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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Greek Out at the St. George Spring Festival

A big, fat Greek festival is coming to Bethesda in May. The St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda is holding its 2014 Spring Festival the weekend of May 2-4, where attendees can gorge on all the baklava, gyros and homemade Greek food they want.


Penn Students Struggle To Balance Financial Concerns And A 'Normal' College Social Life

Despite substantial financial aid many students say they will never be able to keep up with the myriad costs of college life — as University of Pennsylvania students told The Daily Pennsylvanian for a recent feature on how students spend money

The student newspaper spoke to a range of students with financial concerns, including some who receive a large amount of aid from the university and some who are just budget conscious. "For most of these students, who generally did not come from cultures of wealth and privilege, arriving at Penn was a culture shock," according to The DP.

One student spoke candidly about how money has impacted her daily life on campus.

"I try to work 15 hours a week, which is 15 hours I'm not doing homework, or sleeping or whatever. I have to compete with people who have the luxury of not having to do that. It changes the way you see earning money," she said.

Many students told The DP that most of their monetary decisions involve aspects of campus life that other students don't have to think about — like living in an on-campus dorm or joining Penn's popular Greek system. They said they often need to strategize and budget in order to maintain a "normal" undergraduate experience:

"The kids in my frat go downtown every single week," Daniel says. "When you go downtown, it's $10 for cab, $10 back…every time you go downtown it's at least $100. I'm not really into that whole scene." On the occasions he does go, he drinks beforehand to avoid spending money on expensive drinks and bottle service. "You are able to do things wealthy people do, you just have to find a way to do it cheaply." But spring break—an institution in his house—complicated that. Finding the money for a $1,500 trip, he says, required planning nearly a year in advance. "I told my parents, don't get me anything for Christmas, no birthday presents."

Another student told The DP that she actively avoids going out for dinner with friends because she has prioritized spending her money elsewhere, such as towards her sorority dues and other Greek expenses. "Thus far this year, God, with big–little week it's over $1,000 that I’ve spent on a sorority ... It goes to show you that it's not like I don't have the means to do that, because if I truly was struggling in any way, I'd cut it out," she said.

Read the full story at The Daily Pennsylvanian's weekly magazine, 34th Street >>

FOLLOW US! Check Out BI Colleges On Facebook

Join the conversation about this story »


Historic Greece site may be sold

Historic Greece site may be soldRochester Democrat and ChronicleA potentially valuable Greece property with a colorful, less-than-pristine history may change hands for the first time in a half-century, and its one-of-a-kind building could have a date with the wrecking ball. Once a World War II shipyard, then a Cold ...and more »


The Greek House Goes Hotel Living

The Greek House Goes Hotel LivingHuffington PostIoannis Pappos: When I picked up your book, The Greek House, fresh from a trip to Greece, your scrutiny over the Greek light, overpowering, forceful, almost harsh, stayed with me. That light marked my childhood. The places I grew up and spent my ...and more »


Greece moves to tighten prison furloughs

The Greek government is planning tougher conditions for furloughs for hardened criminals, following repeated instances of notorious terrorists walking away from prison after a holiday leave or disappearing after being released from pre-trial detention.


Greece's ex-FinMin says IMF did not demand debt relief

Former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou issued a statement on Tuesday denying claims that the International Monetary Fund’s ex-Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn had insisted that the Greek debt be restructured as part of the bailout deal s... ...


Six Roma brothers held over gun attack that injured 2 minors

Six Roma brothers aged 24 to 38 were arrested in Karditsa, central Greece, on Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder. The men are alleged to have fired two shotguns at people in another Roma camp. Seven people, including a 2-year-old child and a 16-year... ...


Moonlighting Greek policeman faces fraud charges

A member of the police force’s internal affairs department faced a prosecutor on Tuesday on charges of breach of duty and fraud after he was caught in the early hours of the morning working as a security guard for a private company. At the moment of his a... ...


Greece lines up tax cuts

Greece is set to ask its eurozone partners when the Eurogroup meets on May 5 for permission to gradually reduce corporation tax rates as part of a wider plan to generate growth in Greece, Kathimerini understands. Several government officials, including Fi... ...


