The Greek government airplane carrying Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias from Iraq was kept in the air for an additional 20 minutes on Wednesday night as Turkish authorities delayed granting it right of passage.
According to reports on Thursday morning, the airplane requested clearance from Turkish aviation authorities as it crossed the Iraqi border after setting off from Baghdad but had to wait 20 minutes for permission to be granted.
Such a delay of a scheduled diplomatic mission that has received all the necessary permits in advance is considered uncommon and is being seen by Athens as a fresh provocation by Ankara.
The move came hours before European Union leaders meet in Brussels (4pm), where Athens is expected to push for a strong response to Turkish aggression in the East Mediterranean and Aegean.
A Greek court on Wednesday passed down 13-year prison sentences for the party leadership of Golden Dawn, while handing a life term plus an additional 14 years to GD member Giorgos Roupakias for the 2013 murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas.
The court is to reconvene on Thursday to consider which sentences will be suspended, after which arrest warrants will be issued for the former MPs and party members who will not have the right to appeal.
One of three Turkish drill ships was seen sailing south of Kastellorizo on Thursday morning and was passing the strait between Karpathos and Rhodes, marine traffic trackers are showing.
The Kanuni sailed from Mesrin on Turkey’s southeast coast and is reportedly headed to Istanbul, sailing through sensitive territory.
At the same time, Turkey’s Oruc Reis survey vessel continues to remain in an area within Greece’s continental shelf, causing a fresh spike in tension with Greece.
In Athens, meanwhile, Minister of State Giorgos Ierapetritis said on Wednesday night that Greece would consider any violation of the 6-nautical-mile boundary a violation of its “red lines.”
Greece reported 436 new confirmed novel coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with 63 people linked to known clusters and 31 detected at the country’s entry points.
A total of 86 people are intubated. In addition, another seven deaths were reported on Wednesday, which raises the total number of fatalities to 469.
Meanwhile, a care facility for the elderly in the city of Ioannina was placed on lockdown, by order of Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias on Wednesday.
Also, four elderly residents at a care facility in Aghios Panteleimonas in Athens were on Wednesday transferred to hospital. Some 47 coronavirus infections were confirmed at this facility earlier in the month.
30 police officers who were taking part in the measures outside the Appeals Court last week, are also placed in isolation.
The public sector is holding a 24hour strike today. State hospital doctors, paramedics, teachers and professors, judges and employees in insurance funds and tax offices are also participating in this industrial action.
Aegean and Olympic Air are cancelling and modifying flights, due to the participation of the Air Traffic Controllers in Thursday’s 24-hour general strike, announced by ADEDY.
More specifically, from Thursday at 08:00 until Friday at 08:00 local time, AEGEAN and Olympic Air are forced to cancel all flights of their network, with the exception of flights A3 929 (Tel Aviv – Athens) and A3 931 (Cairo – Athens), which will take place normally.
Also, on Friday, all AEGEAN and Olympic Air flights to and from all Greek airports are cancelled until 08:00 local time and there are changes in the departure time of 15 flights.
As of today heating oil is available to consumers. The price is expected to be set between 0,80 and 0,82 euros per litre, cheaper compared to the same period last year.
And the weather forecast…
Sunny in Attica today with the temperature expected to reach a maximum of 26 degrees Celsius.