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Friday, February 21, 2014

A Commentary on Greece's Economic Outlook

For some time now, there has been an intense debate in Greece (and to some extent in financial circles around the world) on the state and outlook of the Greek economy. On the one side, many observers and the supporters of the Greek governing coalition have ...


Photos Of The Abandoned Venues From The 2004 Athens Olympics

What has happened to the Olympic venues from the 2004 Athens Olympics is the nightmare scenario for Sochi.

Unlike the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic venues, which were destroyed during the Bosnian War, there was no catastrophic event that led to the abandonment of the Athens arenas.

Greece simply has no use for world-class, expensive-to-maintain venues for niche sports like softball, beach volleyball, or even swimming.

They became useless immediately after the Olympics left town.

As a result, a decade after Greece spent ~$15 billion to stage the games, some of these once-gleaming venues are crumbling.

The softball stadium. A ruined fountain in the Olympic Village. The Olympic beach volleyball arena. See the rest of the story at Business Insider    


Greece property: land of the gods going for a song

A stylish villa on a resort island became the status symbol of choice for many Greeks during the country’s credit-fuelled property boom. But after six straight years of recession, even trophy vacation homes are on the market at knockdown prices.


Crime rates show promising decline in 2011-2013 period

Crime rates dropped to the lowest level in three years in 2013, a report published by Greek Police Headquarters showed on Friday, attributing the decline to a stronger focus on crime prevention among law enforcement authorities. According to the data, 141... ...


Samaras says democratic values key to NATO membership as Greece also eyes EU expansion

In a message that appeared to be directed at the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and its potential renewed bid to join NATO when the organization holds its next summit in September, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras warned on Friday that any co... ...


Saudi mission shows interest in country’s privatizations

It was made clear during a Friday meeting in Athens between Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis and members of the Saudi parliamentary committee on friendship with Greece that Saudi Arabia has a strong interest in Greek privatizations and is looking forward ... ...


Larisa Drozdova: From Greece, with Love

Family ties in Greece, as with other nations facing economic and politic turmoil, have perhaps never been stronger than they are today. This is what Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova learned on a recent trip during which the French-based grand-mother of one ...


Akropolis Greek restaurant to open in previous Taverna

Akropolis Greek restaurant to open in previous TavernaThe ColoradoanThe new Akropolis will feature “very authentic Greek cuisine,” according to Zahakis, who is working with his father and an executive chef trained in Athens to create a five-page menu, complete with Greek cocktails and wines. “My father is from Greece ...


Financial Crisis’ Deadly Effects on Greek Citizens

A study from the University of Cambridge showed that the Greek financial crisis has deadly effects on Greek citizens. The study entitled Health effects of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy was conducted by a team of scientists from the ...


Greek weightlifting team cleared of 2008 doping charges

A six-year doping scandal implicating the bulk of Greece's weightlifting squad for the Beijing Olympics ended Friday with the acquittal of those charged, state agency ANA reported. Former national coach Christos Iakovou -- a Greek sports hero credited ...


Greek lifters cleared of 2008 doping

Greek weightlifters win eight-year battle to overturn doping charges that kept them out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


