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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

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kitchen Superstars: Michael Psilakis' quest to make Greek go mainstream

Kitchen Superstars: Michael Psilakis' quest to make Greek go mainstreamFox NewsAcclaimed chef Michael Psilakis, known for his Greek comfort food, is as natural in the kitchen as he is on the small screen. Best known as the 2012 winner of the BBC's cooking adventure show “No Kitchen Required” — he's also the program's co ...

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World Cup – and an outbreak of supporter violence – link Brazil and Russia

The host nations of the next two World Cups are among those struggling to contain a rising tide of trouble on the terraces

In six months' time the World Cup will land in the home of joga bonito clad in a Fifa-approved wrapping of sun, sea and samba. But the dark side of the beautiful game in Brazil was in evidence earlier this month, when images of running battles between fans of Atl├ętico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama shocked the watching world.

The game was being held at a neutral ground in Joinville due to previous clashes between fans of the two clubs, but within 10 minutes Globo was broadcasting close-up footage of supporters repeatedly stamping on the heads of their rivals and chasing one another around the stadium bowl.

Following a long interregnum, the fighting was eventually broken up by armed security firing rubber bullets into the crowds and an army helicopter landing on the pitch, but not before several fans were seriously injured.

Aldo Rebelo, the erratic Brazilian sports minister who is also battling to make sure the stadiums due to host the World Cup are ready on time amid a spate of deaths among construction workers, has promised a crackdown. "Whoever commits the kind of violence we saw should be detained forthwith. It constitutes attempted homicide," he said this week.

But while the brutal scenes may have been beamed around the world due to the game's proximity to the World Cup draw, this was no isolated example.

Four years after the World Cup comes to Brazil, Russia will host football's global showpiece. Last month, Spartak Moscow fans went on the rampage, resulting in 78 arrests and the imposition of tough new laws from next month.

Again, this was just one example among many as a toxic brew of nationalism, club loyalty, far-right ideology and alcohol explodes into violence on a regular basis. The country's leading sports newspaper, Sport Express, warned that if the violence was allowed to carry on unchecked it would mean "the end of football in our country".

In Russia, too, there are growing concerns about the endemic nature of football violence and its links to organised crime and right-wing groups. Those fears are replicated across much of eastern Europe, and to some observers are underpinned by a dangerous ideology.

"The big thing we've observed over the last two years has been the rise of the far right in football," says Piara Powar, executive director of the European anti-discrimination network Fare. "They've always had a significant hold over young people and young football fans. But it's become more organised and more frequent. More banners, more chants, more of a direct link." Banners pledging solidarity with the Greek far-right party Golden Dawn have been spotted throughout eastern Europe.

Scenes that became all too familiar in British football grounds in the 1970s and 1980s, with fans fighting one another across vast open terraces and the National Front openly using football grounds as recruitment centres, are being replicated across the continent - but on a more organised, criminalised basis.

It took all seater stadiums, the introduction of CCTV so sophisticated that any fan in the ground could easily be picked out, clubs getting banned from Europe and a wholesale change in football culture to rid the British game of what was once called "the English disease". Over recent years it appears to have been catching.

It is impossible to generalise as to the causes and symptoms across the world. The societal and cultural reasons why fans fight one another in Brazil, or ultras in Italy defend their reputation with such violent zeal, or why gangs of organised criminals use football as their backdrop in eastern Europe are all very different.

But in many cases there is an umbilical link between the most vociferous fans' groups, often with a predilection for violence, and those that run the clubs. In Brazil and Argentina, that manifests itself in clubs subsidising tickets for violent fans' groups. Sometimes, it's hard to tell who is in charge.

So too in Italy, where groups of Ultras revel in their ability to set the agenda at their clubs and demand they are listened to. A crackdown on racist chanting has been extended to so-called "regional" abuse, which in turn has led to a backlash with the Ultra groups trying to reassert what they see as their rights.

"We have a consumerist football culture here but overseas they live their football. That's quite interesting but has elements that are very unpleasant," says Powar. "We see a particular type of fan culture – a reversion to the ultras culture, a lifestyle for young people. This [the violence] is a perversion of that."

Kevin Miles, the chief executive of the Football Supporters' Federation, believes that the reputation of English fans forged in the 1970s and 1980s that long since stopped having any bearing to reality still lingers – with rival fans, and often police forces, reacting accordingly.

"The reputation is a lot easier to obtain than to get rid of. There is still a widespread perception in other countries that you can make a name for yourself by having a pop at the English," said Miles. "All English football fans want is to be policed according to their behaviour rather than their reputation. There's a responsibility on the part of the countries and the clubs hosting games to ensure visiting fans can enjoy their trip."

