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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Young Man in Mytilene Returns Bag with 2,800 euros

A lesson of honesty is to be learned from a 29-year-old in Mytilene, from a town on the island of Lesbos, in North Aegean, Greece, who found and gave back a ladies bag containing the sum of 2,800 euros. The man even denied the reward that the owner of the lost bag tried to give […]

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Shock in Agrinio- Mother of Three Children Hangs Herself

The sad list of suicides lengthens. A young mother committed suicide in the quarry of the village in Lepenou, Agrinio, Greece. The 35-year old woman ended her life by hanging herself. As it was reported, the young woman disappeared last night, and her relatives and friends searched for her all around the village. Unfortunately this […]

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Mother Abuses Daughter With her Lover

From the age of 14, a young girl was raped systematically by the 51-year-old lover of her mother. The teenage girl has been suffering 4 years of torture from her mother’s lover; her mother not only tolerated the situation but also encouraged her to fulfill all his needs. The unlucky girl ran away from home […]

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Playwright Giannis Kalamitsis Passes Away

The playwright, lyricist and radio producer Giannis Kalamitsis, after many months of hospitalization at the Sismanoglio Hospital in Athens, Greece, passed away at the age of 74. The well-known radio producer lost the fight with renal insufficiency that for many months had affected his health. Giannis Kalamitsis was born in Piraeus on the 31st of […]

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Reactions On First Sunday Opening of Stores

The first “experiment” of Sunday shops opening that took place on Sunday the 3rd of November was proven successful, as the movement in many chain stores and supermarkets in Athens and Piraeus show consumers responded well to the opening of stores on Sundays. After opposition from small retailers and the Greek Orthodox Church, the government […]

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The Killing Season Opens in Greece

Some murders are justified. Putting a bullet in Hitler’s head would have saved about 40 million lives and spared the world of the horrors wrought by a maniac. Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party believes he should have won the Nobel Peace Prize and that World War II was a staged movie produced by Hollywood Jews […]

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Welcome to Malibu, rehab city

There's one place the rich and famous head to sober up – Malibu. So why is the town turning against its biggest business? Ann Friedman visits the rehab riviera where they will clean you up – and clean you out

On the drive up to Cliffside Malibu in early September, a breeze is swaying the palm trees that frame a view of the crystalline-blue Pacific. It smells of saltwater and dusty sage. The pristine white clapboard house, situated near the top of the hill on a secluded cul-de-sac, has raffia wallpaper and overstuffed leather couches. Small bundles of fresh rosemary and lavender rest on top of each of the beds, which are fitted with 1,000-thread-count sheets. It's lunchtime, and the meals here, many of which are made using produce from the organic orchard on the premises, rival those on the menu at five-star restaurants. (Today it's seaweed soup, Korean-inspired beef sushi, sesame cucumber salad, Perrier.)

The guests, who are some of the wealthiest people from around the world, have access to yoga, massage, acupuncture and horses. Outside on the deck, a row of chaise longues are arranged perfectly perpendicular to the ocean-parallel pool. The staff, several of whom greet me at the door, are accommodating and cheerful. All I can think is how relieved I am that I parked my dented 1999 Honda Accord around the corner. Most people, it's clear, arrive here in luxury SUVs – some of them evading the paparazzi.

Despite its air of celebrity and enthusiastic embrace of luxury, Cliffside isn't a high-end resort. This is the new rehab. "It's sweet, right?" founder and CEO Richard Taite asks me again and again as he walks me through his drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre, which has catered to "high-wealth individuals" since 2011. Taite has close-cropped grey hair, a goatee and a pair of black-rimmed glasses that automatically tint when he walks out into the southern California sunshine.

Cliffside represents a new trend in treatment that some have dubbed the "Malibu model". It's a shift since the late 1970s, when the Betty Ford Center – located a few hours' drive inland, near Palm Springs – pioneered the idea that the super-wealthy need nearly prison-like conditions to overcome addiction. These days, tough love is out. Opulence is in. And Malibu is the capital.