Health authorities on alert over MERS virus

A 69-year-old Greek man who has been in the intensive-care unit of Athens’s Sotiria hospital since he tested positive for the potentially fatal MERS virus on his arrival in the Greek capital from Saudi Arabia last week was in a critical but stable conditi... ...


Greek leftists opt for ‘more suitable’ Euro Parliament candidate

SYRIZA confirmed on Tuesday, following some two weeks of deliberations, that Thrace-based Roma activist Sabiha Suleiman will not stand as a candidate with the leftist party in the May 25 European Parliament elections. SYRIZA has opted for Oumit Mestan Osm... ...


Alabama Greek System Wants a Cookie for Accepting a Few Blacks

BETAlabama Greek System Wants a Cookie for Accepting a Few BlacksJezebelKatie Smith, a student senator who wrote the resolution's early draft according to the Huffington Post, says a campus group called "The Machine" worked to keep the school's clubs racially segregated through their powerful control Greek society. Here's ...University Of Alabama Student Government Finally Votes For Integrating Greek ...Huffington PostU. of Alabama Students Vote to Integrate Greek OrganizationsBETUniversity of Alabama Student Government Votes to Integrate Greek SystemUniversity HeraldTuscaloosa News (subscription) -The Grioall 7 news articles »


Ludlow Massacre: 100 Years Later

TRINIDAD, CO – Linda Linville climbed down the steep stone steps into the dugout on the southern Colorado prairie Sunday where one branch of her family was wiped out in one day 100 years ago. Her great aunt, her unborn baby and two children died in a fire that broke out during a battle between […]

The post Ludlow Massacre: 100 Years Later appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Island of Ithaca to Become High Class Resort

Australian investors are planning to build a luxurious resort on the southern shores of the Greek island of Ithaca, which will host villas, marinas and golf courses. The investors’ plans for the project have already been posted on the company’s website.


German Paper Reports on Unpaid Work in Greece

A recent article in German daily Der Spiegel, entitled Warum Jannis auch ohne Lohn arbeitet (‘Why is Yannis working without a salary?’) addresses the problem


Greek Basketball Giants Fight Back for Euroleague Survival

Both Greek teams in the last eight of basketball’s Euroleague managed to edge do-or-die victories in closely contested play-offs Monday night, kindling fading dreams of keeping the trophy


River Evros at Alarming Levels After Bulgaria Dam Overflow

Authorities are preparing for the worst in the northern Greece regions of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where the water level of the river


Major milestones in David Moyes' tumultuous 10-month reign at Manchester United

by  Associated Press Major milestones in Moyes' tumultuous reign by STEVE DOUGLAS, Associated Press - 22 April 2014 12:02-04:00

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — From embarrassing defeats to a critical plane banner and taunts from a spectator dressed as the Grim Reaper, it was a tumultuous 10-month reign for David Moyes as Manchester United manager.

Here is a look at some major milestones marking Moyes' slide toward the exit at Old Trafford:



If Moyes, together with vice-chairman Ed Woodward, had acted with more urgency and decisiveness in the summer transfer window, United's season could have turned out a whole lot different. As it was, they wasted time and energy on failed bids for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, lost out to Bayern Munich in the race to sign Thiago Alcantara and then blundered in making a derisory double offer to former club Everton for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. His only purchase ended up being Fellaini, for an inflated fee of 27.5 million ($43 million), in the final minutes of transfer deadline day and the Belgium midfielder never established himself as a United regular.



The season started well for Moyes — a 2-0 win over Wigan in the Community Shield was followed by a 4-1 win at Swansea on the opening weekend of the Premier League and a creditable 0-0 draw with Chelsea in his first match at Old Trafford. Then the wheels started to fall off. In September, United lost at fierce rival Liverpool, was taken apart in a 4-1 loss at neighbor Manchester City and was defeated 2-1 by West Bromwich Albion, which ended its 35-year wait for a victory at Old Trafford. It was a portent of things to come.



Moyes said a 2-2 home draw in the Premier League to last-place Fulham in early February was "as bad as it gets." He was to be sadly mistaken. Probably the lowest point of his United tenure came two weeks later in Piraeus, Greece, where his team slumped to a 2-0 loss to Olympiakos in the first leg of the Champions League's last 16. "To a man, there was nothing," Moyes said. "I just didn't see that level of performance coming." The pressure started to build on Moyes after that display.



