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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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Greece: more than 300 migrants rescued

by  NEOnline | MK

Europe’s immigration emergency appears to be unfolding unabated. On March 31 the Greek Coast Guard rescued more than 300 undocumented migrants aboard a vessel off the island of Crete the authorities said. 

Earlier in the day the 32-meter vessel issued a distress signal in moderate weather conditions. All migrants, most of them from Syria and Egypt, were transferred to the Greek tanker Olympic Faith which moved to the area along with another five ships following a call issued by the Greek Shipping Ministry.

Among the ships that made their way to the area to take part in the rescue were cargo ships, an American warship from the US naval base in Crete and a Greek Navy frigate whose personnel who provided first aid to the immigrants, the Greek government said in a press release. 

Media are quoting Shipping Ministry sources saying that the boat was headed towards Italy. 

The Greek authorities say that the country’s coast guard has  rescued about 3,500 people in such incidents.

Earlier this month the Italian authorities rescue around 2,000 immigrants in a few hours. 


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Triple Election Possibility Emerges

According to Greek news, the Greek Prime Minister’s close associates are suggesting that national elections take place in May alongside the regional

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408 Illegal Immigrants Rescued in Crete

This morning, Greek Coast Guard authorities mounted a rescue operation after receiving an SOS signal on Sunday, sent by a boat carrying illegal

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Greek Centre-Left Alliance Names Euro Election Candidates

The temporary alliance between PASOK and three other small center-left movements, named “Olive Tree”, has published its candidates for May’s European Parliament elections. Among

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Greek Government Bans Protests at Eurogroup Talks

On a similar wavelength is the announcement issued by major opposition party SYRIZA, which said “the Greek government, with practices that can only be characterized as ‘parliamentary coups’, shows its indifference towards the problems and ...

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Greek police declare much of Athens center off-bounds to protesters ahead of EU meetings

Greek authorities have banned demonstrations in much of central Athens to forestall planned anti-austerity protests at this week's meetings of European Union finance ministers.

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Greece bans protests at EU ministers' meetings

Greek authorities have banned demonstrations in much of central Athens to forestall planned anti-austerity protests at this week's meetings of European Union finance ministers. Labor unions and leftwing ...

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Dead inmate suffered separate beatings, prosecutor hears

An Albanian inmate who died in a prison in northern Greece last week under circumstances that are currently being investigated had sustained multiple injuries at different times, the investigating prosecutor heard on Monday. Guards from Malandrino jail in... ...

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Economy reverting to normality

Greece will not need another bailout package, as its economy has been streamlined and the markets are reopening to Athens after four years, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Bank of Greece Governor Giorgos Provopoulos stated on Monday, a day after th... ...

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Greece: police bans public gatherings in central Athens

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, MARCH 31 - Greek police has banned public gatherings in central Athens from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the European Union's finance ministers will be in the Greek capital for an informal Eurogroup and then an ...

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Greece proposes amateur ban in state funding protest

Greece proposes amateur ban in state funding protestYahoo!7 NewsATHENS (Reuters) - The Greek Olympic Committee (HOC) are proposing that their amateur sports suspend operations for two days next month in protest against severe state funding cutbacks. The federations say they are struggling to survive following a new ...and more »

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Greece Police Chief Phelan Sworn In

Patrick Phelan was officially sworn in as the new Chief of Police in Greece. Patrick Phelan was officially sworn in as the new Chief of Police in Greece. Phelan, a former captain, has been with the department for 25 years. His father, Gerald Phelan, was ...

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Greece picks Lamda Development's 915 million euro bid to develop former Athens airport

Greece's state privatization agency has picked a Greek real estate company to develop a sprawling coastal Olympic complex and former airport, once earmarked as a metropolitan park but largely abandoned for the past decade.

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Greece Passes Reform Bill, But At a Price

Syriza (the opposition party) walked out of the latest reform bill debate. Syriza’s party leader Alexis Tsipras says, “What you are trying to do is to sell off the country piece by piece to domestic and foreign interests in exchange for the ...

