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Romain Chauvet

Athens, Greece
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About Romain
Romain Chauvet is a french-canadian journalist and producer based in Athens, Greece. 

He's studying "Journalism and refugees/migrations flow" at the University of Athens. He has a bachelor in communication and journalim from the University of Québec in Montréal, in Canada. 

He has French and Canadian citizenship. He speaks french, english and spanish.
English Spanish French
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Business Finance Politics

NGOs say new model of refugee centre on Greek island is inhumane

04 Apr 2024  |  cbc.ca
The European Union's first Closed Controlled Access Center (CCAC) for asylum seekers on the Greek island of Samos, funded at 43 million euros, has been criticized by NGOs and asylum seekers for its prison-like conditions, which they believe are detrimental to mental health. Despite EU claims of improved reception conditions, the camp's restrictive nature, curfews, and security measures have led to accusations of inhumane treatment. The camp was a response to the influx of migrants since 2015, with many from Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and the Palestinian territories. NGOs have refused to work inside the camp in protest, citing its remote location and the difficulty it poses for asylum seekers to access Vathy. Legal coordinators report increased stress due to a faster asylum-assessment procedure and fear of police violence. The EU's contrasting treatment of Ukrainian refugees has raised allegations of racism and double standards. With more CCACs planned, NGOs urge a revision of this approach, advocating for more humane and integrated community housing solutions.

‘I’m afraid every day for my children’: As antisemitism soars, French Jews flee to Israel

04 Apr 2024  |  timesofisrael.com
Freddo Pachter, who coordinates the immigration of French speakers to Israel, has reported an unprecedented demand from French Jews looking to immigrate to Israel, surpassing previous spikes following major antisemitic incidents. This surge in interest is attributed to a climate of fear stemming from a recent Hamas-led attack on Israel and a global rise in antisemitic hate crimes. The Aliyah and Integration Ministry has seen a 430% increase in applications from France since the October 7 attack. French Jews are feeling compelled to hide their religious identity due to safety concerns. The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin acknowledge the issue, with over 1,500 antisemitic incidents reported in France shortly after the attack. Sociologist Michel Wieviorka suggests that antisemitism is becoming more socially acceptable and is not just limited to the extreme right, but also present in far-left discourse.

Poland braces for new wave of Ukrainian refugees amid ongoing conflict

04 Apr 2024  |  cbc.ca
The article discusses the challenges Poland faces as it prepares for a new wave of Ukrainian refugees due to the ongoing conflict with Russia. NGOs like Our Choice express concerns about the waning enthusiasm of Polish citizens to host refugees for a second time, especially as the country grapples with rising prices and energy costs. Over eight million Ukrainians have crossed into Poland, with 1.5 million registered for temporary protection. The Polish government has introduced measures to reduce the financial burden on taxpayers by charging refugees for state accommodation after certain periods. The housing crisis in Poland complicates the situation, with a shortage of over two million dwellings. NGOs are assisting with housing and support, but emphasize the need for government-led solutions. Ukrainian refugees also face challenges such as job placement, child care, language barriers, and psychological trauma.

Israelis in Greece are taking a stand – against a tourist takeover of their new home

04 Apr 2024  |  timesofisrael.com
The article discusses the impact of overtourism on the Greek island of Paros, where locals, including Ronit Nesher and Or Kaplan, are protesting the privatization of public beaches. The Towel Movement, supported by a Facebook group with over 12,000 members, is denouncing the private takeover of beaches by businesses that charge high fees for sunbeds and umbrellas, leaving little space for free public use. The Greek government, recognizing tourism as a vital part of the economy, has conducted inspections and taken measures against illegal activities. However, issues persist with re-occupation of beaches and the negative effects of mass tourism, such as skyrocketing rent prices due to short-term rentals and environmental threats. The article also mentions Greece's recent regulation of tourism at the Acropolis and the need for sustainable tourism practices.

Afghans left in limbo in Greece urge Ottawa to speed up resettlement process

04 Apr 2024  |  cbc.ca
The article discusses the plight of Afghan refugees, particularly women in positions of authority, who fled to Greece after the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. Parwin Hamkar, a former prosecutor, and Homa Ahmadi, a former member of the Afghan parliament, share their stories of escape and the subsequent long wait in Greece for resettlement in Canada. Despite Canada's pledge to welcome at least 40,000 Afghans, the process has been slow, with only 31,000 having arrived nearly two years later. The refugees are still waiting for a final decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which has faced criticism for the delays. The article also mentions the Melissa Network, a Greek NGO supporting Afghan evacuees, and IRCC's statement on the processing of applications.

