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

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Deutsche Telekom, Greece close to OTE stake deal: report

Deutsche Telekom, Greece close to OTE stake deal: reportReutersSelling the OTE stake has not been part of it so far because the government wanted to maintain a minimum say in the running of the former state monopoly, which is still Greece's biggest telecoms company. However, privatization revenues have been far ...and more »


Greek Texts on Ancient Egyptian School Walls

In the main room there is a five-column text, written in red link in perfect elegiac verses that urges students to climb the hill of rhetoric with the help of Hermes, ancient Greece‘s god of rhetoric, and of other deities. In a second room ...


Greek PM says budget surplus tops forecast, allows spending

The West AustralianGreek PM says budget surplus tops forecast, allows spendingReutersATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's primary budget surplus has exceeded expectations and will allow the government to boost social spending on austerity-hit citizens, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told a newspaper. The primary budget surplus for 2013, which ...Greek PM says 2013 budget surplus to exceed 1.5 billion euros - paperThe West AustralianGreece Reports Budget Surplus of 1.5 Billion EurosInternational Business Times UKall 3 news articles »


Greece Reports Budget Surplus of 1.5 Billion Euros

International Business Times UKGreece Reports Budget Surplus of 1.5 Billion EurosInternational Business Times UKGreece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says his country now has a primary budget surplus of €1.5 billion (£1.2 billion), the first recorded by the country in more than a decade. "The primary budget surplus is much higher than we had initially estimated .Greek PM says budget surplus tops forecast, allows spendingYahoo NewsGreek PM says 2013 budget surplus to exceed 1.5 bln euros -paperReutersall 3 news articles »


Neglect through inertia

It took the intervention of the prime minister for the revamp of Faliro Bay on the southern coast of Athens, which could help transform that part of the Greek capital into a major tourist hub, to be pushed higher up the government agenda. Like so many oth... ...


PPC employee drowns after falling into water reservoir

An internal investigation is under way at the Public Power Corporation’s Lignite Center of Western Macedonia, in northern Greece, after a 56-year-old man died in a work-related accident on Friday. The man drowned after falling into a water reservoir while... ...


Two parliament employees suspended, face dismissal

Two Greek Parliament employees have been temporarily suspended from duty it emerged over the weekend. In the first case, Nikitas Siois, a former Golden Dawn deputy who conceded his Parliamentary seat to Artemis Matthaiopoulos in 2012 and was subsequently ... ...


Farmers to continue nationwide protests after talks fail

Greek farmers were expected to continue protest action against new tax regulations for their sector this week after a meeting between Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and one of the groups representing Greek farmers, the Initiative for the Restruc... ...


Stournaras to face pressure for troika deal as elections loom

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is due back in Brussels on Monday where he is expected to come under pressure to push forward troika-mandated economic reforms amid reports that European officials are keen for the Greek government to wrap up negotiation... ...


Study tackles hospital staffing

A recent study into the distribution of medical and nursing staff at Greece’s cash-strapped public hospitals has found that contrary to popular belief, there is no significant shortage of doctors and that patients can get the kind of attention they need t... ...


Greek Government's Plan to Recover Stolen Funds

Greek ReporterGreek Government's Plan to Recover Stolen FundsGreek Reportercorruption The Greek government will be submitting a legislation to Parliament next week, aiming to recover funds deprived from the state through corruption or other criminal activities. According to the new legislation, those who return stolen funds ...


Greek PM says 2013 budget surplus to exceed $2.05 billion: paper

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's primary budget surplus for 2013, which excludes interest payments and other one-off items, has exceeded the latest estimates and come in at over 1.5 billion euros ($2.05 billion), Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has told a newspaper.


Cephalonia Hit by 4.7 Richter Quake

A earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale jolted on Saturday at 9.31 am the island of Cephalonia, Greece. According to the Athens Geodynamics Institute the quake’s epicenter was located at area of the recent tremors. In an interview for a local radio the seismologist Ephtimos Lekas said the earthquake was in result of the heightened seismic activity, which started on January 26 with a 5.9 magnitude quake, followed by many aftershocks. The Ionian Sea island has been hit by dozens of strong and medium tremors over the past three weeks, which have caused slight injuries and material damage.