By the end of March, critics of Moyes were calling on fans to remove a banner with the words "The Chosen One" — a nickname given to Moyes — that had been hanging from the famous Stretford End at Old Trafford. Yet it was a different banner, much higher in the sky, that grabbed just as much attention during the home match against Aston Villa on March 29. A plane carrying the message "Wrong One - Moyes Out" flew overhead at the start of the game. It was a PR stunt that was booed by many United fans, but it hardly would have made Moyes more comfortable in his position.



The final public image of Moyes as United manager couldn't have been more apt. Standing in his technical area, arms folded, as his team labored in a 2-0 loss at Everton on Sunday, Moyes span round to see a spectator dressed as the Grim Reaper motioning an imitation scythe toward him from the crowd. It caused plenty of hilarity among the fans but Moyes didn't look amused. The reaper was removed from the stands — and Moyes was removed by United two days later.

News Topics: General news, Sports, Men's soccer, Professional soccer, Soccer, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: David Moyes, Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Thiago, Leighton Baines, Marouane Fellaini, Manchester, England, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe

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


Chobani Greek Yogurt for Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert?

Chobani’s made a booming business of selling a thicker, Greeker version of the yogurt Americans were familiar with. Now the country’s largest yogurt brand wants to branch out to other categories, like desserts and cooking ingredients. “We want to ...


Crete: the joys of Easter in Greece

I am not very religious, but I have come to realise that there is more to Easter than traffic jams on the M4 and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs. For the last four years, I’ve decamped to Crete, arriving around Good Friday and taking advantage of the bank holiday ...


Greece bailout: MEPs land in Athens to investigate effect of troika's loans

Inquiry comes amid mounting criticism of the wreckage austerity has left since Greece accepted emergency loans An inquiry into whether international creditors have inflicted more harm than good on Greece – the most problematic of the four countries bailed out since the onset of Europe's debt crisis – intensified on Wednesday with the arrival in Athens of MEPs conducting the investigation. In a ...


Hundreds of thousands of Greeks apply for 'social dividends'

Scramble for share of budget surplus highlights desperation of Greeks hit by spending cuts since start of debt crisis

Hundreds of thousands of Greeks have applied for so-called "social dividends" that the government has vowed to hand out after recording a primary budget surplus counted before interest payments.

The conservative-dominated coalition has predicted it will register a surplus of about 2.5bn, in figures due to be confirmed by the EU statistics office on Wednesday.

Continue reading...


Newton resident set to launch Greek iced tea brand

Newton resident set to launch Greek iced tea brandBoston Business Journal (blog)For those who don't know what Greek iced tea is, it's a caffeine-free herbal tea made from Sideritis, a flowering plant that's plentiful in Mediterranean regions of the world. Tsipouras has fond memories of traveling to Greece with her grandmother and ...


nel applies to explore for oil and gas in Greece -ministry

nel applies to explore for oil and gas in Greece -ministryReutersEncouraged by big gas finds in offshore areas of Cyprus and Israel that are relatively nearby, cash-strapped Greece has been wooing oil companies to explore and develop its own hydrocarbon potential. Athens imports almost all its oil and natural gas ...and more »


Tests confirm Athens cabbie has not contracted MERS

The results of extensive medical tests on Tuesday confirmed that the taxi driver who took a Greek man suffering from the fatal MERS virus from Athens International Airport, where he had arrived on a flight from Saudi Arabia, has not contracted the disease... ...


Panathinaikos, Olympiakos Stay Alive

Down 2-0 in Euroleague quarter-final play, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos returned home on April 21 to beat Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow.

The post Panathinaikos, Olympiakos Stay Alive appeared first on The National Herald.


Ryan Budget: Madness or Meaningful?

In this Agora, Dan Georgakas says Congressman Paul Ryan's proposed deep budget cuts are pure madness, but TNH Executive Editor Constantinos Scaros the government's $1 million-per-minute spending is the real insanity.

The post Ryan Budget: Madness or Meaningful? appeared first on The National Herald.


A Week of Greek

A Week of GreekStoutoniaUniversity of Wisconsin–Stout students may have noticed an extra bustle about the Memorial Student Center this past week due to Greek Week. This week is an annual event put on by the Greek organizations to strengthen ties between the nine sororities ...