Police forces in some of those countries are increasingly looking to the British experience for clues as to how to deal with their own hooligan problem – it is no coincidence that the lists of Uefa security delegates are stuffed with English ex-policemen.

While there is no hard evidence that the problem is getting worse in continental Europe, with English fans habitually targeted in certain cities down the years, incidents are more visible than ever.

In one typical incident two Italians were jailed last month for their part in an unprovoked attack on Spurs fans in 2012, when Lazio and and Roma followers launched an unprovoked attack in a pub, brandishing knives, metal poles and knuckle dusters and leaving one stabbed fan seriously injured.

"English fans are far, far more likely to be the victims than the perpetrators. Clubs have become far more aware of the need to look after their fans travelling abroad," said Miles.

The frustration for supporters' groups, and for clubs themselves, is that there are certain destinations – Napoli and Rome being two – where trouble seems almost guaranteed, yet little progress seems to be made towards resolving the problem.

Complex, intractable issues demand a complex, multi-layered response. Across swathes of eastern Europe there are links between the owners of the clubs and their most violent fans. In many cases, they style themselves on an idealised image of English 1980s "firms" or Italian Ultras.

"The economic crisis, for sure, has made things worse. In many countries governance is shambolic. Many clubs are badly run and run by individuals who have made their money in dubious ways or have dubious political affiliations," says Powar.

After much pressure Uefa and Fifa have both vowed to get tough not only on crowd misbehaviour but on extremism and discrimination within stadiums. Stadium closures and heavy fines have been levied in recent months on both national associations and clubs for the misbehaviour of their fans.

Clubs in Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Scotland, Turkey, Cyprus, Russia, Poland and Romania have been sanctioned by Uefa this season alone. Fifa endlessly pledge "zero tolerance" and have begun to back up their words with actions.

Yet, even here, there is a delicate balance to be struck. Punish the majority of fans with stadium closures for what they see as the actions of a minority and the likelihood is that they will sympathise with the offenders and rail against what they see as unfair treatment from the authorities.

Meanwhile, from Moscow (where Spartak fans went on the rampage) to Minas Gerais (where homemade bombs were recently confiscated from fans) the governments that revelled in being chosen as the next two hosts of Fifa's flagship competition know they have work to do if their domestic travails with a hooligan tendency are not to overshadow their international moment in the sun.

Football violenceWorld Cup 2014World CupRussiaEuropeAmericasPolandAfricaItalyOwen Gibsontheguardian.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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Greece's National Bank to cut up to 2000 jobs via redundancy scheme

Greece's National Bank to cut up to 2000 jobs via redundancy schemeReutersGreece's top four banks are implementing restructuring plans after their recapitalisation in June to squeeze their cost base. NBG employees, including staff of small lenders Probank and FBB which were taken over earlier this year, will have until ...

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European Debt Crisis Fast Facts

Cyprus agrees to pay the loan back over 4.5 years with a 4.5% interest rate ... November 2009 - Greece's national debt reaches €262 billion. Prime Minister George Papandreou says that the 2009 budget deficit will be 12.7% of GDP, far above ...

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Greek economic crisis leads to air pollution crisis

( University of Southern California ) A spike in fuel prices has led to Greek residents burning more wood to keep warm -- with significant negative impacts on air quality.

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Tillamook Launces New Farmstyle Greek Yogurt

AgWebTillamook Launces New Farmstyle Greek YogurtAgWebTillamook, the farmer owned cooperative, announces the release of their new authentically strained Farmstyle Greek Yogurt in innovative and classic flavors. The line is made with no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, no ...

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Greece: Investigate police chief's alleged call targeting migrants

The Greek authorities must launch an immediate investigation into instructions allegedly given by the Greek Chief of Police that irregular migrants must be detained for as long as possible to make their “lives unbearable”. The comments, allegedly made ...

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FIFA Fines Greece, Romania for Fans' Behavior

FIFA Fines Greece, Romania for Fans' BehaviorABC NewsFIFA has fined the Greece Football Federation $111,500 for offensive behavior by fans at a World Cup playoff victory against Romania. FIFA says Greek fans at the Nov. 15 match in Athens breached disciplinary rules, including one relating to ...and more »

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Acting cute, as the boat goes down

The Greek public – more accurately just a handful of people who had little else to do – were on Wednesday subjected to yet another preposterous parliamentary debate about the so-called submarine scandal. SYRIZA had demanded the setting up of an investigat... ...