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UPDATE 1-New tax hits Greek betting firm OPAP's 2013 profit

UPDATE 1-New tax hits Greek betting firm OPAP's 2013 profitReutersATHENS, March 31 (Reuters) - Greek gambling monopoly OPAP posted a bigger-than- expected drop in its 2013 net profit, hurt by a new tax the country imposed on the firm to help plug its budget shortfall. Greece slapped a 30 percent levy on OPAP's gross ...Greek betting firm OPAP misses forecastCyprus Mailall 3 news articles »

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UPDATE 1-Greece picks Lamda-led group to develop former Athens airport

UPDATE 1-Greece picks Lamda-led group to develop former Athens airportReutersThe sale of the 620-hectare property will help Greece to meet privatisation targets set by its international lenders, while the project is expected to create, directly and indirectly, about 50,000 jobs over 10 years. Lamda, controlled by Greece's ...and more »

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Greece is epicenter of graffiti protests

SFGateGreece is epicenter of graffiti protestsSFGateLoudly expressing opinions is a national pastime that has only grown more raucous during the social upheaval caused by Greece's deep financial crisis. Vacant storefronts, acres of shutters reinforced against rioters are the canvases that have helped ...

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ELSTAT: Suicide Rate in Greece Goes Up

The number suicides in Greece was 508 in 2012 and 477 in 2011, according to a Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) report concerning the causes of death in Greece. Overall deaths were up 5% in Greece, the main causes being diseases of the ...

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Thessaloniki police arrest five over credit card scam

A 25-year-old Swedish national was arrested on Monday in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on suspicion of running a credit card racket costing some 30,000 euros in purchases for goods and services. Investigators believe that the 25-year-old purchased the nu... ...

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Q1 ends with bourse index gains at roughly 15 pct

After a hesitant start to Monday’s bourse session, Greek stocks put their early losses behind them to end the day on a high, with the benchmark posting total gains of 14.88 percent in the first quarter of the year, an impressive performance by any standar... ...

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Greece appeals for EU aid to support quake-hit island

The Development Ministry has appealed to the European Union’s Solidarity Fund for financial aid to help recovery efforts on the Ionian island of Cephalonia, which suffered serious material damage following two strong earthquakes earlier this year. The reg... ...

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Greek firm Forthnet announces new subscribers record

Listed telecommunications operator Forthnet announced a new record in its subscription base as far as its pay-TV platform Nova is concerned, amounting to 452,340 subscribers at the end of 2013. It also reported a slowdown in its revenue decline compared t... ...

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TAIPED confirms Lamda as preferred Elliniko bidder

Greece has picked Lamda Development, backed by Chinese and Arab funds, to develop a prime seaside property at the former Athens airport in Elliniko, the country’s privatization agency TAIPED said on Monday. Lamda Development, backed by China’s Fosun and A... ...

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Greek Org of Football Prognostics : betting firm OPAP misses forecast

03/21 GREEK ORG OF FOOTBALL PROGNOSTICS: Combine Solicitation - USCG STATION NEW LOND.. 03/21 GREEK ORG OF FOOTBALL PROGNOSTICS: Our View: Gaming: do we need higher taxes or.. 03/17 GREEK ORG OF FOOTBALL PROGNOSTICS: Proposed gambling tax will not meet ...

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Models Pose on Greek-Cypriot Graves in Occupied Cyprus

Models Pose on Greek-Cypriot Graves in Occupied CyprusGreek ReporterSince Sunday, the photos have been published in various Cypriot and Greek media, sparking hellenic outrage at a time in which efforts are being made for reconciliation on the still-divided island. TAGS; Cyprus Turkey · Greece · Greece news · Greek news ...

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Kitchen Throwdown: Greek Mac And Cheese Vs. Butternut Mac And Cheese

VideoThis is the second in a series of kitchen battles. Learn more here. Overconfidence, as any hare that has gotten smacked around by a tortoise knows, can be one’s undoing. Mac and cheese almost never leans on meat for its appeal. So mac and cheese with braised lamb? No way I’m losing [...]

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Greece Rescues 400 Immigrants On Boat

Authorities in Greece say some 400 immigrants are being transferred from a stranded fishing boat to a crude oil tanker after making a distress call.

The post Greece Rescues 400 Immigrants On Boat appeared first on The National Herald.


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AHEPA Holds Capitol Hill Day Chapters Mark 3/25

WASHINGTON, DC – The Order of AHEPA has been in the lead representing the views – in the best interests of the United States – of the community in Washington, DC for decades. On March 25 its leaders and members brought their legislative agendas to the attention of Capitol Hill legislators and their staffs 2014 […]

The post AHEPA Holds Capitol Hill Day Chapters Mark 3/25 appeared first on The National Herald.


