Greece

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

Residents in northern Greece oppose refugee children attending school

There were renewed clashes between angry residents and police in the northern Greek town of Oreokastro on Monday, where some locals have for months opposed children from a nearby refugee centre being taught at the local school.

Strike shuts museums and archaeological sites in Greece

The majority of archaeological sites and museums in Greece will remain closed on Monday.

Athens: Agreement with international creditors could be imminent

The Greek government and its international creditors could soon come to an agreement on the implementation of further financial reforms, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Amnesty: EU-Turkey refugee deal a disaster, must not be repeated

Amnesty International issued a plea to world leaders on Tuesday not to use the "disastrous" EU-Turkey refugee deal as a blueprint for similar schemes in Libya, Sudan and Niger.

WWII bomb found near petrol station is defused in Thessaloniki

An unexploded World War II bomb discovered in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki was defused on Sunday after a delicate operation that triggered the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

Frontex officers begin patrolling Greek-Macedonian border

Officers from European border agency Frontex have begun patrolling the border between Greece and Macedonia, Frontex said Friday.

Greece extends detention of Turkish pilots pending asylum decision

Eight Turkish soldiers who applied for asylum in Greece after fleeing Turkey following a coup attempt in July must remain under temporary police custody, an Athens court ruled Wednesday.

Tsipras warns of rightist surge ahead of "key" European elections

Europe is at an "important crossroads" with the strengthening of rightists ahead of polls in several "key" countries, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Tuesday in Belgrade.

Greek, Serbian PMs talk cooperation, bilateral relations

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic told a joint news conference in Belgrade on Tuesday that a new "road map" has been drawn up with the help of which the two countries will strengthen their bilateral relations.

Turkey warns Greece, files second extradition request for soldiers

Turkey on Friday filed a second extradition request with Greece for eight soldiers who allegedly took part in a coup attempt last year, state-run Anadolu news agency reported a day after the Greek Supreme Court denied a previous demand for their handover.

Greek Supreme Court blocks extradition of Turkish soldiers

Eight Turkish soldiers who sought asylum in Greece after a failed coup in the summer may not be extradited back to Turkey, the Greek Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, with Ankara quickly protesting the decision.

Greece, Turkey, Britain join historic Cyprus reunification talks

Negotiators from both sides of divided Cyprus were joined Thursday by the chief diplomats from Greece, Turkey and Britain for a historic conference that could define the future of the strategically located Mediterranean island.

UN mediator: Geneva Cyprus talks will not yet result in final deal

Even if negotiators reach a breakthrough on ending the separation of Cyprus this week in Geneva, they will not be able to work out all the details needed for a comprehensive final agreement, UN mediator Espen Barth Eide said on Wednesday.

No breakthrough in sight at Cyprus talks

Negotiators have not been able to move closer to a final deal that would end the separation of Cyprus into a Greek and a Turkish side after 40 years, the Greek Cypriot side said on the second day of talks in Geneva.

Greek, Italian mayors share Palme Prize for assisting migrants

Two mayors in Greece and Italy were Monday named co-winners of the 2016 Olof Palme Prize for their "inspiring leadership" in assisting "fellow human beings fleeing from war, terror, and misery."

Negotiators tackle thorny obstacles on path to reuniting Cyprus

The Greek and Turkish leaders of Cyprus returned to the negotiating table Monday in Geneva to work on the few but divisive issues that stand in the way of an agreement to end the separation of the island after 40 years.

Greek industry association warns of Grexit without reforms

The Greek industry association SEB on Wednesday demanded that the government enact necessary economic reforms or else the country could be forced out of the European Union in a so-called Grexit.

Brazil police: wife, lover plotted murder of Greek ambassador

The wife of Greece's ambassador to Brazil and her presumed lover were arrested Friday for murdering the diplomat in what authorities called a planned "crime of passion," Rio de Janeiro's Policia Civil said.

Brazilian police confirm murder of Greek ambassador

Police in Brazil on Friday confirmed that the Greek ambassador to the country was murdered, the G1 news portal reported.