In the past, says Dr David Sack, CEO of Elements Behavioral Health, "there was an informal view that you don't want to give addicts too much comfort or they won't take their treatment seriously. Hard beds, bad food. Addicts should pay for the discomfort they caused their society and family." Elements Behavioral Health now owns Promises, the original Malibu treatment centre, and several other centres around the country. "That prejudice resulted in there being very few treatment programmes that aspired to the AA philosophy – that people get better because they see it as a better way to live. Yet the programmes themselves were very uninviting."

Today, Malibu-model programmes are nothing if not inviting. Even the centres' websites read like travel brochures. The "amount of fun" that can be had at Milestones Ranch, where they keep goats named Stevie Nicks and Stealy Dan (sic) on the premises, is "limitless". "If you like to sing and dance, we have a vocal coach, dance instructors, music therapy," the website gushes. "And if we don't have it… we will get it." Summit Malibu offers a "world-class chef" and "luxurious living quarters". In its promotional video, Passages Malibu calls itself "palatial" and showcases an entryway framed by classic Greek columns and a pair of stone lions. Hydrangeas and white candles appear everywhere, as do reassuring white men with longish grey hair and white linen shirts unbuttoned to the solar plexus.

"I just think that this is a really comfortable place to do some uncomfortable work," Taite says, back at Cliffside. "When you come here and you have this vibe, are you pissed off even a little? Look at this. I mean, look at this view." Indeed, outside the window is an expansive stretch of ocean, with visibility all the way to Catalina Island, 35km from the coast.

A so-called "Rehab Riviera" has blossomed here in the past decade. This small town in southern California now hosts 34 facilities – one for every 350 residents. "It's an over $100m- a-year business," says Malibu mayor Joan House. Promises charges between $55,000 and $85,000 for 31 days of treatment. A bed at Cliffside costs between $53,000 and $68,000 a month, with a 10% discount for each additional month a client stays. Both facilities are booked out at least six months in advance and other high-end centres are in equal demand. The local residents aren't happy: "All of us would like to see people with addictions and problems well taken care of," House says. But it's hard to work out whether it's proper care or profit margins that comes first: "They're just lining their own wallets as far as I'm concerned."

With the perfect combination of proximity to Hollywood and coastal seclusion, Malibu is the go-to destination for celebrity rehab. Britney Spears and Ben Affleck tried Promises. Mel Gibson and Natasha Lyonne checked into Passages. Lindsay Lohan's father told the tabloids that his daughter tried the Betty Ford Center's disciplinarian model but found Cliffside much more to her liking. "She has more freedom, it's more personalised, and the treatment is better for her," he said. Shortly after, Lohan was photographed there, on her balcony, having a cigarette.

"I've had very influential people here," Taite says. "Not just celebrities – that's the least of it. I'm talking about some of the wealthiest human beings on the face of the earth." There are CEOs, sheikhs, heirs to family fortunes. "These people are used to getting their ass kissed, just like beautiful women are used to being told they're beautiful. They need to learn a new way to live, and they're so successful in other areas of their life that they walk in and almost demean you."

The children of the super-rich are rehab regulars. Some centres even cater to them explicitly. "Many of the clients who come to Passages are intimidated by the success of their parents," says a Passages promotional video. Promises sees many clients who have spent their teens and 20s partying and spending family money, only to hit their 30s and 40s and feel depressed and empty.

Before joining Elements in 2011, Robert Weiss, senior vice president of clinical development, was sceptical. "Betty Ford famously once said, that one of the best things she learned in treatment was how to make her own bed. I was totally on board with that whole way of thinking. Like really, can't you make your own bed? Do you really need a chef? And then I got it. There are some people who won't stay at a Holiday Inn. They're only going to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. They may have a lot of entitlement or narcissism, but does that mean they don't get to recover?" These are people who will use any excuse – be it a lack of macrobiotic cuisine or the absence of their favourite pilates instructor – to quit rehab.

