs.


Greece: Turkey’s violations frustrate any prospect of dialogue – ANHA | HAWARNEWS

As quoted by the Greek daily Ekathimerni, today Dendias said: “Ankara is trying by force to set precedents at the expense of the countries of the European Union”, adding that Turkey “shows contempt for the clear positions and decisions of the European Union. “. European Union and appeals from the international community as well. “

He added: “Turkey missed another important opportunity to reestablish relations with the European Union and made the decision to work in a way that undermines international law and European objectives,” noting that “Turkey’s behavior is destabilizing and dangerous for the security of the region. “

The Greek chancellor stressed that “the European Union is not naive and it is difficult for Turkey to deceive it.”

Dendias also stressed that “Athens remains open to dialogue with Ankara on the condition that it stops its operations in the eastern Mediterranean”, considering that “Turkey does not offer a scope for constructive dialogue, as it has been expanding its activities in the eastern Mediterranean since August.”



Greece threatens Turkey with ICJ – ANHA | HAWARNEWS

The Greek prime minister added, in an interview with the Greek news agency, that the EU will take steps to protect its strategic interests and those of its member states.

He added that Greece and Turkey must negotiate, and in case this does not happen, the solution of the dispute will be through the ICJ, highlighting that the Turkish measures have undermined the unity of NATO throughout 2020.

It is noteworthy that Erdogan’s visit from Turkey to the Varosha region in Northern Cyprus a few days ago, which was a luxurious tourist center and turned into a “ghost town” within the buffer zone established by the United Nations. and it divided the island after the Turkish invasion of the north in 1974, which drew widespread international criticism.

In this context, the UN Secretary General’s spokesman confirmed that the organization followed the events in Varosha with concern and said that the UN position has not changed and that the parties are invited to avoid unilateral measures.

Greek Cypriots also demonstrated in the southern half of the island, at a crossroads along the buffer zone, against the visit of the Turkish president.



EC urges Greece to stop the expulsions of immigrants | Europe up to date | DW

The report of the visit carried out last March includes “coherent and credible” allegations of immigrants rejected to Turkey by the Evros river border and the authorities are asked to “react to prevent such returns.”

In its response to the report, the Greek Government assures that the complaints about the returns to the border with Turkey “are unfounded and totally wrong.”

Experts express concern about the fact that the Greek coast guards prevent migrant boats from reaching the Greek islands and wonder about “the role and involvement of Frontex in these operations.”

The CPT text once again urges the Greek authorities to “change their approach to the detention of immigrants”, who complain of “blows to the head, kicks and blows to the body”.

Despite “the important challenges” that Greece faces due to “the large number of immigrants entering the country”, the CPT recalls that this does not exempt it from its obligations regarding rights and to attend to all immigrants. detained.

Refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

During the experts’ visit to the Evros region and the island of Samos, “inhuman and degrading treatment” was found in the conditions of detention of immigrants.

According to the report, the centers have large cells full of beds, “poorly lit and ventilated”, with “ramshackle and broken” toilets, insufficient hygiene and cleaning products, inadequate food and lack of access to daily exercise in the open air.

To this is added the “extreme overcrowding” in some establishments and the lack of clear information on the situation of immigrants.

The report certifies the presence of families with children, unaccompanied minors or separated from their family and vulnerable people, such as pregnant women, “in terrible conditions, without any appropriate support.”

The experts call on the Greek authorities to stop detaining unaccompanied minors or those with their parents in police stations and “transfer them to reception structures adapted to their specific needs.”

In this regard, the Greek Government states that it is implementing a new strategy that ends the detention of minors. (EFE).


A home office in the sun?

Strand in Stavros

“Thanks to technological advances, we can choose where we live and work,” says Alex Patelis, chief economic advisor to the Greek Prime Minister.

(Foto: Bloomberg)

Athens Anyone who briefly turned away from the screen in the German home office on Monday and looked out the window usually saw gray on gray. The picture in Athens is completely different: Here the sun shone from a cloudless sky. With midday temperatures of 20 degrees, many people moved their home office to the balcony.

The Greek government would like to sweeten this attitude towards life for foreign workers with tax advantages: Anyone who moves their tax residence to Greece receives a 50 percent discount on income tax. The Greek finance minister taxes income of over 40,000 euros a year at the top tax rate of 44 percent. According to the planned model, it is only 22 percent. The discount is valid for seven years.

