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Nick Barnets

Athina, Greece
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About Nick
Nick Barnets is a freelance journalist based in Athens, Greece.
Languages
Greek English
Services
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
+9
Skills
Business Politics Current Affairs
+2
Portfolio

Will Syriza win rock the global economy?

04 Apr 2024  |  cbsnews.com
The election of the anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece marks a significant political shift and sets up a potential conflict with the country's international lenders, known as the 'Troika' (European Central Bank, European Commission, and International Monetary Fund). The new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, aims to renegotiate the terms of Greece's 240 billion euro bailout, which is blamed for high unemployment and poverty. Financial markets have remained calm post-election, with bond prices in Italy and Spain rising and the euro recovering slightly. Syriza's victory could influence other European countries facing austerity. Prominent Syriza figures, including Yanis Varoufakis, advocate for growth-focused solutions to Europe's debt crisis. Despite resistance from countries like Germany and Finland, there is some optimism that a compromise on Greece's bailout terms can be reached, especially in light of the European Central Bank's recent stimulus plan.

Syrian Brothers' Perilous Journey to Asylum in Germany

05 Apr 2023  |  www.cbsnews.com
Mohammed and Khaleel Turani, brothers from Syria, endured a perilous journey to seek asylum in Germany. Their odyssey involved smuggling, detention, and life-threatening encounters, including a near-drowning at sea and being shot at by authorities. Mohammed, an economics student, lost his home in an airstrike and faced violence in a Palestinian refugee camp before attempting to reach Europe. Khaleel, a fisherman in Dubai, joined Mohammed in Turkey to find a passage to Europe. After multiple attempts and separations, both brothers managed to reach Germany, where they were granted asylum. Khaleel is now taking German language classes, and both appreciate their safety after witnessing many others perish on similar journeys.

Refugees Redirected: Croatia and Slovenia at the Frontline of the EU Migrant Crisis

05 Apr 2023  |  www.dw.com
The article by Nick Barnets discusses the refugee crisis following Hungary's decision to seal its border, leading refugees to seek alternative routes through Croatia and Slovenia. Croatia, initially welcoming, became overwhelmed by the influx of refugees. Slovenia, part of the EU and Schengen zone, faced challenges as refugees aimed to pass through to reach countries like Germany. The article highlights the struggles of individual refugees, the response of volunteers providing aid, and the Croatian government's criticism of neighboring countries' handling of the situation. It also touches on the broader EU efforts to address the crisis and the increasing difficulties faced by refugees as weather conditions worsen.

General strike in Greece to protest pension reforms. February, 2016.

Controversial play shut down, sparking outrage and claims of censorship.

Over 12,000 refugees stranded in Idomeni, along the Greece-FYROM border, living in squalid conditions, exposed to the elements.

AthensLive coverage of a march staged by various professional groups in Athens who were protesting pension reforms that could see their taxes raised and pensions cut.

Speaking live with RFI-English in Paris about the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe. October, 2015.

My short interview with economist and Syriza candidate, Yanis Varoufakis, just a few days before he would become Greece's finance minister and lead a forceful effort to turn Greece away from austerity policies. Here was a bit of a preview of what was to come.

Greeks living on the front lines of the country's growing refugee crisis

20 Apr 2016  |  www.dw.com
The article by Nick Barnets focuses on the refugee crisis in Greece, particularly on the island of Lesvos, where locals and tourists are stepping in to provide humanitarian aid to the influx of refugees, mostly from Syria. The refugees arrive on the northern coast of Lesvos, often in unsafe dinghies, and make their way to the town of Molyvos. Melinda McRostie, a local restaurant owner, along with other residents, has been organizing donations and aid. Eric Kempson, a British expat, provides daily video updates on the situation. The Greek government and the United Nations Refugee Agency have been criticized for their inadequate response to the crisis. The UNHCR has called for European countries to provide aid to prevent a humanitarian crisis, as Greece is overwhelmed by the number of arrivals and is financially struggling.

Refugee crisis heightens on Greece's eastern islands

08 Aug 2015  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the refugee crisis in Greece, focusing on the influx of migrants, primarily Syrians and Afghans, into the Greek island of Lesbos. The author describes the conditions at the Kara Tepe refugee camp, where many refugees are housed in poor conditions. The article highlights the dramatic increase in refugee arrivals since the beginning of the year, with Lesbos experiencing up to 1,000 new arrivals per day. Local residents, such as Eric Kempson and Melinda McRostie, have been actively involved in providing aid and coordinating donations. The article also touches on the logistical challenges faced by refugees, including transportation to Mytilene for processing and the legal obstacles to receiving help from private drivers due to anti-human-trafficking laws. The refugees are granted a 6-month grace period in Greece to apply for asylum.

Life goes on for Greeks weary after a long night

13 Jul 2015  |  www.dw.com
The article discusses the aftermath of a crucial summit in Brussels where European leaders decided on Greece's future in the eurozone. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to more austerity measures, contrary to his initial stance, causing mixed reactions among Greeks. The hashtag #ThisIsACoup trended on Twitter as people expressed their dismay. With capital controls in place, life in Athens is subdued, and small businesses are anxious about the impact of new tax increases. Pensioners like Maria Roumeliotaki and Dimitris Ranios share their concerns about the deal's implications on their livelihoods and the political landscape. Despite the challenges, some young Greeks remain hopeful. Small business owners like Christos and Panayiotis have their own perspectives on the deal, with a sense of resignation and a call for resilience. The article captures the mood of a nation caught between relief of avoiding a 'Grexit' and the disillusionment of continued economic hardship.