And so, the theory goes, to keep them around and get them sober, you need to offer the sort of creature comforts to which they've grown accustomed, down to the last detail. When Taite goes to a new restaurant, he orders everything on the starter menu to see if there's anything he'd like his chef to recreate at Cliffside. He lists a number of five-star restaurants in LA, asking if I've been to each one. Each time, I shake my head. I explain that most journalists aren't exactly high-wealth individuals. "You're cute," he replies. "Somebody should be taking you out."

I awkwardly change the subject back to luxury amenities; the centres offering everything from hyperbaric chambers and neurofeedback technology to wolf therapy (yes wolf therapy, in which patients commune with domesticated pack animals). At one centre, kayaking is "adventure therapy". Does that mean curling up with a novel is literary therapy? Going for a jog cardio therapy? It's no wonder the centres charge five times the rate of standard-issue, insurance-subsidised, 30-day facilities. But it's expensive for Taite, too. "My overhead every month is above 700 grand," he says. "I don't make what people think I make."

There may be some truth to that: recently, when Amanda Bynes moved from treatment at a UCLA hospital to a Malibu centre, it was reported that the $60,000 Malibu programme was actually half the price of the hospital stay. Round-the-clock care is expensive wherever you get it.

Given the rate that many centres are expanding, it's clear that it's lucrative. But is it effective? Most centres won't promise to get every client clean. "What I consider success is one year clean and sober," Taite says. "My experience is once you get a year, you've got a real shot. I've got a guarantee. If you leave here when we tell you you're ready to leave, and you relapse at any time within one year, we bring you back free of charge." He says about 22% of his clients stay until he tells them they're ready to leave and, for those clients, the success rate is more than 95%. For everyone else, he says the sobriety rate is closer to 50%.

Other centres are more hesitant to talk about the numbers. "We don't have a guarantee, because we think many of them are disingenuous as they come with so many qualifiers," Sack says of the Elements-affiliated centres. Some argue that the Malibu model is actually antithetical to sobriety. Recently, Scott Alpert, a former treatment provider at a Malibu facility, penned a scathing disavowal: "At the Malibu treatment centre where I worked, the focus was on caring for the client's creature comforts instead of healing their core issues that contributed to their substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or other addictive behaviour. How could we? We didn't have a programme at all! Yes, we had group therapy – when the clients were there. Yes, there were individual sessions – when you can track a client down. But treatment wasn't the main focus – keeping the customer happy was."

Taite argues that just because it's luxurious doesn't mean clients always get their way. His patients often get fed up and call a cab to take them away. "I've sent away more cabs than you can shake a stick at," he says. "Get them past the moment. This guy may call up a friend and get picked up in three or four hours. But typically what's gonna happen is he's gonna go, "Fuck it!" and just go to bed, and wake up tomorrow in a new headspace."

There have been a few recent incidents in which fed up, not-quite-sober clients end up on the streets of Malibu. In a much-publicised incident this spring, a local resident found a man wandering around his block naked, having escaped from a rehab facility down the street. At One80, a centre now closed, two clients died of drug or alcohol overdoses in their rooms. Locals want the centres to be regulated more strictly. The town council wants to crack down on centres that violate occupancy codes in order to slow down their rate of expansion.

Then there's the issue of property values. Local law says only six people can occupy a single home, and so many centres have expanded to become complexes of five or more buildings. They've also been accused of tricky manoeuvres such as counting a pool house as a separate residence in order to house more clients there. "There are lots of neighbours that are complaining about the way they're doing business," says Matt Ogden, president of the Malibu Association of Realtors. "Of course buyers are very sensitive to the issue of whether a rehab facility is nearby." But he is reluctant to say whether it affected the value of the neighbours' homes.

Taite has already bought three of the five houses on his cul-de-sac and refurbished them to match his Cape Cod aesthetic. He's put a down payment on the fourth and he's sure the fifth will be his eventually, too. "Who's gonna buy a house right in between four treatment centres?"

