Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Monday, April 15, 2013

Is Greek yogurt for you?

Is Greek yogurt for you?
When it comes to yogurt, many adults are going Greek. Elmer's County Market in Escanaba has over 69 different kinds of Greek yogurt. They're a big hit with adults. Greek yogurt is flying off the shelves here at local supermarkets. But Greek yogurt for ...


Turkey's historic Emek theatre facing final curtain

Campaigners stage protest at plans to demolish historic venue to make way for a shopping and entertainment complex

It is Turkey's oldest and most prestigious cinema, an Istanbul landmark that dates back to the early days of Atatürk's rule – and a centrepiece until recently of the city's international film festival.

So plans to demolish the Emek theatre and turn the space into an entertainment and shopping venue have generated widespread disapproval – not least at the recent film festival, at which film directors, critics and residents came together in a passionate protest against the building project.

In 1924, the theatre opened its doors as part of the Cercle d'Orient complex, a listed art deco building designed in 1884 by Levantine architect Alexandre Vallaury. Despite massive public protest the building was leased to a private developer who plans to turn it into an entertainment and shopping complex. Demolition work started last week.

After a lengthy legal battle a local court approved the developer's plans last December. The company announced plans to move the theatre to the fourth floor of the new building, but critics fear the Emek theatre will effectively be destroyed.

Azize Tan, director of the Istanbul film festival, thinks the demolition of the Emek theatre is a tragic mistake. "The theatre is a symbol for Turkish cinema that we need to protect," she said. She said its closure in 2010 had had a negative impact on the festival. "Every big film festival has its flagship venue. The Emek theatre was ours for 28 years, and there is nothing to replace it with," she said.

The closure of the cinema, which seats 875, also meant a substantial loss of capacity for the festival's organisers. Since 1958, the cinema has been publicly owned and has provided the backdrop for small, courageous revolts: the first big public 1 May celebrations after the military coup of 1980 took place there, it housed leftwing concerts and did not shy away from screening Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ while religious groups protested outside.

"People in Istanbul have a very strong bond with the Emek theatre," said Nil Kural, a journalist and member of the FIPRESCI jury of critics.

"We all discovered our love for films and cinema here."

Many agree. Turkish film-maker Yüksel Aksu said the theatre had been the sole place of his cinematographic education. Addressing the Turkish government, he shouted: "If you cannot conserve this place, you will not call yourself a conservative. You will call yourself barbarian."

The Emek theatre protests are a symbol for the right to decide over the fate of the city whose cultural and historical heritage is increasingly at stake. Many are critical of the unchecked urban development that is rapidly remaking Istanbul, and of ever-larger projects being forced on its residents without any public debate.

Only last week, the government approved a plan widely known as the "crazy project" to dig a canal parallel to the Bosphorus Straits. Meanwhile, whole historical neighbourhoods are being demolished to make room for profitable real estate ventures.

Last Sunday a peaceful demonstration against the demolition of the Emek theatre was dispersed with water cannons and teargas. Greek film director Costa-Gavras, who was among last week's protesters, appealed in a letter to the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to save the theatre. "A prominent theatre, a cultural centre must not be destroyed. It's like erasing a part of our memory and removing a significant place for the future. Therefore it would be a political, social and artistic failure," he wrote.

Tan criticised the apparent lack of transparency. "Both the government and the developers refuse to reveal the entirety of the project. Nobody talks to us," she said.

Nil Kural believes the discussion should not be based on profitability. "The Emek theatre is part of Istanbul's cultural heritage and it should be preserved as such. Why should it have to be profitable? It needs to be supported. Would you close down a museum and turn it into a shopping centre if it doesn't generate enough profit?" she said. She said she was still hopeful the theatre could be saved. "If the government intervenes now, we will be able to get our beloved Emek cinema back." © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Leaked Council of Europe report suggests Greece could ban Golden Dawn


Leaked Council of Europe report suggests Greece could ban Golden Dawn
Greece has adequate legal grounds to outlaw Golden Dawn or any other political organization found to be engaging in racially motivated crimes, Europe's human rights watchdog suggests in a leaked report set to be formally released on Tuesday.

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Gold price hits two-year low as China's economy slows down

Cyprus expected to sell off gold reserves as price falls further on news of poorer Chinese growth and US manufacturing data

Concerns that strong recoveries in the US and China have come to a dramatic halt sent gold to a two-year low in one of its sharpest falls in recent years.