Nostalgia for the Past Won't Cure Greece's Ills

With just a few months until the upcoming double elections in Greece, the political system has never been more in a state of flux across the political spectrum. The past 5 years of economic distress and austerity have put pressure on the country's political dynamics while prompting many Greeks to reevaluate their basic values. The result has been general revulsion at the status quo, prompting a rise in the popularity of far right political parties. Greece used to have a well-established bipolar political system in which no third party that could play a meaningful role in forming a government, as the ruling party had a built-in ability to get reelected, making the opposition obsolete. The tendency of large blocks of voters to follow the ruling party rather than individual MPs meant that three to five other parties typically made it to parliament by receiving less than 10 percent of the vote, and had no real ability to block legislation put forward by the ruling party. This created a strong client culture in which 70-80 percent of the population where split into two major groups - many voting for one party only to prevent the other from coming to power, and a system catering to nepotism, favoritism, corruption, influence peddling, and vote buying. Everything from parliamentary seats to the number of public sector employees that were to be hired could be bought. Fueling this was a culture that flourished over the past 40 years, where minimum effort, the absence of risk and entitlements from the state became the rule. Private sector initiative, entrepreneurialism and risk taking became ever rarer. This cauldron of self-preservation turned out to be a breeding ground for the rise of extremist political parties. The extremist Golden Dawn has placed third in virtually every poll since 2012, despite the government's effort to declare it a criminal organization, having imprisoned virtually the entire party leadership, who await trial. This is the first time that active MPs -- including the leader of a parliamentary political party -- have been imprisoned in the political history of Greece. Despite this, and in spite of Golden Dawn's numerous provocative and objectionable policy positions - ranging from public harassment of actors, homosexuals, and immigrants to gathering armed supporters to display their shooting abilities, and Nazi-style night marches -- the Party's popularity remains high. The unprecedentedly sudden rise of Golden Dawn, which captured 7 percent of the vote in the 2012 elections, is unique in the western European political spectrum, and has left journalists, analysts and the general public wondering why the Party has staying power. Many Greeks agree that Golden Dawn continues to receive these high percentages because its supporters are disappointed by the political establishment as a whole, and want revenge. They hope Golden Dawn will do to the political system what they cannot do on their own, and once in power, severely punish current politicians and the people that financially benefited from the status quo, while forcing immigrants out of Greece and reestablishing the 'lost pride' of the country and its people. A recent comparative analysis of all polls conducted by the prominent GPO opinion poll company for the mainstream MEGA TV network showed that Golden Dawn's popularity ranged from about 10 percent in 2012 to 7 percent today. Some 73 percent of the public agree with the government and believe Golden Dawn is a threat to the Republic, while 62 percent agree that it is a criminal organization. Opinion polls over the past two years determined that Golden Dawn's supporters are mainly young and middle-aged males (67 percent) aged 25 to 54, with 63 percent self-described as low income and 33 percent as medium income. In other words, the vast majority of Golden Dawn's supporters are working age men who were harmed the most from the ongoing crisis. It is interesting to note that 38 percent of its supporters describe themselves center-left, 35 percent as center-right, and only 27 percent as far-right. This implies that they identify with Golden Dawn's policy position more than its politics. Nostalgia for the past is rising along with the popularity of far right movements. Rhetoric reminding Greeks of their civil war and the Cold War has been resurfacing on television, among politicians, and people more generally. Yet rhetoric cannot replace today's economic and political realities. Five years after the onset of the Great Recession, Greece remains an economic basket case, with no end in sight. Voting in extremist political parties may make them feel better, but is likely to do little to improve the lot of the average Greek. Greeks need to become more mature politically, so as to be able to choose new candidates, parties, and party affiliations, with no links to the past. They would do well to trust a younger generation of politicians and select moderate political movements with realistic plans for both exiting the crisis and crafting a path toward the future. This is the only way that the client-based system - and all that it stands for and implies -- can gradually disappear. Rather than longing for a restoration of Greek pride, its citizens would be better advised to focus on how the country can dig itself out of its hole. _______Daniel Wagner is CEO of Country Risk Solutions, Senior Advisor with Gnarus Advisors, and author of the book "Managing Country Risk." Alexis Giannoulis is a CRS research analyst and a freelance diligence and political risk analyst. Reprinted with permission from International Policy Digest.


KEELPNO advises more flu jabs as deaths rise to 53

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention(KEELPNO) called on Friday for members of high-risk groups, such as the elderly or people with chronic diseases, to get flu jabs as the number of Greeks who have died from flu this winter rose to 53, with anoth... ...


ECJ: ECB needn't tell how Greece used derivatives to hide debt

The European Central Bank won’t have to disclose how Greece used derivatives to hide its debt after the European Union’s top court quashed efforts to make the information public. The European Union Court of Justice, in a February 6 decision, rejected a fr... ...