How the Israel-Hamas conflict could disrupt the Paris Olympic Games

06 Mar 2024  |  timesofisrael.com
The upcoming Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games face significant security challenges due to geopolitical tensions, including the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Security expert Jean-Baptiste Guégan highlights the potential for political demonstrations and confrontations among athletes. The IOC has assured Israel's participation, despite calls for sanctions. France plans to deploy extensive security measures, including police, soldiers, and private agents. The French police force, however, expresses concerns about being understaffed and overworked. The recent Hamas attack and subsequent Israeli operation have heightened antisemitism and security concerns. French officials remain in their roles to ensure Games' security, but police unions are worried about the lack of preparation.

Local and municipal elections in Greece: a test for the conservatives

07 Oct 2023  |  courrierdesbalkans.fr
New Democracy, the conservative party led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is expected to maintain its lead in the upcoming local elections in Greece, despite criticism over its handling of summer wildfires and floods. The party had previously dominated the 2019 local elections, winning almost all regions except Crete and the mayoralty of Athens. The elections are seen as a test for the conservatives, who are favored to win but may face some losses.

Fire in Greece: 'It's a total disaster'

01 Sep 2023  |  reporterre.net
A massive wildfire has been raging in the Dadia forest, a green and economic lung in northeastern Greece, for nearly two weeks, marking the largest fire in the history of the European Union. The fire has claimed the lives of around twenty people, mostly exiles, and has led to numerous evacuations, destroying over 81,000 hectares, an area larger than New York City. Dadia forest, part of the Natura 2000 European network, is home to threatened bird species and attracts thousands of visitors annually. Local hotel owner Dimitra Georgitsi and other residents express their despair and uncertainty for the future as the fire devastates the region's economy and environment. European reinforcements have been deployed to assist Greek firefighters, and the psychological toll on the community is significant, with many losing their homes or livelihoods.

The fire in Greece: 'It's a total disaster'

01 Sep 2023  |  reporterre.net
A massive wildfire has been raging in the Dadia forest, a green and economic lung in northeastern Greece, for nearly two weeks, marking it as potentially the largest in the European Union's history. The fire has claimed the lives of around twenty people, mostly exiles, and has led to numerous evacuations, destroying over 81,000 hectares, an area larger than New York City. Dadia forest, part of the Natura 2000 European network, is home to threatened bird species and attracts thousands of visitors annually. Local hotel owner Dimitra Georgitsi laments the cancellations and the bleak future following the fire and previous economic challenges. European reinforcements have been deployed to assist Greek firefighters, and the NGO The Smile of the Child is providing psychological support to the distressed community. The full extent of the fire's consequences is yet to be determined, but the event will undoubtedly mark a significant before and after for the region.

Historic Fires in Northeast Greece: The Despair of Evros

01 Sep 2023  |  courrierdesbalkans.fr
A massive wildfire has been raging for two weeks in the Evros region of northeast Greece, with dramatic consequences for the economy, agriculture, and tourism. The local population feels neglected by the authorities.

In Greece, they fight against the privatization of beaches with 50 euro sunbeds

17 Aug 2023  |  reporterre.net
Residents of Paros, Greece, are mobilizing against the privatization of public beaches and the effects of mass tourism. The 'Movement of Towels' has been protesting the sometimes illegal occupation of beaches, facilitated by a Facebook group with over 10,000 members. Despite small victories, such as the removal of sunbeds after government inspections, the issue persists. The Greek government, pressured by public and media outcry, has conducted checks and found numerous irregularities. The tourism industry, vital to Greece's economy, is at a crossroads, with locals and environmentalists calling for sustainable practices amidst rising visitor numbers and the negative impact on local life and the environment.

Heatwave and Fires: Greece Faces Worst-Case Scenario

19 Jul 2023  |  reporterre.net
Greece is experiencing a severe heatwave with temperatures reaching up to 44.2°C, leading to multiple wildfires and the evacuation of thousands. The heatwave has forced temporary closure of the Acropolis in Athens during peak heat hours. Authorities have opened air-conditioned public centers and advised limited sun exposure. The situation is exacerbated by climate change, making regions drier and more vulnerable to fires. Studies predict an increase in heatwave days and a decrease in precipitation by 2050. Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis acknowledges the crisis, but citizens and activists argue that the government's response is inadequate, with insufficient investment in fire prevention. The WWF reported that Greece allocated most of its fire protection funds to combat rather than prevent fires, contrary to United Nations recommendations. The country has a history of devastating fires, including a 2018 incident that claimed nearly 100 lives.