Gold fell 8.5% and silver was down 14.5% as investors digested news from Beijing of a slowdown in growth and a downbeat report from US manufacturers.

Brent crude oil prices fell to their lowest since last summer, ending the day only a few cents above $100 a barrel, down 2.3% on the day.

Gold had already fallen to its lowest level in 18 months on Friday amid fears that cash-strapped countries would need to sell off their reserves, as Cyprus is expected to do so, to raise €400m (£340m) – although the amount it raises will drop if the price keeps falling. The economics consultancy Capital Economics, though, said it was sceptical that the situation in the Mediterranean island could be the cause for the sell off in gold

The slump continued which meant that the gold had now fallen nearly $200 in the last two days to below $1,400 an ounce for the first time since February 2011. The plunge came as finance ministers and central bank officials travelled to the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting in Washington.

Concern may turn to China after a rebound in its economic fortunes late last year appeared to reverse when GDP figures for the first quarter of the year revealed a drop in annualised growth to 7.7% from 7.9% in the previous quarter.

Some analysts blamed much of the weakening picture across the globe on the continuing recession in the eurozone, which triggered a 7% decline in imports last month. Most eurozone countries are in recession and growth is not expected to pick up until the end of the year or possibly 2014.

In response to the ongoing depression and the possibility that Spain will apply for a bailout, calls for a break-up or fundamental review of the single currency are gathering pace.

In Germany, the newly formed political party Alternative für Deutschland put pressure on the chancellor, Angela Merkel, to restrict eurozone bailout terms unless wealthy property owners in southern Europe make a larger contribution.

Peter Bofinger, an economic adviser to Merkel, criticised the bailout terms set for Cyprus, which involved a raid on individual and business savings. "The resourceful rich just move their money to banks in northern Europe and avoid paying," Prof Bofinger told Der Spiegel, a German magazine.

He said property owners in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus should pay a wealth tax to partly fund their government rescue packages.

Remarks by Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, that struggling banks should be allowed to fail added to the sense of unease.

He said: "The banking sector and the financial market of the euro area has become fragmented. This is harmful as the euro area is a bank-based economy.

"Around three quarters of firms' financing comes from banks. So if banks in some countries will not lend at reasonable interest rates, the consequences for the euro area economy are severe."

"In providing liquidity to our banking counterparties, we cannot and do not want to subsidise banks that are failing. Our liquidity support is not and should not be equity support. Likewise, in pricing out break-up risk in sovereign debt securities, we cannot and do not want to subsidise governments," he said.

Capital Economics said gold has traditionally grown in value during periods of uncertainty. "None of the fundamental explanations being discussed for the slump in gold prices really holds up. It is still not even certain that Cyprus, whose holdings are tiny, will be selling any gold. If anything, the incoming US data has made it less likely that the Fed will withdraw its monetary stimulus any time soon," Capital Economics said. "Any emphasis placed on the risks to gold posed by a stronger US recovery and rising interest rates certainly looks increasingly misplaced, or at least premature," it said.

Stockbroker Brewin Dolphin said the more widely held view is that increases in supply of all metals and weakening demand in China and the eurozone especially, accounted for at least some of the decline in gold prices. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



Greece to sack 4000 state workers to unlock bail-out cash

Greece to sack 4000 state workers to unlock bail-out cash
Greece is in deep recession, GDP has contracted by 22pc since 2008 and unemployment has spiralled to 27pc as the Greek government has implemented deeply unpopular EU-IMF austerity measures or “fiscal adjustment” in return for loans. “Our society has ...


Greece 'should return to growth in 2014', troika says

Irish Times

Greece 'should return to growth in 2014', troika says
Irish Times
Deputy director of the IMF's European Department and mission chief for Greece Poul Thomsen attending a meeting in Athens today, where Greece announced it would seek a drastic debt cut from its euro zone partners if it manages to beat its fiscal targets ...


Debt inspectors reach agreement with Greece on reforms, includes civil service ...