The mayor is all too aware of this. "It's so green out there. By state law you're not supposed to have a concentration of these – it totally changes the neighbourhood. More noise, smoking, cars…" In August, a small group of city officials travelled to Sacramento to ask the state government to reconsider the rules governing treatment centres. The city council's Lou La Monte told the local Malibu Times – as well as the national tabloid Entertainment Tonight – that he wanted to enlist other California cities in his crusade against dense clusters of rehab facilities. But Ogden warns that anti-discrimination laws that protect disabled residents also extend to residents with addiction issues. In other cities, such as nearby Newport Beach, rehab centres have sued the local government after it passed laws limiting their expansion.

Ask the CEOs of these treatment centres and they'll tell you that they're here to stay because this slice of land between the ocean and the mountains is perfect. "Malibu is a kind of sanctuary," says Sack. "There's a great sense of space in Malibu. The houses tend to be on big lots. In between the canyons and the ocean there's a sense of sort of infinity – you look at the ocean and its vastness and it's easy to see that your problems are not so big."

Indeed, it's true: people are coming from around the world – 30% of Taite's clients are from outside the United States. Standing on his Cliffside veranda, I understand the draw. I'm happy just to have an excuse to be here, taking in this view and deep breaths of the orchard-sweet air. But I have to wonder if, in their rapid push to expand, the rehab centres are undermining the very selling points they use to draw high-wealth individuals to Malibu to work on their problems. As an outsider, to me there is a palpable sense that part of what's great about these "27 miles of scenic beauty," as the welcome signs say, is the fact that not everyone can afford to live – or get clean – here. Though most of the treatment centres tout their seclusion, as they buy up tightly clustered properties in residential areas and turn them into gated compounds, exclusion might be a more accurate description. And it's hard to maintain the air of exclusivity when you're in the most popular business in town.

DrugsCelebrityLos AngelesAlcoholUnited StatesCaliforniatheguardian.com © 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


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The readers' editor on… the Guardian's coverage of the Roma child story in Greece

In a story only too likely to be seized upon to scapegoat and misrepresent Roma in general, this is particularly unfortunate, as it incorrectly denies even their speech status as a proper language." Within 24 hours of the removal of the child, in Greece ...

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Spiegel: Greece Fears the Revenge of neo-Nazis

The German news magazine Der Spiegel talks about a rising concern in Greece after the killing of two Golden Dawn members on the evening of Friday November 1st in Neo Irakleio, a suburb in the northern part of Athens, Greece. Spiegel fears that ...

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Greece: Small businesses protest against new laws allowing Sunday trading

www.worldbulletin.netGreece: Small businesses protest against new laws allowing Sunday tradingeuronewsShop owners, unions and the Orthodox Church have marched through the streets of Athens, united in protest against a law allowing shops to open on Sundays for the first time in a century. Sunday is traditionally a day for families to get together in ...Reactions On First Sunday Opening of StoresGreek ReporterSo like the GreeksPhilippine StarGreek retail workers protest Sunday shopping rulesChicago Tribuneall 5 news articles »

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Gypsies fear more retribution in Greece

The JournalistGypsies fear more retribution in GreeceThe TennesseanSOFADES, GREECE — Sitting in his sparsely furnished living room, Panagiotis Polizos watches Greek TV news and is horrified at how he says his Roma community has been vilified over the alleged abduction of a small girl. “Things are going to get worse ...Sofia | Bulgarian social workers are seeking the return of Maria from GreeceThe JournalistRaids ravage Roma communities and destroy familiesParty for Socialism and Liberationall 9 news articles »

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Unhappy Troika Coming Back to Athens

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Inspectors from Greece's lenders have put a postponed visit to the country back on the agenda and will return early next week after Athens made a new proposal on filling a gap in the 2014 budget, the European Commission said. The team of officials from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank - known as the Troika - will decide whether to pay out the next tranche of loans under Greece's bailout program. The inspectors visit Athens regularly to check progress on its bailout commitments. Their most recent inspection began in September before being paused and was initially expected to resume at end-October and then slated for resumption on Nov.4.