Greek Civil Servants on Strike

The union of Greek civil servants (ADEDY) reacting to the bill lodged by the Ministry of Administrative Reform and Electronic Governance and the upcoming dismissals, has announced two 48-hour strikes. The Ministry’s bill, through the abolition and merger of legal entities is promoting new dismissals. The civil servants also object to the new evaluation system in the public sector, according to which it will be compulsory that 15% of civil servants are assessed as inadequate. The first 48-hour strike will take place on March 13 and 14. The protests will escalate on March 22 when the Greek government will announce the first day of layoffs of civil servants who entered the availability scheme eight months ago. Employees in the public sector stated that they will  struggle against layoffs and the dismantling of public services and that they will coordinate their action with the fights of the Greek society suffering from unemployment and poverty. The union of Greek civil servants has also invited the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and other social organizations in Greece to join their fight to defend public goods and the overthrowing of the troika’s brutal and destructive policies. Troika’s demands for further dismissals and austerity measures have caused the intense reaction of many labor unions which more and more frequently proceed with new strikes.


Did The Greek Coast Guard Let 11 Immigrants Drown?

And yet the NGOs that are working on this issue believe Greece does push migrants and refugees back. A 2013 report from Amnesty International denounced such practices and reminded people that since August 2012 at least 136 refugees had lost their lives ...


Medical Errors That Shook Greece

Greek ReporterMedical Errors That Shook GreeceGreek Reportermedical error From incorrect medical assessments and contaminated blood transfusions, to errors that left patients paralyzed or with serious disabilities, physicians in Greece have also had their share of failures over the past years and were involved ...


Greece Offers Stay-Out-Of-Jail Card

Greece is legislation that would allow even those charged with corruption to pay back the money they stole instead of going to prison, or for reduced sentences.

The post Greece Offers Stay-Out-Of-Jail Card appeared first on The National Herald.


Greece Jails Turkish Terror Suspects

An Athens courtjailed four Turkish nationals pending trial on terrorism after they were arrested during raids on an Athens apartment that netted automatic weapons and explosives.

The post Greece Jails Turkish Terror Suspects appeared first on The National Herald.


Another Years Of Capital Controls

NICOSIA – Cyprus’ central bank chief says he expects all restrictions on bank money transfers and withdrawals to be lifted by the end of the year. Panicos Demetriades says most, if not all, domestic capital controls are likely to be eliminated in the next few weeks. Demetriades was quoted by the Cyprus News Agency as […]

The post Another Years Of Capital Controls appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek island of Kefalonia hit by quake

A strong earthquake, of 4.6 magnitude, has hit the western Greek island of Kefalonia but no damage has been reported. The tremor happened at 9.31am local time at sea, west of the island, 16 miles below the surface, some 186 miles west of the capital Athens ...


Another tremor, 4.6 magnitude, hits western Greek island of Kephalonia; no damage reported

A strong earthquake, of 4.6 magnitude, has hit the western Greek island of Kephalonia.


Filipino and gay in Greece

One could almost hear the “ahhs” and “ohhs” as she walked around Zappeon gymnasium, site the of the ... “Minsan naisip ko ang kabaklaan ko ay dahil lumaki ako sa piling ng dalawang babaeng kapatid ko," he said. ( Sometimes I think ...


