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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Deep Impact of Melting Ice on Greece

A map published by the National Geographic official website, shows how the planet will be transformed if the ice melts. The interactive map, created by environmentalists who are dealing with climate change and its impact, presents the new image of each continent if the gloomy forecasts become reality. As shown, Europe will suffer the most as big cities such as London, Venice, Stockholm and ...


Greek dentists grit their teeth and leave the country

The number of Greek dentists seeking certificates allowing them to practice abroad has more than doubled since Athens signed its first bailout with international creditors in 2010, according to data published Thursday.The Attica ...


Live births decline by 10 percent in 2009-2012 period

The number of live births in Greece fell 10 percent between 2009 and 2012, which is attributed partly to the repercussions of the ...


Prosecutors seek heavy sentence for ex-minister

Prosecutors Thursday called for former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos to be jailed for life, claiming that he cheated the Greek state out of millions of euros in kickbacks from defense contracts and set up a money-laundering network to cover his trail, displaying contempt for the Greek ...


Greece to get IMF bailout review

The IMF says it will begin a review of Greece's progress under its international bailout program next week.


1,800-Pound Marijuana Stash Found On Greek Beach In Kyllini, Police Search For Drug Smuggling Gang

ATHENS, Greece -- Greece police are looking for a drug-smuggling gang that abandoned an 830-kilogram (1,800-pound) stash of marijuana on a southern beach. A police statement says the drugs were found early Thursday near the port town of Kyllini, in the Peloponnese region about 250 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of Athens. The marijuana was packaged in 56 bundles. Police are investigating whether a vehicle found nearby had been used by the unknown smugglers. Police said the drugs did not appear to have been washed ashore, but it was unclear whether they had been brought in by sea or were supposed to have been picked up by boat and shipped elsewhere. The packages were found following a tip-off. Police did not give an estimate for the stash's street value.


Greece's rally in 4th stuns Spain at Eurobasket

Greece rallied with a big fourth quarter to beat defending champion Spain 79-75 Thursday in the second round of the European basketball championship.


Russia, Cyprus sign debt restructuring agreement

by  NEOnline

Russia and Cyprus signed an agreement restructuring a €2.5 billion loan, the Cypriot government said in a statement on Thursday. Nicosia was hoping at the time of its €23 billion spring bailout, which initially parliament voted against, for such an agreement.

The Cypriot government's statement said the restructuring provides for the repayment of the loan in eight six-monthly installments starting in 2018, instead of a one-off repayment in 2016.

It also provides for lowering the interest to 2.5 percent from its original level of 4.5 percent, with effect as of last March.

The restructuring agreement was signed in Moscow by Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak and Cypriot Finance Minister Haris Georgiades.

The loan was obtained by Cyprus in December 2011, as the government at that time desperately tried to delay or entirely avoid a bailout.

However, it finally had to apply for bailout in June 2012, after the Cypriot banks took a hit on account of their exposure to the write-down of Greek debts.

The bailout deal agreed with the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund in March involved the recapitalization of the island's largest lender, Bank of Cyprus by using 47.5 percent of deposits over 100,000 euros and the winding down of the second largest lender. It also led to unprecedented controls to restrict the flight of capital which have yet to be lifted.

Many Russian and Ukrainian depositors who lost money in the recapitalization have become shareholders in the country's biggest bank, having a controlling share of the bank's equity.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said in an interview with Russian Itar-Tass news agency on Thursday that the government intends to partly compensate the losses of Russian depositors as a gesture of appreciation.

He said the Russians did not desert Cyprus despite bad decisions which hurt them and they deserve to get back part of their money.

     "Our friends have remained our friends," Anastasiades said.

     He added that a special fund will be set up into which part of future proceeds from the sale of newly found natural gas will be channeled.

     Six Russians are among the members of the newly elected board of Bank of Cyprus. A one-time colleague of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the KGB, Vladimir Stralskofski was elected vice-president of the board. (


Birbili Named UN’s Ozone Chief

The former Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change and close associate of George Papandreou, Tina Birbili, has been appointed the new executive secretary of the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer in the United Nations, after an international selection process. Birbili has also served as Permanent Representative of Greece to the OECD. According to the ...


