European security meetings on Corfu go well

first_imgThe informal meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe currently chaired by Greece took place on Corfu Sunday following the successful NATO – Russia meeting on Saturday.The OSCE meeting gave European foreign ministers the opportunity to discuss issues of European security, nearly a year after Russia’s war with Georgia raised concerns about stability on the continent’s eastern front.The ministers’ informal meeting on the western Greek island is the first such gathering in 34-year history of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a grouping of 56 countries encompassing regions from North America to Europe, Central Asia and Russia.The meeting between NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saw NATO and Russia resume formal cooperation on broad security threats but failed to bridge major differences over Georgia. The weekend meetings in Corfu also gave the Greek Prime Minister and the Greek Foreign Minister opportunities to meet with their European counterparts.The Greek Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis, and Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, met for 35 minutes in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere which saw Berlusconi extend an invitation for Karamanlis to visit Rome.Illegal immigration was the main topic following the decisions taken the previous weeks at the European Union Summit. The Summit had agreed that: The EU should seek to forge new repatriation pacts with migrants’ countries of origin and with “transit countries” such as Turkey and Libya.The activities of the EU’s border monitoring agency Frontex be boosted to curb illegal immigration in the southeastern Mediterranean region.The Greek Prime Minister had said that the decisions taken at the summit were heading in the right direction but agreed with Berlusconi’s insistence that the introduction of the measures should be sped up.The difficulties in implementing repatriation agreements were discussed as well as the proposal for the establishment of a European coast guard. The Turkey – Greece – Italy and South Stream energy agreements were also raised for discussion. The Greek Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyiannis, met with her Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, with whom she raised the recent breaches of Greek borders and airspace over the Aegean.“I hope that my discussions with Mr Davutoglu will lead, in the first instance, to a change in the current atmosphere,” the Greek Foreign Minister said.The Greek Foreign Minister met with US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, who deputised for Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, who was unable to attend because of an injury to her elbow.They signed a number of bilateral agreements such as easing the visa requirements for travel from Greece to the United States and on co-operation in dealing organised crime. At the time we went to press it had not been confirmed whether the Greek Foreign Minister had meet with her FYROM counterpart, Antonio Milososki. Bakoyiannis had indicated prior to the conference that she would try and catch up with her counterpart from FYROM.Upon arriving in Corfu Milososki expressed his hope to meet with the Greek Foreign Minister.“I hope that we will be able to meet with our Greek counter parts to continue the dialogue and to send a message of friendship to the Greek nation.”The Greek Foreign Minister met with her British counterpart, David Milliband, her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov,  as well as her German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Parliament adopts new antipoverty law

first_imgThe Greek parliament adopted a “humanitarian crisis” bill, the first package of social measures put forward by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ radical left-wing government.In going ahead with presenting the bill of housing allowances and emergency food aid for the poorest, which also received support from conservative New Democracy lawmakers, the government ignored apparent attempts from the European Commission to halt it.Athens reacted angrily to a request from Declan Costello, a representative on the European Commission team monitoring Greece, telling the government not to make a “unilateral” move.In the latest skirmish between heavily indebted Greece and its creditors, government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said the Commission’s move amounted to a “veto” of the bill and added to the “pressure” on Greece.However, the EUs economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici denied it had been a veto of the bill.Source: AFP Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals are going to come back next season as a contender in the NFC, but there will be some much needed work done this offseason.ESPN.com’s Mike Sando totaled the snaps for all the cut players and potential UFAs for each team and the Cardinals finished tenth on the list.The 15 players factoring into Arizona’s equation for these rankings average close to 30 years old. Dwight Freeney is the oldest at 36. The offensive line could see significant turnover with Lyle Sendlein, Bobby Massie and Ted Larsen all scheduled to reach free agency. Those three combined for 2,501 snaps last season. The Cardinals could turn to recently drafted linemen for replacement snaps.The offensive line has been an area Arizona has focused on in the past two offseasons, both in the draft and free agency. Comments   Share   Top Stories Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looks to pass as tackle Bobby Massie (70) blocks San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Jonathan Cooper, who was selected in the first round in 2013, was expected to play a large role after being selected seventh overall, but a major injury in training camp of his rookie season was a huge setback.D.J Humphries, a 2015 first-round pick, was also far behind after his rookie season, when he failed to dress in any games in what was called a “redshirt season” by some.Cooper is projected to play at right guard and Humphries at right tackle.The left side of the offensive line is locked in, given the amount of money the Cardinals spent on left tackle Jared Veldheer and left guard Mike Iupati.As for the pass rush, general manager Steve Keim has been adamant in his acceptance of it being a need and that he will address it this offseason.The Los Angeles Rams of the NFC West are No. 1 on the list. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more