How Europe Can Escape the Austerity Trap

Jacques Attali, founding president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; President, PlaNet Finance. PARIS -- All euro zone states have now adopted the same economic policy in the search to improve their competitiveness and return to growth. This strategy is the only one which can substitute under the single currency system of the euro what competitive devaluations would do for an individual country with its own currency. The aim is to lower prices and salaries in order to improve the response to external demand. The increased economic activity of greater exports can in turn hopefully restore purchasing power of wages, growth and employment. France was the last country, after Germany, Italy, Spain and all the others, to explicitly adopt this strategy. It was the right decision; not doing so would have been suicidal. French industry was about to lose all ability to compete with the other European countries, including those with export capacity which until recently trailed far behind that of France. So far, however, this common strategy is not working to improve the situation in Europe as a whole. Unemployment has not fallen across the board, nor has growth returned. Deficits remain high; the debt-to-GDP ratio is inevitably rising. More worrying, commercial banks are not emerging from the dire situation in which they found themselves; private and public investment are slowing; foreign investors are looking elsewhere.If some euro area countries are improving their export markets, it is mostly to the detriment of another member nation, as Spain is now doing against France, and Germany against all other European countries. And if some euro area countries are improving their export markets, it is mostly to the detriment of another member nation, as Spain is now doing against France, and Germany against all other European countries. This is a road to disaster: it will become clear sooner rather than later that the present rigorous and painful course will not on its own solve the specific problems that citizens face in their lives. THE DIRE CONSEQUENCES The anti-Europe diatribes will then repeat that "we told you so -- austerity will only lead to disaster." There will be a revival of parties advocating a dismantling of the idea of a common Europe. We are already seeing parties advocating this policy line scoring big in polls, taking on different forms, in Greece, in France and in Italy. Yet, the policies they propose, if by misfortune were to be implemented, will only sustain the illusion for a limited time that higher wages, greater spending and an end to layoffs are sustainable. Very quickly, these policies will lead to more public debt and subservience to the lenders, who will impose a return to austerity under much worse conditions. It will be too late then. The damage will be irreversible. THE ONLY WAY OUT One single strategy is crucial to avoid this. As a complement to the necessary policy of fiscal rigor, the euro zone as a whole can take on more debt even while individual states cannot.As a complement to the necessary policy of fiscal rigor, the eurozone as a whole can take on more debt even while individual states cannot. Too often, it is forgotten that the euro zone, as a legal entity, has no debt. And, therefore it has a borrowing capacity of at least 1000 billion euros to finance recovery -- with European bonds, public and private productivity-enhancing investments -- that no country or the banks alone can finance. In addition, if the euro zone agrees on a coherent and concerted strategy leading to a relative fall in the value of the euro against the U.S. dollar, the return to growth in Europe is assured. Such a strategy can be implemented by the four major credible players in Europe today: France, Germany, the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank. If they are able to agree, growth will return very soon in Europe. If they cannot, decline is certain. It is therefore urgent for the ECB to understand that its very future, and that of the currency under its care, requires a strategy much bolder than its current timidity -- merely stating that the decline of the euro against the U.S. dollar would be good, that bringing inflation to under 4 percent is welcome and that Eurobond issuance would a useful complement to the instruments already at its disposal. As for the EIB, it needs to realize that the time for protecting its triple-A rating has passed by continuing to shun investment in the countries that have lost theirs. Europe has reached the point where the bank, on the contrary, should fulfill its mandate by mass financing of projects in troubled countries. For its part, Germany must realize that if the worst materializes and the euro collapses, it must return to a deutsche mark whose values will go so high that no sector of German industry will be competitive. Lastly, the time has come to recognize that France's responsibility to dare to propose such a strategy in a way that Germany, and the two European banks, can only accept. Such an initiative must be taken up and implemented as quickly as possible. In March at the latest. Therefore, France must propose it in February. If France is unable to convince its partners, it will have to abandon, sick at heart, the desire to find sustainable balances that President Francois Hollande has just courageously committed to for the sake of the very principle of solidarity that will have ceased to exist.


Three detained at gold mine protest

Three people were detained in northern Greece on Friday after protesters clashed with police during a rally against a gold mining operation in Skouries, in the northern part of the Halkidiki peninsula. Police were called in to disperse the crowd after som... ...