End-of-session advance for Athens bourse

The closing auctions at the Greek bourse on Thursday provided considerable buying interest that reversed earlier losses and propelled the benchmark index ever closer to the 1,000-point level.The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 997 points, adding 0.82 percent to ...


Greece stuns defending champion Spain 79-75 in 2nd round of European basketball championship

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – Greece rallied with a big fourth quarter to beat defending champion Spain 79-75 Thursday in the second round of the European basketball championship. Trailing by five at the end of three quarters, Greece outscored Spain ...


High greek fees deter some

Minneapolis Star TribuneHigh greek fees deter someMinnesota DailyThe University of Minnesota's greek community experienced recruitment growth again during this year's rush week. While some students find significant value in joining a fraternity or sorority, others say high membership costs outweigh the benefits.Greeks cannot be taken seriously until they move past segregationThe University of Alabama Crimson WhiteUniversity of Minnesota sees resurgence of interest in Greek lifeMinneapolis Star TribuneSix Greek street properties vandalizedTimes-DelphicUcaecho -Daily Illiniall 24 news articles »


Greece stuns Spain 79-75 at Euro championship

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) -- Greece rallied with a big fourth quarter to beat defending champion Spain 79-75 Thursday in the second round of the European basketball championship.


Marijuana Galore Found on Southern Greek Beach

Marijuana Galore Found on Southern Greek BeachABC NewsMarijuana Galore Found on Southern Greek Beach. ATHENS, Greece September 12, 2013 (AP). Associated Press. Greece police are looking for a drug-smuggling gang that abandoned an 830-kilogram (1,800-pound) stash of marijuana on a southern beach.Greek police find 1800 pounds of marijuana abandoned on a southern beach ...Greenfield Daily Reporterall 1 news articles »


Greek police find 1,800 pounds of marijuana abandoned on a southern beach, seek the smugglers

Greece police are looking for a drug-smuggling gang that abandoned an 830-kilogram (1,800-pound) stash of marijuana on a southern beach.


Kemah Greek Food and Wine Festival to begin Sept. 13

The festival, which will take place in the Sixth Street parking lot at 604 Bradford Avenue, Kemah, will be held from 4-10 p.m. Friday ... presented for the 20th year by St. John the Theologian Greek Orthodox Church, will be used to support the church's ...


Greece defeats the European basketball champion

Greece defeats the European basketball championKathimeriniGreece came from behind to upset Spain in Slovenia, winning 79-75 in its first game in the second round at Ljubljana and increasing its chances of reaching the knock-out stages of the Eurobasket. The national team was considerably improved on its ...


Greece’s Horrific Unemployment Rate Finds A Way To Get Even Worse

were far too optimistic . The International Monetary Fund had expected a 5.5 percent contraction in the Greek economy, with unemployment hitting 15 percent, before things turned around and the country returned to a growth trajectory. Despite acknowledging their errors, international authorities have not allowed Athens to ease the pace or degree of austerity requirements. The country was forced ...


The Legacy of Catsimatidis Candidacy

The name of John Catsimatidis will be remembered beyond his success in business, and reverberate loudly in politics, giving stature to all Greek-American candidates. The New York primary election this week held this week was doubly historic, for the city, and especially our community. When historians write about the life of our community they will note that the 2013 primaries were an important ...


Menendez Backs Obama Stance Cypriot Talks

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is a strong backer of Greek-American causes. NEW YORK - New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The National Herald in an interview that it was the threat of American military might that led Syria to seek a diplomatic compromise over its alleged use of chemical weapons against its citizens in that country's ...


Greek Births Fall 10 in 5 Years

Childbirth in Greece decreased by 10% the last five years, according to data from the Institute of Child Health. The data which was sent to the Greek Parliament by the Minister of Health, Adonis Georgiadis, shows that in 2007 the number of births was 111,926 and fell over the years to 100,980. ';The problem of low fertility among the Greek population is continuously increasing over the ...


Estonia PM says voter bailout fatigue easing, open to new Greece bailout

Greece has already been bailed out twice since 2010 with 240 billion euros worth of agreements coordinated by the European Central Bank, European Union and International Monetary Fund. "Bailout fatigue, this is not a hot topic in our country ...