“We learned in the Covid pandemic: Thanks to technological advances, we can choose where we live and work,” says Alex Patelis, Chief Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Patelis sees his country well positioned in the competition for the new “digital migrants”: “We not only have the sun to offer, but also tax incentives.”

An important target group for the program are self-employed people in the IT and financial sector, for whom it doesn’t really matter where in the world they sit in front of their laptop. Patelis also hopes for a “Brexit bonus”: The Greek government uses the tax breaks to attract foreigners who will leave the country next year when the transition periods for leaving the EU expire.

“Brexit offers huge opportunities, especially when it comes to relocating financial services,” says Patelis. “We want to cut a part of this pie.” They are already “in advanced talks with three financial institutions that want to diversify out of London because of Brexit,” said the economic advisor in an interview with the Handelsblatt. The employees would benefit from the tax breaks with the relocation. For example, “Brexit should become a Grentry”, says the economic advisor to the Greek prime minister – out of Great Britain and into Greece.

The corresponding law is to be passed by the Athens parliament before the end of the year. Objections from the EU Commission or other member states about tax dumping are not expected, says Patelis.

Pensioners and the ultra-rich are also to be lured to Greece

The Greek government is not only trying to lure “digital migrants” and Brexit refugees into the country, but also the ultra-rich and wealthy pensioners. Anyone who invests at least half a million euros in Greece, for example in a property, pays a tax lump sum of 100,000 euros per year regardless of the level of their income. A law passed in December 2019 provides for this.

In addition, in July of this year the Greek parliament decided on generous tax breaks for foreign pensioners who move their tax residence to Greece. They only pay a flat rate of seven percent for their retirement benefits. The highlight: The mini tax rate should also apply to additional income such as investment income or rental income.

Foreigners who want to move their tax residence to Greece and take advantage of the income tax discount must stay in the country for more than six months a year. The tax advantages are only granted to those who have not been taxable in Greece for at least seven years in the past eight years.

“If these requirements are met, the procedure here in Greece is relatively straightforward,” says Dirk Reinhardt, partner at the law firm MStR-Law in Athens. One of the main focuses of the company is looking after German clients. Reinhardt advises that the relocation of tax residence to Greece be accompanied by an expert lawyer and tax advisor.

For German pensioners, for example, it depends on the individual case whether the tax exile really pays off. There are pitfalls: “Pensioners living abroad with income from renting or from commercial operations are at least subject to limited tax liability in Germany,” warns Berlin tax advisor Patrick Straßer. “This limited tax liability is more than ugly,” says Straßer, “because a lot of things that could reduce the tax burden, such as basic allowances, special expenses, extraordinary burdens and even the splitting of spouses, are lost with the limited tax liability.”
More: Another lockdown – these are the consequences of the corona pandemic for Greece


In Greece, Apple Leisure Group will start operations


Mexico City / 16.11.2020 21:12:34

The US company Apple Leisure Group reported that through its subsidiary AM Resorts came to an agreement with Hotel Investment Partners (HIP), to open three accommodation establishments in Greece by 2022.

In a statement, the company indicated that its partner will be the owner of the hotels, while they will operate them under the Dreams and Alua Soul brands.

Apple Leisure Group indicated that with its new presence in Greece, specifically in the islands of Crete, Corfu and Zante will be the second European market where they will enter, after Spain.

Despite the challenges that the industry has faced this year, the flexibility of our business model, combined with the brands we operate, they will be the backbone to continue the expansion, he reported.

With this agreement, AM Resorts now has 16 projects under development in Europe, and a total of 39 globally, he said.



Turkey versus the West: a tug of war beyond the Aegean

The recent escalation of tensions in the Aegean has the potential to strengthen the political bond between Greece and its Western allies, as well as forcing the EU to move from threats to sanctions against Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will try to keep tensions high enough to present a heroic front to his Islamist / nationalist base, but not high enough to trigger EU sanctions.

David L. Phillips, Director of the Peace and Rights Building Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, recently said:

“On the first anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Rojava (northeastern Syria), Erdogan seeks to distract the Turks from Turkey’s failed democracy and the faltering domestic economy through war in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey and its jihadist satellites are also threatening another Armenian genocide, targeting the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

NATO is more than a security alliance. It is a coalition of countries with shared values. Turkey, under the Erdogan dictatorship, is Islamist, anti-American and hostile to Europe. Turkey’s application to join NATO would be dropped immediately if applied today. “

Phillips was one of the signatories of the statement “It is time to break with Erdogan”, published on October 9 by the director of Justice for Kurds, Thomas S. Kaplan, and President Bernard-Henri Lévy, in a double-page section of the New York Times.