Five arrested on suspicion os stealing 2.5 tons of copper

Four Greeks and a Bulgarian national have been arrested and three more suspects are being sought in Kavala, northern Greece, in connection with the theft of 2.5 tons of copper wiring from a marble processing factory. The suspects were arrested by police o... ...


Ferries to stay tied up Monday due to privatization protest

Seamen and port workers across Greece are expected to walk off the job early Monday until 11 a.m., unions announced on Friday. Ferry services will likely be disrupted as seamen protest the planned sell-off a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority SA, ... ...


AGAPW Wine Tasting Marks Valentines

The Association of Greek American Professional Women (AGAPW) hosted a wine tasting celebrating “Friendship and Community” at Molyvos restaurant. Founder – President Dr. Olga Alexakos welcomed the guests to  the complimentary event which offered opportunities for power networking and the establishment of new friendships,  and was a feast for the palate. The event was sponsored […]

The post AGAPW Wine Tasting Marks Valentines appeared first on The National Herald.


83% of EU citizens still think that it's important to help developing countries

Have European NGOs weathered the economic storm? Seamus Jeffreson, director of NGO network Concord, talks to us about aid and the persisting challenge of speaking with one voice

You have worked in the international development sector for more than 20 years, why did you get into humanitarian work?

I had my first brush with activism while still at university in Liverpool, when I became involved with the antiapartheid movement. My passion for change took me to South Africa around the time of Mandela's election – where I worked for the European commission office, before returning to Europe and becoming engaged with development from a European angle.

But for the past 10 years I have been outside Europe. First in Ethiopia, where I worked with NGOs Trocaire and Cafod, and most recently in the Middle East tackling humanitarian issues with the International Medical Corps and Care.

What my most recent experience has shown me is that there is still a lot to fight for – we are still grappling with the relationship between decent security and humanitarian support, and how they are linked to long-term development.

Concord supports over 1,800 NGOs, what are some of the challenges you face as its director?

The greatest challenge is managing the huge amount of diversity across the NGO sector in Europe. Our membership ranges from small, grassroots groups to international NGOs. We have to ensure that they all have a voice but at the same time work together to reach common goals.

There is also the challenge of how we tell our story about the world we see in our interaction with poverty, what we stand for and what we are trying to achieve. The narrative of development and aid that we were telling 20 or 30 years ago is no longer relevant. Today people see similarities between issues faced at home and the poverty and inequality we've been talking about overseas.

How has the economic downturn impacted on public support for the organisations you represent?

The whole NGO sector has had to downsize. Countries in southern Europe bore the brunt of austerity measures, with many jobs lost and projects terminated.

But certain programmes continued to draw in public support. For example, Action Aid's child sponsorship scheme managed to maintain a high level of support in Greece – even within the months of financial crisis.

Also, last year the European commission reported that support for development and aid remains high, after their 'Eurobarometer' survey found that 83% of EU citizens still think that it is important to help people in developing countries.

What are your immediate priorities and what is your strategy for moving the organisation forward?

Facilitating the engagement of our members is a number one priority. But I also think we need partnerships and to support an 'enabling environment' for civil society organisations, so that we increase the political space for NGOs and we give them a stronger voice in political debate.

So collaborating with similar organisations and initiatives that share our values, but are categorised in 'different sectors' like youth organisations and diaspora movements is important.

In terms of policy, with the EU parliamentary elections looming, we have to encourage a strong anti-poverty focus within the priorities of the incoming European parliament. We will be launching our EU election campaign, titled 'The Europe we want', in the coming weeks.

With the millennium development goals due to expire in 2015, what is your vision for the future of development?

The MDGs have been quite successful in terms of cutting the number of people living in extreme poverty, but other challenges still remain. The next framework will need to be more transformative, with a focus on sustainablility. Rather than just responding to needs, the framework should be shaped using a rights-based approach.

In terms of funding, we feel that the commitment of EU member states to spend 0.7% of their gross domestic income on development is very important, and we want them to honour this. Ensuring tax justice and tackling illegal financial flows are other important issues that need to be addressed. For example, at least $859bn (£516) was lost from developing countries in 2010 alone through illicit financial flows. This is 13 times the amount the EU spent on development aid in 2012.

