Greece: Parliament backs urgent frontloading of €35 billion in EU funding

Published in World
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 15:55

Parliament on Tuesday backed a set of one-off measures aimed at boosting the effective spending of €35 billion earmarked for Greece in the EU 2014-2020 budget. This includes €20 billion from the European structural and investment funds and €15 billion from agricultural funds.

MEPs followed the recommandation of Parliament's regional development committee and adopted the Commission's proposal unchanged, as a matter of urgency, by 586 votes to 87, with 21 abstentions. This fast-track procedure paves the way for the swift adoption of the measures by the Council and their immediate entry into force.The measures are aimed at speeding up the implementation of EU funds to help Greece ensure that all the money available to it from the 2007-2013 programming period is used in time (before it expires at the end of 2017), and to help Greece meet the requirements for accessing all the EU funds available to it in the current programming period of 2014-2020.
The funding covers programming periods up to 2020. The amendment to the current regulation proposed by the Commission and agreed by Parliament allows some €500 million to be released as soon as the legislation is adopted and a further €800 million will be released in advance of the formal closure of the programmes in 2017. These special measures are neutral for the EU budget, as they will be implemented within the country allocations agreed in the current multi-financial framework for 2014-2020.
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    Georgia’s major opposition parties, including the United National Movement of ex-President Saakashvili, European Georgia, Lelo, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Labor Party, hit the streets on Sunday afternoon, rejecting the preliminary results of the October 31 parliamentary vote, that forecast the Georgian Dream to form a third consecutive government.

    The opposition claims the Georgian Dream “usurped power,” and rigged the elections, citing, among others, discrepancies in a number of final vote tallies. The key local election watchdogs said they identified the discrepancies in some 7 or 8% of the summary protocols. The opposition politicians argue the united opposition forces garnered more votes in total than the incumbent ruling party.

    Protesting the “stolen elections,” the opposition leaders and protesters are rallying towards the hilltop residence of GD leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, after blocking Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Georgian capital, outside the Parliament.

    In the meantime, Gigi Ugulava of the European Georgia party, announced the opposition parties will organize a large-scale rally on November 8.

    Georgia held Saturday’s parliamentary vote under a significantly modified system, which changed the composition of 150-member parliament to 120 MPs elected through proportional, party-lists, and 30 elected as majoritarians (from 77/73 ratio) and set threshold at 1% of votes. According to the results of 98.86% precincts counted, Georgian Dream garnered 48,1% of proportional votes, while the United National Movement-led Strength in Unity bloc came second with 27.12%. European Georgia scored third with 3.77%.

    Preliminary results also show GD victory in 13 single-mandate constituencies, while runoffs are expected in 17 districts, including in all 8 districts of the capital city of Tbilisi.

    MP Irma Inashvili, leader of Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots party, that is at odds with UNM and other opposition parties, also announced that today her party rejects the results, vowing to hold separate rallies.

    Source: https://civil.ge/archives/379581

  • President of Azerbaijan: Without any hesitation, we support Turkey and will support it in any circumstances

    As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today accepted credentials of the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Greece to Azerbaijan, Nikolaos Piperigos.

    AZERTAC presents some excerpts from President Ilham Aliyev's remarks at the meeting.

    “It is not Azerbaijan that has occupied the territory of Armenia – Armenia has occupied Azerbaijani territory. This is reflected in the documents of all international organizations.”

    “The last issue I want to touch upon is the recent tension between Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean region. I can tell you, and it is no secret, that Turkey is not only our friend and partner, but also a brotherly country for us. Without any hesitation whatsoever, we support Turkey and will support it in any circumstances. We see the same support from our Turkish brothers. They support Azerbaijan on all issues, and we support them on all issues, including the issue of exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

    “I want you to know our position. This position has already been officially announced by the Azerbaijani government on my instructions. I can tell you again that Turkey is not only a friend but a brotherly country for us. The Turks are our brothers. So we will be with them in all matters.”

    “I want to find something positive to touch upon, but unfortunately I can't find it. Perhaps we hope that the new government of Greece, which came to power relatively recently, will reconsider the policy of the previous government against Azerbaijan.”

    “We can restore contacts and discuss issues that create positive dynamics. But, of course, that will depend on the policy and position of the Greek government.”

    Source: https://azertag.az/en/xeber/President_of_Azerbaijan_Without_any_hesitation_we_support_Turkey_and_will_support_it_in_any_circumstances-1575737?fbclid=IwAR1fSrTe3ciOGKfFL2Q6GxDi5ETRWVGpDKm4lQOOIAvGN3qqSCP-K48Ztik

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    Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East at the European Commission, stated: “Organised crime networks operate across national borders and destabilise the entire region. Tackling serious and organised crime is a shared challenge by the European Union and its partner countries. By strengthening the strategic and operational cooperation between Europol and partner countries, we are proud to contribute to joint investigation successes.”

    Located along the Black Sea and forming part of the ‘heroin route’ from the Middle East to Europe, all six Eastern Partner countries are threatened by organised criminal groups active in the area. These groups are involved in migrant smuggling, organised property crime, trafficking in human beings, firearms and drug trafficking, money laundering, and other related crimes such as document fraud. These criminal syndicates threaten not only the safety and security of people, but also the stability of the Eastern Partnership region and of the whole EU. More cooperation between law enforcement authorities of EU Member States and the Eastern Neighbourhood countries is crucial to improving the effectiveness of the common response to organised crime across borders.

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    With support from the European Union, the two UN sister agencies will work with government bodies and civil society partners in six countries to challenge deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, increase men’s involvement in domestic work and childcare, and engage with potential perpetrators to prevent gender-based violence.

    UN Women and UNFPA, together with the European Union (EU), have launched a three-year regional programme to tackle gender stereotypes and gender-based violence in six countries of the Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

    The programme, entitled “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence,” ultimately seeks to strengthen equal rights and opportunities for women and men by challenging perceptions about men’s and women’s roles in the family and in society and working to eliminate gender-based violence.

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    “During the COVID-19 crisis, we have unfortunately seen an increase in women’s unpaid care workload and in cases of gender-based violence across the six countries,” says Alanna Armitage, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Our programme comes at the right time to fight these trends. We all have to work hand-in-hand to build a more just, equal, safe and secure world for all.”

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    For more information, please visit: https://europa.eu/european-union/

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    Two similar surveys were held in September and November 2019. The surveys allowed the National Environmental Agency to determine the ecological status of coastal waters in the Chorokhi-Adjaristskali River Basin District.

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