A few days after the Times statement was released, the tug of war in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas became even more tense between traditional rivals Turkey and Greece. Athens declared a NAVTEX [aviso de navegación] for shooting exercises in the Aegean covering a period including October 29, Turkey’s national day. Ankara responded by declaring its own NAVTEX in the Aegean for October 28 and decided to send its reconnaissance vessel Oruç Reis to the disputed continental shelf, just 6.5 nautical miles from the Greek island of Castelórizo.

This escalation has the potential to increase the political link between Greece and its Western allies, as well as forcing the EU to move from threatening sanctions to actually sanctioning Turkey.

On October 14, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas canceled his planned trip to Ankara to show solidarity and support. “[…] that Greece has us, all in the European Union and Germany. “He also reminded his audience that the NAVTEX crisis with Turkey will be discussed at the next EU summit, a hint of possible sanctions.

The US State Department called the Turkish move a “calculated provocation.” “Turkey’s announcement unilaterally increases tensions in the region and deliberately complicates the resumption of crucial exploratory talks between our NATO allies Greece and Turkey,” spokesman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “Coercion, threats, intimidation and military activity will not resolve the tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.”

Erdogan has ideological, diplomatic and pragmatic reasons for climbing. Ideologically, his dogmatic Islamism is inherently anti-Western. He loves to portray any dispute through the lens of unsophisticated parochialism that can be summed up in the phrase “We are good Muslims who oppose infidels.” He will try to keep tensions high enough to show a heroic front to his Islamist / Nationalist party supporters, but not so high as to provoke EU sanctions at a time when Turkey’s economy is in crisis. On the pragmatic level, Erdogan knows that any foreign confrontation will increase his approval rating at home.

Ankara has more options with which to take on Greece, including the use of weapons in the Turkish Straits.

The 1936 Montreux Convention on the Turkish Strait regime established the Bosphorus as an international sea route, but gave Turkey the right to restrict ships from non-Black Sea countries. Approximately 3 million barrels of crude oil and 20 million tons of petroleum products cross the Bosphorus each year, and these figures are likely to increase in the near future. More than 40,000 vessels passed through these waters in 2019 while carrying nearly 650 million tons of cargo. This level of traffic reaffirmed the Strait of Turkey as one of the most important maritime trade corridors in the world.

In 2019, Greek-owned ships accounted for almost 21% of the global merchant fleet capacity and 53% of the EU fleet, with 4,936 ships over 1,000 gross tonnes and a total capacity of 389.7 million tons of dead weight. Greek-owned vessels account for 32% of total tanker capacity, 23% of dry cargo vessels and 15% of chemical and petroleum products capacity. In 2018, the injection of money into the Greek economy was 16.6 billion euros. These figures make Greek shipowners the largest group by nationality. Therefore, it would be a severe blow to the Greek economy if Turkey restricted Greek maritime traffic through the Turkish Straits.

“Turkey has the right to close its strait to maritime traffic alleging security threats in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas,” Lt. Col. (ret.) Mithat Işık said. “Turkey may consider closing the Strait if [las tensiones con Grecia] they continue like this. “He quoted Article 20 of the Montreux Convention:” In time of war, Turkey being belligerent, the provisions of Articles 10 to 18 will not apply; the passage of warships will be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish Government “.

According to retired Admiral Cihat Yaycı, “If the EU imposes sanctions on Turkey, Ankara can force all commercial maritime traffic to adhere to daytime hours, declare guide ships mandatory, determine sea routes … Turkey may slow down the passage of ships. Greek and Greek Cypriot ships … can even close the Strait. “

Is this true? Actually, it is not. Turkey can use the articles of the Montreux Convention as a pretext to regulate maritime traffic through the Turkish Straits only during war.

Like all multinational conventions, the principle of good faith applies to the Montreux Convention. The signatories are expected to act in good faith when interpreting and implementing the convention, ”said a senior Turkish diplomat. “It will bring Turkey nothing good if Ankara applies restrictions on maritime traffic just because ‘these days we don’t like our Aegean neighbors.’

That sums it up. It appears that Turkey will try to maintain an optimal level of tension over the Aegean: hot enough to keep the Turks united behind their leader, but not so hot as to provoke heavy-handed Western retaliation.

Source: BESA Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

Burak Bekdil is a columnist from Ankara. He writes regularly for the Gatestone Institute and Defense News and is a member of the Middle East Forum.