Greek jobless rate hits new record despite easing recession

ATHENS (AFP) - Greece's unemployment rate hit a new record high in June, the state statistics agency said on Thursday, despite recent signs that the country's battered economy is improving. The jobless ratio climbed to 27.9 percent of the workforce in June ...


Blistering Report Details Racial Segregation Of University Of Alabama Sororities

In 2003, a University of Alabama student Carla Ferguson accepted a bid to Gamma Phi Beta — the first time in the school's history that a black woman joined a traditionally white sorority.

A decade later and 50 years since the school first integrated, Ferguson remains the only black student to have ever pledged a UA Panhellenic sorority through the formal recruitment process. According to an extraordinary report from the Crimson White — UA's student paper — many people associated with the Greek system are trying to keep it this way.

At UA, freshmen traditionally participate in sorority recruitment before classes start in August, going through several rounds of touring the houses and meeting sisters. After each round, a student can be "cut" from a house, and is no longer considered for membership.

This year, the alumni or advisors of at least four Panhellenic sorority houses —  Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Chi Omega, and Pi Beta Phi — intervened in the formal recruitment process in order to remove a black student from consideration, the Crimson White reports. Neither of the two black students who went through formal recruitment this year were offered a bid to any of UA's 16 sororities that participate in the process, a decision that current sisters say was determined by race.

Members of both Alpha Gamma Delta and Tri Delta told the Crimson White that the sororities' alumni removed one of the black student's from discussions, while a member of Chi Omega said the house's advisor did the same, leading to one member of the house leaving the sorority over her anger at the decision. A member of Pi Beta Phi said her house's alumni threatened to cut funding if a black student pledged the sorority

One member of Tri Delta told the Crimson White that one black student's "'excellent scores,' influential family and 'awesome resume' would have made her a more-than-qualified candidate for Panhellenic recruitment and would have ensured her a bid from a sorority if she wasn't black."

"Not a lot of rushees get awesome scores .. Sometimes sisters [of active members] don't get that. [She] got excellent scores. The only thing that kept her back was the color of her skin in Tri Delt. She would have been a dog fight between all the sororities if she were white," the Tri Delta member said.

The racial segregation of UA sororities is often glaringly obvious, as in this Tweet earlier this year from the brother of a non-white student — coincidentally a member of one of the houses mentioned by the Crimson White:

Where's Waldo... I mean my sister @jazzyjsabio? She's the only non-white girl in her sorority! #Alabama

— Jason Sabio (@Jsabio3) January 5, 2013

As well as these pictures from UA sorority bid day:

Can you tell it's Bid Day in Alabama?

— Lexi Day (@lexibrowningday) August 17, 2013

@AlphaOPrincess University of Alabama bid day! #babypandas

— Sierra Grace (@sierrabaxter19) September 9, 2013

@Harry_Styles you neeeeeed to come to The University of Alabama on Bid Day 2013!!!!! Say yes. You know you want to.

— Adele (@adele_irious) April 22, 2013

You can read the full Crimson White report of the racial divide of UA sororities here >

Join the conversation about this story »



Cheyenne Greek Festival begins Friday

Cheyenne Greek Festival begins FridayKitsap SunGet your Greek on, Wyoming. The Cheyenne Greek Festival kicks off Friday with two days of Greek music, dancing and food. Saturday's festivities will feature a car show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, with an array of cars ranging from a 2002 For Mustang to 1963 ...and more »


Where are they now Dick Fuld the Greek tragedy of the crisis

"Hi, I'm Dick Fuld, the most hated man in America." It was just after the crisis, and Fuld was making a rare social appearance at a party in the Sun Valley, Idaho, mansion of Jim Johnson, the former head of Fannie Mae. The self-mocking introduction, described by a guest, was Fuld's armor--his way of broaching, and deflecting, the first thought that leaps to mind whenever ...


PAOK fans released pending trial over attack on Golden Dawn Thessaloniki HQ

Forty-six PAOK fans were on Thursday released from custody in Thessaloniki pending trial for an alleged attack against Golden Dawn's headquarters in the northern Greek city.The suspects have been charged with breach of the peace and a fireworks violation. A trial was set for December 9.A group of soccer supporters pelted the premises of Golden Dawn on Kazatzakis St. with stones and ...