Washington Post

Debt inspectors reach agreement with Greece on reforms, includes civil service ...
Washington Post
ATHENS, Greece — Greece cleared an important hurdle in its drive to receive its next batch of bailout loans from its international creditors Monday. But even though the deal was secured without the global market tensions that have marked earlier rescue talks ...
Greece moves closer to securing latest bailout paymentBBC News
Greece Clinches Accord With Troika, Paving Way to Aid PaymentBloomberg
Greece on Track to Receive Next Aid TrancheWall Street Journal
Post-Bulletin -Financial Times
all 58 news articles »


Auf wiedersehen, euro? New anti-euro party forms in Germany

The familiar “Get out of the euro!” battle cry echoed once again in Europe yesterday. But this time the call was not directed at the usual suspects, like Cyprus, Greece, or another of the highly indebted economies in Europe’s south.


Greece slashes civil service jobs in new bailout

Athens agrees to shed 4,000 public sector jobs in return for latest EU/IMF/ECB aid package worth €8.8bn

Greece has secured an aid package worth €8.8bn from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund after the government agreed to cuts including 4,000 public sector job losses this year.

Officials representing the troika of international creditors agreed to release the funds following a government pledge to fire thousands of civil servants in return. The deal includes the disbursement of an initial €2.8bn tranche in the coming weeks, followed by a further €6bn in May.

"Greece is stabilising and its position is becoming more secure at a time when other countries are beginning to feel uncertainty," said prime minister, Antonis Samaras.

The conservative leader said the time would soon come when Greece "no longer depends on [loan] memorandums". He added: "Greece will have growth. It will be competitive and outward-looking… we will have a strong Greece."

The IMF's visiting mission chief, Pol Thomsen, applauded the country's fiscal progress. "Greece has indeed come a long way. The fiscal adjustment has been exceptional by any standard," he said. Thomsen, once a caustic critic of the nation's economic performance, predicted that Greece would meet budget targets without further pay and pension cuts and would "gradually" return to growth in 2014.

The aid will be used to help recapitalise Greek banks. The comments also appeared to be carefully calibrated to offset the onerous terms Greece must also meet to get the aid. Under the deal, the government endorsed mass lay-offs in the civil service. Samaras said some 15,000 employees would be fired by 2015 with 4,000 redundancies by the end of the year.

Constitutionally, public sector posts are guaranteed as jobs for life – a perk initially aimed at protecting workers from unfair dismissal for political affiliations but widely blamed for the profligacy at the root of Athens' monumental debt pile. Officials hope the sackings will help redress the sense of inequity that has prevailed in the private sector where hundreds of thousands of Greeks have lost jobs since the outbreak of the crisis.

Bracing for unrest, the Greek prime minister insisted that departing bureaucrats would be replaced by a new generation of talented personnel. Samaras said: "This is not the so-called human sacrifice that some claim. This is a marked improvement of our public sector and is what Greek society is demanding." © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Detroit's precarious recovery: 'It just feels like something is happening here'

Dan Gilbert has a vision for his city's future – and the money to fund it. With tech companies moving in and a new financial controller in charge, can downtown Detroit help save the city?

Sandra Patterson's face lights up at the mention of Dan Gilbert. She works the car valet desk at Detroit's Greektown Casino Hotel, which the entrepreneur has just taken over. "It's like he's sprinkling rose petals all over my city," she says beaming. "He's really rooting for Detroit."

And how. A self-made billionaire Gilbert, 51, was born and raised in Detroit. His father owned Saskey's, a bar in the city, and his grandfather ran a car wash. In the 1990s Gilbert and partners including his brother Garry started a mortgage business that became Quicken Loans, now the US's largest online retail mortgage lender.

Three years ago as Detroit seemed on the edge of destruction he moved his headquarters downtown and began snapping up swathes of real estate. His Bedrock property management company owns 22 buildings with more than 3m square feet in the city. He's attracting big names back into the city. Gilbert convinced Chrysler to take office space downtown and renamed a building after the car firm; he recently toured the city with Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. He's effectively created a business campus in the heart of a city some had written off as dead. A death that had been a long time coming.

Detroit had a population of nearly 2 million in the 1950s, and now it's below 700,000. People and their money fled to the suburbs decades ago. The city is struggling with $14bn in long-term liabilities, falling tax revenues and declining services, 60% of its children live in poverty. It's a decline that has been a long-time in the making.

"People around 55 and down have no memory of what people call the good Detroit. You'd hear from your parents and grandparents how incredible Detroit was," says Gilbert. For his generation those golden years were just stories. "The 1967 race riots are my first memories," he says.