Dijsselbloem: Spat settled on Greek bailout after Christmas bonus

Following a dispute over financially-strapped Greece's handing a Christmas bonus to its pensioners, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Saturday that the way was clear to continue debt measures with Athens.

Tsipras calls on Berlin to back its reform plans

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras defended his government's economic reform plan on Friday, calling on Berlin to back Athens' efforts to emerge from its long-running debt and economic crisis.

Greek debt measures in doubt after Tsipras' Christmas handout promise

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may have jeopardized pending debt measures for his crisis-hit country with a pledge to give poor Greek pensioners a Christmas bonus this year.

Greek parliament approves 2017 budget

The Greek parliament approved the government's 2017 budget on Saturday evening, the parliamentary steering committee reported.

Greek ferry strike ends after eight days

A nationwide strike by Greek ferry workers that led to supply shortages on a several islands ended Saturday after eight days, a union leader said.

Greek court blocks extradition of a further two Turkish soldiers

The legal tug-of-war regarding the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers from Greece continues. The soldiers fled to Greece after being accused of plotting to overthrow the Turkish government in a failed coup in July.

EU report: Migrant transfers to Greece under asylum rules can restart

Greece's improved ability to register and process asylum seekers is a sign that a gradual return to EU asylum rules can start in March, the European Commission said Thursday.

Greek court extradites some Turkish officers, others to stay

A court in Athens has agreed to a request from Turkey to extradite three military officers accused of plotting to overthrow the Turkish government, according to Greek media reports on Tuesday.

Eurogroup finance ministers agree to debt relief for Greece

Finance ministers from the countries that use the euro agreed Monday in Brussels to a series of relief measures for highly indebted Greece.

Greek ferry services remain disrupted as strike extended to Friday

Ferry services in Greece will remain disrupted through the week, after a seafarers' union extended an ongoing strike.

Migrant count grows on eastern Greek Aegean islands

The number of migrants stranded on the eastern Greek Aegean Islands is still growing, the country's Migration Ministry said on Wednesday.

Winter cold hits Greece's exposed migrants

A sharp temperature drop in Greece raised concern that thousands of migrants exposed to the cold may flee their inadequate shelters and seek new protection in city streets, local media reported Tuesday.

Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey open joint police centre

Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey are to strengthen cooperation between their police and customs forces, with the opening of a new contact centre on Friday.

Cyprus peace talks end inconclusively in Switzerland

Two days of peace talks between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish halves of Cyprus ended inconclusively in Switzerland early Tuesday, sources close to the negotiations told dpa.

Leaders of divided Cyprus aim for breakthrough in peace talks

The Greek and Turkish leaders of Cyprus negotiated territorial questions in Switzerland on Monday, tackling one of the last issues that must be solved to create a federal country on the divided island, Cyprus broadcaster RIK reported.

Northern Greece rocked by 5.0-magnitude earthquake

Northern Greece was hit by a 5.0-magnitude earthquake early on Saturday, causing panic in a region already shaken by numerous tremors in recent weeks.

Obama reassures Europe over NATO, Trump presidency

America isn't going anywhere, assured US President Barack Obama in Athens Tuesday, as he used his final international tour to soothe worries in Europe over the incoming administration of Donald Trump.

Obama kicks off European reassurance tour in birthplace of democracy

US President Barack Obama stressed the ties between the United States and Greece - as well as those between the US and Europe - at the start of a four-day tour of the continent Tuesday.

Cypriot leaders agree to further talks after days of negotiations

The Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Friday agreed to continue UN-backed talks aimed at resolving their decades-long political dispute later this month.

Greece must protect rare sea turtles or face fines, EU court rules

Greece has failed in its obligation to protect the breeding ground of vulnerable sea turtles, the European Union's top court found Thursday, paving the way for possible fines against Athens if it does not take action.

Hand grenade thrown at French embassy in Greek capital

A hand grenade thrown at the French embassy in Athens Thursday morning by unknown assailants slightly injured a policeman, local broadcaster Skai and state media reported.