ECB board member rebuffs talk of new Greek debt restructuring

A new restructuring of Greece’s debt is not being discussed by its international lenders though fresh discussions on the sustainability of Athens’s debts are likely later this year, a European Central Bank board member said. “Is a new restructuring being ... ...


Annual police report shows drop in crime

There were 17.9 percent fewer muggings in 2013 compared to the previous year, 15.2 percent fewer robberies and home break-ins, and 11.9 percent fewer homicides, the annual report on crime compiled by the Greek Police showed on Friday. Bank heists dropped ... ...


Upheaval expected next week in the healthcare sector

A massive overhaul of Greece’s cash-strapped healthcare system is not expected to start next week without significant tension between the Health Ministry and doctors with the country’s biggest provider, the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (... ...


Skepticism in Brussels over early primary surplus estimates

As envoys from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Bank prepare to return to Athens next week, senior European Union officials have expressed skepticism regarding Greece’s projections of a primary surplus for ... ...


Decline in house prices slows down in Oct-Dec 2013

The rate of decline seen in house prices slowed down in the last quarter of 2013, data from the Bank of Greece showed on Friday. The price drop across Greece in the October-December period amounted to 8.5 percent compared with the same period in 2012, aga... ...


Deflation continued in January

Deflation in Greece is continuing in 2014, as in January the Consumer Price Index declined by 1.5 percent compared with January 2013, Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures revealed on Friday. This was the first month after the rebalancing of the... ...


Greek Apartment Prices Drop 10.3 pct in 2013

Apartment prices continued falling in 2013, although at a slower pace, the Bank of Greece said on Friday. In a report, the central bank said that apartment prices fell by 10.3 pct on average last year for a decline of 22 pct in the 2012-2013 period. More specifically, the prices of “new” apartments dropped year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2013 by 9.5% (Q1: -10.2%, Q2: -11.4% and Q3: -10.4, according to revised data), and the prices of “old” apartments by 7.8% (2013 Q1: -12.2%, Q2: -11.9%, Q3: -8.4%). The prices of “new” apartments declined by 10.4% on average in 2013, against 12.1% in 2012, whereas for “old” apartments prices declined by 10.2% in 2013, against 11.4% in 2012. According to data broken down by geographical area, apartment prices are estimated to have declined year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2013 by 10.9% in Athens, 6.9% in Thessaloniki, 8.3% in other big cities and 4.6% in other areas of Greece. For the whole of 2013, the respective annual rates of change were -11.9%, -8.6%, -10.0% and -7.9%. Residential property appraisals-transactions conducted with Monetary Financial Institution inter mediation for any purpose came to 3,841 in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with 4,321 in the third quarter, 5,074 in the second quarter and 10,565 in the first quarter of 2013. Finally, the value of residential property appraisals-transactions conducted with Monetary Financial Institution inter mediation dropped by 69.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2013 (first, second and third quarters of 2013: 37.1%, -35.8% and -32.3%, respectively). In 2013, the average annual rate of change was -29.9%. (source: ana-mpa)


Four Turkish Terrorists Sent to Greek Prison

The four Turkish nationals pending trial on terrorism and weapons-related charges were jailed by the Greek court after the counter terrorism police arrested them during a raid in their apartment in Gyzi, Athens, Greece. The defendants, who are alleged to be members of DHKP-C militant group, are being prosecuted for terrorist activities. The four men are facing charges for establishing a terrorist organization with the aggravating circumstance of manufacturing and supplying explosives in order to service terroristic objectives. They are also charged with accusations of committing forgery repeatedly and of illegally entering the country. According to sources, the four men refused having any connection to the weapons or the accusations and they support that their prosecution is the result of their action against the non-free and undemocratic Turkish regime. According to the defendants, the case file did not include the apartment’s research report, nor the report of the weapons found there, nor the seizure report. The defense noted that two of the defendants were charged with accusations of establishing a criminal organization at a time when one of them was 9 years-old and the other was 10. The Turkish Interpol had issued an international arrest warrant for one of the defendants whose DNA matched traces on weapons intercepted by Greek police in last summer’s incident in the Aegean Sea. The militant group to which the four men belong is a group responsible for a string of bombings and assassinations in Turkey.