What qualities do you think a good leader should display?

The ability to listen to your colleagues. There is an enormous amount of wisdom in the people you work with and the people around you. Sometimes you need to make space to stop and listen to what they have to say.

As a leader, you must be the person within your organisation that encourages people to look at the bigger picture and put things in perspective.

It is very important for NGOs to acknowledge and celebrate their successes. Reminding them that the work they are doing, in particular policy advocacy, is actually making a difference is key to keeping up morale.

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Austerity measures blamed for Greek health woes

Austerity measures imposed by the Greek Government since the economic crisis have inflicted "shocking" harm on the health of the population, leaving nearly a million people without access to healthcare, experts have said. In a damning report on the impact ...


Public transport: lack of cash and jobs keeps Greeks at home

A drop in the number of passengers, a reduction in the number of ticket validations and a rise in the fines imposed for fare dodging: This is the picture of the Greek crisis as experienced on the capital’s buses, trolley buses, metro, electric railway and... ...


Is a haircut the right solution?

There are very good reasons for arguing in favor of Greek public debt undergoing a haircut. Unfortunately, there are also some reasons for wondering whether things are not that simple and that it might not be the ideal solution. One good reason for a writ... ...


Crisis: "Greece will need a new bailout", Bruegel says

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, FEBRUARY 21 - Greece will soon have to take up a new bailout package of 40 billion euros, or freeze any payments to the eurozone until 2030, as GreekReporter website writes quoting what the European think tank Bruegel argued in a recent ...


Cards-N-Time Games: Ancient Greece

Cards-N-Time Games: Ancient GreeceShawnee News StarThis is an anomaly because it is a shared cultural experience dating back more than 2,500 years and yet it engrosses a nation that has disavowed the teaching of history in its universities, the very concept of “civilization” let alone the importance of ...


Greece Thunder, Fairport advance in hockey

The Greece Thunder gained revenge to earn their shot at ... The fourth-seeded Thunder won the first game, 5-2, ousting top-seeded Pittsford, a team it had lost to by scores of 7-2 and 4-1 this season. Greece and Fairport, each with identical ...


Olympic Woman's Slalom Results

by  Associated Press Olympic Woman's Slalom Results by The Associated Press, Associated Press - 21 February 2014 09:46-05:00 Friday At Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (Start position in parentheses) Run 1

1. (6) Mikaela Shiffrin, United States, 52.62.

2. (3) Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Germany, 53.11.

3. (5) Tina Maze, Slovenia, 53.29.

4. (1) Bernadette Schild, Austria, 53.41.

5. (8) Nastasia Noens, France, 53.81.

6. (7) Marlies Schild, Austria, 53.96.

7. (12) Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 54.00.

8. (4) Frida Hansdotter, Sweden, 54.05.

9. (13) Michaela Kirchgasser, Austria, 54.06.

10. (11) Marie-Michele Gagnon, Canada, 54.32.

11. (21) Emelie Wikstroem, Sweden, 54.55.

12. (9) Anna Swenn-Larsson, Sweden, 54.58.

13. (16) Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 54.94.

14. (14) Sarka Strachova, Czech Republic, 55.14.

15. (20) Denise Feierabend, Switzerland, 55.80.

16. (22) Barbara Wirth, Germany, 56.31.

17. (23) Brittany Phelan, Canada, 56.41.

18. (31) Petra Vlhova, Slovakia, 56.42.

19. (30) Adeline Baud, France, 56.50.

20. (26) Resi Stiegler, United States, 56.81.

21. (29) Mona Loeseth, Norway, 56.82.

22. (33) Federica Brignone, Italy, 56.98.

23. (24) Anne-Sophie Barthet, France, 56.99.

24. (28) Anemone Marmottan, France, 57.08.

25. (18) Chiara Costazza, Italy, 57.32.

26. (32) Marusa Ferk, Slovenia, 57.43.

27. (34) Marina Nigg, Liechtenstein, 57.47.