UN chief Ban sees Cyprus solution "within reach" at Swiss talks

The Turkish and Greek halves of Cyprus have come "within reach" of bridging the division of their island after more than 40 years, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday at the start of a decisive round of talks in Switzerland.

New Greek government sworn in after cabinet reshuffle

A new government under Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was sworned in Saturday, following a cabinet reshuffle amid plunging public support for the government.

Around 77,000 refugees stuck in south-eastern Europe

Approximately 77,000 refugees are stranded in south-eastern Europe since the Balkan route into Europe was closed at the beginning of the year, according to the latest update from German security authorities.

Russia lauds Greek scepticism towards EU anti-Russian sanctions

Greek scepticism on anti-Russian sanctions should be applauded, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday during a visit to the EU member country.

Greece can receive new 2.8-billion-euro aid tranche, EU sources say

Greece's creditors are expected this week to approve a further 2.8 billion euros (3.1 billion dollars) in bailout aid for the cash-strapped country, EU sources said Monday.

Offices set on fire in refugee camp on Greek island of Lesbos

Containers used as offices by an EU asylum body were set alight on Monday in the latest incident of violence at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Athens clearing up centre after overnight anarchist riots

The centre of the Greek capital Athens was being cleared up Thursday after a night of rioting by anarchists that prompted police to respond with tear gas after being pelted with Molotov cocktails and stones.

Athens rejects asylum bids from Turkish soldiers who fled coup

The Greek government has rejected the asylum applications of six Turkish soldiers who landed a military helicopter in Greece amid the chaos of a failed coup in Turkey, media reports said Tuesday.

Greece stands to receive 1.1 billion euros in bailout aid

Eurozone finance ministers paved the way Monday for Greece to receive 1.1 billion euros (1.2 billion dollars) in bailout aid, while holding back on a further 1.7 billion euros earmarked for arrears payments.

Eurozone ministers mull 2.8-billion-euro aid payout for Greece

Eurozone finance ministers were discussing Monday whether Greece has made enough reform progress to receive its next bailout payment of 2.8 billion euros (3.1 billion dollars), with several eager to give the go-ahead.

Severe storm causes floods in western Greece

Severe weather on several Greek islands early on Saturday has led to flooding that caused serious damage in the west of the country, according to local media.

Hundreds of migrants arrive in Greece over four-day period

More than 600 refugees and migrants have arrived on the Greek islands from Turkey over the last four days, 280 of whom reached the country's shores by boat in the past 24 hours, the Greek refugee coordinating body announced Tuesday.

Outrage as tear gas used against senior citizens in Athens demo

Police in Athens used tear gas against a group of demonstrating senior citizens on Monday in Athens, triggering outrage in the media and from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, according to reports from the local Skai broadcaster.

Greece passes bailout hurdle with appointments to privatization fund

Greece has passed an important hurdle to receive its next bailout tranche by securing the European Commission's approval for top appointments to a new privatization fund, a spokeswoman for the European Union's executive said Tuesday.

Italian police bust Greek-Albanian drug racket, arrest 99 suspects

A major Greek-Albanian drugs cartel that supplied Italian Mafia groups with hard and soft narcotics has been dismantled with 99 arrests, Italy's financial police Guardia di Finanza said Tuesday.

Eighteen arrested for fire that destroyed Lesbos refugee camp

Greek police have arrested 18 migrants following a fire at a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, the Athens-based newspaper Kathimerini reported Tuesday.

Large fire in Lesbos refugee camp contained, arson suspected

A fire that forced thousands of people to flee a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos destroyed most of the camp but is now under control, eyewitnesses said Monday.

Thousands flee fire in refugee camp on Lesbos

More than 3,000 people fled a fire in a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, Greek media reported.

Number of migrant arrivals in Greece rises sharply

The number of migrants reaching Greece has sharply risen, with at least 374 arriving from Turkey over the weekend, the country's migration crisis authority said on Monday.

