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Jul 18, 2015

Dozens flee homes as wildfires rage in Greece, PM urges calm

ATHENS (Reuters) – Forest fires fanned by strong winds and high temperatures broke out around Athens and in other parts of southern Greece on Friday, sending residents fleeing from flames threatening their homes.

Summer wildfires, though common for the season, heaped additional misery on the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which is struggling to obtain a new bailout from foreign creditors.

Jul 17, 2015

Dozens flee homes as wildfires rage near Athens

ATHENS (Reuters) – Dozens of Athens residents fled their homes on Friday as wildfires fanned by strong winds and high temperatures burned through woodland around the Greek capital, sending clouds of smoke billowing over the city.

More than 80 firefighters with 18 fire engines and three aircraft battled the flames, which a Reuters photographer said were threatening homes.

May 6, 2015

At Greek port, migrants dream and despair in abandoned factories

PATRAS, Greece, May 6 (Reuters) – Rapper Mahdi Babika
Mohamed’s journey to a better life in Europe started in his
native Sudan and passed through Libya and Turkey before abruptly
ending in a squalid abandoned factory at Greece’s western port
of Patras.

There, the 37-year-old is one of hundreds of migrants making
desperate attempts to board ferries to Italy by hanging on to
the underside of cargo trucks – usually unsuccesfully.

May 26, 2014

Battle at Donetsk airport; new Ukraine leader says no talks with ‘terrorists’

KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine launched air strikes and a paratrooper assault against pro-Russian rebels who seized an airport on Monday, as its newly elected leader rejected any talks with “terrorists” and said a robust military campaign in the east should be able to put down a separatist revolt in “a matter of hours”.

Ukrainians rallied overwhelmingly in an election on Sunday behind Petro Poroshenko, a political veteran and billionaire owner of chocolate factories, hoping the burly 48-year-old can rescue the nation from the brink of bankruptcy, civil war and dismemberment by its former Soviet masters in the Kremlin.

May 26, 2014

Ukraine launches air strikes against rebel-held airport

DONETSK, Ukraine, May 26 (Reuters) – Ukrainian government
warplanes carried out airstrikes against pro-Russian rebels who
seized Donetsk international airport on Monday as both sides
mounted an aggressive show of force following the election of a
new president.

Reuters journalists saw black smoke billowing from the area
of the airport after about two hours of repeated explosions and
gunfire, while jets roared overhead. A security official also
said that paratroops had landed in one of the fiercest clashes
since violence broke out in the east two months ago.

Sep 25, 2013

Police fire tear gas as anti-fascist protests in Greece turn violent

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police fired tear gas at anti-fascist protesters who hurled petrol bombs and stones near the Athens headquarters of Golden Dawn on Wednesday following the killing of an anti-racism rapper by a supporter of the far-right party.

Thousands of Greeks marched towards the party’s offices earlier on Wednesday in the biggest show of public anger at Pavlos Fissas’ stabbing. Rampaging protesters set garbage cans on fire and smashed bank windows.

Sep 19, 2013

Greece asks court to crack down on far right after rapper’s killing

ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek government asked judges on Thursday to move against Golden Dawn, saying it had evidence the far-right party was a criminal organization and a threat to public safety.

The move comes two days after a self-proclaimed sympathizer of the party, Greece’s third-most popular, admitted stabbing to death 34-year-old Greek rapper Pavlos Fissas, who was buried on Thursday.

Sep 19, 2013

Greeks mourn anti-racism rapper stabbed to death

ATHENS (Reuters) – In a tense atmosphere in an Athens cemetery, more than 2,000 mourners bid farewell on Thursday to an anti-racism rapper who was stabbed to death by a man sympathizing with the far-right Golden Dawn party.

The killing of 34-year-old Pavlos Fissas touched a nerve in Greece, where economic hardship has divided society, and rallies in several cities to mark his death turned violent on Wednesday.

Sep 18, 2013

Greek police search Golden Dawn offices after man stabbed to death

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police searched the offices of the Golden Dawn party on Wednesday after an anti-racism rapper was stabbed to death by a man who sympathized with the far-right group.

The killing touched a nerve in Greece, where an economic crisis has worsened social tensions, and rallies in several cities to mark the death turned violent.

Aug 6, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Marathon inferno


Marathon, Greece

By Yannis Behrakis

It was a typical August day in Athens — very hot and windy. I was driving around town on my scooter when I stopped next to a fire brigade jeep at a traffic light. An officer in the vehicle asked me if I was happy with my scooter. I said: “yes I’m happy. Are you happy with the weather conditions?” He smiled and said: “I’m sure we will have many forest fires these days. There are a few burning in central Greece as we speak.”

It was less than an hour later when I received a message on my mobile phone from the fire brigade about a fire in Marathon, some 40-45 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Athens, where the Athenians fought the Persians in a historic battle in 490 BC. Sources said that police and the fire brigade had started evacuating a hamlet in the area. I took my gear and a few masks for the dust and raced to the area on my scooter. It was really windy and for the last few miles, the traffic on Marathon Avenue was heavy — both ways — as some people were fleeing and others were trying to reach their homes and protect them from what looked to be a fire out of control. Police were stopping vehicles from reaching the area to provide clear access to fire engines and fire brigade troops. In order to pass through, I drove closely to a speeding ambulance and managed to pass all the police check points.

    • About Yannis

      "I have been a photojournalist with Reuters for the last 20 years during which I have covered conflicts around the globe, major sporting events and a lot more besides. I am currently Chief Photographer in Greece. Follow me on twitter @yannisBehrakis"
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