The first of a two-day meeting of the European Council concluded in Brussels on Thursday.
The Council’s full agenda includes with coronavirus developments in Europe, relations with the United Kingdom (Brexit), climate change, and relations with Africa.
Following a proposal by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to European Council President Charles Michel, Friday’s agenda will include Turkey’s latest aggressive behavior and the EU’s stance.
At statements to the press prior to the opening of the meeting, France and Germany warned Turkey that it will need to stop its provocative actions in the East Mediterranean, and gave it a week to clarify its positions, according to a Reuters report on Thursday.
As the two-day European Council prepared to open its session, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a joint press conference with his German and Polish counterparts that Turkey’s provocative acts are “unacceptable”.
Reflecting the same stance, German FM Heiko Maas said that dispatching the “Oruc Reis” research ship back to the East Mediterranean was “inadmissible”, Reuters said, adding that in terms of what it would do, the EU would decide how to react in the coming weeks.
US presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden expressed his commitment to “call out Turkish behavior that is in violation of international law or that contravenes its commitments as a NATO ally,” in a statement released by his campaign office yesterday on his vision for Greek Americans and US-Greek relations.
He also noted that he has “long opposed the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus and supported a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island.”
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will travel to Armenia on Friday to discuss current developments in Nagorno-Karabakh with his Armenian counterpart, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.
Greek authorities placed the regional unit of Kozani in western Macedonia in lockdown in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The General Secretariat for Civil Protection said the region is in the “increased threat” level and restrictive measures that will take effect on Friday will last until October 29.
The measures include compulsory use of face masks everywhere, a ban in public and private gatherings, and a ban in travel outside the region.
Furthermore, shops, gyms, courts, restaurants, cinemas, music festivals, museums and archaeological sites will close.
Schools will continue to operate with pupils and teachers wearing masks, while universities will switch to online classes.
“We are far from a local lockdown in Attica”, stated at ANT1 TV station, government spokesman Stelios Petsas.
New Covid-19 infections reached 453 in the last 24 hours, while the total number rose to 23,947.
The National Organization of Public Health (EODY) said in its daily bulletin that 13 patients died raising the overall tally to 482. The median age of the patients who died was 79 years.
The Golden Dawn trial at the Athens criminal appeals court hearing arguments for the suspension of sentences pending appeal will resume at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
The court’s decisions will determine whether those that have received prison sentences will be sent directly to jail or remain at liberty pending an appeal.
The final verdict is expected early next week.
Animal abuse will soon be punished as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, according to legislation planned by Agricultural Development & Foods Minister Makis Voridis, following a rise in such incidents lately.
In a ministry statement on Thursday, Voridis said that “incidents of violence against animals have no place in a well-ordered state and are a serious insult to both the state and Greek society.”
And the weather forecast…
Partly cloudy in Attica today, with local showers expected in the afternoon. The temperature is expected to reach a maximum of 27 degrees Celsius.