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Archive for Greece

Newsline: Anarchists claim arson attack on Italian embassy car in Athens

A Greek anarchist group has claimed responsibility for an arson attack on an Italian diplomat’s car in Athens. In a statement posted on a far-left website Thursday, a group calling itself “Revenge Cell Carlo Giuliani” said it carried out last Friday’s attack in a show of solidarity for Alfredo Cospito, an imprisoned Italian militant anarchist on hunger strike over prison conditions. (https://www.thestar.com/news/world/europe/2022/12/08/anarchists-claim-athens-arson-attack-on-italian-embassy-car.html) Carlo Giuliani was an anti-global protester killed during protests against a G8 meeting in Genoa in 2001. His name has been used before in claims of responsibility for arson attacks in Greece. Last Friday’s attack, which caused no injuries, targeted the car of Susanna Schlein, a career diplomat and the sister of prominent Italian lawmaker Elly Schlein. Fire service officials said a crude incendiary device exploded in the garage of the diplomat’s home in a northern Athens suburb, burning one car and damaging a second. After Friday’s arson attack, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and discussed the incident.

Newsline: Greek police investigates arson outside Italian deputy ambassador’s home

Police in Greece are investigating an arson attack on cars in the parking lot of the Italian deputy ambassador’s home in Athens on Friday, prompting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to express her concern. “One car was destroyed and a second one suffered limited damage” a Greek police official said, adding the attack took place in the early morning without endangering anyone’s life. Meloni expressed her “sympathy” and “deep concern” to Susanna Schlein, the first counsellor of the Italian embassy in Athens, adding that the attack “was probably anarchist in origin”. “I am following the matter with the utmost attention,” Meloni said in a written statement. (https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/greek-police-investigates-arson-outside-italian-deputy-ambassadors-home-1217605) The Greek and Italian foreign ministries condemned the attack.

Newsline: Greece’s top diplomat calls off Tripoli visit on touchdown

Greece’s foreign minister called off the first leg of a visit to Libya on Thursday, refusing to disembark from his plane after landing in the capital of Tripoli, Greek authorities said. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/greeces-top-diplomat-calls-off-tripoli-visit-touchdown-93477794) Instead, he flew to the city of Benghazi, in the country’s east. The Greek foreign ministry described the fracas — effectively a snub of Libya’s western, Tripoli-based administration — as the result of a violation of protocol and agreed-on terms for the visit. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was on a two-part trip that was to include a meeting with the president of Libya’s western, Tripoli-based government, Mohamed Younis Menfi. That was to be followed by a meeting in Benghazi with the east-based administration. A terse statement from the Greek ministry indicated Dendias did not want to meet with his Tripoli counterpart, Najla Mangoush, yet she came to the airport to greet him.

Newsline: Turkish embassy accused of spying in Greece

A police liaison officer assigned to the Turkish embassy in Athens ran a covert operation to collect intelligence in Athens and Thessaloniki, a secret Turkish government document obtained by Nordic Monitor has revealed. (https://en.protothema.gr/turkish-embassy-police-spied-in-greek-cities-of-athens-and-thessaloniki-secret-document-reveals/) The document, sent by the Security General Directorate (Emniyet) on September 2, 2020 to nearly a dozen provincial police departments, said the Turkish Foreign Ministry had passed on intelligence gathered by a police officer who works at the Turkish embassy. The communiqué, classified as secret, mentioned six business establishments in Athens and Thessaloniki and 13 residents who are allegedly linked to the Gülen movement, a group critical of the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The document noted that the intelligence was part of a broader clandestine operation launched by the Turkish government in Greece to identify targets from the Gülen group, confirming that multiple agencies were involved in spying in a foreign territory. The spying activity shows that the Erdoğan government not only disregards the law in a NATO ally — a neighboring country — by engaging aggressive spying activities but also does not feel bound by Turkish laws that prohibit Turkish police from carrying out such work.

Newsline: Azerbaijan Recalls Its Ambassador to Greece for Consultations

Azerbaijan on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Greece for consultations amid conflict with ethnic Armenian forces around Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azeri foreign ministry said. “We brought to the attention of the Greek Foreign Ministry information from open sources about the arrival of Armenian citizens from foreign countries, including from Greece, to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to participate in military operations,” the ministry said in a statement. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-10-08/azerbaijan-recalls-its-ambassador-to-greece-for-consultations-foreign-ministry) Armenia denied the allegations and Athens had recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan on Wednesday after what it said were “unfounded and offensive” allegations by the Azeri government that Greece tolerated militants on its soil.