Greek man who lived in Saudi Arabia treated in critical condition with MERS respiratory virus

ATHENS, Greece - Greece has recorded its first case of the potentially fatal respiratory disease known as MERS, and the patient is in critical condition.


New Pretending-To-Be-Gay Show Faking It Is Actually Realistic, Says Showrunner

The creator of "the most accepting and tolerant high school that we’ve seen on television" talks to TIME


Suicide rates soar in Greece as economic cuts bite

(Medical Xpress)—The effect of economic cuts on debt ravaged Greece included a dramatic rise in the number of men committing suicide, according to new research. The research, by Dr Nikolaos Antonakakis and Professor Alan Collins at the University of ...


5 Things The Greeks Can Teach Us About Aging Well

There's a lot we can learn from the Greeks, no doubt. Some of the greatest (and wisest) minds who ever lived were Greek... Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to name a few. We can thank them for things like democracy, the Olympics, and heck, even the Pythagorean Theorem. Oh, and don't forget gyros. And the land itself, well with sunny islands, clear blue Mediterranean water, and some of the world's most delicious food, it's good being Greek. But the Greeks aren't just living well, they're also living long. Ikaria, a small Greek island, has been dubbed a "blue zone," one of the few places in the world where people lead healthy, active lives past the age of 100. The percentage of people living beyond 90 in Ikaria is much higher than the average for all of Europe. In fact, a study found that people on this island are living to 90 almost three times as often as Americans, and are far less likely to develop Alzheimer's or depression. And researchers think it might just be more than coincidence. Their low-stress lifestyles, level of physical activity, and a few other habits unique to their culture could be the secret. Here are five things the Greeks can teach us about aging well:1. They know how to take a break from the stresses of daily life. As with many countries with hot climates, people in Greece stop midday to take a quick, but restorative nap. In some areas, you'll even find shops and businesses closed during this time so employees can take a break. Harvard researcher Dimitrios Trichopoulos says while naps may seem to break the flow of your day, they actually double it, giving you the energy and second-wind to be productive the second half of your day. It's something we could especially benefit from in the hectic pace of life stateside. "In the way life is organized here, you start with stress commuting and you finish with stress, which is again the commuting. So to have in the middle of the day a time when you can relax, it can only be good, or at least not bad," he told NPR. In his research, Trichopoulos found that Greek men who napped just half an hour a day were much less likely to have heart attacks, most likely because of the stress-busting effect of an afternoon siesta. Opa!2. They drink to their health. Even the Greeks' morning Joe is superior to ours. Boiled Greek coffee is a staple in Ikaria and it's good for more than just shaking off your morning grogginess. Researchers found that Greek coffee is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants which protect your body from aging and a variety of chronic diseases. Drinkers of this liquid gold were found to have improved endothelial function -- which protects your blood vessels -- compared to those who drank other types of coffee. And their night cap of choice? A mountain tea, made from native herbs like delicious sage, mint, and rosemary. Local physicians say it's as good as medicine. 3. They've been blessed by Aphrodite. Don't be fooled into thinking sex is for the young. A good romp is just as fun and beneficial as you get older, and the Ikarians are onto it. In a study of Ikarian men between ages 65 and 100, four out of five claimed they were still having sex regularly. What's more is a quarter of those men said the sex was pretty darn good, with them being able to last a considerable amount of time. With the immunity boosting, stress-busting, and anti-aging benefits of sex, it's no wonder they're living so long. 4. Their diet is heart-healthy. Greek cuisine might make you think of fatty gyros and spanakopita, all finished off with a super-syrupy piece of baklava. But they're actually eating a lot cleaner than that. Think the freshest olive oil, a rainbow of vegetables, tons of lentils and beans, while taking it easy on the meat. For breakfast, you won't find locals chowing down on McMuffins. Instead they'll opt for something like some high-protein Greek yogurt with a touch of honey. Lunch and dinner will be loaded with fresh vegetables, fruits, and plenty of legumes. Their natural "diet" is basically what the new-age "Mediterranean Diet" is. The Mediterranean diet has been linked with benefits ranging from a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, to even lessening the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's. 5. Family is everything. If "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is your only exposure to Greek culture... you're not too far off, at least when it comes to family. A welcoming sense of community and family ties are a major part of life in Greece. Joint families are quite common compared to other Western countries. Our own Arianna Huffington recalls her tight-knit upbringing. "I was very close with my family -- my mother lived with me while I was married and helped me raise my kids. She was like a second mom," Huffington said in an interview with Into the Gloss. In Ikaria, a typical evening routine includes visiting neighbors. It's almost hard to be alone, which is so important as we age. "We keep the old people with us. There is an old people's home, but the only people there are those who have lost all their family. It would shame us to put an old person in a home. That's the reason for longevity," Ikarian real estate agent Eleni Mazari told The Guardian. Studies have not only shown that older people tend to eat worse when they're alone, but loneliness in later life can lead to poor health and earlier death.