Greece’s island of Paros sees local backlash against beach privatization and mass tourism

05 Apr 2023  |  qoshe.com
The article discusses the growing discontent among the residents of Paros, Greece, with the privatization of public beaches and the impact of mass tourism. Locals, including Ronit Nesher and Or Kaplan, have joined the Towel Movement, protesting against businesses that occupy large stretches of beaches, leaving little space for public use and charging high fees for sunbeds. The movement, which has gained traction through the Facebook group 'Saving Paros Beaches', is challenging the government's approach to tourism, which is a significant part of Greece's GDP. Despite government inspections and actions, issues persist, and the movement is spreading across Greek islands. Residents are concerned about rising rent prices due to short-term rentals, environmental threats from illegal construction, and the saturation of islands with tourists. The article also touches on the regulation of tourism at the Acropolis and the broader implications of overtourism on local communities and the environment.

It's always the poorest who suffer the most

13 Feb 2023  |  lapresse.ca
The recent powerful earthquake in southeastern Turkey has devastated thousands of lives, including those of Syrian refugees who feel fate is against them. John Scott, co-founder of the NGO Anything for a Smile, has been providing daily aid to the affected areas from Adana. The earthquake's epicenter, Kahramanmaraş, is almost entirely destroyed, with residents building makeshift shelters. The NGO delivers mattresses, blankets, clothing, and food to hundreds of people seeking refuge in a park. The disaster has left many without the means to survive, raising concerns about long-term crises and potential health risks. Amidst the destruction, individuals like Hibe, a 16-year-old Syrian girl, face new traumas, including the loss of family members.

The problem is known, but nothing changes

09 Feb 2023  |  lapresse.ca
In Adana, Turkey's fifth-largest city, residents are oscillating between anger at authorities and hope for finding earthquake survivors. Nimet Aydoğan, who has missing family members, criticizes the country's lack of preparedness for earthquakes. Criticism of the Turkish government's response is widespread among residents and on social media, where Twitter was blocked. President of Turkey acknowledged shortcomings in managing the tragedy. Local resident Ezgi accuses authorities of dishonesty and failing to enforce anti-seismic building standards. Volunteers, including Indonesian humanitarian Al Faruq Abdul Aziz, are assisting affected residents with essentials. Many residents have left their homes due to fears of aftershocks, with some sleeping in cars or makeshift shelters. International humanitarian aid is arriving at Adana airport, which has become a logistics center for field deployments. The recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria is among the deadliest of the 21st century, with a provisional death toll rising by the hour.

A change of focus for asylum seekers

13 Jan 2023  |  equaltimes.org
The article discusses the Skills Factory, an initiative on the Aegean island of Samos co-founded by Julia Minder, which provides a space for refugees and migrants to develop skills and express creativity through various workshops. The article highlights the importance of such initiatives in helping asylum seekers integrate and regain self-confidence, especially in light of Europe's labour market crisis and the potential of these individuals. Marc-Antoine Pineau and volunteer Annie Grente are also featured for their efforts in providing a welcoming environment and Greek lessons to refugees. The article critiques the conditions of the closed refugee camp in Samos, financed by the European Union, and the restrictive measures imposed on asylum seekers. It calls for a more humane approach from European and Greek authorities, with comments from Sae Bosco of Samos Volunteers and European Commission spokesperson Anitta Hipper.

Final Tribute to a 'Remarkable Pope'

06 Jan 2023  |  lapresse.ca
Nearly 50,000 people gathered at the Vatican to pay their last respects to Pope Benedict XVI. The funeral marked the first time a reigning pope celebrated the funeral of another pope, an event that deeply moved attendees. Individuals from various countries shared personal stories of how the late pope influenced their lives. The ceremony was described as emotional, with attendees expressing a sense of solidarity and community. The Vatican aimed for a solemn but simple funeral, respecting the late pope's wishes.

A Modest Enthusiasm

04 Jan 2023  |  lapresse.ca
Despite over 60,000 people having already visited the body of the late Pope Benedict XVI on Monday, many observe that the funeral proceedings are different from previous ones. Raffaella Cinà, a souvenir shop employee near the Vatican, notes a lesser demand for Benedict XVI memorabilia compared to Pope John Paul II. The popularity of John Paul II is highlighted as a factor, with Benedict XVI being remembered as less warm. The historic resignation of Benedict XVI in 2013 is also considered a reason for the subdued interest. Father Christopher Pearson from the UK and Herbert Hofauer, who knew Benedict XVI personally, reflect on his legacy and the unusual atmosphere. Hofauer, part of a German delegation, anticipates a simple but emotional farewell ceremony.

