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Friday, July 12, 2013

Papapetrou leads Greece to 75-61 win against Georgia at U20 European ...

Papapetrou leads Greece to 75-61 win against Georgia at U20 European ...
TALLIN, Estonia -- University of Texas sophomore forward Ioannis Papapetrou posted a team-high 15 points to lead Greece to a 75-61 win against Georgia in pool play action on Friday at the Sportland Under-20 European Championship. Papapetrou ...
Papapetrou Off To Hot (subscription)

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Greek mayors to shut down halt services in protest at austerity measures

San Francisco Chronicle

Greek mayors to shut down halt services in protest at austerity measures
Fox News
Greek mayors to shut down halt services in protest at austerity measures. Published July 12, 2013. Associated Press. ATHENS, Greece – Mayors from across Greece say they will suspend municipal services for three days next week to protest planned new ...
Greek mayors to halt services in austerity protestColumbus Ledger-Enquirer

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Island-hopping: Greece's Small Cyclades

The Guardian

Island-hopping: Greece's Small Cyclades
The Guardian
I had two reasons for coming to Greece – if it makes sense to need reasons to take a late spring break in the sunny and little-visited Small Cyclades. First, to have a few days of father/son bonding with Felix. Ten years old seemed about the perfect ...

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Portugal's borrowing costs rise after Socialist leader rejects bailout terms

Opposition head António José Seguro causes market turmoil as he calls for deal with Brussels to be renegotiated

Portugal's opposition Socialist party spooked financial markets and pushed up the government's cost of borrowing after it demanded Lisbon renegotiate the terms of its bailout deal with Brussels.

The news came as Fitch became the third ratings agency to strip France of its AAA rating, to AA+. In Portugal, the Socialist leader, António José Seguro, said he was ready to discuss a pact with the prime minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, but any coalition needed to agree that austerity measures agreed with Brussels had failed. "We have to abandon austerity politics. We have to renegotiate the terms of our adjustment programme," Seguro told parliament. "The prime minister has to recognise publicly that his austerity policies have failed."

The political turmoil has already forced Lisbon to request a delay in the eighth review of the bailout by its creditors, initially due to start on Monday, until the end of August or early September.

The delay drove up yields on Portuguese government bonds, which determine Lisbon's borrowing costs, with 10-year yields surging 90 basis points to 7.87%.

The euro stayed relatively calm, maintaining its value against sterling at just over 86p, as the markets viewed Portugal's problems as self-contained and affordable under existing bailout programmes.

The bad news coming out of Portugal was offset by Ireland's efforts to shrug off the financial crisis, which received a boost after Standard & Poor's said its debt burden may fall faster than expected.

The credit ratings agency maintained the BBB+ rating on Dublin's sovereign bonds but upgraded the outlook from stable to positive.

The upgrade comes before a planned year-end exit from its international bailout, and backs its status as Europe's strongest bailed-out economy amid the political turmoil in Portugal and Greece.

"The outlook revision reflects our view that Ireland's general government debt burden is likely to decline more rapidly, as a percentage of GDP, than we had previously expected," S&P said in a statement.

"Ireland's economic recovery is under way."

Greece is braced for a general strike next week while Portugal faces the collapse of its coalition government and a general election next year.

The president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, threw Portugal into disarray this week by refusing to allow the premier to heal a rift in the ruling coalition with a controversial cabinet reshuffle, calling for a cross-party agreement to last until the end of the bailout programme in June 2014, to be followed by early elections.

The Socialists have blamed the government's austerity drive under the €78bn (£67bn) bailout for pushing Portugal into its biggest economic slump since the 1970s and unemployment to record levels of around 18%.

"More time is something which we have always fought for. More time so our adjustment curve is not so steep and we can relieve sacrifices families and businesses have to make," Seguro, whose party leads in opinion polls, said. © 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



Greek bank rescue fund picks Eurobank to buy Proton

ATHENS, July 12 | Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:16pm EDT
ATHENS, July 12 (Reuters) - Greece's bank rescue fund picked Eurobank to acquire small lender Proton on Friday as part of moves to further consolidate its banking system and meet one of the conditions for its next tranche of bailout funding.
Greece had agreed with its international lenders - the European Commission, the International ...


Greece to auction 1.25 billion euros of three-month T-bills

Greece will auction 1.25 billion euros of three-month Treasury bills on Tuesday to refinance a maturing issue, the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) said on Friday.The settlement date will be July 19. ...


