Greece to open airports to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15

A Ministry of Culture employee stands in front of the Parthenon as the Acropolis opens to visitors, following the easing of COVID-19 measures, in Athens, Greece, May 18, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 29 May 2020

Greece to open airports to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15

  • Visitors will be allowed to fly into Greece from 16 EU countries, including Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Baltic countries, Cyprus and Malta
  • Countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic — such as France, Spain, Britain and Italy — are not on the list

ATHENS: Greece said Friday it would reopen its airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15, the start of the tourist season.
Visitors would be allowed to fly into Greece from 16 EU countries, including Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Baltic countries, Cyprus and Malta, the tourism ministry said in a statement.
But countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic — such as France, Spain, Britain and Italy — were not on the list.
Outside the European Union, holidaymakers from Switzerland, Norway, and neighboring Balkan countries such as Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia will be allowed to land at Greece’s main airports from June 15.
The list also includes Australia, Japan, Israel, Lebanon, China, New Zealand and South Korea.
The ministry said that further countries could be added before July 1 when the country’s regional airports also reopen.
“The list... has been drawn up on the basis of the epidemiological profile of each country,” taking into account the recommendations of the European Aviation Safety Agency and a report by Greece’s commission for infectious diseases, the statement said.
Visitors would be tested for the novel coronavirus when they landed, the tourism ministry said.
Since the start of the outbreak in March, there has been a limited number of flights arriving at Athens international airport, with passengers mandatorily tested and ordered to quarantine for 14 days.
Greece began the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions on May 4, and will start reopening its hotels next month.
It has been less severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that many EU countries, with 175 deaths and 2,906 infections officially registered so far.
Accounting for around 20 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product, the tourism sector is hoping to salvage at least some of this year’s summer season.


Italian Daesh member arrested, repatriated

Updated 35 min 9 sec ago

Italian Daesh member arrested, repatriated

  • Alice Brignoli moved to Syria in 2015 with her husband Mohamed Koraichi, an Italian citizen of Moroccan origin, and their three children
  • Brignoli has been flown back to Italy with her children, including a fourth who was born in Syria and stands accused of criminal association for terrorism

ROME: An Italian woman who moved with her family to Syria to join Daesh was arrested there on terrorism charges and repatriated, in an operation run by the special branch of Italy’s Carabinieri police in cooperation with the FBI.

Alice Brignoli moved to Syria in 2015 with her husband Mohamed Koraichi, an Italian citizen of Moroccan origin, and their three children.

She has been flown back to Italy with her children, including a fourth who was born in Syria. She is accused of criminal association for terrorism.

The Carabinieri said in a press conference attended by Arab News that Brignoli “played an active role in indoctrinating her children into the cause of jihad,” while Koraichi joined Daesh as a fighter. She was identified with her family by Italian investigators in Al-Hawl camp in Syria.

She and her children were handed over by the Kurdish authorities who control the camp to the Carabinieri, who flew them back to Italy on a military airplane. Koraichi died in September from a health complication.

According to investigators, Brignoli reached Syria in 2015 with her three children who were aged 6, 4 and 2 at the time. She drove by car all the way through the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey.

“Brignoli and her husband Koraichi had brought their children with them to Syria as part of a strategic choice: As they were all males, they could become fighters in the future. They could become terrorists,” Alberto Nobili, Milan anti-terrorism chief prosecutor, said at the press conference.

The 6-year-old “had been immediately sent to a training camp where he started to be instructed to become a fighter,” Nobili added.

“Upon her arrival in Milan, Brignoli said she was delighted that her children had finally returned to a normal life. The children are happy too because they know that their odyssey is over and now they hope to be able to live a new life.”

While Brignoli is now in San Vittore Prison in Milan, the children are being looked after by social services. She will be allowed to see her children periodically.

“It’s a beautiful story. With this operation we managed to bring back to life a woman and her four children,” Nobili said, adding that he is working on locating and repatriating “more Italian citizens who left the country” to join Daesh.

“We’ve developed relations with other countries who share with us this same problem, and we’re particularly focused on children kept in training camps,” he said.

“We must take care of them. Most of them are orphans and carry a fierce hatred as they saw their parents die. We must bring them back here, to normality, before it’s too late to stop their radicalization and violence. This is a good way to fight against terrorism and radicalization.”