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Las Pozas, a surreal garden of gigantic concrete flowers, overrun by the Mexican jungle

by  Associated Press In Mexican jungle, surreal art garden Las Pozas by TERESA DE MIGUEL ESCRIBANO, Associated Press - 31 March 2014 12:24-04:00

XILITLA, Mexico (AP) — At the end of a long, dirt road in Mexico's northeast jungle, two spiral staircases appear, leading nowhere amid an ornate concrete structure. Giant concrete fleur-de-lis flank a pathway, and tall bamboo-shaped columns surround a house with no walls. Oversize plaster orchids are in permanent bloom, while a natural waterfall ceaselessly flows down a mountain.

This is Las Pozas, a dreamy, little-known garden of surreal art, where sculptures evoke the ruins of ancient Greece but are overrun by exotic jungle plants. It was created by the late Edward James, a British multimillionaire and arts patron who favored surrealists like Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.

"Mr. Edward wanted to bewilder," said Carlos Barbosa, a park guide. He thought of the park "as a joke to a future civilization."

And visitors are bewildered by Las Pozas, located on a 100-acre (40-hectare) hillside where the Sierra Madre mountains and coastal plains of the northeast state of San Luis Potosi meet.

"I had seen videos and documents but I didn't expect it to be so impressive," said Vida Arellano, a tourist from the northern state of Chihuahua. "Once you are here, you are enveloped by nature, the sculptures, the architecture ... it transports you to a different mental state."

Las Pozas means the pools.

The ferocity of the jungle in these hills of the Sierra Madre, a seven-hour drive from Mexico City, has destroyed many structures in the garden. But that didn't bother James, who liked to think that future archaeologists would discover his lost city and wonder what kind of civilization had built it, Barbosa said.

James inherited a fortune from his father and used the money to support the work of great surrealists, including Dali, Magritte, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. Fascinated with Mexico, he arrived in San Luis Potosi in the mid-1940s, bought land through a Mexican friend and spent the next 20 years of his life building his garden.

The park was half-built by the time its creator died 30 years ago, but it remains an impressive work of art, with an air of mystery added by the rust and deterioration brought on by nature.

The original project, interestingly, had nothing to do with the garden's ultimate design.

For years, James cultivated thousands of orchids on his land, but in 1962 a cold snap destroyed them, said Zaira Linan, the park's assistant director. James then ordered workers to build cement flowers that weather couldn't destroy, Linan said.

The son of British aristocrats and grandson of a Canadian timber baron, James first came to Mexico in 1944 at the invitation of psychiatrist Erich Fromm. He joined a salon of intellectuals and artists at Cuernavaca, the resort city just southeast of Mexico City.

It was in Cuernavaca that he met Plutarco Gastelum, a Mexican friend who helped oversee the garden's progress as workers built wooden molds from James' drawings and filled them with cement to create the sculptures.

James' imagination didn't stop with the flowers. He began to design increasingly complex sculptures, often inspired by artistic philosophies he encountered in his travels. He would sketch his sculptures on postcards and mail them to Gastelum.

Barbosa remembered with amusement James' many eccentricities, including the time he asked a cook to make a banquet for a menagerie of exotic animals he kept and loved like his children.

James "used to walk naked through the park and even though he was a millionaire, he often slept in a sleeping bag among the weeds," Barbosa said.

Walking through the labyrinthine paths overrun by the jungle is an adventure. And just when it seems that there is nothing more to see, a small, stone pre-Columbian house opens the way to a stunning square where a giant concrete sculpture of a blooming flower sits.

With park guides' help, visitors can access the most remote corners of the park, including a concrete bed shaped like a tree leaf where James used to meditate and prepare for death.

But James didn't die in his precious park. He died in 1984 in San Remo, Italy, when a stroke put an end to his delirious project.

Since he didn't leave any sketches for future sculptures, construction halted and the jungle began to take over, Linan said.

In 1990, Gastelum's son, who is also named Plutarco, opened the park to the public. He remembers James as a "tender" character whom he called "Uncle Eduardo," and says he is often surprised by the curious anecdotes he reads about James, including one that claims he may be an unacknowledged descendant of Britain's King Edward VII.

"It wasn't until I was much older that I thought, 'How come I have an English uncle?'" Gastelum said laughing.

In 2007, Gastelum turned the garden over to a foundation so more resources could be devoted to preserving its 36 sculptures. Today it draws 75,000 visitors annually.

___

If You Go...