Gilbert's vision of Detroit's future is of a city filled with young people from local universities, the majority of whom now skip town on graduation. This summer he'll have 1,100 interns working downtown, and he's convinced many of his tenants to follow suit. The company gives employees who buy property in the city $20,000 on condition they live in the city for five years. Occupancy rates downtown are close to 100%.

"Detroit has the bones, the infrastructure, the people, to be a very special city. We have to do a lot of clean up then we have to start playing offense. The part that is difficult is here already. Look at these buildings. It's laid out well; there are parks. It's like a lot of great hardware with no software," he says.

Gilbert is Donald Trump, Andrew Carnegie and Robert Moses rolled into one and could well prove just as controversial. Much of the city remains a bombed out, burned up mess. While something, anything, is better than nothing for many, not everyone is happy that Gilbert and Mike Ilitch, billionaire founder of Little Caesars pizza and owner of the Detroit Tigers, have been snatching up buildings like they are playing real life Monopoly.

In a recent New York Times op-ed Mark Binelli, author of Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis, warned the city was ceding power to "an unelected oligarchy, whose members might, no matter how ostensibly well intentioned, possess questionable ideas about urban renewal". Others worry that in a city that has proven adept at creating ghettos, Gilbert is creating a yuppie enclave, walled off from the rest of the city.

The sweep of Gilbert's influence is dizzying. Bruce Schwartz, Quicken's "Detroit relocation ambassador" has known Gilbert since childhood. "He was reading money magazines in the fifth grade," he says. As he gives me the guided tour of Gilbert's empire Schwartz looks like a band leader from some late night comedy show in his pork pie hat, black baseball jacket and glasses that turn to shades whenever we step outside. Everyone knows him, and he knows everybody. He rattles off the names of big brands looking at Detroit real estate. Nike are thinking of opening a Nike Town, and Aloft, Starwood hotel's hipper brand, have bought a building; Shake Shack, the phenomenally popular New York burger restaurant chain, is considering opening a venue.

We walk past the abandoned Metropolitan Building on John R Street, a potentially magnificent 15 story gothic revival building finished in 1925 abandoned for decades and covered in graffiti. "The city will give us that," says Schwartz. "We could knock out the bottom floors, open them up to the alleys behind, put in some bars, some seating. We could build lofts, office space." How many other major cities allow such flexible city planning?

Just up the street from the Metropolitan is the M@dison building, home to a new generation of Detroit-based tech startups. The bright, cool warehouse is papered with scenes of Detroit in its heyday and packed with 20 somethings determined to make the city a new tech hub.

Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner at Detroit Venture Partners, has backed 17 of them so far. Another venture backed by Gilbert, DVP was only the second tech-focused venture fund in the city after the car giant's GM Ventures when it launched in 2010. Now there are 12 venture funds chasing Detroit talent.

"You don't need a Silicon Valley Zip code to build a tech company," he says. Costs are half the price in Detroit than in the valley, there's talent galore coming out of the universities and proximity to some of the biggest consumer brands in the world, he says. "A hundred years ago Detroit was the Silicon Valley of the US, this is where technology was made. We need to get back to our entrepreneurial roots," says Linkner.

Twitter has taken space in Detroit. Uber, the smartphone-based taxi service, just took space in M@dison. Uber lets people track a taxi's arrival on their phone and rates drivers. No sooner had they announced the service was coming to Detroit than they had signed 1,000 new accounts. "It just feels like something is happening here, we wanted to be in early," says Ryan Graves, Uber's vice-president of operations.

There's so much potential, says Gilbert. Unlike most American cities getting to Detroit's waterfront doesn't involve crossing a dual-carriage highway. The city appears cooperative, if you have the right connections, and the federal authorities are taking notice. In January transport secretary Ray LaHood, on his way to the city's famous auto show, gave his blessing, plus $25m, to the long-delayed M1-Rail project that will carry people along Woodward Avenue, the city's main street downtown. The rest of the $140m cost is being footed by local businesses, including Gilbert's.

It's like Sim City but with real buildings and people. It's hard not to get swept up in the enthusiasm but while downtown has undeniable changed already, a lot of these plans are still just that. Woodward is a trail of closed shops, abandoned plus sized ladies footwear, a wig store, a pop up shop selling Detroit t-shirts that's open a few days a week. Strategically placed photos and art conceal some of the emptiness but after six when the workers have gone home, downtown Detroit still looks like a ghost town. Drive a little further and you are confronted by the fact that huge swathes of Detroit are dead – scary abandoned lots, burned-out houses. It's too early to say whether downtown's lights will shine for those living outside their golden circle.

