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

Monday, May 12, 2014

Two main parties clash over policy and slogans

Campaigning for local authority and European Parliament elections began in earnest on Monday with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledging more money for underprivileged Greeks while his conservative New Democracy and leftist SYRIZA clashed on everything f... ...


Greek gov't green-lights Milos tourism complex

The Greek ministers for tourism development and the environment on Monday approved the creation of a tourism accommodation complex on the island of Milos with a capacity for 216 beds by Axsite SA. Sources say that the first stage of the investment will am... ...


Greece making progress on recovery of dead pensioner payouts

The Greek state has already recovered some 37.8 million euros in pensions that had been handed out for 2,999 claimants who had not been taken off the register despite having been dead for at least six months. The process is not yet complete as authorities... ...


Migration policy focus to cracking down on rackets

As part of concerted European efforts to crack down on migrant-smuggling rackets – at the cost of hundreds of lives – teams of specially trained Greek police, in cooperation with their British counterparts, will be dispatched to key countries of origin, K... ...


Norwegian is first woman to head UN peacekeeping force

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon named the first ever woman to serve as the head of a UN peacekeeping operation Monday, appointing a Norwegian commander to the UN mission in Cyprus. Major General Kristin Lund of Norway, 56, will replace outgoing Major General Chao Liu of China in mid-August. Lund, who has 34 years of experience at home and with UN forces, served as deputy commander of the Norwegian Army Forces Command from 2007 to 2009 and chief of staff of the Norwegian Home Guard. The UN peacekeeping mission for Cyprus, UNFICYP, was established in 1964 to prevent the recurrence of fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.


Greece-Albania Agreement on Place Names

Meeting in Brussels Monday, Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Evangelos Venizelos, and his Albanian counterpart, Ditmir Bushati, came to an agreement on the use of place names in Albanian passports and certificates. In a statement, the Greek Deputy ...


Samaras Announces Aid Programme at Church Event

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras addressed a Church of Greece event on Monday and expressed gratitude for its support to Greek society during the economic crisis. Speaking at the event entitled “Solidarity, the social work of the Church and the social dimension of EU policies,” the prime minister underlined that the goal is to improve the people’s lives and not faceless numbers or indices. He also referred to the economic reform effort aimed at preventing a similar crisis from happening again and praised the Church for its contribution. Expressing his gratitude, Samaras noted: “Now, that the most difficult part of the uphill struggle is behind us, I have to underline that the family, as an institution, and the Church have kept society on its feet during hard times.” Aside from the ongoing relief measures, the social dividend, the measures in support of the homeless and the Church’s work, the prime minister also announced a 281-million-euro food and special aid programme decided by the European Parliament and the Greek government for 2014-2020, noting that its budget could exceed 350 million euros, half of which will be managed by the Church of Greece. “There are no atheists in a war,” he said, adding that “we experience a war for the survival of our country and the signs show that it will be won.” He said that mistakes have taken place in the past but now “we are moving with steady steps looking toward the future”. “The Church is the ark of love,” he said, noting that its contribution should continue “now that things have taken on a better shape”. The event was attended by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, who offered the prime minister an icon depicting Saint Antonios, Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania. (source: ana-mpa)


Greeks Saving Up to Go on Vacation

Greeks plan to cut back on excess expenses such as nightlife and even clothes, in order to save money for vacation travels. This is one of the key findings of the international research conducted by Tripadvisor, which recorded vacation trends on an international, regional and local level. TripBarometer is the largest travel survey conducted this year, from February 14 to March 10, with 61,007 responders from around the world. According to the survey, Greek travelers who want to set money aside to go on more frequent and quality vacations are planning on reducing their expenses, especially in regards to nightlife entertainment, dining out and shopping. The good news is that international travelers said they plan to spend more money this year for travel. The Greeks, French, Italians and Portuguese on the other hand said that they are planning on reducing travel expenses. Greeks in specific plan to lower their vacation costs about 3 percent. At the same time, Greece was included in the top 10 list of “dream” destinations for all nationalities. However, Greeks, along with the Spanish, Israelis, Italians and Turks chose the U.S. as their top destination.


Nigerian Pair Arrested for Human Trafficking

Greek police said a man and a woman from Nigeria were arrested in Thessaloniki, Greece, for trapping a 26-year-old woman, also from Nigeria. It appears that they were taking advantage of her economic situation and her desire to migrate to Europe in order to find employment. The perpetrators demanded 50,000 euros to transport the young woman to Europe. However, the woman was not able to repay such a debt, so they forced her to stay in an apartment in Volos, Greece where they would pimp her until she was able to repay her debt According to the victim, their agreement was sealed through religious ceremony (voodoo), which was conducted by a local “religious doctor” in their country of origin. The complainant stated her desire to be granted legal residence permit in Greece.


