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A constitutional court in Cape Verde has issued a recent ruling that would pave the way for the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian-born businessman indicted in 2019 for facilitating sanctions evasion and bribery schemes by the Maduro regime in Venezuela. His extradition from Cape Verde, combined with ongoing US efforts to extradite a Turkish mon…
 
Energy prices in Europe have skyrocketed as economies emerge from the pandemic, boosting demand just as supplies are falling short. Even with mild weather in September, gas and electricity prices were breaking records day after day across the continent, with no relief in sight. A number of countries, including Greece, have already announced measure…
 
Is it time for the US to leave Incirlik airbase in Turkey? That’s the focus of a recent op-ed by Michael Rubin, who argues that rather than remaining a strategic asset, Incirlik is now a strategic liability. Michael Rubin joins our host Thanos Davelis on The Greek Current to discuss his op-ed - “The one foreign base Biden should abandon” - and expl…
 
Greece has created its first-ever ministerial post to exclusively handle the fallout from climate change in the wake of this summer’s devastating wildfires — and it has brought in a former EU crisis management expert for the role. Christos Stylianides, a Cypriot national who previously served as the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis m…
 
On Friday Lebanon’s President and Prime minister announced a new cabinet after thirteen months of political deadlock and a spiraling economic downturn. Lebanon has been without a fully empowered government since the catastrophic August 4, 2020 explosion that rocked the port of Beirut and forced the resignation of then Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s g…
 
This week when Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias travelled to Tunisia, he wasn’t just traveling with a diplomatic team. He was also bringing 100,000 Covid-19 vaccines with him. This follows a delivery to Rwanda last week of 200,000 vaccines. These are the latest steps Greece is taking to combat the global pandemic that has seen it deliver vac…
 
In December, 2019, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the European Green Deal, the EU’s ambitious plan to lead the world on climate action and make Europe carbon neutral by 2050. The record heat waves and destructive wildfires that hit Greece and other countries in the Mediterranean have only highlighted the need for actio…
 
Hundreds of people gathered on Monday at Athens Cathedral to pay their final respects to Greek composer and politician Mikis Theodorakis, who was an integral part of the Greek political and musical scene for decades. Theodorakis passed away last week on Thursday at the age of 96. After his death was announced, Greece declared three days of national…
 
Turkish President Erdogan and the de-facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nayhan, spoke on the phone earlier this week in the latest sign of a possible thaw between the regional rivals. Turkey and the UAE have been at odds over Ankara’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and on opposing sides o…
 
Vassilis Nedos, Kathimerini’s diplomatic and defense editor, joins us on The Greek Current today to look at his latest op-ed in Kathimerini, where he highlights what Greece needs to be paying attention to when we look at the ripple effects in the region to the US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country. We als…
 
With the world and the US focused on Afghanistan, Turkey carried out airstrikes that hit genocide survivors in Iraq and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in mid August. One of the airstrikes hit a medical clinic in Sinjar, killing eight people, while another airstrike saw a Turkish drone kill Yazidi leader Hassan Saeed on the day he was…
 
US Senator Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was in Greece and Cyprus last week and this week, where he held a number of key meetings with leading officials, including Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. His trip highlighted the increasing strategic value of Greece a…
 
Earlier this year Turkey’s President Erdogan had hoped to build leverage over the US, the EU, and NATO by reaching a deal with Washington, DC to take over and secure Kabul’s international airport after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. That deal is all but dead after the Taliban took over Kabul. Turkey is continuing its dialogue with all the side…
 
At the end of July, the leaders of Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania met in Skopje, where they agreed to bolster regional economic integration, vowing to abolish border controls between their countries by January 2023. They named their initiative “Open Balkans” or “Mini-Schengen” – after the European Union’s free travel zone. The announcement co…
 
This summer has highlighted a number of challenges the world is likely to face as a result of climate change - from the deadly floods in Germany and northern Europe, to heatwaves and wildfires that ravaged Greece, Turkey, and Mediterranean countries. Another area that is increasingly under pressure is the sea. This year, we witnessed a thick, slimy…
 
On Tuesday Greece’s Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias unveiled a series of new public health safety measures that foresee tough restrictions on individuals that have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. The measures come as Greece continues to see a steady increase in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths, as well as hospitalizations and intubati…
 