LAS POZAS: http://www.xilitla.org/. Xilitla, Mexico, is the closest town, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the garden. Mexico City is a seven-hour drive and Tampico is the nearest major airport, about four hours away. Entrance to the park is about $4. Lodging can be found in Xilitla or at the Posada James Hotel near the park.

News Topics: Travel, Lifestyle, Flower gardening, Flowers, Travel destinations, Gardening, Home and garden, Hobbies, Recreation and leisure, Plants, Living things, Leisure travel

People, Places and Companies: Leonora Carrington, Mexico, Mexico City, North America, Central America, Latin America and Caribbean

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


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Greece: Coast Guard transfers 331 immigrants from stranded boat to tanker

by  Associated Press Greece: 331 immigrants on stranded boat Associated Press - 31 March 2014 12:28-04:00

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek Coast Guard transferred 331 immigrants, including 40 children and 24 women, from a stranded fishing boat to a crude oil tanker Monday after they made a distress call overnight.

The transfer lasted several hours in moderate-to-rough seas between the islands of Crete and Kythira, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.

Ministry officials said the immigrants appeared to be in good health and would be taken to Crete, but did not confirm reports on state television that most of the people on broad were from Syria and Egypt.

Initial ministry estimates of the number of immigrants had been put at 400.

Greece is a major transit point of illegal entry for immigrants hoping to get into the European Union.

News Topics: General news, Immigration, Social issues, Social affairs

People, Places and Companies: Greece, Crete, Western Europe, Europe

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


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Most Greek Ports Unfit For Cruise Ships

Although cruise ships are vital to Greece’s tourist season, most Greek ports are unfit to berth such vessels, a study has found. Research

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Greece in World Top 10 Social Security Contributors

Greece remains among the countries with the highest social security contribution rates, although those numbers are forecast to go south by 3.9

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Greek Pharmacists Return To Work

Pharmacists in Attica decided to end their strike over the liberalization of their industry on April 1, despite the approval of the

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Greek betting firm OPAP 2013 net down 72 pct, misses fcast

Greek gambling monopoly OPAP posted on Monday a 72 percent drop in 2013 net profit, driven down by a new tax the country slapped on the firm to help it plug its budget shortfall. Net profit fell to 141 ...

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As Greece Passes Bailout Bill, Debt Talks To Continue

Greek ReporterAs Greece Passes Bailout Bill, Debt Talks To ContinueGreek Reportergreece-eu-flag The approval in the early hours of Monday morning by Greece's parliament of the critical omnibus reform bill needed to release a delayed €10.5 billion instalment from international lenders means the sustainability of Greece's debt hinges ...

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Greece Won't Need Third Rescue on Recovery: Stournaras

The Star OnlineGreece Won't Need Third Rescue on Recovery: StournarasBloombergGreece, where the euro-area debt crisis erupted more than four years ago, won't require a third international bailout if its economy continues to revive, according to Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras. With euro-zone finance ministers converging on ...Greek police ban protests during EU meetings in AthensReutersall 2 news articles »

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Greek police ban protests during EU meetings in Athens

Greek police have banned protests in Athens when the Greek capital hosts a meeting of European Union finance ministers on Tuesday and Wednesday, citing security reasons. Demonstrators will be banned from rallying or marching in the center of the capital, including around parliament in Syntagma Square, the focus of often violent protests against austerity measures imposed under the country's bailout plans. Athens has implemented such bans several times in the past, including when German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made high-profile visits to the Greek capital.

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Euro Crisis Leads to Skeptisism About the Future of the European Union