28. (39) Martina Dubovska, Czech Republic, 57.80.

29. (42) Ksenia Alopina, Russia, 58.37.

30. (51) Julia Ford, United States, 58.88.

31. (49) Salome Bancora, Argentina, 59.26.

31. (37) Jana Gantnerova, Slovakia, 59.26.

33. (50) Maria Shkanova, Belarus, 59.67.

34. (56) Lavinia Chrystal, Australia, 59.74.

35. (59) Zana Novakovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 59.79.

36. (52) Macarena Simari Birkner, Argentina, 59.82.

37. (61) Lelde Gasuna, Latvia, 1:00.47.

38. (25) Michelle Gisin, Switzerland, 1:00.73.

39. (48) Andrea Komsic, Croatia, 1:00.82.

40. (46) Greta Small, Australia, 1:01.19.

41. (57) Emily Bamford, Australia, 1:02.13.

42. (58) Maria Kirkova, Bulgaria, 1:02.33.

43. (60) Helga Maria Vilhjalmsdottir, Iceland, 1:02.69.

44. (65) Anna Berecz, Hungary, 1:03.28.

45. (64) Erla Asgeirsdottir, Iceland, 1:03.55.

46. (71) Maya Harrisson, Brazil, 1:04.88.

47. (74) Sophia Ralli, Greece, 1:05.20.

48. (75) Camille Dias, Portugal, 1:05.24.

49. (68) Agnese Aboltina, Latvia, 1:05.44.

50. (72) Jasmine Campbell, U.S. Virgin Islands, 1:06.09.

51. (78) Tugba Kocaaga, Turkey, 1:06.22.

52. (76) Elise Pellegrin, Malta, 1:07.10.

53. (83) Ivana Bulatovic, Montenegro, 1:07.49.

54. (81) Kseniya Grigoreva, Uzbekistan, 1:07.77.

55. (73) Florence Bell, Ireland, 1:07.84.

56. (82) Kenza Tazi, Morocco, 1:10.19.

57. (69) Triin Tobi, Estonia, 1:11.43.

58. (87) Jacky Chamoun, Lebanon, 1:16.05.

59. (54) Kang Young-Seo, South Korea, 1:18.84.

60. (86) Forough Abbasi, Iran, 1:26.71.

NR. (41) Katarina Lavtar, Slovenia, DNS.

NR. (79) Gaia Bassani Antivari, Azerbaijan, DNS.

NR. (88) Alexandra Taylor, Cyprus, DNS.

NR. (2) Maria Pietilae-Holmner, Sweden, DNF.

NR. (10) Wendy Holdener, Switzerland, DNF.

NR. (15) Nina Loeseth, Norway, DNF.

NR. (19) Erin Mielzynski, Canada, DNF.

NR. (27) Elli Terwiel, Canada, DNF.

NR. (35) Nevena Ignjatovic, Serbia, DNF.

NR. (36) Aleksandra Klus, Poland, DNF.

NR. (38) Megan McJames, United States, DNF.

NR. (40) Katerina Paulathova, Czech Republic, DNF.

NR. (43) Sofija Novoselic, Croatia, DNF.

NR. (44) Barbara Kantorova, Slovakia, DNF.

NR. (45) Barbora Lukacova, Slovakia, DNF.

NR. (47) Mireia Gutierrez, Andorra, DNF.

NR. (53) Gim So-Hui, South Korea, DNF.

NR. (55) Julietta Quiroga, Argentina, DNF.

NR. (62) Noelle Barahona, Chile, DNF.

NR. (63) Maryna Gasienica-Daniel, Poland, DNF.

NR. (66) Karolina Chrapek, Poland, DNF.

NR. (67) Nino Tsiklauri, Georgia, DNF.

NR. (70) Xia Lina, China, DNF.

NR. (77) Ieva Januskeviciute, Lithuania, DNF.

NR. (84) Ornella Oettl Reyes, Peru, DNF.

NR. (85) Alessia Afi Dipol, Togo, DNF.

NR. (17) Christina Geiger, Germany, DSQ.