ECB funding to Greek banks down by 4.26 billion euros in June

European Central Bank funding to Greek banks fell by 4.26 billion euros in June while emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the ...


Trikala Prison fugitives may have slipped into Albania source suggests

Greek police, border guards and coast guard officers continued on Friday to search for two fugitives from Trikala Prison along the Greek-Albanian border, but senior sources refused to rule out the possibility that the ...


Smashing time guaranteed as Greek party goes into full swing

BREAK out the baklava and hand over the halva -- the Gold Coast's Greek Festival is almost upon us.Members of the local Greek community are busy today making final preparations for the much-loved event, with organisers hoping for clear skies tomorrow.Festival committee member Cathy Walker said the Gold Coast had quite a large Greek community."It's a good time to sit down, relax and ...


Two held for Greek anarchist bombs

Athens, Greece - Police in Greece say two 30-year-old men have been arrested in northern Greece as suspects in a recent bombing campaign claimed by anarchist ...


Greek mayors to halt services in austerity protest

A striking Municipal police officer reacts as he leans on a car with a Greek flag during a protest, against new austerity cuts that will affect thousands of public sector workers, in Athens, Friday, July 12, 2013. The measures are part of a broad plan to slash the size of Greece's bloated public sector, which counts some 670,000 employees. The government has committed to firing 15,000 people ...


2 arrested as suspects in Greek bombing campaign claimed by anarchist militants

ATHENS, Greece - Police in Greece say two 30-year-old men have been arrested in northern Greece as suspects in a recent bombing campaign claimed by anarchist militants.


The Mayor of Athens: A Sober Voice in a World of Extremes

On June 4, George Kaminis, the mild-mannered mayor of Athens, visited Greece‘s Minister of Citizen Protection, Nikos Dendias, to discuss a legislative proposal put forth by the ministry for the regulation of minor demonstrations in Athens. Kaminis, a moderately left-wing former constitutional lawyer, is not one to crackdown on dissent, but he had reached the end of his tether. ...


Greek new state television starts broadcasting

A new interim Greek public television channel went on air on Wednesday, a month after the sudden closure of state broadcaster ERT in the context of efforts to overhaul civil services and tackle the Greek debt crisis. The step had caused strong reactions, leading to a political crisis.


Greece eyes investment jackpot

Greece eyes investment jackpot
Athens, Greece - For half a decade, this country has become notorious for its dwindling fortunes. Its stubborn recession has broken postwar European records. Its unemployment levels, the highest in the European Union, threaten political stability. It ...


Portuguese leaders accept challenge to negotiate broad economic consensus to avoid 2nd bailout


Portuguese leaders seeking economic consensus

by BARRY HATTON, Associated Press - 12 July 2013 12:20-04:00

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's main political parties pledged Friday to try to negotiate a joint economic strategy that aims to spare the country a second international bailout.

But the obstacles to an agreement were clear during the annual State of the Nation debate in Parliament as parties traded accusations over who is to blame for the financial crisis and 10 straight quarters of economic contraction.

Portugal's president appealed to the parties Wednesday to find broad political consensus after a dispute over austerity measures tore the coalition government apart and raised questions about whether the country can abide by the terms of the 78 billion euros ($102 billion) rescue it received two years ago.

Portugal's difficulties over the past two weeks sent a chill through financial markets as investors feared that Europe's debt crisis could flare up again. In recent months, there had been signs that the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, including Portugal, had got over the worst of their three-year debt problems.

The political upheaval in Lisbon has forced the postponement of the bailout lenders' latest assessment on the country, which was due to begin next week but is now due to take place at the end of August.

As in Greece, the debt inspectors have to assess whether Portugal is complying with the terms of the bailout agreement — in return for the loan, Portugal has to enact a long list of spending cuts and economic reforms. If it doesn't, the creditors can potentially stop disbursing the money due from the bailout fund.

Though Portugal has enough cash to see it through the end of this year, it has to issue bonds worth 14 billion euros and 15 billion euros in 2014 and 2015, respectively, to service maturing loans. The three major international ratings agencies still classify Portugal's credit worthiness at junk status.