Greek Village Of Vrontados Celebrates Easter With A Rocket War

YOU know when it’s Easter in the Greek village of Vrontados, on the eastern Aegean island of Chios, because rival churches either side of a valley engage in a “rocket war”. the winner of the Rouketopolemos is the church – either Agios Markos or ...


Greek austerity triggered male suicide rise: Study

A new study has found a more human cost of the Greek debt crisis: cuts and reforms in the country have caused a "dramatic rise" in male suicides.


Young psychologist to travel to Greece with A21

Derry JournalYoung psychologist to travel to Greece with A21Derry JournalExplaining about A21 Donna said, “Christine started A21 - the aim of which is to abolish injstice in the 21st century - after she spotted hundreds of posters of missing people around airports in Greece. “Upon further investigation she soon realised ...


Greece Doesn’t Need More Money

With the sale of a 3-billion-euro bond, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said Greece has shown it won't need to rely on international lenders soon .

The post Greece Doesn’t Need More Money appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Easter Celebrations Kill One

Greek police say one person has died and several have been seriously injured in separate incidents during Easter celebrations, including three Americans.

The post Greek Easter Celebrations Kill One appeared first on The National Herald.


Turkey Sees Cyprus Deal This Year

The Turkish Cypriot leader said that a settlement of the 40-year-old conflict that divided the Mediterranean island is possible this year.

The post Turkey Sees Cyprus Deal This Year appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Austerity Caused 551 Suicides

Harsh austerity measures in Greece were so severe that it led to 551 people killing themselves out of despair in only two years, a report has claimed.

The post Greek Austerity Caused 551 Suicides appeared first on The National Herald.


Greece reports 1st MERS case, patient critical

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has recorded its first case of the potentially fatal respiratory disease known as MERS, and the patient is in critical condition.


Samaras Sees Bond Yields Falling More as Greece Rebounds (1)

KathimeriniSamaras Sees Bond Yields Falling More as Greece Rebounds (1)BusinessweekGreece set off Europe's debt crisis in 2009 when the government revealed its budget deficit had ballooned to more than five times the euro area's permitted limit, eventually leading to two international bailouts, totaling 240 billion euros ($332 ...Samaras Sees Better Bond Rates ComingGreek Reporterall 5 news articles »


Samaras Sees Better Bond Rates Coming

Greece is in no rush to jump back into the markets fully despite the recent sale of a 3-billion-euro five-year bond, Prime


Eurostat: Extent of Greece’s Primary Surplus

The European statistics service, Eurostat, is expected to confirm a Greek primary surplus for 2013, on Wednesday. Eurostat estimates that the primary


Russian Journalist Gives Praise to Thessaloniki

“Thessaloniki-Love at first sight” is the title of an article by Russian journalist, Julia Usachev, who spent ten days in Thessaloniki, northern Greece


Modern Greek Printmaking in UK

To celebrate the Greek Presidency of the EU Council, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in UK in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in London, will be presenting the exhibition Modern Greek Printmaking: “Selected works from the ...


Pharma deal frenzy as Novartis and Glaxo announce multi-billion dollar tie-ups

Novartis and GSK announce multi-billion deals in consumer healthcare and vaccines, while takeover talk sends AstraZeneca shares soaring over 7%

Latest: City welcomes Glaxo-Novartis deal

GSK-Novartis: the details

Analyst: AstraZeneca takeover speculation won't stop

12.15pm BST

Why all this activity in the pharmaceuticals sector? The WSJ has a pithy explanation:

Many drugs companies have paid down debt from big acquisitions in the early 2000s and are generating a lot of cash.