Since the beginning of August, Greece has battled devastating wildfires on the island of Evia, in the Peloponnese, and in Attica. The biggest disaster, however, took place in northern Evia, Greece's second-largest island. Over a million square meters of land has burned, destroying forests, homes and business, and killing thousands of animals in wha…
 
HALC's Stathis Theodoropoulos discusses the Delta variant and the way out of the pandemic with HALC Board Member Dr. George Chiampas, assistant professor and attending physician in the department of emergency medicine at Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He is also the chief medical officer for US Soccer and ser…
 
50 years ago, the Turkish government closed the doors of Halki Seminary, an institution that served as the main school of theology for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, thus depriving the Ecumenical Patriarchate the ability to train Orthodox clergy in its historic home. In the decades since, the Hellenic community, religious freedom and human rights adv…
 
Armenia’s government said on Wednesday that three of its soldiers were killed after Azeri forces attacked Armenian positions near the border where clashes have become more frequent despite a ceasefire agreed to after Azerbaijan’s assault on Nagorno Karabakh last fall. Both sides later accepted a Russian ceasefire proposal to try to calm tensions. M…
 
Over the last ten years, Tunisia has been viewed as the “lone success story” of the Arab Spring. The country was plunged into crisis earlier this week, however, after its president suspended parliament and dismissed Tunisia’s prime minister in a move denounced as a coup by Tunisia’s main political parties. Steven Cook, an expert on Arab and Turkish…
 
Far-right groups have had a strong presence in recent rallies by anti-vaxx groups against government efforts to step up vaccination, as they see the pandemic and the social pressures it has created as an opportunity to regroup in the post-Golden Dawn era. In fact, according to police, around half of the some 3,500 people that gathered at a Syntagma…
 
Across Turkish-occupied territories in northern Syria, a pattern of violence and criminality has been established, and Turkish-backed groups are accused of becoming criminal syndicates that kidnap for money and exploit citizens’ resources for their own gain. A recent piece in Al Monitor focuses on Afrin, the majority Kurdish enclave in northern Syr…
 
Democratic and Republican senators voiced heavy criticism of Ankara on Wednesday during a hearing on US policy toward Turkey in which Victoria Nuland, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, testified. Key Senators called out Ankara for backsliding on human rights, undermining NATO, being an “aggressor” toward Greece and Cyprus, and much…
 
Turkish President Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Tuesday announced plans to reopen Varosha, part of the fenced off city of Famagusta in the occupied north of Cyprus. The move is in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, which call for Varosha to be handed over to UN administration, and to allow the original inhabitants to …
 
This past Thursday marked the 5 year anniversary from the failed coup attempt that took place in Turkey which has since reshaped the country. The Erdogan government has used the failed coup to reshape the country's policies, institutions, political landscape and foreign posture, cracking down on dissidents both in Turkey and abroad. David Lepeska j…
 
As the United States looks to navigate relations with Turkey, the lack of a clear destination for the relationship will result in a good deal of unpredictability and some level of instability in regions such as the Eastern Mediterranean. In his latest piece in Kathimerini, Endy Zemenides makes the case that this lack of predictability will pose a p…
 
Faced with a surge in coronavirus infections, Greece on Friday announced new rules for open air entertainment venues such as bars and nightclubs stipulating that customers must hold proof that they have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19. The new rules are designed to give more freedom to people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and…
 
Turkey’s President Erdogan called Israel's new president, Isaac Herzog, on Monday to congratulate him on taking office. The call came amid strained relations between the two countries who expelled their ambassadors in 2018 after a bitter falling-out. Both sides emphasized the importance of Israeli-Turkish ties, but said the other must move first fo…
 
The kickoff of the Tokyo Olympic games is around the corner, and will take place amid high COVID infections and worry from the Japanese public and the medical establishment there. There are also concerns about the increasing cost of hosting the games. Given these challenges, could it be time to consider giving the Olympics a permanent home in Greec…
 
The first of six German-designed submarines destined for Turkey is scheduled to join the Turkish fleet next year. Five other subs are on the way over the next few years in a deal worth about $4 billion. Meanwhile, after a year of heightened tensions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean as a result of Turkish provocations, Greece is warning t…
 