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Greece Sees Terrorist Links in Golden Dawn Murders

ATHENS (AFP)- Greek authorities believe an extremist group may be behind a drive-by shooting outside the offices of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in which two men were killed and another wounded, sources close to the investigation said. Investigators are examining 'all avenues, particularly those that link these events to extremist groups' behind a series of attacks on politicians, police, banks and the media, according to one source. Attacks by groups describing themselves as revolutionary and anti-authoritarian are relatively common in Greece. They are not usually fatal, although in 2009 a police officer was killed by three unknown gunmen in Athens and in 2010 a journalist was shot dead at his home. Both killings were claimed by the Sect of Revolutionaries, an extremist group.

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New Rochelle's Nisyrians Show Their Numbers

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. ? If any non-Greek residents of New Rochelle had dropped in on the VIP Country Club on the night of Nov. 2, judging from the size of the crowd, the lavish array of food and drink, and the contagious exuberance on the dance floor and at the tables, they might have thought Nisyros must be a rather big place. And if they were told about the numerous success stories of the Nisyrian-American community ? the countless, doctors, lawyers, academicians, entrepreneurs, politicians and, most notably, philanthropists ? they might even think that Nisyros is one the biggest islands in Greece. Their jaw might drop if they were to learn just how tiny Nisyros is ? a wee dot on a typical Greek map, too small on which to even print its name!

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Survivors of Greek Crisis Think Fast

Apostolos Kasidis is thankful that in 2008, after nearly half a century dealing in cars, his family firm moved out of Thessaloniki, Greece?s second-largest city, to a cheaper place 50 kilometers away, and started repairing vehicles as well as selling them. If it hadn?t, ?We would probably be bankrupt now,? he says. In crisis-ridden Greece, companies have had to adapt to survive. Only about 50,000 new cars are expected to be bought in Greece this year, down from 220,000 in 2009, partly because loans are scarce. But with more aging bangers on the roads, the repairs side of his business has been busy. Since April 2008 the number of businesses registered with IKA, Greece?s biggest social-security fund, has dropped by 119,000, or 38%. In such a brutal climate, businesses have had to do much more than just tighten their belts.

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"?welve Bullets Against Democracy"

ATHENS - A brazen drive-by shooting that killed two young members of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party has shocked Greeks and prompted soul-searching about whether the crisis-hit country is slipping into a 'cycle of violence.' Greece's anti-terrorism force is investigating whether the Nov. 1. rush hour shooting outside the party's offices in Athens was retaliation for a fatal stabbing of an anti-fascism rapper by a Golden Dawn supporter in September, police said. Rapper Pavlos Fyssas' death sparked protests across Greece and a government crackdown on Golden Dawn, which is widely considered neo-Nazi and is blamed for attacks against migrants. 'We cannot let this cycle of violence continue,' Makis Voridis, a senior lawmaker in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's New Democracy party, told Mega TV. 'This must end here.''Twelve Bullets Against Democracy,' top-selling daily Ta Nea wrote on its front page on Nov. 1. 'The double cold-blooded murder was a coarse provocation against stability.''Twelve Bullets Against Democracy,' top-selling daily Ta Nea wrote on its front page on Nov. 1. 'The double cold-blooded murder was a coarse provocation against stability.'

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Meet Creators and “Zeibekiko Dancing Tourist” from Greek Aegean Commercial

It’s fair to say that the fun concept of the commercial ... Scott: I had a friend who had done an Aegean Airlines commercial in the past, and he said I should register with a casting agency as they sometimes need models for commercials, ...

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The Scouting Report – The Greek Messi Ioannis Fetfatzidis

Ioannis Fetfatzidis’ moniker as the “Greek Messi” has a little bit to do with his style of play. But there are other parallels. Fetfatzidis joined Olympiacos’ academy aged 12 in 2004 and the club helped him with his growth hormone treatment in much ...

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Greek retail workers protest Sunday shopping rules

ATHENS (Reuters) - Retail workers protested in Athens against a relaxation of rules restricting the number of Sundays a year when shops can open, a reform demanded by Greece's foreign lenders which aims to make its recession-hit economy more flexible.