Newsline: Greece recalls its ambassador to Azerbaijan

Greece’s Foreign Ministry says it is recalling its ambassador to Azerbaijan following what it says are “completely unfounded and insulting allegations” by the Azerbaijani government that it is tolerating the preparation of terrorist acts. In a statement Wednesday, the ministry said the Greek ambassador had been recalled to Athens for consultations. It said the Azerbaijani government had claimed Greece was tolerating the preparation of terrorist acts, attempts to recruit terrorist fighters and cyberattacks against Azerbaijan. (https://www.yourvalley.net/stories/greece-recalls-its-ambassador-to-azerbaijan,193119) The ministry said it had filed a protest over the issue on Tuesday with the Azerbaijani ambassador in Greece. Earlier this month, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs cited media reports and other information that it said indicated that “thousands of ethnic Armenians” from several countries, including Greece, were heading to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Newsline: US Ambassador angered Greeks

Russia and the U.S. have been engaging in a war of words over Greece after American Ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt made unfounded claims that Russia wants Greece to be in conflict with Turkey. However, it was a tweet made by Pyatt that has left Greek social media users not only confused, but angered. Pyatt retweeted US military Africa Command that alleges “New evidence of Russian aircraft active in Libyan airspace,” and added his own comment of “More evidence of Russian aircraft active in Libyan airspace as Russia continues to push for a strategic foothold on NATO’s southern flank south of Crete.” This of course outraged Greek Twitter users as Russia is not a threat to Greece, and by extension NATO’s southern flank close to Crete, but rather it is Turkey who frequently and openly threatens Greece’s sovereignty. (https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/06/19/what-did-the-us-ambassador-say-that-angered-so-many-greeks/) One twitter user reminded Pyatt that it was Turkey who publishes maps that shows the majority of Crete belonging to Turkey. While Ankara directly and openly announces that Greek islands, including the majority of Crete, belongs to Turkey, Pyatt as Ambassador to Athens is attempting to frame Russia as a threat to Greece – and Greek Twitter users were not happy about this.

Newsline: Chile to shut down its embassies in Greece, Denmark, Algeria, Syria and Romania

The Chilean ambassadors of Greece, Denmark, Algeria, Syria and Romania were informed, that they will have to finish their affairs before the end of the year, 24 Horas reported. The closure of the embassies are occurring in order to provide a greater national presence in Brussels, considered the unofficial capital of the European Union, as well as in Vienna (Austria). (https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/06/08/chile-to-shut-down-its-embassy-in-athens/) The measure was taken by Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera, after the Strategic Planning Directorate asked to evaluate the political, economic and development relevance of the different nations where Chile has embassies.

Newsline: Greek demonstrators hurl firebombs towards U.S. embassy in Athens

Demonstrators hurled firebombs in a march towards the U.S. embassy compound in Athens on Wednesday in a protest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-protests-greece/greek-demonstrators-hurl-firebombs-towards-u-s-embassy-in-athens-idUSKBN23A2ZL) Live footage showed demonstrators throwing at least six firebombs towards the heavily-guarded embassy in central Athens and police responding with rounds of teargas. The street passing infront of the embassy had been cordoned off.

Newsline: Turkish intelligence and embassy in Greece accused of expanding spying

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, or MIT) has expanded monitoring, illegal information gathering and intrusive surveillance activities in neighboring Greece, while the Turkish Embassy in Athens has engaged in similar operations in a blatant violation of international conventions, newly discovered secret documents have revealed. (https://www.nordicmonitor.com/2020/05/spying-by-turkish-intelligence-and-embassy-in-greece-has-been-expanded-secret-documents-show/) The documents expose expansive, clandestine and hostile activities conducted by Turkish intelligence and diplomats in a NATO ally country. The secret operations, although targeting members of government critic the Gülen movement, reveal how Turkey has been transformed under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan into conducting massive intelligence operations in a neighboring country and challenging Greek national security interests. They also tell the tale of the modus operandi of the new Turkey under one-man rule, often displaying the behavior of a non-rational, non-state actor in harassing, threatening and intimidating other countries in its immediate neighborhood.