Oh No, Ladies: Chobani Greek Yogurt Linked to 89 Reports of Illness

10NewsOh No, Ladies: Chobani Greek Yogurt Linked to 89 Reports of IllnessJezebelSince Jezebel is a site for ladies and things ladies like, and since yogurt is the number one thing ladies like/want/see/eat/do/rub all over ourselves/others, I suppose we should talk about how a bunch of Chobani Greek yogurt manufactured in Twin Falls ...FDA: Recalled Chobani Greek yogurt may have sickened 89 peopleGlobalPostFDA receives 89 reports of illnesses after eating moldy Chobani Greek yogurt10NewsChobani Greek Yogurt Issues Voluntary Recall Due to Mold ConcernsPhiladelphia Magazine (blog)KERO-TV 23 -AgWeb -ShortNews.comall 123 news articles »


Greece hit by yet more unemployment, but may be near bottom

Greece hit by yet more unemployment, but may be near bottomThe Globe and MailGreece's jobless rate hit a record high of 27.9 per cent in June, data showed on Thursday, as the labour market continued to buckle in a deep recession with austerity policies linked to the country's bailout. Unemployment rose from 27.6 per cent in May ...


Eurozone collapse has been avoided but a hard landing is still possible

So long as European banks remain undercapitalised and overleveraged, a sustainable recovery supported by robust bank lending is unlikely

The eurozone crisis is over, or so we are being told. But can a couple of quarters of economic growth support claims of recovery?

There is no doubt that the outlook for Europe has brightened since early 2012. Ten eurozone countries had just been downgraded by the ratings agency Standard & Poor's. Economic activity was spiraling downward, while nervous investors were fleeing southern European banks. The Spanish government was about to nationalize Bankia, the country's fourth-largest bank, but could not say where it would obtain the funds to recapitalise it. Interest rates on government bonds were racing upward.

In Greece, meanwhile, an election was approaching, amid fears that the new government would reject the country's financing agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. At that point, the country might be forced out of the eurozone.

And what happened in Greece would not stay in Greece. Once the process of euro exit had started, there was no telling where it would stop. The general feeling was that the common currency was doomed.

In fairness, this dark prognosis was not universally embraced. My own favorite recollection of this period is from March 2012, when I shared a podium in New York with another, more famous economist. We were asked: "What probability do you attach to Greece leaving the eurozone by the end of the year?" He said 100%. I said 0%. This caused no little amusement in the audience. In the end, one of us was more right than the other.

What those forecasting the eurozone's collapse overlooked was the commitment of elected officials and their constituents to the European project. In Greece, where tensions ran highest, Syriza, the main leftist anti-euro party, received only 27% of the vote in the 2012 parliamentary election. In the run-up to Germany's general election later this month, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats have indistinguishable pro-euro positions. Alternative für Deutschland, the anti-euro party, is polling a mere 4%. It may yet win a few seats in the Bundestag; but the numbers indicate that euro-skepticism remains a fringe position.

Along with this deep and abiding commitment to the European project, there is fear of the unknown. The consequences of abandoning the euro are highly uncertain, and few European leaders are willing to go there. When push comes to shove, they are prepared to do just enough to hold the eurozone together, even if the necessary steps are economically and politically distasteful.

So what changed in the last year? First, Europe now has a true lender of last resort. In July 2012, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged that the ECB would do "whatever it takes" to preserve the euro. Draghi was still new on the job, so markets interpreted his pledge as signaling the advent of a new regime.

A few days later, the ECB established its "outright monetary transactions" programme, which promised potentially unlimited purchases of troubled eurozone governments' bonds. As a result, a mad dash for the exits by investors could no longer cause European financial markets to collapse.

Eurozone member states then agreed to address their banking problems by creating a single supervisor and a mechanism for winding down bad banks. Spain conducted a systematic audit of its banking system, and €100bn (£85bn) of EU and IMF money was made available for recapitalisation.

To be sure, there has been only limited progress in establishing the single supervisor – and no progress on the resolution mechanism. But the commitment is important. The spectre of a collapse of Europe's banks, like the spectre of a self-fulfilling debt crisis, has been banished, allowing Europe's nose-diving economies to pull up in time.

But Europe could still suffer a hard landing. The banks remain weak. Now that the European Banking Authority has finally issued new prudential rules, they can get about the business of raising the capital they need as a buffer against losses. Société Générale has moved in this direction, but few other banks have followed so far. So long as European banks remain undercapitalised and overleveraged, a sustainable recovery supported by robust bank lending is unlikely.