Generic drug makers are seeking to gain scale as their competitors and customers bulk up. For prescription-drug makers, pressure on pricing in the U.S. and Europe has forced many to cut costs, scale back research and development activities, and think about joining with rivals.

12.01pm BST

Over in Hong Kong, Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined $6m Hong Kong dollars (or around £500,000) for internal control failures -- after not spotting that a trader had falsified her records to hide almost £20m of losses.

The penalty was imposed by the Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), as Reuters reports:

The SFC said in a statement RBS failed to detect and prevent unauthorized trades in its emerging markets rates business in the city in 2011, following the discovery of unauthorized trades by former trader Shirlina Tsang.

Tsang was sentenced last year to 50 months in jail after pleading guilty to fraud after was she caught falsifying records of her trades...

11.41am BST

GSK has been holding an analyst call to discuss today's deals with Novartis (buying a vaccine arm, selling its oncology division, and setting up a consumer healthcare joint venture).

City analyst Louise Cooper tweets the key points:

listening to GSK conference call. 500 lawyers been working on deal!

GSK CEO jokes about over worked pharma analysts "hopefully this is one transaction you didn't read about in the papers". (unlike AZN)

Load of M&A and restructuring deals announced in UK and EU over last few days. Sign recovery. (Good for investment bank fees)

11.31am BST

Back to the big story of the morning, the deal fever in UK pharmaceuticals which continues to drive Europe's stock markets higher.

Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed a multibillion dollar swap of assets under which the two pharmaceutical firms will join forces in the consumer healthcare sector combining brands including Aquafresh, Beechams and Tixylix and exchange their oncology and vaccine businesses.

The deal comes amid a frenzy of takeover speculation in the sector with the US drugs company Pfizer thought to be considering a $100bn (£59bn) bid for AstraZeneca and Valeant Pharmaceuticals looking at Botox-maker Allergan in a $40bn move.

Last night, Citis Andrew Baum suggested that the offer is "very likely genuine" after The Sunday Times first reported that a tentative bid had been made. Credit Suisse's Vamil Divan notes that overlap with Lipitor and Crestor could cause some headaches with the Federal Trade Commission, but these "would not be prohibitive."

Divan sees synergies in primary care infrastructure, emerging markets, and in combining oncology assets. And Citi's note sees the acquisition fitting into Pfizer's "key strategic goals for immunotherapy and autoimmune disease." Baum says that the deal could transform Pfizer's competitive presence in that sector.

10.56am BST

A couple of Greek news stories to flag up.

Greece's prime minister, Antonis Samaras, has predicted that the recovery in the country's bond prices will continue, pushing down borrowing costs (although there are no plans to repeat this month's oversubscribed debt sale).

We reached rock bottom and now we can only go up and we will only go up,

Echoing official statistics in the UK showing suicide rates are still higher than before the crisis, researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found a correlation between spending cuts and suicides in Greece.

According to the research, every 1% fall in government spending in Greece led to a 0.43% rise in suicides among men after controlling for other characteristics that might lead to suicide, 551 men killed themselves "solely because of fiscal austerity" between 2009 and 2010, said the paper's co-author Nikolaos Antonakakis.

10.30am BST

Construction activity in the eurozone inched a little higher in February, according to Eurostat's latest survey this morning, suggesting that Europe's recovery from recession remains weak but steady.

The highest [annual]increases in production in construction were registered in Slovenia (+33.1%), Hungary (+28.3%), Spain (+23.9%), Poland (+14.4%) and Germany (+14.1%), and the largest decreases in Romania (-14.7%), Portugal (-11.5%) and Italy (-7.9%).

Euro area production in construction +0.1% in Feb 14 over Jan 14, +6.7% over Feb 13 #Eurostat

The highest [monthly] increases in production in construction were observed in Poland (+17.4%), Hungary (+8.2%) and Spain (+3.0%), and the largest decreases in Slovenia (-4.9%), Italy (-3.7%) and the United Kingdom (-2.8%).

10.09am BST

9.58am BST

Bank lending to UK businesses continues to shrink, despite efforts to drive credit to small firms.