Last month Michigan governor Rick Snyder declared Detroit was in a state of emergency and handed its financial future to a Kevyn Orr, a Washington lawyer who helped car giant Chrysler through its bankruptcy proceedings. Orr will have sweeping financial powers to slash budgets and services that will no doubt make life harder for those further down the economic ladder in a city where 60% of children live in poverty.

Gilbert thinks Orr's appointment is a turning point for Detroit. "I'm a big believer," he says. "He is finally going to do what needed to be done if not in the last several years then in the past decades. It's essentially good news for the city because it means this period is coming to an end."

Part of the problem he said was that until now no one even had a real grasp on how bad the city's financial position was. "The appointment might highlight the problem, but it didn't create it," he says.

For Gilbert Detroit's future started to turn four years ago. "There's a Time magazine cover October 2009 that says The Tragedy of Detroit. It show some of the ruin porn (as locals refer to all the photos of the burned-out city). To me that was the bottom." GM and Chrysler had gone bankrupt and were – as it was subsequently proved – on the way to recovery. "The city stuff took a little longer, unfortunately," says Gilbert.

I catch up with Justin Duncan, real estate analyst at Friedman Integrated, at the launch of Opportunity Detroit, a Gilbert-backed plan for revamping downtown. An audience of some 400 business and civic leaders under the auspices of the civic group Downtown Detroit Partnership had just been presented with the outlines of a new Detroit with Parisian-style sidewalk cafes, pedestrian plazas and walkways. "We're all in," Gilbert tells the enthusiastic crowd gathered at City Theatre, across from the Detroit Tiger's baseball ground.

Duncan, 29, is cautiously optimistic about the plans but says what the city needs most is people. "The fact is this city shuts down at five. On game days, it's packed. Every other day, it's empty," he says. Gilbert agrees that unless the city can achieve density, the plans won't work. "Density, connections, collaborative stuff. That's what matters. Otherwise things get diluted. It's like throwing stuff in water," he says.

Duncan, now doing a masters in urban planning at Wayne State, also worries that the city could repeat mistakes from the past. "This city has a history of segregation. Areas are defined by their population. Black people live here, Irish people live there," he said. There's a risk that will happen again, he says, but he's hopeful a new generation of urban dwellers will break that mold. "People won't settle for that white picket fence in the suburbs anymore. They want to live in urban areas. They want diversity," he says.

"We are not saying this is the perfect plan. We have spent a lot of time on this project," says Gilbert. "I don't care who you are how big you are or how much money you have, you could never do this alone. Someone could give you all the money in the world and you still couldn't get it done. You need people, in business, education, in government."

"People look at Dan like he has the answer to everything. He can't do everything. He can do what he does very well, I can do tech startups – that's what I am good at, but we need more people to do other things," says Linkner.

Gilbert himself lives outside the city. He has five children in the schools system, and downtown Detroit isn't equipped to handle that. But he's looking at buying an apartment.

"I might be the first guy in the world to get a second home in Detroit," he says. There are a lot of people – with a lot of money – hoping he won't be the last. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



Greece ponders German war reparations 15.04.2013

Greece ponders German war reparations 15.04.2013
Deutsche Welle
A secret Greek Finance Ministry report is said to have detailed evidence of atrocities and forced loans during the Nazi occupation in Greece in World War II. The weekly newspaper "To Vima" reported that the internal document was compiled by a group of ...

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Detroit parade marks Greek independence, honors immigrants after museum ...

Detroit parade marks Greek independence, honors immigrants after museum ...
We celebrate Greek Independence Day for them," said Vouharas, 15, dressed in full traditional garb including a euzone -- a kilt with 400 pleats representing the four centuries in which Greeks lived under Ottoman occupation before gaining independence.


Cameron misses out on polling 'dividend' after Thatcher death

Guardian/ICM poll shows media frenzy has had little impact, but Tories would take 40% of vote if Iron Lady was still leader

There is a Thatcher bounce to be had, but David Cameron is not having it, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll.