The Eurosceptics have moved from blogs, to op-eds, to political campaigns. A new wave of populist politicians who oppose greater European Union integration or question the raison d'├ętre of the EU are vying to make big wins in the upcoming European Parliament elections in May. The first signs come from French Municipal Elections in France. About 19 cities turned to the National Front party lead by Marine Le Pen. A serious Eurosceptic party of the far right. Without a doubt, the outcome of the elections will be the most divisive since direct elections for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were first held 35 years ago. Of course, it remains to be seen how the 300 million voters in the 28 member states of the EU will vote on Election Day. What is certain, however, is that Brussels is to blame for the growth of Eurosceptic parties across the EU. The rise of the Eurosceptic parties, which are united in a deep distrust of anything coming from Brussels, is the result of the increasingly irresponsive organisations and institutions of the European Union. One example is the EU's inability to address the troubles of one small country - Greece. For the first couple of years, the Greek crisis was treated as just that - a crisis of the lazy, corrupt and inefficient Greeks. Then, the crisis was perceived as a wider problem of the southern Europeans dubbed as the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain). It seems the EU preferred to make decisions based on these scenarios creating divisiveness, rather than addressing the structural problems of the Union fast. The truth is that the European Union was not fast enough to react to market distortions and inefficiencies in its Member States. Instead, the EU allowed the debate to turn into a witch hunt - looking for someone to blame, rather than dealing with the underlying issues like the inefficiencies of the EU's Single Currency and the fiscal union. Ironically, it is the Union's handling of the Eurozone crisis that lead to the rise in populism and the backlash against the leadership of the 28-member bloc. For the first time in the history of the EU, an unprecedented number of voters from across the 28-member bloc will vote for parties that are strongly questioning the effectiveness and even the relevance of the EU. The southern voters may unfortunately lead the way since they feel they have been punished by the EU reforms of severe austerity. Who wants to continue calling oneself a Europhile when they feel they are being punished? The irony of the situation is that the European Union has itself created a strange incubator of criticism and inflexibility. The question now What type of Europe we want and how will the Union EU turn things around?

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New Provisions in Omnibus Bill to Alter the Greek Market

The critical omnibus reform bill that needed to release a delayed €10.5 billion installment from Greece’s international lenders was approved by the Greek parliament in the early morning hours of Monday. The bill corrects many injustices that ...

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Dijsselbloem says EU to decide Tuesday on pace of Greek payouts

Euro area finance chiefs will decide tomorrow on the amount and pace of Greece’s next aid payments, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said. Greece needs another infusion of money to avoid default in May, when it has to repay 12.5 billion euros ($... ...

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Greece saw biggest rise in at-risk-of-poverty rate from 2011 to 2013, EC says

Greece saw the biggest rise in the European Union between 2011 and 2012 in terms of the proportion of its population that is at risk of poverty, according to the European Commission's latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review, which was publ... ...

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Police bans public gatherings in central Athens during visit of EU finance ministers

The police has banned public gatherings in central Athens from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the European Union’s finance ministers will be in the Greek capital for an informal Eurogroup and then an ECOFIN meeting. Marches and rallie... ...

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Greece: 400 immigrants on stranded boat

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Authorities in Greece say some 400 immigrants are being transferred from a stranded fishing boat to a crude oil tanker after making a distress call overnight.

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Greek Suicides Soar 36% During Crisis

Greece's crushing economic crisis has apparently taken a toll in the number of people taking their lives, with suicides jumping 36 percent since 2008.

The post Greek Suicides Soar 36% During Crisis appeared first on The National Herald.


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Greece Passes Bill to Secure Next Tranche of Loans

Greece's government secured enough parliamentary votes early on Monday (March 31) to pass a key reform bill demanded by its international lenders in exchange for further bailout loans that will help the debt-laden country stay afloat.

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Availability Scheme Causing Problems in Greek Hospitals

Serious problems are expected to arise within the next days in public hospitals across Greece due to the placement of hospital drivers

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EU to Decide Tomorrow on Pace of Greek Payouts

Greece needs another infusion of money to avoid default in May, when it has to repay 12.5 billion euros ($17.2 billion) of government debt. The Mediterranean nation has faced repeated delays in accessing a 130 billion-euro bailout package ...

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John C. Reilly Joins Greek Director Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster'

Hollywood ReporterJohn C. Reilly Joins Greek Director Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster'VarietyU.S. actor John C. Reilly has joined the A-list cast of hot Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos' dystopian drama “The Lobster,” which just started shooting in Ireland. Set in a near future where people who are single get arrested and forced to find a ...John C Reilly, Ashley Jensen join Colin Farrell in The LobsterDigital Spy UKall 5 news articles »

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Two alternate ministers to join Greek cabinet, replacing outgoing officials

Two new members of the Greek cabinet are due to sworn in on Monday, replacing another two departing officials. Theophilos Leontaridis will replace Maximos Harakopoulos as Alternate Agricultural Development Minister. Harakopoulos quit the cabinet on Saturd... ...

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Suicides in Greece reached 508 in 2012, 36 pct up on 2008, ELSTAT finds

There were 508 suicides in Greece in 2012, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), which represents a rise of 36 percent since 2008, before the country’s economic crisis began. It is not clear from ELSTAT’s data whether this rise is dire... ...

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