Europe: Tsipras condemns sanctions against Russia

The Russian president Vladimir Putin went to Greece for talks with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras. Speaking on press conference, Tsipras said sanctions imposed on Russia over its actions in Ukraine are not productive.

The rule of Russian sanctions are decided weeks a ahead.

Then,  Putin said there would be “no discussions” about Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that was seized by Kremlin-backed forces in 2014, leading to sanctions from the EU and US.

Tsipras told reporters: “We have repeatedly said that the vicious circle of militarisation, of Cold War rhetoric and of sanctions is not productive. The solution is dialogue.”

Putin said: “As far as Crimea is concerned, we consider this question is closed forever. Russia will not conduct any discussions with anyone on this subject.”

He also said that Russia would be forced to respond to US moves in Europe, warning that Washington’s missile shield bases in Romania and Poland were a direct threat to his country’s security.

“If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security.”



Europe: Greece passes tax and pension reforms

The Greek Parliament has approved a tax and pensions reform proposal introduced by the government. On Monday, Eurogroup’s finance minister are gathered in Brussels to discuss over a 5 billion euros bailout aid. Conclusion: Greeks and its unpopular reforms.

Europe: Greece recalls ambassador from Austria amid EU rifts over Migrant crisis

The row between Greece and Austria has another chapter today. The Greek ambassador in Vienna has recalled by Athens amid a Austrian act to summons a summit with Balkans states to discuss the migrant crisis. But Greece hasn’t invited for it.

Speaking afterwards, the EU’s migration commissioner warned the bloc’s migration system could “completely break down” within weeks.

Dimitris Avramopoulos said member states had until a 7 March summit with Turkey to curb the number of migrants.

“In the next 10 days, we need tangible and clear results on the ground,” he told reporters.

Conclusion: No solution for this trouble.

Europe: EU gives Greece deadline on borders

Athens has a new problem with their borders. European Union gives a three month for Greek government to fix it. The move that could allow other Schengen zone states to maintain internal border controls.

Two weeks ago, a draft report found that Greece had “seriously neglected” its obligations to control the external frontier of the border-free zone.

Conclusion: It’s an European way to control their borders.

Europe: Turkey ‘won’t apologise’ for downing Russia jet and rebukes Tsipras’ tweets

The row among Turkey and Russia has another chapter today. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Turkey will not apologise for bringing down a Russian jet on the Syrian border.

Davutoglu said the incident was unfortunate but that Turkey had a right and duty to protect its airspace.

Also on Monday, a Russian military spokesman said Russia has armed its Su-34 fighter jets over Syria with air-to-air missiles for the first time.

While he did not mention which particular threat the missiles were meant to counter, it comes six days after the Russian plane was shot down by Turkey.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, appearing with Mr Davutoglu in Brussels, said the alliance fully supported the right of member nation Turkey to defend its airspace.

He said there was concern about increased Russian presence in the region, but that the focus was on calming the situation.

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras has criticised Davutoglu. He posted four tweets on Sunday addressed to Ahmet Davutoglu, complaining about Turkish violations of Greek airspace.

“Fortunately our pilots are not mercurial as yours against the Russians,” his first tweet read.

Davutoglu replied urging Mr Tsipras to “focus on our positive agenda”.

Conclusion: Davutoglu has many problems with Russians and Greeks too.


Greece: Kammenos quits in tweets row

The new Greek government sworn in yesterday. But the deputy transport and infrastructure minister Dimitris Kammenos has resigned after his remarks over EU on twitter. One post earlier this year compared the EU to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. Kammenos is member of right-wing Greek Independents party. Conclusion: If you’re Greek minister, never compares EU with Nazis.

Greece: Tsipras hails ‘victory of the people’

After weeks of financial turmoil. Greece has re-elected Alexis Tsipras as Prime Minister. Syriza has won with 145 of 300 seats on parliament.

Tsipras has said his left-wing Syriza party has a “clear mandate” after winning a second general election in less than nine months.

But he said Greeks faced a difficult road and recovery from financial crisis would only come through hard work.

Meanwhile, he hails the victory.

“I feel vindicated because the Greek people have a clear mandate to carry on fighting inside and outside our country to uphold the pride of our people,” Mr Tsipras told supporters in Athens.

“In Europe today, Greece and the Greek people are synonymous with resistance and dignity.

The European Commission on Monday urged Syriza to press on with reforms.

“There is a lot of work ahead and no time to lose,” spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup meetings of eurozone finance ministers, said he was “ready to work closely” with the new Greek government.

European Council President Donald Tusk said in a letter to Mr Tsipras that many of the biggest challenges facing the EU were the same as those facing Greece “including the refugee crisis and the creation of sustainable growth and jobs”.

Conclusion: The Greek way to disturb Europe.