Null and void

The Foreign Ministers of Greece, Cyprus, France and Egypt rejected on Wednesday two deals signed between Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognised government in Tripoli. They said the deals undermine regional stability and are both “null and void.” The announcement was made during a joint press conference following the meeting of the ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, France, and Italy, where Italy joined in as an observer.

British teen goes home

A British teen, who has not been named, was allowed to return to the UK from Cyprus after she was spared jail following a harrowing five-month ordeal on the island.The Derbyshire woman was handed a suspended sentence at Famagusta District Court on Tuesday morning after she was charged with “public mischief” and found guilty of lying about being gang raped by 12 Israeli teens at Aya Napa. She hugged her family and legal team and left the court weeping. Judge Michalis Papathanasiou took into account her age, 18 at the time of the offence, and said he would give her a “second chance”. He also looked at her “psychological state” and sentenced her to four months in jail, suspended for three years. She was also fined €140.

Brexit preparations

A bill was brought into Greek Parliament to protect the residence status and rights of current and future British citizens of Greece. Greece’s Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis brought forth the bill that collates all related legislation to coordinate aspects of Brexit related to Greece, regardless of whether a Brexit agreement is reached with the EU or not. The bill: recognises the residency rights of British citizens and their family members who settled in Greece before the Brexit; establishes reciprocal social security and healthcare rates of British citizens in Greece; recognises British driving licenses; sets the provisions for the establishment and operation of tourism providers in Greece which are registered in the UK.

Prayers from Anogeia

Anogeia is a village that is no stranger to disasters. Twice in its history it was razed to the ground first by the Turks in 1866 and then in 1944 by the Germans. So it is more poignant that the Cretan village with a proud history of resistance should take time to pray for the victims of Australia’s bushfires. On Tuesday morning, the people of Anogeia met at the church of St George to offer a doxology (short hymn of praise to God) of prayers for the people of Australia and called on God to end the bushfires. “Everything we can do through our prayer, our common prayer, we do here today at our church in Saint George in Meidan in Anogeia and this prayer travels to the Australian continent.”

Trikala’s support

The victims of Australia’s bushfires were remembered in the closing ceremony of the Trikala Christmas theme park recently with a bright show of solidarity on Monday evening. At the theme park’s closing ceremony the mayor of the city Dimitris Papastergiou called on the crowd to send a message of support to the people of Australia by simultaneously turning on the torches on their mobile phones. A record 1,475 354 visitors came to enjoy the sights at Greece’s largest theme park in Trikala over a 39-day period ending on Monday, January 6.