Greek island firefighters work to limit blaze to southern half

The southern part of the Greek island of Thasos is in flames as efforts to control a forest fire continue, Greek broadcaster Skai reported Monday.

Large forest fire rages across Greek island

A forest fire on the Greek island of Thasos in the northern Aegean Sea has destroyed several homes.

EU provides 115 million euros in aid for refugees in Greece

The European Union is giving humanitarian organizations 115 million euros (129 million dollars) in new aid to help improve conditions for refugees in Greece ahead of the quickly approaching winter, the bloc's executive said Saturday.

Eurogroup chief says Greece has made "too little" progress on reforms

Eurozone finance ministers dialed up the pressure Friday for Greece to deliver economic reforms, with Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem warning that "too little" was done over the summer break.

Number of migrants from Turkey to Greece skyrockets

The number of migrants crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands skyrocketed Tuesday, with 462 people arriving in the last 24 hours, the country's working group for the refugee crisis announced in Athens.

Tsipras calls for debt reduction, WWII reparations from Germany

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is demanding a further reduction of state debt and an easing of what he sees as dictated austerity measures from Germany.

EU tells Greece to set record straight on reported debt manipulation

The European Commission called Wednesday on Athens to challenge media reports that Greek deficit data for 2010-15 may have been manipulated, arguing that doubts about their credibility could prove dangerous for the cash-strapped country.

10 Syrian refugees relocated from Greece to Croatia

Croatia on Tuesday took in ten Syrian migrants from Greece in accordance with activities "to implement the European Union Council decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and of Greece."

Migrant boat near Greek island Mykonos points to new smuggling route

The Greek coastguard arrested two suspected migrant smugglers who were onboard a boat with 38 refugees picked up near the island of Mykonos, authorities said Saturday.

Greece reports spike in migrant arrivals to Aegean islands

Greek authorities reported Friday that they had seen a spike in migrant arrivals from Turkey to the Aegean Sea islands after months of dwindling numbers.

Turkey requests extradition of eight soldiers who fled to Greece

Turkey has officially requested the extradition of eight members of the Turkish military who fled to Greece via helicopter amid the chaos of July's failed coup.

Charity warns that children at risk in crowded Greek migrant camps

Overcrowding in Greek migrant camps is putting thousands of Syrian children at risk, a charity group said Wednesday, as the coastguard reported hundreds of rescues in the last nine days.

Greek coastguard: More than 300 migrants rescued over last nine days

More than 300 migrants have been rescued from the Aegean Sea over the past nine days, the Greek Coastguard announced on Wednesday, when 59 people alone were saved near the island of Kos.

Greek coastguard saves 13 migrants in dramatic rescue

The Greek coastguard rescued 13 migrants from a boat caught in a storm off the island of Lesbos on Sunday.

Charity: Report on child abuse at refugee camps "vastly exaggerated"

Claims of sexual abuse of children at refugee camps in Greece is "vastly exaggerated" according to the head of the charity Doctors of the World (Medecins du Monde).

Report: Europol to hunt for Islamic State members in Greek camps

The European Union's police force is teaming up with the Greek authorities to search for Islamic State members in the country's migrant camps, according to a newspaper report on Saturday.

Greece moves migrants from crowded islands to the mainland

Greek authorities have started ferrying migrants stranded on the Aegean islands to the mainland in order to reduce pressure at the overcrowded camps, an official said Friday.

Greece intercepts sailboat with dozens of migrants in Aegean Sea

The Greek coastguard apprehended 67 refugees, most of them men, aboard a sailboat off the eastern Aegean island of Amorgos on Wednesday.

Greece: EU countries capable of sabotaging migration deal with Turkey

The migration deal between the European Union and Turkey could be endangered by EU member countries, said Greek migration minister Ioannis Mouzalas Thursday.

Greek opposition rebukes Tsipras' referendum-by-the-people proposal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' referendum-by-the-people proposal was met with criticism Tuesday, with opponents calling it an attempt to divert attention from high unemployment rates and the country's poor financial situation.