Nor has the debt overhang been removed. In the first quarter of this year, the eurozone's public-debt ratio actually rose, to 92.2% of GDP. Given policymakers' reluctance to contemplate write-downs, specifically of debt held by official lenders, governments have been forced to levy high taxes to service their obligations, in turn depressing investment. It would be better to give the European Stability Mechanism, the ECB, and other official holders of sovereign debt the haircuts that they deserve.

Doing just enough to prevent the eurozone from collapsing is not the same as setting the stage for sustainable growth. Yes, Europe's economic performance has improved. But if policymakers fail to complete unfinished business, the prognosis will be bleak.

• Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2013.

Eurozone crisisEuropean UnionEuropean monetary unionEconomicsBankingEuropean banksFinancial crisisFinancial sectorEuroEuropeBarry © 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 Soldiers Lack Food Uniforms

The financial crisis that Greece is facing has had a negative impact on the Hellenic Army as well, where the situation is dramatic. Recruits are those who are chiefly affected, as apart from the psychological impact of being recruited, they also have to face food and clothing shortages. The cuts have led army units to give exit permits to recruits before the oath of allegiance in order to limit ...


Greek ICU’s Close 200 Beds

According to the President of the Hellenic Society of Intensive Care Medicine, Dr Apostolos Armaganidis, for the first time Greece has proceeded to more than 200 ICU bed closures because of staff shortages. In the Attikon Hospital only 13 out of 27 beds operate at a time when so many patients are fighting for their lives. The average number in Europe is 12 ICU beds per 100,000 of the ...


Greece May Need Two More Bailouts: ECB Official

Greece could require two more bailouts to keep its economy afloat, warned European Central Bank Governing Council member Luc Coene on Wednesday, though he remained confident that the worst of the eurozone crisis was already over, reported Reuters.

 Greece could require two more bailouts to keep its economy afloat, warned European Central Bank Governing Council member Luc Coene on Wednesday, though he remained confident that the worst of the eurozone crisis was already over, reported Reuters.

read more


The Dream of the European Union: Greece Under the Rule of Troika

The Dream of the European Union: Greece Under the Rule of TroikaHuffington Post (blog)Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of the European Union (EU), speaking in Strasbourg, on May 16, 1949, said: "We are carrying out a great experiment, the fulfillment of the same recurrent dream that for ten centuries has revisited the peoples ...


Greek restaurants on Long Island

18 m ago In Roslyn Heights accident on Roslyn Rd NB at I U Willets Rd In Roslyn Heights accident on Roslyn Rd NB at I U Willets Rd 27 m ago In Nassau Cnty accident cleared on The L.I.E./I-495 WB between X40/Jericho Tpk/NY Rt-25 and x39/Glen Cove ...


Tidbits: Greek yogurt

Tidbits: Greek yogurtMinneapolis Star TribuneIt took a while, but Kemps has jumped onto the Greek yogurt bandwagon with both feet. Make that three feet, including two Greek products Mr. Tidbit hasn't noticed elsewhere. First, like everyone else, Kemps has added a Greek line — Kemps Greek Style ...


Greek Jobless Rate Soars To 27.9

There are 1.4 million people in unemployment lines in Greece - and counting. ATHENS -- As Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said the economy is on the road to recovery and a return to the markets next year, the unemployment rate has continued to soar, setting another record of 27.9 percent in June amid fears it could go as high as 31 percent. It's more than double that for those under-25 ...


German Institute Says Greece Bankrupt

While Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said austerity has helped put the country on the road to possible recovery and a return to the markets next year, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) said Greece’s debt is unsustainable despite $325 billion in two bailouts. "Greece is still insolvent," said Ferdinand Fichtner, head of the forecasting and economic policy ...


Greek Dentists Migrate Due to Crisis

A number of 600 dentists have left Greece and relocated abroad during the last four years due to the financial crisis the country is facing. Just like other doctors, dentists are now abandoning Greece to seek their professional survival in other countries, mainly in Europe. According to data from the Athens Dental Association, which is the most representative science association in Greece ...