Britain's longest-running polling series shows the Conservatives have clawed back just one point from last month to stand at 32%. That leaves them six points adrift of Labour, which slips back one to 38%. The Liberal Democrats stand still at 15%, while Ukip bounces up two to 9%.

The combined total of the assorted other minor parties edges down one to 7%.

The finding that the continuous coverage of Margaret Thatcher since her death has had little effect on voting intention is in line with the finding of other polls published in recent days.

ICM also asked voters what they would do if the Conservatives' greatest election-winner were back in charge – and found she would deliver a dramatic advantage for the Tories.

After voters were asked to "imagine for a moment that a younger Margaret Thatcher were the leader … instead of David Cameron", the Conservative vote share shot up by eight points to a potentially majority-winning 40%, putting them three points ahead of Labour, who would slide back one to 37%.

The big Thatcher boost for the Tories would come instead from Ukip, who would surrender almost half their share to stand at 5%, and from the Lib Dems, who would sink four points to 11%.

ICM applied its full methodology to this hypothetical question, adjusting for likelihood to turn out, as well as making imputations for respondents who would not reveal how they will vote.

Asked to select the politician who can best be described as Thatcher's heir, 16% choose Cameron, only one point more than the 15% who nominate Tony Blair. Boris Johnson is named by 12%, home secretary Theresa May by 5%, and Ukip's Nigel Farage by 3% – the same proportion who nominate Gordon Brown.

Even among Conservative voters, the prime minister's claim to the Iron Lady's mantle is not assured – just 22% of Tory voters name him as Thatcher's heir, while 17% nominate Johnson, 12% Blair, 5% May and 2% Farage.

Cameron's failure to cash in on the Thatcher dividend is also evident in his personal ratings: across the electorate, 39% rate him as doing a good job against 49% who say he is performing badly. The difference between those two figures gives him a net score of -10, statistically indistinguishable from the -11 score he notched up when these questions were last asked almost a year ago, in May 2012.

The personal score for his Lib Dem deputy, Nick Clegg, is -29, again virtually unchanged from -27 last spring.

In line with the personal ratings of Cameron and Clegg, the coalition government as a whole remains saddled with the unpopularity it has endured for a year: 51% say it is doing a bad job, and only 31% rate it as performing well. That gives a net score of -20, in line with the -21 notched in May 2012.

The only sign of a political fightback on the part of the government comes in the ratings of chancellor George Osborne. A year ago, in the immediate aftermath of the budget, he was under-performing the government with a net approval rating of -25. He has now recovered to a negative but more respectable -14, with 46% saying he is doing a bad job, against 32% who regard him as doing well.

If Thatcher's death has, for the most part, had little impact on the standing of today's Tories, it may have damaged Ed Miliband. Although Labour's one-point slippage from last month is not in itself significant, his lead in the Guardian/ICM series has now halved from 12 to six points in the two months since February. Worse, his personal ratings are sinking deeper into negative territory – a majority of 51% say he is doing a bad job, as against just 28% who think he is doing well.

That gives a net approval rating of -23, almost double his negative May 2012 score of -12, and worse even than the -17 he notched up in December 2011, when his party was behind in the polls overall and his leadership appeared insecure.

The one serving party leader who appears to have gained most from the week-long focus on Thatcher is Ukip frontman Nigel Farage, who has written in today's Times that the need for his anti-European outfit would never have arisen if the Iron Lady had remained in office for long enough to veto the Maastricht treaty.

After his tour of the country to promote Ukip candidates in local elections next month, Farage not only has the satisfaction of seeing his party climb two points since March, but also emerges as Britain's most popular – or, more accurately, least unpopular – political leader. The 28% who say he is doing well compares with 29% who regard him as doing a "bad job", a virtual dead heat which gives him a net approval score of –1.

The breakdown of support for the other minor parties is as follows: Scottish nationalists 3%, Greens 2%, Plaid Cymru 1%, British national party 1%, other smaller parties 1%.

• ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1,005 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 12-14 April 2013. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



Greece clinches deal with troika on review: Yiannis Stournaras

Economic Times

Greece clinches deal with troika on review: Yiannis Stournaras
Economic Times
Greece has reached a deal with its international lenders on a review of the country's austerity programme, finance minister Yiannis Stournaras said on Monday. "We have a deal," Stournaras told reporters on the sidelines of an Athens conference.