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Far-right Greek party members shot in fatal drive-by

Police officers are seen outside the local offices of the far-right Golden Dawn party, following last night's shooting. (John Kolesidis/Reuters) Police in Greece investigating the slaying of two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party and the serious wounding of a third person said Saturday the assailant finished off his victims at point-blank range before escaping on a motorcycle driven ...

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2 extreme right-wing members shot dead in Greece

Greek counter-terrorism squad members gather evidence outside the local branch of ultra-right wing Golden Dawn party in the northern Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio after a drive-by shooting on November 1, 2013. Two people were killed and another was seriously injured after shots were fired by two people on a motorbike as it passed the offices of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Athens, according ...

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A Walk Through the Tasty Part of Athens

The special tastes of charcuterie, chocolate treats, Greek herbs, spices, fine spirits and nuts emerged a few days ago in the center of Athens, Greece. Many corner stores, bakeries, restaurants and other shops of central Athens, ...

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Greek Peak gets a facelift

The renovations include a new quad chair lift, a tune-up center for ski repairs, and a restaurant with a toasty fireplace. The owners said there's no better place to enjoy the winter and make new memories. "Greek Peak is about family," John ...

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Golden Dawn killings 'could be act of revenge by far left group'

Greek authorities raise concerns over tit-for-tat violence following fatal shooting of two members of extreme right group    

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Golden Dawn members killed in Greece drive-by shooting

Police in Greece investigating the slaying of two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party and the serious wounding of a third person said Saturday the assailant finished off his victims at point-blank range before escaping on a motorcycle driven by an ...

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Killing of neo-Nazis ‘to affect Greece’s future’

Leader of Greece’s Democratic Left Party Fotis Kouvelis has warned against the ramifications of the recent killing of two members of Golden Dawn party for the future of the country. On Friday, two members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party were killed in ...

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Deftones get jubilantly heavy at the Greek

Deftones get jubilantly heavy at the GreekOCRegister (subscription)Seeing the Deftones is not an impossible task. The band played the Hollywood Palladium last year and turns up from time to time at any number of KROQ events. Looking over nearly 20 years as a touring unit, there aren't many Southern California venues ...

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George Osborne and the Eurosceptics are not entitled to their own facts

The launch of a new – and factual – report on the EU reminds us how slippery truth has become in the economic debate

The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once told an opponent: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." This astute comment came to mind when that great pro-European Peter Sutherland – he who, among other things, licked the World Trade Organisation into shape – made a nice observation at the recent launch of The UK & Europe: Costs, Benefits, Options, under the auspices of Regent's University, London.

Sutherland recalled an exchange with a Eurosceptic – or "Euroseptic", as Sir Edward Heath would have said – in which his interlocutor accused him of being "biased towards facts".

Subtitled The Regent's Report 2013, the 237-page document is going to be useful to all sides if we do have to go through what I myself regard as an unnecessary and time-wasting referendum on our membership of the European Union.

For a group of authors who are largely pro-European – and some, even now, pro-eurozone – they have produced a remarkably balanced document, with the emphasis on – wait for it – facts. There is plenty of acknowledgement of the tiresome aspects of the EU, and among a plethora of statistics, some obvious ones stand out.

These will not be new to students of the EU, but you can be sure they will not be highlighted by the anti-Europe brigade – many of whom have very nice houses in France, Spain, Italy and other parts of the EU. Suffice it to repeat here that, for all the fuss made by the anti-European press and Ukip, the entire "Brussels budget" amounts to 1% of EU gross domestic product.

Confusion can be worse confounded when it comes to facts. With economic statistics, we are often talking about estimates rather than facts. I have never found any evidence that Keynes made the remark often attributed to him: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

The explanation is simple: Keynes was far too intelligent to believe that facts could change. Facts are facts. Circumstances can change, and new information or more refined calculation can alter previous estimates.

Which brings us to the present position, and what one has to admire as the superb propaganda of the chancellor. According to George Osborne's interpretation of events, the recent crisis was caused by the profligacy of the Brown government, as was the putative need for austerity. And, hey presto, thanks to his brave programme of austerity, focused to a considerable extent on short-sighted cuts in public sector investment and mean-minded attacks on welfare, austerity has produced "recovery" and growth.