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Samaras at helm of Europe advised against push for better deal

Memo to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras: don’t press too hard in public during your European Union presidency for a better bailout deal, say veterans of the EU job. Samaras has two goals for the first half of 2014 when crisis-scarred Greece takes the... ...

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Georgiadis accepts resignation of OKANA chief

Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis has accepted the resignation of the head of the head of the state-run Organization Against Drugs (OKANA), which runs Greece’s biggest rehabilitation program for drug users. Meni Malliori's resignation came in the wake of ... ...

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Moderate bourse rise puts end to losing streak

The favorable news regarding the US Federal Reserve decisions on Wednesday evening brought an end to Greek stocks’ six-session losing streak on Thursday, with the benchmark index climbing back above the 1,150-point level. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) gener... ...

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Whole Foods Market To Drop Chobani Greek Yogurt in Early 2014

Whole Foods Market announced plans to stop selling Chobani Greek yogurt by early 2014, to primarily make room for more organic options and brands with non-genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs. According to The Wall Street Journal, the market ...

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Greek jockeys lament privatization delays

San Francisco ChronicleGreek jockeys lament privatization delaysFort Worth Star TelegramATHENS, Greece — Greece hasn't seen many demonstrations in favor of privatization during its acute four-year financial crisis, but jockeys are keen to be rid of a state-run agency that controls racetrack betting, and they rode their horses into ...Greece eases protection on troubled mortgagesFox 43 TVall 28 news articles »

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Parliament Sinks Venizelos Sub Probe

ATHENS – By an overwhelming vote of 167-120, the Greek Parliament easily rejected a demand from the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party that current Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos be investigated for his handling of a stalled submarine deal when he was defense minister in a previous government. Venizelos is head […]

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Greek Defense Official Outlines Bribe Scheme Network Reach

ATHENS – The probe into corruption in the handling of contracts that has already ensnared two former defense ministers is revealing a widespread network of bribery involving contractors, politicians and high-ranking government officials, although their names weren’t given yet. Antonis Kantas, deputy head of procurements at the ministry between 1996 and 2002, who is believed […]

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Big Losses at Bank of Cyprus

NICOSIA – The reeling Bank of Cyprus, brought to the edge of ruin with other state banks that suffered losses in Greek bond holdings and bad loans to Greek businesses, took a nine-month net loss of 1.94 billion euros, ($2.65 billion) this year amid fears it could get worse when the government lifts capital controls […]

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Racism Costs Olympiakos Its Fans

The Olympiakos soccer team that has advanced to the quarter-finals of the European Champions League that determine the best professional team in the region will play its next game in a partially closed stadium because of its fans racist behavior, UEFA has declared. The same penalty was put on the Russian Zenit club of St. […]

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Liapis Fake Plate Tax Dodge Trial Pushed Back

ATHENS – Former Transport Minister Michalis Liapis, who was charged with driving an uninsured luxury cars with phony license plates so he could avoid paying a 1,320 euros ($1,814) road tax will face court on Dec. 30 after his appearance set for Dec. 19 was delayed. The case has bemused and enraged Greeks buried under […]

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Greek Jobless Rate Eases – By .1%

ATHENS – Greece’s record unemployment rate, pushed to a record 27.6 percent at one point during a crushing economic crisis worsened by harsh austerity measures, showed signs of reducing in the third quarter of 2013 but remained the highest in the 17-member Eurozone. The jobless rate eased from 27.1 percent in the previous three-month period […]

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Blanket Foreclosure Ban Ends Dec. 31

ATHENS – Greece’s coalition government plans to lift a complete ban on foreclosures when it expires on Dec. 31 but officials said it would be extended for one year for primary residences valued up to 200,000 euros ($275,000) and for households with an annual net income under 35,000 euros ($47,825) while banks will be free […]

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Greek Prime Minister: No Special Treatment to MPs Breaking the Law

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was outraged by the Michalis Liapis incident. Liapis, the former New Democracy MP as well as the former Minister of Transport, was arrested for driving an uninsured car with fake plates and without ...

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A Greek “Hope” in Siberia

Marina Mpouksik-Trofimuc is a musician, but also teaches the Greek language. “I try to do my best. I know a little about the Greek language. Though, this little knowledge I have, I try to impart it to my students with love and passion.

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Greek governing party expels disgraced ex-minister

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s governing New Democracy party has expelled a former transport minister after his arrest for allegedly driving an uninsured luxury car with fake license plates in an apparent tax dodge. A party statement ...

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Greek American Businessmen Praise Greek PM Samaras

During an investment conference in New York, Greek American businessmen praised Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the general effort of the government to overcome the crisis. John P.Calamos, President and CEO of Calamos Investments, one ...