Greece faces millions of euros in EU fines for shipyard aid

The European Union is taking Greece back to court over its failure to claim back illegal aid from a shipbuilder, the bloc's executive said Friday, in the latest trouble facing the crisis-plagued Mediterranean country.

Turkish soldiers implicated in coup get jail time in Greece

Eight Turkish soldiers allegedly involved in last weekend's coup have been sentenced to two months prison each in Greece, a court in Alexandroupoli ruled Thursday.

Absconding Turkish soldiers questioned in Greece

Eight Turkish soldiers were brought before the Greek public prosecutor in Alexandroupolis on Sunday on charges of illegally entering Greece and breaching air traffic rules, Greek media reported.

Turkey demands Greece return soldiers who fled coup in helicopter

Turkish soldiers who landed in Greece in a helicopter on Saturday, seeking asylum after apparently fleeing a failed coup, should be returned to Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Children among four killed as migrant boat capsizes off Lesbos

Two adults and two children were killed when a refugee boat capsized off the coast of Lesbos, Greek authorities said on Wednesday.

Greek unemployment hits four-year low in April

Greece's unemployment rate in April was at its lowest in four years, dropping 2 percentage points year-on-year to 23.3 per cent, the crisis-stricken country's statistics office Elstat said Thursday.

Greek prime minister: Europe facing a "deep political crisis"

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday that Europe is still reeling from the financial crisis that prompted political turmoil and led to the British referendum.

Dozens of migrants found in truck in Greece headed for Macedonia

Greek police arrested a Slovenian truck driver, who was planning to bring 35 migrants, including children, in a hollow compartment of a truck to the Macedonian border.

UN chief Ban praises Greece's handling of refugee crisis

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday praised Greece for its handling of the refugee crisis, as well as the solidarity and generosity that it has shown towards migrants.

Eurozone bailout fund approves 7.5 billion euros for Greece

The eurozone bailout fund approved a disbursement of 7.5 billion euros (8.4 billion dollars) for Greece on Friday, with the money expected to be transferred to the cash-strapped country early next week.

Eurozone ministers pave way for next Greek bailout tranche

Eurozone finance ministers have paved the way for a new bailout payment to Greece of 7.5 billion euros (8.4 billion dollars), the head of their Eurogroup panel, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said Thursday.

EU: Greece has more to do before asylum seekers can be returned

Athens must make "significant" progress before asylum seekers who passed through Greece to other EU member states can be returned there, the bloc's executive said Wednesday.

Greece grants asylum to 800 refugees on Lesbos despite migrant deal

Greek authorities have granted asylum to 800 refugees on the island of Lesbos, the Athens daily Kathimerini reported Wednesday, despite an EU deal with Turkey under which people arriving from the country should be sent back.

UN chief to visit migrants on Greek island of Lesbos next week

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit the Greek island of Lesbos next week where he will meet with refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, he told a press conference Thursday.

Report: Rioting at Greek migrant camp leaves at least four injured

Fistfights broke out among migrants in a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos during the night, injuring at least four people, public broadcaster ERT reported Thursday.

Putin makes pilgrimage during Greece trip as leaders talk up ties

On the second day of his trip to Greece, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Mount Athos, also known as the Holy Mountain, which is home to numerous monasteries and sacred sites for Orthodox Christians.

Greece upholds relations with Russia as strategic partnership

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras upheld his country's strengthening relationship with Russia as a strategic partnership on Friday as Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Athens.

Putin arrives in Greece for two days of politics, business, religion

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Athens Friday for a two-day visit to Greece with trade, energy, migration and Moscow's relations with NATO on the agenda.

Greece shuts camp Idomeni, a symbol of Europe's migration woes

Greece has completed the evacuation of thousands of people who had been stranded for months at the country's squalid refugee camp at Idomeni.

Eurozone ministers reach deal on Greek bailout, debt sustainability

Eurozone finance ministers struck a deal early Wednesday clearing the way for Greece to access a fresh round of bailout funds, while also laying out debt relief measures aimed at securing the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).