NR. (80) Suela Mehilli, Albania, DSQ.


News Topics: Women's alpine skiing, Alpine skiing, Women's skiing, Skiing, Women's sports, 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, Winter Olympic games, Olympic games, Sports, Events

People, Places and Companies: Kathrin Zettel, Tanja Poutiainen, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, France, Canada, United States, Latvia, Austria, Argentina, Middle East, Western Europe, Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Greek Orthodox Community Intends to Open Advanced Greek School

The Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales announced its intention of opening a new Advanced Greek School in an attempt to support all the Greek immigrants who have arrived in Sydney within the last years. This school will be a way for ...


Greek Prime Minister: NATO Plays an Important Role in Stablity and Security

The dramatic developments in Ukraine demonstrate the great importance of an organization which offers stability and security such as NATO, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Friday after his meeting with the secretary general of the organization Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Samaras said they exchanged views on all issues ahead of the NATO summit in Wales in September and they discussed the conclusion of the mission in Afghanistan. “We want stability and security,” but conditions are difficult, the prime minister noted. “The institutional mechanism should always be activated and this is how cooperation with Israel will be achieved,” Samaras said. Regarding the enlargement of NATO, he said: “Any new candidacy is evaluated, there are the pre-accession stages and each country must meet the criteria set by the alliance which is a community of democratic values.” On his part, Rasmussen condemned the bloodshed in Ukraine. “I urge all members to stop the spiral of violence,” he said adding that the Ukrainian government had a responsibility to ensure that the army would not be involved. “The only way forward is through dialogue,” he underlined. “We are in the cradle of democracy and democracy is the foundation of NATO. Democracy is in danger in the wider neighborhood. Greece has an active participation in the alliance,” the secretary general said. “We want a strong Europe to ensure our interests,” he stressed adding that “we turn the page in our relationship with Afghanistan.” (source: ana-mpa)


Schäuble: ‘There Will Be No Further Haircuts’

German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble seemed rather positive about “providing limited aid” to Greece, stating that this will not include a new “haircut” to the already existing debt. “What we always said was that if Greece were to need further, limited, financial assistance at the end of this year when the current aid package expires, then we are prepared to do this, provided that Greece has met its obligations by then. Greece is on the right path,” said Schäuble during an interview. However, he stressed the fact that this new aid package would not include a new “haircut” of the debt. “In the same way that we had a haircut of 53.5 percent for private investors holding Greek government debt, there will be no such haircut, we said then it was a one-off and it will not be repeated.” Furthermore, Schaeuble expressed his opinion that there should not be any anxiety over whether the euro will remain stable, and estimated that there is no more risk of the financial crisis spreading to Europe. Finally, the German minister warned that the central banks of emerging economies must proceed with caution. “We have used monetary policy as a tool to gain some time. But this time it should not be used to avoid solving problems,” he concluded.


Former Greek PM Defends Political Choices

Greece’s former Prime Minister, Giorgos Papandreou, in his speech during an event held by the Greek Harvard Alumni association on Thursday, February 20, commented on the country’s current situation as well as his term in office. Papandreou stated that he intends to remain politically active claiming that he “never left” and that he “will always be here.” The former Greek Prime Minister strongly criticized Greece’s EU partners, accusing them of not acting  efficiently to limit the increasing deficit and debt. He also claimed that the Greek citizens who have made huge sacrifices, have the moral right and obligation to demand straight answers from the international community. When asked about his choices and policy as Prime Minister, he claimed that he defended European Union’s values. He stated that his government  managed to establish a supporting mechanism in record time and that they prevented Greece from experiencing a violent default in 2010, despite the huge debt. Regarding Greece’s future, Papandreou stressed the need for effective changes and structural reforms  to the state’s foundations. Concerning his involvement in the current NGO scandal and citizen’s lack of trust in political leaders, he noted that the existing NGO inspection framework was established during his term in office and admitted that it should have been stricter. However, he pointed out that media’s criticism has been hyperbolic as they are presenting NGOs as innately “evil” and useless. Papandreou stressed NGOs in Greece have played a vital diplomatic role in the Balkans and the Middle East.