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Greece PM Expects 'Imminent' Recovery of Greek Economy

International Business Times UKGreece PM Expects 'Imminent' Recovery of Greek EconomyNASDAQSpeaking as he arrived at a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels, Mr. Samaras told reporters: "Greece starts the [rotating EU] presidency on I would say a positive record with a prime surplus and an imminent recovery." Greece takes over the ...Greece granted new rescue loan; central bank warns 'polarized' politics could ...GlobalPostSamaras at helm of Europe advised against push for better dealKathimeriniGreek Unemployment Falls to 27% as Economy StrengthensInternational Business Times UKWorld Socialist Web Siteall 6 news articles »

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Greece: trial of former transport minister Liapis postponed

(ANSAmed) – ATHENS, DECEMBER 19 - The trial of Greek former Transport Minister Michalis Liapis was on Thursday postponed for December 30 as daily Kathimerini online reported. Liapis was on Tuesday charged with driving an uninsured luxury car with fake ...

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Greece's governing conservatives expel ex-minister arrested over alleged luxury car tax dodge

Greece's governing New Democracy party has expelled a former transport minister after his arrest for allegedly driving an uninsured luxury car with fake license plates in an apparent tax dodge.

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The Greek Revival House

The Greek Revival captured the American spirit as no other style had done. To visit an unspoiled town that prospered in the years between 1820 and 1860 is to see democracy at work. There are grand Grecian houses with freestanding columns that frame ...

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Frat Men Decline in NFL as College Coaches Frown on Going Greek

Frat Men Decline in NFL as College Coaches Frown on Going GreekBloombergHe changed his mind and also rejected an offer of honorary membership after realizing that coaches want players to avoid fraternities, teammates and family members said. Going Greek might have kept Douglas on the bench, said teammate Dillard Pinkston.and more »

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Greek unemployment eases for second quarter in a row in Q3

It was the second consecutive drop in quarterly unemployment but the rate was still near a record level of 27.4 percent earlier this year. Greece has already published monthly unemployment figures up to September, which differ from quarterly ...

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Greece: ex minister caught with fake car plates on trial

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, DECEMBER 19 - Former Greek Transport Minister Michalis Liapis was due to stand trial on Thursday on charges of false certification and forgery after he was caught by traffic police driving a car with false license plates, as daily ...

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Athens cuts state funding to Golden Dawn

Greek parliament votes by 241 votes to 26 to cut official funds to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party although some voice concern that move is premature

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Greek Unemployment Falls to 27% as Economy Strengthens

The embattled country recently faced severe strikes led by trade ... government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras does not impose new budget cuts on wages and pensions or increase taxes, then Greece will miss a targeted budgetary surplus of €2.75bn ...

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AP PHOTOS: Financial crisis hitting Greece's olive oil industry, too

KALO PEDI, Greece - It was used to groom ancient Olympic athletes and remains a widely used modern staple in Greece's diet. But olive oil could be the latest victim of the country's grueling financial crisis. The Organization of Economic ...

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Why Whole Foods Is Dumping Chobani Yogurt

ABC NewsWhy Whole Foods Is Dumping Chobani YogurtABC News"As the national demand for Greek yogurt has grown, the number of conventional Greek yogurt options has multiplied," the grocer said in its statement. "Whole Foods Market challenged its Greek yogurt suppliers to create unique options for shoppers to ...

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Soufli: Reviving an industry on the Greek silk road

KathimeriniSoufli: Reviving an industry on the Greek silk roadKathimeriniUntil a few years ago, orders had rarely been an issue in the northeastern Greek town. Situated 70 kilometers east of Alexandropouli (the capital of the Evros region), Soufli had become part of the silk road during the Byzantine era, with the fabric ...

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Thousands demand Italian government resign in Rome rally

By Naomi O'Leary ROME (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters furious about high unemployment and a political class they regard as corrupt rallied in central Rome on Wednesday demanding the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta's government. With the highest debt burden in the euro zone after Greece, Italy - mired in its longest post-war recession - is closely watched by financial markets and European partners as a flashpoint for instability in the bloc. "The ruling class is made up of thieves and mafiosi, and they are destroying our country! We are better than this ... Out out out!" Danilo Calvani, a farmer who has emerged as one of the leader of the protests shouted to the cheering crowd in the Piazza del Popolo. Attempts to address Italy's economic woes have been held up by squabbling between the coalition partners since the left and right were forced into an awkward alliance to end a political stalemate in April.