Greece jobless at record 1.4m

(13 mins ago) The unemployment rate in Greece hit a new record high in June, the state statistics agency said. The jobless ratio climbed to 27.9 percent of the workforce in June from 27.6 percent a month earlier, with the young and women once again hit the hardest. The agency noted that over 174,000 people had lost their jobs in the previous year, including over 20,000 over the last month. ...


Greek-catholic Patriarch: Orthodox connivance with Stalin undermines our relations

For the Moscow Patriarchate the Uniate situation is the biggest obstacle to the meeting between Kirill and Pope. Moscow (AsiaNews) - The non-admission of the Russian Orthodox Churches' complicity with the Soviet persecution of Greek-Catholics in Ukraine is ...


Cyprus coach Nikos Nioplias resigns after World Cup qualifying loss to Slovenia

by  Associated Press Cyprus coach quits after loss to Slovenia Associated Press - 12 September 2013 07:57-04:00

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus coach Nikos Nioplias has resigned in the wake of the country's poor showing in World Cup qualifying.

A statement posted on the Cyprus Football Association's website says Nioplias offered his resignation after the country's 2-0 loss to Slovenia on Tuesday.

An interim coaching staff will lead the team in its final two qualifying matches against Albania and Iceland next month before the search for a new coach begins.

Cyprus has only one victory and a draw in six qualifying games and is last in Group E with four points.

Nioplias, a Greek national who assumed coaching duties in June 2011, said after the loss to Slovenia that he's pessimistic about Cyprus' future because of a lack of good players.

News Topics: International soccer, Soccer, Sports, 2014 FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup, Men's soccer, Events, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Cyprus, Slovenia, Western Europe, Europe, Eastern Europe

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. This article is published under the terms of the News Licensing Group, LLC. privacy policy, in addition to the terms of use and privacy policy for this website.


Digi-development: exploring the potential of online volunteering

Websites now exist to connect poor communities with a problem to individuals with a solution, anywhere in the world. But are they effective?

In Kagitumba, Rwanda, villagers are crowded around a computer. They are reading an email from Bireswar in India, explaining how his village collects and shares rainwater during a drought. Meanwhile, Luz Köhler, a UN volunteer from Guatemala, is researching online donation systems in Uganda for a non-profit that wants to start fundraising. In Sadhana, India, autistic children are playing in a 'sensory room' designed by two Dutch occupational therapists. The room is stocked with equipment from Germany, India and Greece, all sourced by online volunteers.

These stories sound like utopian dreams conjured up in a hippy séance. But they are real, made possible by a surge of interest in online volunteering.

Edith Munubbe, who is a representative for her village in Kirinyaga, Kenya, claims that her life has been turned around by online volunteering. Her young husband passed away, leaving her to raise two daughters on her own. When she was laid off by the government, she sank into a deep depression.

"After my redundancy, I slept for six months straight. One day a lady came to visit me and began to tell me about computers and started to teach me how to use them. It was through searching on the internet that I realised I could obtain help for my local community.

"I have fallen in love with the internet! Because of it, friendships have been created. Our community and our foundation have been connected with organisations around the world."

Munubbe is part of an online community called Nabuur. She stumbled across the site while looking for help for her village. Nabuur was set up 10 years ago by geeks in the Netherlands. The group wanted to see whether their coding skills could come in useful for international development.

I talked to one of the founders, Pelle Aardema, to find out whether online volunteering is all talk and no action.

"Yes, it's a lot of talk …" says Aardema, with his classic dry Dutch humour, "... but it's important to talk before jumping into action, and doing things that aren't thought through."

A case in point is a village representative in India who was desperate to enlist help with water harvesting in his village. He tried for two years but didn't succeed. Discouraged, he came to an online volunteer for advice. After a long talk, they realised that he was alone in thinking the project was a good idea. Water simply wasn't the most pressing issue for the villagers.

He shifted his focus to sports and education, which took off. They now run a Sunday school (non-religious, more extracurricular education and activities) and have a local trust that sponsors community projects.

Far from being a sop for the guilt of the rich, it seems that online volunteering can produce genuinely sustainable results. But there are also pitfalls.

Nearly half of the villages on Nabuur have stopped responding to volunteers. Aardema explains why: "I think in most cases [communication ends] because it has taken too long before concrete results are met. It usually takes quite some time to build trust, develop a mutual understanding, and also understand the problem at hand.