Steve Vranakis: Google’s Greek Executive

Steve Vranakis was born in Canada but he is originally from Chania, Crete. He is the executive creative director at Google Creative Lab in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He currently lives in the U.K. but spends most of his time abroad, traveling and working around the world. His parents emigrated from Crete to Canada with no money or proper education in order to find a job and create a better future for them and their family. They were working a lot to support their family, so Vranakis was inspired by them to work hard and succeed. After having worked in various companies, he started working as an executive creative director at Google three years ago. “I’m working at least 12 hours per day. I’m always on the move. Most of my time I’m in a plane traveling or working. My parents did the same when I was a child and I soon realized that if you want to succeed, you need to work hard,” Vranakis said. Vranakis also collaborates with organizations such as Reload Greece or Greeks in the U.K., which promote Greek entrepreneurship and start-up companies abroad and support them in order to succeed. As he believes, Greece can be very successful in the technological sector but needs proper guidance and support. “It’s very difficult to start a company in Greece and to find sufficient funding. If you live in Silicon Valley in the U.S., you can launch plenty of unsuccessful business ideas, fail all of them and still get a job in a big company. In Greece, you may go to jail for one bad idea and your future will be destroyed forever — that’s the problem,” he added. Despite the fact that he wasn’t born or raised in Greece and that he currently he lives abroad, Vranakis is still connected with his Greek side. He speaks fondly of  his village in Crete – Sfakia — and he feels like a Greek because of his father. As Vranakis recalled, his father once told him, “Yes, you are Greek, but from a very special region — Crete. People in Crete respect each other and also respect the island that they live in. You won’t find this characteristic in many regions so you need to appreciate it and never forget from where you came from.”


Greece: Sfendili village in Crete slowly sinking

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, FEBRUARY 14 - The 15 remaining residents of the village Sfendili on the Greek island of Crete live without electricity and water as their village is slowly being covered by water because of a dam built in the area 14 years ago.


Greek Economy Contracts Less Than Expected

Economic TimesGreek Economy Contracts Less Than ExpectedWall Street JournalGreece's better-than-expected performance was also in-line with a pickup in economic activity in the euro zone, something that helped lift Greek exports. "The GDP figures are pretty encouraging, despite being negative, because it confirms that the ...Greek Recession to End Sooner Than Expected?24/7 Wall St.Greek recession beats forecast, points to recovery this yearEconomic TimesGreek Economy Shrinks 3.7 pct in 2013Greek ReporterBusinessweek -Channel News Asiaall 32 news articles »


Greek family plans to adopt

The UNLV Greek community is adopting new brothers and sisters next year. As fraternities and sororities vie for acceptance, the Multicultural Greek Council faces a choice between several qualified applicants. The MGC hopes to add two organizations to its current five next year.


Hopes rise for Greek return to growth

Creditors had forecast a 4.2 per cent contraction on top of a 6.4 per cent reduction in 2012, when Greece underwent a sovereign debt restructuring


Athens crackdown on illegal immigrants

Operation has attracted criticism from Greek and international human rights organisations for permitting unacceptably harsh treatment of immigrants


Boost to pound casts fresh doubt on Mark Carney's interest rate pledge

Three-year high against dollar sparked by housebuilding, but fears remain that exports and manufacturing will be hit

The pound hit a near-three-year high against the dollar on Friday as further evidence of Britain's improving economic outlook emerged, prompting fresh speculation of higher interest rates within 12 months.

Sterling's ongoing resurgence came as figures from the construction industry bolstered chancellor George Osborne's argument that the recovery is on track – with higher than expected growth in December, led by a boost in housebuilding.