In Athens, Empty Streets And Uncertainty Abound As Greeks React To Government’s Austerity Proposal And Await Eurozone Fate

11 Jul 2015  |  International Business Times
The article discusses the situation in Greece following the government's submission of a new bailout proposal to its creditors, which includes austerity measures totaling 13 billion euros in exchange for more than 50 billion euros in funding. This comes after a referendum where Greeks voted against austerity, causing confusion and frustration among citizens. The proposal includes pension reforms, tax hikes, and an increase in VAT rates, affecting small businesses and consumers. The possibility of Greece exiting the Eurozone (Grexit) is a central concern, with opinions divided on whether to accept the new deal or face the consequences of returning to the drachma. The article features perspectives from Greek citizens, including a student, a pensioner, and a small business owner, who express their concerns about the economic impact and political instability.

Halloumi Might Help Heal a Divided Cyprus

26 May 2015  |  www.vice.com
Cyprus has submitted an application for halloumi cheese to be recognized as a product with a 'protected designation of origin' by the European Union. This legal classification would ensure that only halloumi produced in Cyprus could be sold under that name within the EU. The country has already secured similar protection for halloumi in the United States since the 1990s. The EU has not yet granted this protection, but the situation may change in the future. The application includes both the Greek and Turkish names for the cheese, halloumi and helim, to represent the entire island and benefit all communities.

Halloumi Might Help Heal a Divided Cyprus

26 May 2015  |  vice.com
Cyprus has submitted an application for halloumi cheese to be recognized as a product with a 'protected designation of origin' by the European Union. This legal classification would ensure that only halloumi produced in Cyprus could be sold under that name within the EU. The country has already secured similar protection for halloumi in the United States since the 1990s. The EU has not yet granted this protection, but the situation may change in the future. The application includes both the Greek and Turkish names for the cheese, halloumi and helim, to represent the entire island and benefit all communities.

Tsipras backtracks on gay adoption

15 Jan 2015  |  The Press Project - Ειδήσεις, Αναλύσεις, Ραδιόφωνο, Τηλεόραση
Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek political party Syriza, has indicated a shift in his stance on gay adoption, suggesting it requires dialogue and noting contradictions in the scientific community. This contrasts with his previous support for gay marriage and adoption in 2012. The change appears to be a strategic move to attract more centrist and conservative voters as Syriza is poised to potentially form a government. Tsipras continues to oppose austerity but has moderated his rhetoric, focusing on negotiating Greece's debt and maintaining the country's position in the Eurozone. Public opinion polls show Syriza leading over the New Democracy party, and financial markets have stabilized after initial panic over a potential Syriza government.

Samaras preys on Charlie Hebdo tragedy to attract far-right votes

09 Jan 2015  |  The Press Project - Ειδήσεις, Αναλύσεις, Ραδιόφωνο, Τηλεόραση
In the midst of a polarized election in Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of New Democracy has been criticized for exploiting the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris to attack Syriza's immigration policy and attract far-right votes. His remarks were condemned both in Greece and internationally as racist and opportunistic. Samaras has been accused of scaremongering about the economic consequences of a Syriza victory and the abandonment of bailout terms. Despite his efforts, Syriza remains ahead in public opinion polls. The incident has also highlighted the rise of Islamophobia in the West and the challenges faced by anti-immigrant parties.

Syrian Refugees Stage Hunger Strike in Greece

24 Nov 2014  |  www.vice.com
Over 200 Syrian refugees have initiated a hunger strike in front of the Greek parliament, demanding the right to live and work in Greece or to leave the country legally. The protest, which began as a sit-in, has seen several participants hospitalized and suffering from hypothermia due to the cold weather. The refugees, many of whom are educated professionals, are seeking to use their skills in countries with job opportunities. The article highlights the increase in Syrian refugees entering Europe through Greece, the dangers they face during their journey, and the bureaucratic challenges that prevent them from moving on to other European countries. Despite the hardships, the refugees continue their protest at Syntagma Square, supported by donations from Greek citizens and community groups.

Stopping by the Ghost Town in Cyprus That's Been Held Hostage for Forty Years

14 Aug 2014  |  www.vice.com
Varosha, once a thriving resort town in Cyprus, has been abandoned and decaying since the Turkish invasion in 1974. The town remains a symbol of the unresolved conflict between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots. Efforts by the Bicommunal Famagusta Initiative, involving both communities, aim to reopen and restore Varosha, potentially paving the way for the reunification of Cyprus. However, opposition exists from hardliners on both sides and from Turkey. Renewed geopolitical interest, spurred by natural gas discoveries and international diplomatic efforts, offers a glimmer of hope for resolving the Cyprus question.

Stopping by the Ghost Town in Cyprus That's Been Held Hostage for Forty Years

13 Aug 2014  |  www.vice.com
The article discusses the history and current state of Varosha, a ghost town in Cyprus that was once a bustling tourist destination. Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, Varosha's population plummeted from 39,000 to zero as a result of the conflict between Greek-Cypriot nationalists and Turkish forces. The town has remained abandoned for 40 years, serving as a symbol of the unresolved Cyprus conflict. The article highlights efforts by both Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, through the Bicommunal Famagusta Initiative, to reopen and restore Varosha. Despite opposition from hardliners and political deadlock, there is hope for reunification, especially with the discovery of natural gas in Cypriot waters and increased international interest, as evidenced by visits from US Vice President Joe Biden and an anticipated visit from Secretary of State John Kerry.
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