On the subject of mean-minded attacks on the poor, my old friend Sir John Major is to be congratulated for his recent observation that too many vulnerable citizens face a choice this winter as to whether to eat or heat.

Far too many people have swallowed Osborne's line, failing to appreciate that, with the obvious exception of Greece, the crisis was caused by the banks and other financial institutions, not public spending. It was the financial crisis that caused the bulk of the increase in the public sector debt. Moreover, a recovery was under way three years ago, until Osborne took measures to abort it.

Now, within a matter of months, some commentators have moved from talking up a recovery that wasn't there to worrying about the pace of the recent upturn, with GDP estimated to have expanded at an annual rate of 3.3% in the third quarter (in real terms). But, as Russell Jones points out in the latest bulletin from Llewellyn Consulting, "issues of the balance and sustainability of [UK] growth remain".

Investment and construction generally are way below their pre-crisis levels, the emphasis being on an old-fashioned consumer boom, but one that is being fuelled not by real incomes – which are depressed – but by cheap credit and consumer decisions that rely on the persistence of unusually low interest rates.

The biggest scandal of all is that policy is concentrating on encouraging a boom not in housebuilding, but in house prices. Like the Bourbons, the coalition and the Bank of England have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The Bank of England? In his early days the new governor, Mark Carney, talked about the need for "escape velocity" in the economy. His innovation was "forward guidance", which was supposed to reassure people that interest rates would remain low for a very long time. But already his chief economist is talking about moving to more "normal" levels of interest rates – which will be a blow to many – and speculating about the end of forward guidance when it has hardly begun.

However, the real coup for the Bourbon strategy is Carney's quite remarkably complacent attitude towards the future of the City of London. He seems to see a future in which a still largely unreformed banking system gets bigger and bigger, with even more of the leverage that made such a marked contribution to the financial crisis. True, he believes there can be reform. I wonder.

This is a dangerous game. Meanwhile, though Labour worries that Osborne may get away with his pre-election boom, the chancellor may be hoist by his own petard. It was Osborne who insisted on a five-year term. I have a feeling that by the summer of 2015 his cynical and reckless policy will have blown up in his face, and be seen for what it has always been.

AusterityEuropean UnionEuropean monetary unionEuropean banksEconomic growth (GDP)Economic recoveryGeorge OsborneEconomic policyEconomicsEuropeWilliam Keegantheguardian.com © 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


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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church holds 55th food bazaar

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church holds 55th food bazaarLancaster NewspapersNo matter where you're from or what your heritage may be, this is the one weekend a year when everyone in Lancaster County can be Greek. Thousands of hungry visitors are greeted as members of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church family when they ...Greek Orthodox Church Holds 37th Annual Bake SalewmbbFestival tours offer chance to explore art and history in Greek Orthodox churchDaytona Beach News-JournalTaste of Greece off to good startMontgomery Advertiserall 4 news articles »

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Ioannidis' Book Destiny Prevails Reveals Onassis' Vision

NEW YORK - When Paul J. Ioannidis wrote a book ? in 2008- about his life with the legendary Aristotle Onassis and his children in Greek �?? ?? ??? ?????, ?? ??????...� he surprised many people. Not only by the wealth of information it contained - some of it part of the history of Greece - but also by how well the book was written. It came to prove once again that some of the best books on history are written by non- historians. Many of us felt that it had to be translated in the English language too, so that it would become even more widely read than the Greek edition. The book Destiny Prevails: My Life With Aristotle, Alexander, Christina and Her Daughter, Athina, is a book destined to be read because it is as captivating as the one in Greek. Following is the full text of an interview he recently granted us:

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Fears of tit-for-tat after Greek extremists slain

The Greek counter-terrorism squad has taken over the investigation into Friday night's attack, when two assassins on a motorbike opened fire on men outside Golden Dawn's offices in Athens. Police said they were looking at whether the murders may have been ...