The political uncertainty took its toll on the Lisbon stock exchange which closed down 1.1 percent Friday at 5,364, after losing 2 percent the previous day. The interest rate on Portugal's 10-year bonds, an indicator of how risky investors see the country, climbed to 7.38 percent from 6.79 percent Thursday. A rate of more than 7 percent is regarded as unaffordable and exceeding that threshold compelled Portugal to seek a financial lifeline from its euro partners and International Monetary Fund.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who has no executive powers but is tasked by the constitution with ensuring stable government, said the ruling coalition had lost its credibility after last week's resignations of the finance and foreign ministers in a spat over the scale of planned spending cuts.

Saying a snap election would make things worse, Cavaco Silva urged the three main parties to find common ground on financial policy which would last beyond the end of the bailout program in June 2014. That, he said, would restore the political stability financial markets want.

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho told lawmakers during Friday's debate that parties must "put Portugal first" and thrash out a cross-party agreement.

"To reach a deal we just need to focus on the country's needs and the common interests of the Portuguese," he said.

Though conceding that it "won't be easy to get a credible and long-lasting agreement," he said a lot can be achieved "if we just compromise."

Antonio Jose Seguro, leader of the main opposition Socialist Party, agreed to take part in talks but was sharply critical of the government's record and repeated his view that the best solution would be immediate elections for a new government.

He said the government "is in a state of decomposition," telling the prime minister he should "apologize to the Portuguese for the failure of his policies."

The prime minister's Social Democratic Party, the senior partner in the coalition, and Portugal's bailout creditors say spending cuts must continue.

Other parties want a bigger emphasis on growth amid a 17.6 percent unemployment rate.

News Topics: Business, General news, Financial crisis, Government and politics, Government aid for industry, Economy, National governments, Government debt, Financial markets, Economic policy, Government business and finance, Government policy, Government finance

People, Places and Companies: Anibal Cavaco Silva, Pedro Passos Coelho, Portugal, Lisbon, Western Europe, Europe

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Visitors to the Mediterranean warned of an increase in jellyfish

Overfishing has reduced competition for food, allowing jellyfish whose stings can cause pain and nausea, to thrive

Holidaymakers are being warned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to take local advice in several Mediterranean countries as jellyfish numbers rise along coastlines popular with tourists in Greece, Spain and Malta. Jellyfish numbers have been rising consistently in the Mediterranean, and researchers warn that the increase in numbers poses a hazard to swimmers, fishing and the marine environment.

The FCO said: "We have been alerted to large numbers of jellyfish in the Mediterranean this summer, especially in a number of key holiday destinations for UK tourists. We have updated our travel advice for a number of Mediterranean countries to reflect this issue."

Up to 150,000 people are treated for jellyfish stings in the Mediterranean each year. The worst-hit coastlines this summer have been in Greece, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Israel and Lebanon. The FCO recommends that swimmers speak to local authorities and follow their advice on where and when to swim.

Barcelona Institute of Marine Sciences researcher Josep María Gili told the Guardian in June that jellyfish represented a growing problem, both in the Mediterranean and across the world.

Climate change and over-fishing have been linked to the rise in numbers. Natural predators of the jellies, such as the ocean sunfish, have been declining in one of the most heavily exploited bodies of water on Earth.

Mediterranean JellyRisk programme co-ordianor Stefano Piraino told the BBC : "We are overfishing the oceans, which means we are catching all the big fish so the fish population is being reduced and we eliminate competitors and leave more food for the jellyfish."

The problem is further compounded by jellyfish feeding on the larvae of fish species. Scientists believe that human interventions that change the shape of the coastline and affect currents could also provide ideal breeding zones that encourage blooms.

There are no deadly jellyfish in the Mediterranean, but there are a number whose stings can cause pain and mild reactions. The mauve stinger (Pelagia noctiluca), which has been detected in vast swarms off the coast of Spain, can cause pain, burning, nausea and muscle cramps. © 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


Knock-Offs Sold To Unsuspecting Customers

The selling of counterfeit goods is a problem in Greece that continues to evade authorities but they said they seized 16 knock-off mobiles, 13 watches, 28 bottles of perfume, 74 pairs of sunglasses and five sweatshirts at a dealer's house in Corfu. Police apprehended four suspects said to have a stock of perfumes, clothes and imitations of cell phones, and who were taken into custody by the ...


Xenios Zeus and the True Meaning of Greek Hospitality

Enlarge Police detain individuals assumed to be migrants in central Athens, on Sunday, August 5, 2012. Between August 4, 2012, and February 22, 2013, Greek police detained almost 85,000 people of foreign origin on the streets of Athens to check their identification papers and legal ...