Demo in french (anchoring, reporting, breaking news)

How two nursing students from Vannes experienced the health crisis

26 May 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Two nursing students from Vannes, Rebecca and Justine, shared their intense and emotionally rich experiences during the COVID-19 health crisis. They were quickly mobilized within their school, faced changes in internships, and had to adapt to new forms of learning provided by UBS, including a 'COVID training' online. They dealt with personal and familial fears, especially concerning older family members at higher risk. The experience in the intensive care unit was profound, teaching them about themselves, stress management, and confronting life and death. Despite the challenges, they are determined to return to the ICU, driven by the team cohesion they experienced.

Standing Ovation for Jane Birkin and Her Musicians

25 May 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Jane Birkin received a standing ovation and a round of applause at the end of her performance at the Palais des Arts de Vannes. Despite the barrier measures, the excitement was palpable as the audience enjoyed classics like 'Je t'aime moi non plus' and 'Histoire de Melody Nelson', as well as new interpretations like 'Jeux interdits'. The artist's chic and understated style, along with her engaging performance, left the audience delighted to reconnect with live music.

For the Vannes Higher Education Campus, student mental health rhymes with Hycaris

23 May 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
The Vannes Higher Education Campus has partnered with Hycaris to address student mental health needs exacerbated by isolation due to remote learning measures. The partnership, partially funded by the Région Bretagne's emergency aid of €500,000, offers well-being coaching by Hycaris co-founder Ludovic Stephan. Despite the moderate success with 150-200 out of 900 students participating, the program has received positive feedback from students like Alice Barbeau and Mathias Liurno for its focus on stress management, confidence, and motivation. The future of the program will depend on the evolving context, according to Émilie Riche, director of Ipac Bachelor Factory.

In Vannes, Birkin-Daho: an artistic osmosis

18 May 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Jane Birkin, in the midst of rehearsals for a new show, jokes about the absence of a suitcase prop, referencing her music video with Étienne Daho. She describes the show as a reflection of what Daho appreciates about her, touching on themes of fleeting romances and jealousy. Daho, who produced and composed the album with Jean-Louis Piérot, praises Birkin's daring lyrics for their universal relatability. Birkin feels cherished and comfortable working with Daho. The show, envisioned by Daho, is designed to be a vibrant, stylish, and emotionally pure pop performance, including tragic songs from Birkin's album 'Oh! pardon tu dormais', light-hearted hits like 'Di Doo Dah', and tracks from Serge Gainsbourg's 'Melody Nelson'. Birkin appreciates Daho's efforts to avoid nostalgia and melancholy in the performance.

In Vannes, restaurants, bars, and hotels are looking for staff

18 May 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
The reopening of terraces in Vannes on May 19 is proving more difficult than expected for bars and restaurants due to recruitment concerns, unpredictable weather, and imposed capacity limits. The lockdown has reshuffled the deck in terms of human resources, with a significant shortage of seasonal workers anticipated for the summer. Industry professionals like Bruno Kerdal of Umih 56 and Manuella Radenne of the Club hôtelier du golfe du Morbihan express surprise at the low interest from students after a tough 2020 season. Stéphane Nicolae, director of Gambetta in Vannes, points to the impact of successive lockdowns on the profession, with staff resignations due to lifestyle changes. Stéphan Lanoë of Le Tarmac in Vannes highlights the dilemma of whether to anticipate recruitment or wait for a return to normalcy, compounded by the inability to offer partial unemployment to new hires for May and June.

Rozenn Created Broc'Up, Her Online Flea Market

07 May 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Rozenn Le Bouvier has created Broc'Up, an online flea market that has seen remarkable growth since the first COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020. The business, which features a puffin logo symbolizing its values, emphasizes sustainability and durability, with a commitment to reducing carbon footprint by selling second-hand items. Broc'Up has reached customers in Germany, the United States, and the Veneto region of Italy, and Le Bouvier aims to redefine traditional flea markets by creating new narratives for the items she sells.

In Vannes, he transforms his apartment into a 'Napoleonic museum'

03 May 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Yann Penfornis, an avid admirer of Napoléon Bonaparte, has turned his apartment in Vannes into a 'Napoleonic museum' filled with various objects such as books, letters, lead soldiers, and representations of the Emperor and his battles. Penfornis has been expanding his collection for 46 years, often receiving pieces as gifts from family and alerts from a local auctioneer. He emphasizes the importance of how history is narrated and expresses concern over contemporary readings of French history without understanding its context. With the bicentennial of Napoléon's death approaching, Penfornis criticizes the timidity of politicians regarding commemorations and looks forward to a book fair organized by Patrick Mahé featuring Napoleonic historians.