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Skiers get first look at Greek Peak improvements

WBNG-TVSkiers get first look at Greek Peak improvementsYNNWhat a difference a year has made for Greek Peak. Since last summer, the troubled ski resort has seen jobs put at risk because of lending issues, filed for bankruptcy and was sold at auction. But now, with more than $3 million in capital improvements ...Greek Peak gets a faceliftWBNG-TVall 3 news articles »

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Greek revival, Hollywood flair, S.F. hill

On an otherwise nondescript block near Buena Vista Park, this mock classical mansion stops you in your tracks. Broad and white, festooned with moldings and roofline frills, it spreads out behind a columned portico as though surrounded by rolling lawns on a ...

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More violence against Golden Dawn in Greece as 2 killed

ATHENS, Greece, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Investigators said the gunmen who killed two members of Greece's neo-fascist Golden Dawn party were armed with 9mm handguns.

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Gruesome Political Murder Shocks Greece

Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, ...

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Attack on “Golden Dawn” Greece fears Revenge of the neo-Nazis Breaking News

Twelve shots were fired, two men died: after the deadly attack on members of the ';Golden Dawn'; threaten new unrest Greece. Supporters of the neo-Nazi party announce revenge, some even speak of civil ...

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Hopes over fate of missing Syria bishops

Alleged comments by Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun last week over the fate of two Orthodox bishops abducted in the troubled Middle East country earlier this year have raised hopes that the two clerics are still alive, Kathimerini understands.According to Russian media, during a visit to Moscow on Tuesday, Hassoun said he had information that Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and ...

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Destiny prevails� a book by P.J. Ioannidis about his life with Onassis is destined to be read widely

New York. When Paul J. Ioannidis wrote a book - in 2008- about his life with the legendary Aristotle Onassis and his children in Greek ?? ?? ??? ?????, ?? ??????... he surprised many people. Not only by the wealth of information it contained - some of it part of the history of Greece- but also by how well the book was written. It came to prove once again that some of the books on history are ...

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Greece Golden Dawn speaks out against government in wake of drive-by murders

A day after two members of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party were killed in a drive-by shooting in Athens, locals told euronews they were shocked by the killings and afraid of escalating political violence in their crisis-wracked country. A bystander said: ';My bus was running late and I decided to walk towards the high street. I was just a few metres from the bus stop when I heard ...

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Olympiacos Beat Panathinaikos 1-0 Final Score

Olympiacos beat its most important enemy Panathinaikos in a race to win once again the Greek Championship. The game did not offer much spectacle to the tens of thousands of fans that were in the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium in Athens. Both Olympiacos and Panathinaikos missed a few opportunities to score. Almost until the end the game was a tie (0-0) but Mitroglou scored the winning goal for ...

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Police Say Golden Dawn Murders Point Blank

(AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis) Ilias Kasidiaris, (C), MP and spokesman for the extreme right party Golden Dawn speaks to reporters in front of the party's office in northern Athens, Nov. 2, 2013 as police looked for clues to the murder of two members and the wounding of one. ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Police investigating the slaying of two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party and the serious ...

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Orlando Greek Festival this weekend

Holy Trinity is partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and part of the proceeds will ... and you can also view a map on the Orlando Greek Fest website. Click on the quick links above to see full Greek dance routines ...

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Greek Cyprus sets terms for lifting EU block

After Turkey fulfills those two things, Greek Cyprus will allow the free circulation of products from Famagusta port, on the Turkish side, in European Union markets, which would enable the north to engage in foreign trade. MaraƟ, a suburb of the Famagusta ...

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Greek Treasures Exhibited in Canadian Museum of Civilization

Ottawa Citizen (blog)Greek Treasures Exhibited in Canadian Museum of CivilizationGreek ReporterThe Museum is going to present: The Greeks – From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great. The artifacts, from 22 Museums, include the iconic bust of Alexander the Great from Pella, the impressive statues of Archaic-period Kouroi, and golden jewellery from ...UPDATED: Huge exhibition of Greek artifacts coming to GatineauOttawa Citizen (blog)all 2 news articles »

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