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Greek jobless rate falls for second quarter in a row in Q3

Joblessness is a major headache for Greece's coalition government, which expects recovery to begin next year and is keen to show there is light at the end of the tunnel after painful cuts in wages, pensions and a rise in taxes. Unemployment has ...

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Greek parliament rejects controversial shipyards, submarine agreement inquiry

ATHENS, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Greek parliament rejected on Wednesday evening a proposal tabled by main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA party for an inquiry into the terms of a controversial agreement regarding the sale of Greece's Skaramangas ...

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OPA sizzles! Greek restaurant diversifies Kingston

The scrumptious mousaka for persons with a small stomach. Just as flavourful but a more filling version of the tasty mousaka. Inside the exquisite Greek restaurant, Opa! - Gladstone Taylor/Photographer Opa! has a bust of the Greek god of music ...

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Greek Peak Mountain Resort Announces the Grand Opening of Trax Pub & Grill December 20, 2013, 11 a.m.

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- via PRWEB - Trax Pub & Grill's opening marks the completion of another phase in the new owners larger plan for the Resort. Over the past six months, renovations have been in full swing ...

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NYSE: 9th Annual Greek Day

Greek ReporterNYSE: 9th Annual Greek DayGreek ReporterA special event in honor of Greece, “Greek Day at the NYSE,” was organized by the New York Stock Exchange in cooperation with Capital Link. As stated in the announcement on Monday the 16th of December 2013, representatives from the Greek Delegation ...and more »

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Electricity activists restore power to Greek families cut off by the state

Electricity activists restore power to Greek families cut off by the stateeuronewsWhen will we have electricity again, Mom? This is a question scores of Greek children are asking their parents as darkness falls. Giorgos Kouzilos lights an oil lamp as darkness falls outside in what is becoming an everyday chore. A government plan to ...

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Former Greek transport minister on trial for driving uninsured car with fake ...

euronewsFormer Greek transport minister on trial for driving uninsured car with fake ...euronewsFormer Greek Minister of Transportation Michalis Liapis goes on trial today after his arrest for driving an uninsured vehicle with fake registration plates. Liapis was stopped on Tuesday for a standard check by police officers in Artemida, about 30 ...and more »

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Greek Parliament freezes funding for far rightists

DAWN.comGreek Parliament freezes funding for far rightistsMiamiHerald.comAuthorities cracked down on Golden Dawn after the fatal stabbing of a Greek musician in August. A party supporter has been charged with murder. Golden Dawn's leader and two other of its 18 lawmakers were jailed in September, charged with membership ...Greek neo-Nazis on trial for murdering Pakistani immigrantDAWN.comall 70 news articles »

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AP PHOTOS: Greek olive oil industry faces crisis

AP PHOTOS: Greek olive oil industry faces crisisU-T San DiegoFrom left to right, Asimina Nikolopoulou, Tasos Nikolopoulos, Greek Orthodox Priest Dimitris Vlasopoulos, and Yiannis Nikolopoulos, have a picnic in an olive grove in Kalo Pedi village, about 335 kilometers (210 miles) west of Athens, Greece on Friday ...and more »

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Whole Foods to stop selling Chobani Greek yogurt over failure to label GMOs

New York TimesWhole Foods to stop selling Chobani Greek yogurt over failure to label GMOsThe VergeBad news, Greek yogurt fans: The Wall Street Journal reports that Chobani yogurt will no longer be on sale at Whole Foods beginning early next year. The culprit responsible for splitting up the health-conscious grocery chain and the popular Greek ...Whole Foods Won't Sell Chobani Greek Yogurt as of Early Next YearNew York TimesWhole Foods stores to drop Chobani yogurt as chain phases out GMOsDallas Morning NewsWhole Foods Chain Removing Chobani Greek Yogurt From ShelvesHeadlines & Global NewsOregonLive.com -PR Newswire (press release) -Business Insiderall 67 news articles »

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Sale of Greece's gas monopoly to be put off until 2015

KathimeriniSale of Greece's gas monopoly to be put off until 2015KathimeriniGreece is pushing back the sale of the country's gas monopoly beyond 2014 after the European Union asked for regulatory changes in the domestic market, according to the fund charged with selling state assets. The EU asked for “an opening up of this ...

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Salaries slashed and often unpaid for months in crisis-hit Greece

KathimeriniSalaries slashed and often unpaid for months in crisis-hit GreeceKathimeriniThe economic crisis has not altered Zarkamela's routine except for one thing: she and her ten colleagues at the Arvanitidis super market in Katerini, northern Greece, have not received their 894-euro (1.229$) salary since August. All employees of the ...and more »

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