The Canary Islands will not be ″ a new Lesbos ″, says Spanish government | Europe up to date | DW

The archipelago of the Canary Islands, exposed for months to a massive arrival of migrants, will not be “a new Lesbos”, defended this Monday (11/16/2020) the Spanish government in reference to the Greek island where many migrants from Turkey were stranded .

“We are not going to turn the Canary Islands into a new Lesbos,” Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told Antena 3 television.

This small Greek island, located a few kilometers off the coast of Turkey, became the main gateway to the European Union during the migration crisis of 2015. Many migrants were blocked there, in overcrowded fields and in poor conditions, according to several international organizations.

In the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa, they fear experiencing a process similar to that in Greece, after having received more than 16,000 migrants in 2020, half of them in the last month, according to the regional executive.

The number of disembarked is ten times more than that registered in the same period of 2019 and reaches a figure not seen since 2006, when the islands received some 30,000 migrants.

“It is an urgent situation,” acknowledged the Interior Minister, who recently announced the upcoming closure of the makeshift camp in the port of Arguineguín, where there are around 1,800 migrants in precarious conditions, according to various non-governmental organizations. (afp)


Farc: US has evidence that they wanted to launder 500 million dollars – Investigative Unit

On May 9, 2018, the Department of Justice sent a request for judicial cooperation to Colombia, through the United States Embassy in Bogotá.

They required two CTI agents to participate in a sting operation that sought to collect evidence against an organization that wanted to take 500 million dollars out of the country to launder them.

(We invite you to read: They find narcocaleta with $ 8,700 million linked to dissidents)

Federal sources told EL TIEMPO that the letter was the officialization of a previous meeting that the DEA had in Colombia with at least three high-level officials of the Prosecutor’s Office.

(It may interest you: The favor that the mafia asked the FARC 2 days after the Gómez crime).That day they were told that an American banker, of Argentine origin, had contacted them offering key information about the FARC.

Facsimile of the United States Department of Justice requesting Colombian collaboration.

According to him, members of that guerrilla had contacted him – through a lawyer – to offer him a hefty commission in exchange for helping them carry out a mega-money laundering operation.

(We invite you to read: Farc has not delivered the $ 10,000 million that it offered for repair).

The CTI’s mission was to help move the 500 million dollars, bound in the jungle, product of drug trafficking.

By that time, a second covert operation by federal agents was underway, which involved ‘Jesús Santrich’ in the sale of several kilos of coca that the DEA handed over to make him fall.

Farc money route infographic

Route of 500 million dollars that the Farc tried to wash

Trip to the mediterranean

In fact, El Espectador has been revealing sections of more than 24,000 audios on that episode –the prelude to alias Santrich’s escape–, revealing unpublished data.

(It may be of your interest: In four countries there are assets that the FARC did not reveal on their list).

In the case of the operation to launder the 500 million dollars, this It reached the ears of the Colombian justice when it was already quite advanced.

Santrich, Iván Márquez, El Paisa

The operation began at the time with which it ended up criminally involving ‘Jesús Santrich’ for drug trafficking.

The banker had already traveled to Colombia when he asked to see the silver. As he said, they took him into the jungles of the south of the country to show him the cans with the dollars lined in plastic.

(It may interest you: The powerful weapons in the photo of ‘Santrich’ and his gang).

Weeks later, and when the banker was already collaborating with the United States justice, DEA agents made another key move.

They accompanied the lawyer that the FARC members had delegated to open two accounts in Greece and Turkey. Those countries were chosen for having low controls and because they had been recommended to the FARC members.

(Also: Uribismo says that the FARC did not comply with their victims or the country).

The Prosecutor’s Office agreed to make the CTI agents available to the DEA to accompany the withdrawal of the dollars from the south of the country to a port in the north. The idea was that from there they would jump to a European port and then to the accounts in Greece and Turkey.


What the DEA wanted to know was how the members of the Farc were going to bring him back to irrigate the Colombian economy. In fact, the DEA was willing that the money not leave Colombia and they put an identical sum to complete the laundering circuit.

The operation took a long time to start while it was decided whether, once the money was seized, it would go to repair the victims of the FARC or to Uncle Sam’s coffers. In the meantime, the ‘Santrich’ case broke out and the Farc intermediaries were silenced. But the United States knows who the emissary was and whose money it was.

(See here all the articles of the Investigative Unit of EL TIEMPO).

In fact, they were struck by the messages that members of the dissidents are sending, threatening to reveal secrets about gold, property and caches of demobilized leaders.