Turkey’s President Erdogan is planning to visit the occupied northern part of Cyprus on July 20th, the anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974, where events are expected to focus on the fenced-off town of Varosha. Turkey is planning major infrastructure developments in occupied Varosha, which is in direct contravention of multiple UN Sec…
 
Lebanon is struggling with severe electricity and water shortages after two of the country’s main power plants ran out of fuel. This is only the latest manifestation of a financial and political crisis that shows little sign of ending. Lebanon’s government is bankrupt, has defaulted on its international debt, and has failed to take the measures req…
 
David Harris, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), who is in Greece to meet with Greek political leaders and attend The Economist conference, joins the Greek Current to talk about his latest interview with Kathimerini’s Tom Ellis, where they explored topics including regional cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the US-Greece Defens…
 
A recent US government publication of restricted cultural property imports originating in Turkey - at Ankara’s request - has caused a number of reactions from experts. While illicit trafficking in antiquities is a serious problem, some specialists are concerned that Turkey could use this new agreement to further marginalize indigenous ethnic and re…
 
During the municipal elections in 2019, Turkey watchers were keeping a close eye on the Istanbul race, where Ekrem Imamoglu defeated Erdogan’s handpicked candidate twice. In the same election, Erdogan’s candidate also lost in Ankara, where Mansur Yavas won the election, and his popularity has been rising. Nikos Efstathiou, a journalist with Kathime…
 
In the first sign of any real movement on the migration issue in the EU in the past five years, member states reached a deal this week to strengthen the EU’s asylum agency. European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said the agreement is a “first important foundation” in the effort to build an effective European-wide asylum system. Exper…
 
During the early stages of the Euro 2020 soccer championship in June, aside from the games on the pitch, we also saw political issues emerge. One of those was related to the Prespes agreement, and we saw the North Macedonia national soccer team’s use of the name “Macedonia”. Prime Minister Zaev also ended up apologizing for a tweet where he used th…
 
EU governments gave Albania and North Macedonia - whose bid to join the EU is tied together - the green light to begin accession talks more than a year ago, but the process has officially stalled. One reason is that Bulgaria has put a hold on any talks with North Macedonia, which is preventing the process from moving forward. At the same time, Alba…
 
For the first time since 2015, Greece was invited to participate in the informal meeting on Syria that took place on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition Against Daesh - or the Islamic State - in Rome. Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who participated, stated this was a significant step which marks the return of Greece to…
 
The Greek government announced it will offer a pre-paid card with 150 euros to young people aged 18-25 to get at least one shot of a vaccine against Covid-19, as part of an incentive to increase the number of vaccinations in the country. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the card a “freedom pass”. The move comes as the government is hoping …
 
During the peak of the financial crisis, Greek banks were weighed down by over 100 billion euros of non-performing loans. Since then, a new set of tools has emerged to help manage this bad debt, and a large amount has been transferred from the banks to other entities. While this has improved the overall outlook for Greece’s banks, the problem of ba…
 
EU leaders travelled to Brussels today for a two day summit, with the agenda formally focusing on relations with Turkey and Russia, migration, and COVID-related travel rules. There was also growing anger over an anti-LGBTQ+ law passed by Hungary’s parliament, and 17 EU leaders, including Prime Minister Mitsotakis and President Anastasiades, signed …
 
Turkey is seeking to play a vital role in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US forces by offering to provide security to Kabul's international airport, and has been holding talks with the US on logistic and financial support for the mission. Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, said last week that the US and Turkey had …
 
Germany and the United Nations are hosting an international conference on Libya in Berlin this week, and diplomats are aiming to take stock of Libya’s political progress, prepare for a national election set for December, and discuss the withdrawal of foreign troops and mercenaries. The majority of the attendees already met at the first internationa…
 
Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Monday accepted an indictment filed by a top prosecutor seeking a ban on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for alleged ties to the outlawed PKK, paving the way for a case to shut down Turkey’s third-largest party. The HDP denies formal links to PKK, and says any attack by Erdogan’s ruling party and its…
 
A labor reform bill that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said would bring Greece in line with the rest of Europe and align the country’s labor laws with the digital age was passed late on Wednesday after a contentious debate in Parliament. The bill also set rules on remote work, expand paternity rights, and includes safeguards against …
 
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