"This goes for both the volunteers and the local representatives. Volunteers may find the local rep doesn't communicate clearly, local reps may find the volunteers ask too many questions or keep asking the same questions over and over. Also keep in mind that communicating on a regular basis from an internet café also means an ongoing investment for a local rep who usually lives on a low income."

Additionally, expectations may have been wrong from the onset. Some communities manage to get a school built via Nabuur, but that doesn't mean that every community will easily see their dream realised. It depends on mutual trust, perseverance and some personal chemistry (even online) to make it work, Pelle said.

UN volunteer Köhler did find a way to make it work. "The first thing I did was to share ideas and case studies so they could see the bigger picture of what I was planning to do for them. From the start I made a couple of suggestions such as updating the website, being consistent with their logo, having a phrase summarising the vision of the organisation, and so on. To my surprise, they took quick action on this and few months later a new website was created."

Still, projects can be hampered by the greater problems with infrastructure that all development initiatives share. For example, online donation options for those in developing countries are limited. Many payment providers restrict operations to domestic transactions only.

However, this is where online volunteering can better the classic model of development. Volunteers based in other developing countries may be more inventive when it comes to circumventing poor infrastructure.

For example, an agricultural student in Uganda, Charles Kijja, used Nabuur to connect with residents in a village on the shores of Lake Victoria. He helped them to research methods of organic pest management that subsistence farmer could afford. Several months later, the pests are under control.

Perhaps we need to replace the old adage, and start to "think local, act global."

Rachel Collinson is director of knowledge sharing and innovation at Engaging Networks and a digital campaigner at Greenpeace. Follow @Rachel_shares on Twitter

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. To get more articles like this direct to your inbox, sign up free to become a member of the Global Development Professionals Network

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Greek police seize record haul of crystal meth

Greek police seize record haul of crystal methOfficer.comATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say they have made a record seizure of a dangerous synthetic drug that has become increasingly popular with impoverished addicts amid the country's financial crisis. A police statement says two Romanian men ...


Greek unemployment gets worse. Yes, worse.

Greek ReporterGreek unemployment gets worse. Yes, worse.QuartzAnother month, another atrocious unemployment number for Greece. Unemployment climbed to 27.9% in June according to the latest numbers from the Hellenic Statistical Authority. That's up from 27.6% in May. Last June unemployment was 24.6%.Greek unemployment rises to 27.9%USA TODAYGreek Unemployment's New Record: 27.9%Greek ReporterGreek Unemployment Hits Record High Of 27.9 PercentHuffington Postall 22 news articles »


Greece May Need More Aid

BRUSSELS--Greece's official lenders could need to step in twice more to help the country as it very slowly recovers from its economic crisis, Luc Coene, the president of Belgium'sNational Bank, said in a radio interview Wednesday morning. Asked whether Greece's euro-zone partners will need to prepare a third aid package for Greece, Mr. Coene, who is also a European Central ...


MP Says Ancient Greek Irrelevant

Maria Repousi A member of the Greek Parliament from the marginalized Democratic Left (DIMAR), Maria Repousi, said Ancient Greek has no relevance any more in schools and should not be mandatory, setting off a furor from critics questioning her patriotism. Repousi was already under fire for saying that religion should not be taught in schools either, in a country where 97 percent of people claim ...


DIW chief against fresh bailout for Greece

Granting Greece a fresh bailout would be a bad idea, Ferdinand Fichtner, head of macroeconomic policy at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), said according to reports Thursday, siding instead in favor of a writedown for the debt-wracked ...


Oxfam Says Austerity Killing Greece Europe

(Photo/Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images) A free distribution of fruit and vegetables by Greek farmers outside the Agriculture Ministry in Athens earlier this year. Oxfam has warned on the state of Greece in its predictions for Europe. More than 20 percent of Greeks are living in poverty now. Europe faces a "lost decade", with the number of people trapped in poverty across the ...


Greece Back As Property Destination Choice

Buyers bid farewell to Greek tragedy in August 2013, as the country joined the world's top 10 property destinations for the first time in 11 months. America's recovering real estate was the most popular on, accounting for more than one in five enquiries, but rising confidence in the Eurozone saw Greece build momentum of its own, as the country received its highest ...