Dunant and Onassis Hospitals in Greece May Be Closing

According to the Minister of Heath, Adonis Georgiadis, the Greek government will probably stop striving for the salvation of the  Hellenic Red Cross (HRC) and the “Henry Dunant” hospital.  Georgiadis referred to the District Court ruling to reject the appointment of a Ministry of Health administration in HRC, creating problems for both the charitable organization and its property, the “Henry Dunant” hospital. The Health Minister said that he would appeal this ruling, commenting that “the government bears absolutely no responsibility for what lies ahead for HRC and the hospital.” According to Mr. Georgiadis, since this summer, when he was informed of the process of elimination of HRC by the International Red Cross, the government took on the initiative to rescue the HRC and the “Henry Dunant” hospital. There has been significant progress and they even achieved in making an agreement with Piraeus Bank, which took over the hospital’s loan as a burden by the Bank of Cyprus. Money was disbursed to pay employees of the HRC and there was also an ongoing process of negotiations with the International Red Cross to change its statute and thus cancel the HRC dismissal process. However, a recent decision of the District Court annulled the Board of Directors that had been set with its previous decision, which had been established by the government. A new Board of Directors that consisted of former HRC members was established by the court and the Ministry of Health was ordered to consider that the state did not have the slightest legal interest in HRC and “Henry Dunant.” SOS for Onassis The Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center is also in immediate danger of being shut down since its deficit reaches almost 25 million euros per year, while its supply circuits continue to operate undisturbed. Following the resignation of the president, the hospital is being run by an Onassis Foundation administration. Doctors are underpaid and the patients are forced to bribe doctors in order to get medical health.


Economist: NGO Scandal, an Embarrassment for Papandreou

In a recent article, the British magazine “The Economist” refers to the corruption in Greece after the latest scandals involving NGOs came to light, arguing that the country has become a “political minefield.” “Scarcely a week goes by in Greece without new allegations of corruption in the public sector,” mentioned the article, which referred to the new scandal, while also putting blame on the former Greek PM George Papandreou, who gave his approval for setting up many of those organizations. The article also referred to the NGO “International Mine Initiative,” which “is suspected of helping to protect Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader now on trial for war crimes,” while also referring to “hardline PASOK activists,” who were supporting the Serbs during the Yugoslav succession. The Economist revealed that George Papandreou’s father and party founder, Andreas, provided financial and technical aid to the regime of late Slobodan Milosevic. “Papandreou though, has distanced himself from his party’s pro-Serbian faction,” commented the article, while mentioning that the current scandal has become an embarrassment for the former PM, “now a PASOK backbencher.” NGOs received over €100 million until 2011 Back in 2011, a parliamentary Committee, who investigated suspicious activities of Greek NGOs, had reported that the state had provided NGOs with funds amounting over €100 million. “Over the past years, only few NGOs had been set up with specific aims and principles, while the gap in the legal framework only worsened the situation,” said the Committee report. About €30 million, given to NGOs between 2000 and 2004, is still unaccounted for. Until the Greek financial crisis broke out in 2009, several NGOs had received huge chunks of money for engaging in rather “cloudy” activities. Meanwhile, three leading NGOs in Greece are now claiming “unprecedented attacks” on such organizations. The Greek sections of ActionAid, Greenpeace and WWF say that NGOs should not be victimized because of the “lack of transparency and illicit aims” conducted by some entities.


Samaras, NATO chief meet in Athens

The Ukraine crisis and European defense were at the center of talks Friday between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “I condemn the outrageous bloodshed in Ukraine. I urge all parties to stop this tragi... ...


Roma hold protest in central Athens

Hundreds of Greek Roma held a protest in central Athens Friday calling for equal treatment, better living conditions and free access to health. Protesters, many of whom traveled from around the country to attend the rally, marched from Klafthmonos Square ... ...


Record of Cancer Cases in Greece

WHO points out the importance of the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination that can significantly eliminate the risk of cervical cancer, while the Pap test is considered highly important as it can detect the disease at an early stage.