The higher value of the pound, which reached $1.67, will cheer consumers who benefit from import costs being kept in check and extra spending power when abroad. But the boost to the currency could counter attempts by the Treasury to encourage exports, to rebalance the economy away from debt-fuelled consumer spending.

Critics of the government's economic policies, which have relied on consumer spending and a boost to the housing market, said the need to rebalance in favour of manufacturing and exports was being undermined by the rise. The situation also posed a dilemma for the Bank of England after it again pledged this week to keep interest rates unchanged until at least the middle of next year, despite forecasts showing acceleration in GDP growth. Analysts said the pound's rise indicated that the markets thought a rate increase might come sooner.

Sasha Nugent, currency strategist at Caxton FX, said: "A combination of not-so-great US data and an upbeat economic outlook is driving sterling higher against the dollar. The markets are not taking the BoE's latest forward guidance too seriously, since they know if the economy keeps growing like it is doing now, the BoE will have to raise rates."

The Bank's governor, Mark Carney, is expected to keep base rates at 0.5% until the middle of next year to support small businesses and first-time homebuyers, who have struggled to secure loans in recent years. The rise in sterling and a jump in the yield on UK government bonds, which widened against US treasuries, reflect the view of traders that Carney will be forced to raise rates earlier than he expects.

Sterling has been rising against a basket of currencies since the beginning of last year when the economy avoided a triple dip recession. A run of strong growth figures has pushed the currency to a five-year high against a basket of currencies including the euro.

Construction figures for the UK bolstered the growth argument on Friday by showing that output increased by 2% in December and 6.3% over the previous year. According to the Office for National Statistics, growth was fuelled by housebuilding in both the private and public sectors, though a lack of maintenance work and slow growth in industrial building held back the pace of the sector's return to health. The Bank of England's revised growth forecast this week was that the UK would grow at 3.4% this year, up from an earlier forecast of 2.8%

In the past year the pound has increased in value against the euro from €1.16 to €1.22 as the UK's recovery contrasted with stagnation in the eurozone. The pound fell against the euro on Friday after GDP growth data showed Germany and Spain pushing the 17-member single currency to a 0.3% rise in the last quarter of 2013, but the euro is expected to weaken again as the UK moves ahead and the Bank raises interest rates more quickly than the European Central Bank.

Moody's Analytics said the strongest rise in eurozone GDP in more than two years should gradually gain momentum over the coming quarters but remain under pressure from highly indebted countries like Greece and Portugal and slow growth in France.

Zach Witton, an economist at Moody's, said: "The eurozone's recovery should gradually gain momentum in the coming quarters but remain under pressure from high private and public debt in troubled member countries. However, high private and public debt in troubled member countries will drag on the recovery as consumers and companies will focus on paying off existing debt rather than incur new borrowing to purchase durable goods and invest in machinery and equipment."

The US has continued to grow in recent months despite bad weather and government austerity cuts, but expectations of a large boost to the jobs total have been dashed. An improvement in the unemployment rate has come largely as a result of workers dropping out of the jobs market, according to official figures.

Currency markets have also listened carefully to the new chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, who told members of Congress this week that the US economy continued to improve despite the recent soft patch. Echoing Carney, she said the US economy had plenty of slack and interest rates would stay low for some time.

SterlingCurrenciesEconomic growth (GDP)EconomicsReal estateGeorge OsborneInterest ratesBank of EnglandMark CarneyPhillip © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Greece grapples with soaring numbers of abandoned children and babies

Washington Post (blog)Greece grapples with soaring numbers of abandoned children and babiesWashington Post (blog)State orphanages and charity centers, meantime, are teeming with unwanted children — many of them neglected and increasingly malnourished since the economy skid off the fiscal cliff in 2010, sinking Greece deep into a recession. “It is the most tragic ...


Greek Islands are Second Top Honeymoon Destination

An equally significant part of a wedding’s preparation is the honeymoon. A couple spends enough time thinking of the right place to travel to, and as expected, they think of an exotic island, a romantic city somewhere dreamy far from their ...