Inspector Finds Greek Corruption Still Rampant

With Greece keeping its ignominious position as the most corrupt country in the European Union, the country’s crushing economic crisis is making the problem worse, according to a report by the Public Administration Inspector General Leandros Rakintzis. His report, which covers 2012, found the most troubled areas were in insurance funds, municipalities and especially urban planning ...


Venizelos Faces Angry Protests in Crete

Greek Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, the PASOK Socialist leader who was named to the key post by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, after reversing his opposition to the firing of public workers, had to duck a barrage of water bottles thrown at him during a stop in Crete on July 12. Venizelos’ visit came as protests against more firings of ...


Greek Islands Jack Tourist Prices

Looks like the cut-rate bargains for Greek holidays are ending, as hotel owners who last year slashed prices in a desperate bid to bring in business when visitors frightened by scenes of protests were staying away, are increasing them as they are returning. With 2013 looking like a record season that could bring in 17 million tourists, the prices for accommodations rose in July, the high period. ...


Greece Pushes Sunday Store Openings

A long-standing Greek practice of keeping most stores closed on Sunday looks like it’s going to change. Small stores of up to 250 meters will be allowed to open every Sunday under a bill being prepared by the government. Larger stores will be able to be open seven Sundays a year during Christmas, Easter and designated sales periods in a bid to bring in customers as traffic has fallen off ...


Norway?s Ambassador At Olympus Festival

The Ambassador of Norway Sjur Larsen attended the opening ceremony of Olympus Festival 2013, as Norway is the country of honor in the cultural and artistic activity of the city of Pieria, in the southern part of Macedonia, Greece. Larsen gave a speech during the ceremony, as well as a statement at the press that, ';It is a great pleasure for us that Norway is the country of honor in the ...


Greeces Life-Saving Austerity Medics

Dr. Giorgos Vichas describes Athens' volunteer medics as a "Robin Hood network" ATHENS - The Greek health system is buckling under the strain of massive budget cuts, an expanding client list and worsening public health. A network of volunteer-run health clinics has emerged to help ease the burden. Giorgos Vichas is not someone with time on his hands. Middle-aged, with a head of ...


First SimUnesCO Forum In Corfu

The Ionian University that is located in the Greek island of Corfu, at the Ionian Sea, will host the first simulation of UNESCO organized in Greece, SimUnesCO Corfu. The conference will be held in August 21-24, in the Ionian University. The aim of the conference is to bring together young people and through the simulation to help them enhance their knowledge about UNESCO, understand how the ...


IMF says it is committed to financing Greece as ECB assistance drops off

CITY A.M. (blog)

IMF says it is committed to financing Greece as ECB assistance drops off
CITY A.M. (blog)
Gerry Rice, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has said that the eurozone is committed to providing finance for Greece after July 2014, and will hold a board meeting on the Greece programme later on this month. Meanwhile, the Greek ...
Greece faces no funding gap before August 2014: IMFChannel News Asia
IMF: Greece faces no financing gap before August 2014MSN Philippines News
IMF: No financial gap in Greece before August (press release)
FRANCE 24 -The Sofia Globe
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Kinnelon student working on ancient Greek excavation

Kinnelon student working on ancient Greek excavation
Seen here is the Lassithi Plateau in Crete, home to several caves of archaeological interest, including Psychro Cave where Zeus was born in Greek mythology. Gournia is a Minoan, or ancient Cretan, site that dates back to 3000 B.C. It was a ...


Ex PASOK minister Papoutsis to represent Greece at World Bank

Former PASOK minister and ex European Commissioner Christos Papoutsis is to represent Greece at the World Bank, it was announced on Friday.A statement issued by the Development Ministry confirmed the appointment, referring ...


Greece Faces Even More Austerity As Unemployment Nears 27 Percent

keep the country on a short leash , maintaining pressure on Greek leaders to enforce austerity requirements of the country's bailout by releasing the funds in small chunks. The jobless statistics released Thursday put Greece’s unemployment rate twice as high ...


Mitsotakis layoffs not pleasant but under-performers have to go

Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Bloomberg in an interview aired on Friday that putting thousands of Greek civil servants into a so-called mobility scheme, and laying off thousands more, was an unpleasant task but that he was determined to ensure that the right choices are made when it comes to forced dismissals."It's a tough ...