Greek Financial Crisis Tied To Country's Rising Rates Of HIV, Depression, Infant Deaths

LONDON - Researchers say they have found new evidence that Greece's financial crisis is taking a toll on the health of its citizens, including rising rates of HIV, tuberculosis, depression and even infant deaths. Since the economic crisis hit several years ...


Famous Greek Actor Sakis Boulas Passes Away

Famous Greek Actor Sakis Boulas Passes AwayGreek Reporterboulas Sakis Boulas one of the most popular comedians and singers in Greece lost his battle with cancer and died early this morning Friday February 21, at the age of 60, in an Athens clinic where he was hospitalized over the last months. According to ...and more »


Third Greek Bailout Debate, Claims 40B Euros More Needed

Uncertainty remains over whether Greece - as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' claims - will begin to recover this year or will need a third bailout and has been fueled anew by estimates from an influential European Union think tank that the country's $430 billion debt is unsustainable.

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Golden Dawn MP’s Face Immunity Loss

Greek judges want Parliament to allow the prosecution of another nine lawmakers from Golden Dawn, which is being probed for alleged criminal activities.

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Global NGO’s Protest Greek Probe

Three leading NGOs in Greece are protesting "unprecedented attacks" on groups following fraud allegations about state-funded agencies.

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Greek Crisis Is Killing People

Researchers have evidence Greece's financial crisis is taking a toll on health, including rising rates of HIV, tuberculosis, depression and infant deaths.

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Cyprus Prosecutes Bank Failures

Nearly a year after asking for an international bailout with its economy on the edge of collapse, Cyprus will start going after the people who caused it.

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Wines of the Peloponnese

Located in southern Greece, separated from the mainland by the Corinth Canal, the Peloponnese peninsula is home to a vast winegrowing and winemaking region amongst its mountainous topography. There are three main winegrowing regions within the Peloponnese, including Mantinia, Nemea, and Patras. Nemea is the best-known region, and considered by some to be the most […]

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Cypriots, Turks Find Holy Grounds

Cypriots and their Turkish counterparts are coming together to restore churches and mosques and find a different kind of resolution.

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Fisherman Catches 2,500-Year-Old Bronze Statue

A statue thought to be an ancient bronze of Apollo, Greek God of poetry and love, has dropped off the radar after being found in the sea off Gaza last summer and surfacing briefly on eBay.


Greek prosecutors seek to lift immunity from remaining Golden Dawn lawmakers

BBC NewsGreek prosecutors seek to lift immunity from remaining Golden Dawn lawmakersJewish Telegraphic AgencyATHENS, Greece (JTA) — Greek prosecutors asked parliament to remove from immunity nine additional lawmakers from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. If parliament grants Thursday's request, all 18 of the party's lawmakers in the 300-member parliament ...Greek judges seek criminal prosecution of another 9 lawmakers from Nazi ...Fox NewsGreek judges want Golden Dawn lawmakers' immunity liftedReuters UKAll Golden Dawn MPs could lose Greece immunityBBC Newsall 39 news articles »


EU plans March deployment of CAR peacekeepers

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — European Union defense ministers say EU peacekeepers are expected to arrive in the Central African Republic in early March to help stop the sectarian violence that has claimed more than 1,000 lives and forced nearly 1 million people to flee.


Newsbites@10: a morning news roundup

International experts raise alarm about Greek healthcare cuts; flu claims lives of 50 people; Nax...


Govt and troika are 'in denial' about harmful effects of health cuts

The rejection by successive Greek governments about the harmful effects of austerity on health 'm...


London Underground tube map re-imagined as the Ancient Greek underworld

London Underground tube map re-imagined as the Ancient Greek underworldThe IndependentIt's easy to imagine the designer of the latest alternative London Underground tube map, finding herself surrounded by swathes of exhausted and seemingly half-dead commuters, inspired to re-work the iconic design as a map of the Greek underworld.


Greece's Far-Right Party Could Lose Immunity

Charges possible for Golden Dawn