Mortgage lending, though, continues to rise -- which won't dent fears that Britain's economic recovery is based on the shifting sands of a housing boom.

The stock of lending both to small and medium-sized enterprises and to large businesses contracted over this period. Mortgage approvals by all UK-resident mortgage lenders for house purchase continued to rise, on average, in the three months to February.

The annual rate of growth in the stock of secured lending to individuals rose to 1.1%. The annual rate of growth in the stock of consumer credit continued to be strong.

Lending to small businesses is still falling, according to the @bankofengland

Another #FLS failure! #BoE The stock of lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contracted in the three months to February.

9.38am BST

Dutch electronics firm Philips has seen 7.4%, or 1.7bn, wiped off its stock market value this morning after becoming the latest European firm to suffer from the strong euro.

Philips suffered a 22% plunge in earnings in the first three months of 2014, to 314m, well shy of analyst forecasts of 341m.

9.22am BST

The rally in pharmaceutical stocks has driven European stock markets higher, with the FTSE 100 jumping 53 points to 6679, a two-week high.

The German DAX has jumped 1%, as the optimism created by M&A activity ripples around.

Welcome news for Glaxo shareholders; the company managed to dispose of the oncology business which was suffering against the oncology units at global peers such as Roche and AstraZeneca. The combined consumer healthcare business controlled by GSK should also cheer investors given the current strength of Novartiss consumer healthcare portfolio.

A combination of both companies would help with reducing huge costs so although talks have ended for now, market participants are expecting AstraZeneca to now be in the spotlight as an attractive takeover candidate by not only Pfizer but other global pharma firms.

8.59am BST

Here's a handy explanation of the healthcare brands that will come together in Novartis and GSK's new consumer healthcare operation, from PA:

The tie-up will create a world-leading business with annual revenues of around £6.5 billion from Glaxo products such as Aquafresh and Beechams and antiseptic range Savlon and cough and cold brand Tixylix from Novartis.

8.49am BST

8.45am BST

Glaxo's CEO, Andrew Witty, has suggested that today's deal with Novartis (details below) could lead to more jobs being created in the UK.

He told my colleague Sarah Butler that there will be "minimal impact" to its workforce in the UK. Indeed, GSK plans to invest some of the deal's proceeds in research and development, potentially boosting employment within Britain.

Drugs frenzy: GlaxoSmithKline shares jump 4% on Novartis deal. Meanwhile UK's AstraZeneca up 8% on talk of takeover by US giant Pfizer

8.28am BST

Shares in pharmaceutical firms have jumped in early trading in Europe.

Investors are welcoming the Novartis-GSK deals, and the prospect of Pfizer launching a huge takeover bid for AstraZeneca -- whose shares are leading the London stock market.

AstraZeneca shares jump 8% in early trading; GSK up 4% and Shire also higher, up almost 5%. FTSE 100 +34 points, or 0.5%

8.19am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial markets, the global economy, the eurozone and business.

Switzerland's Novartis & UK's GlaxoSmithKline also to combine consumer healthcare. So Novartis buys cancer unit, merges consumer unit

Meanwhile #Glaxo becomes a leader in vaccines, buying Novartis' unit for $7bln + quite the game of swap/combine

I believe you'd better be number one, two or three in your sector, and this is what this deal is all about.

Continue reading...


Greece austerity caused over 550 male suicides, study finds

Spending cuts in Greece caused a rise in male suicides, according to research that attempts to highlight the health costs of austerity. Echoing official statistics in the UK showing suicide rates are still higher than before the crisis, researchers at the ...


Greece Has Most Expensive Road and Fuel Taxes in Eurozone

According to a study by the European Commission, Greece is among the countries of the euro zone with the most expensive circulation and fuel taxes. More specifically, Netherlands is placed first followed by Greece which came second. The study showed ...


Study finds link between austerity cuts and male suicide

University of Portsmouth research finds that for every 1% fall in government spending in Greece, ...


Marina Abramovic’s homage to ‘Seven Deaths’

Marina Abramovic loves Greece and is a regular visitor to the country, which reminds the artist of her homeland, Serbia. Abramovic also loves Maria Callas, both in terms of the imprint of the diva’s oeuvre on the field of opera performance, as well as on ... ...