In Vannes as elsewhere, nightclubs are the eternal victims of the health crisis

29 Apr 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Nightclubs in Vannes and elsewhere are facing ongoing challenges due to the health crisis, with the latest announcements from the President dampening hopes for reopening. The government's potential imposition of a 50% capacity limit is debated, with some nightclub owners advocating for a 20% reduction in base capacity with dance floors open and masks worn indoors. Nightclub directors like Loïc Vigo of Villa Kirov and Tony Lebreton of Bubble/No limit in Vannes argue that such restrictions are incompatible with the nature of nightclubs. Financial aid has been adjusted, with nightclubs now able to receive an amount equivalent to their loss in turnover up to €10,000 or 20% of the reference turnover from two years prior, which helps them cover fixed costs.

Back to school in Vannes with a Sword of Damocles overhead

26 Apr 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Parents in Vannes express mixed feelings about the return to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with concerns about potential abrupt closures and the implementation of saliva testing, especially for younger children. Some parents, like Gersende and Timothée, worry about the need to suddenly organize childcare, while others like Béatrice Linage feel confident in the school's sanitary measures. The article also mentions the enthusiasm of children to return to school and see their friends, despite the constraints of mask-wearing and social distancing. School directors like Jérôme Larcher-Rouland from Saint-Guen and Karine Charcosset from Kerniol discuss the logistics of saliva testing and the challenges it presents.

In Vannes, the student association sector bends but does not break

22 Apr 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
Strict health measures at French universities have directly affected student associations in Vannes. While some operate at a reduced capacity, others have ceased activities. Hoël Rival, UBS's student vice-president, notes that not all associations are equally affected, with some adapting through social media. Tara Le Buhan, vice-president of the SSI student office, expresses concern over the lack of engagement and potential abandonment of their association. Constance Cavalon, vice-treasurer of DDcalés, points out communication issues and a lack of awareness on social media. Despite these challenges, some associations like the law student office and Une Coop have seen increased interest and engagement, attributed to their social goals and the current context.

In Ploeren, APF Entreprises 56 receives 310,000 euros as part of the recovery plan

21 Apr 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
APF Entreprises 56, a company specializing in precision sheet metal work, has been awarded over 310,000 euros from the France Relance Plan due to its high-quality craftsmanship. The Morbihan-based company, with 112 employees, 78% of whom are recognized as disabled workers, is investing in new production tools to remain competitive, a need intensified by the pandemic. The total investment plan amounts to 2.5 million euros, with state aid focusing on machinery. The company has already acquired a new welding machine, attracting new clients such as Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group.

Vannes: A Prison Rich in History

20 Apr 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
The Vannes house of detention, built in 1825 on the site of the Nazareth Convent, was considered modern for its time. Historian François Ars notes that prior to this, prisoners were held in the towers of the city's ramparts. The prison has a dark history, having detained, tortured, and executed numerous resistance fighters and guerrillas during the war. Additionally, it was involved in the history of General Vlassov's army during World War II, which included oppressed minorities who sided with the Germans. One Georgian member of this army was executed in front of the prison after the liberation.

Vannes: 'Your restaurateurs in your supermarkets', a successful operation

15 Apr 2021  |  letelegramme.fr
A local initiative in Vannes, where restaurateurs sell their dishes in supermarkets, has proven successful. Participants like Nicolas Séjourné of Le jeu de Quilles and Charles Carlu of L’Accord Gourmet have seen significant benefits, such as the ability to rehire staff and gain visibility without relying on state aid. The operation has attracted interest from restaurateurs in Toulouse, indicating potential for expansion beyond Brittany. While Carrefour Market in Tohannic has left the operation, others are reporting monthly earnings between 8,000 and 10,000 euros, which helps cover costs. The initiative has received varying levels of praise, with a list of participating restaurants provided.

The Assembly of First Nations wants to be heard before the Council of the Federation

09 Jul 2019  |  Radio-Canada
Perry Bellegarde, the leader of the Assembly of First Nations, is meeting with premiers, territorial leaders, and indigenous representatives at the First Nation of Big River to advocate for indigenous interests before the Council of the Federation. He emphasizes the importance of indigenous presence at meetings to ensure respect for rights and competencies. The meeting comes in the wake of a new law granting First Nations powers over child welfare systems. Some premiers, including those of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador, did not attend the meeting for various reasons but are expected at the Council of the Federation in Saskatoon. Indigenous leaders have long sought inclusion in the Council, viewing their nations as a third order of government. A new report indicates that First Nations children face the highest poverty levels in the country.

Romain's confirmed information

Sep 2022

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