7 out of 10 Greeks Unhappy with Their Lives

The vast majority of Greeks claim they feel insecure and unhappy since their own lives and the future direction of Greece are expected to get worse. According to a poll published in a Greek newspaper, just 3 out of 10 Greeks feel satisfied from their lives while the remaining 7 claim to be totally disappointed. When asked about their future, 71 percent of the respondents replied that they feel completely insecure and only 26 percent expressed positive views about the forthcoming years. When questioned about their financial situation, 73 percent answered that it has gotten worse, 24 percent claimed it has remained the same and only 3 percent estimated that their finance is improving. Greek views regarding unemployment are highly pessimistic since 49 percent of the respondents believe unemployment rates are going to rise, 28 percent believe they are going to stay the same and only 23 percent of them think unemployment is going to fall.


Relatives Didn’t Declare People Dead To Receive Pension

Data obtained during a census of pensioners revealed the deaths of thousands of pensioners have not being reported so that the family could continue to receive the deceased’s state pension. The investigation also brought to light numerous scams that have been going on for at least a decade without anyone noticing. Specifically, based on data up to April 15, 2014: It was found that 2,999 pensioners had died at least six months before they stopped receiving their pension. According to Greek media, incorrectly paid pensions amounted to 57,127,388 euros, of which 37,797,425 euros have been repaid to the Greek state either from the accounts of pensioners or by the joint holders of their accounts. The search process for the rest 19,329,964 euros is still in progress. Moreover, it was revealed that out of the 179 cases under investigation, 92 specific cases of fraud had been committed between 1991 and 2012, costing the Greek treasury an estimated 12,864,730 euros.


Arianna Huffington Tells’ TNH its Time to Thrive

NEW YORK – Audiences across the country have flocked to hear Arianna Huffington talk about her new best-selling book “Thrive – The third Metric Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.” This week she shared some thoughts about Thrive with The National Herald. The book is founded on the common sense […]

The post Arianna Huffington Tells’ TNH its Time to Thrive appeared first on The National Herald.


Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral to host annual Greek Festival

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral to host annual Greek FestivalPatriot-NewsHoly Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral to host annual Greek Festival. The Olympic Flame Dancers at the Greek Festival. Members of the Junior Olympic Flame Dancers perform at the 2013 Greek Festival held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.


Quake jolts northwestern Greece in early hours

An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale rattled the northwestern Greek town of Igoumenitsa on Monday, the Geodynamic Institute said. The tremor, which struck at 3.54 a.m., was felt in various parts of the region. No damage or injuries have been rep... ...


Nigerian siblings accused of trafficking, pimping, voodoo scare

A brother and sister, both Nigerian nationals, were arrested in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Monday following claims by a 26-year-old compatriot who told police officers they had smuggled her from the West African country and forced her into prostitu... ...


New Athens bus line links Piraeus port to Acropolis

A new express bus line linking Greece’s largest port in Piraeus with its biggest tourist attractions, the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, was launched on Monday by the Athens Transport Organization (OASA). The bus provides a cyclical route from Piraeu... ...


Survey finds Greeks gloomiest in EU but less so than last year

Greeks are more pessimistic than any of their counterparts in the 28-member European Union about their country’s economic prospects but are less gloomy than they were six months ago, according to a new Eurobarometer poll. The poll indicated that 56 percen... ...


Two new parties enter Greek political fray as European and local elections loom

euronewsTwo new parties enter Greek political fray as European and local elections loomeuronewsAs Greece prepares for local and European elections, traditionalists fear that profound voter disaffection could result in a completely unrecognisable political landscape. In Greece a country of massive debt, high unemployment and low wages people are ...and more »


European court orders Turkey to compensate Cyprus for 1974 invasion

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered the Turkish government on Monday to pay 90 million euros ($124 million) in compensation to Cyprus over human rights abuses committed during and after Turkey's invasion of the island in 1974. Ankara said before the announcement it would not be bound by the ruling, whose timing it said was aimed at undermining a fresh peace drive on the island. But a former Turkish judge at the ECHR said Turkey would have to pay the compensation. Turkey sent troops to Cyprus 40 years ago after a brief Greek Cypriot coup staged by supporters of unification with Greece.


Ajax in Iraq Merges Greek Mythology With Sexual Assault in the Military (GO!)

LA WeeklyAjax in Iraq Merges Greek Mythology With Sexual Assault in the Military (GO!)LA WeeklyThe Los Angeles premiere of Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble's Ajax in Iraq, directed and choreographed by John Farmanesh-Bocca, relies on an unusual conceit. Its framework is the classical tale of Ajax, the ancient Greek warrior overlooked by ...


Envelope Filled With Bullets Sent to Greek Supreme Court

Shortly after 1pm Monday, an envelope arrived at the prosecutor’s office of the Greek Supreme Court, which contained three 7.62 mm bullets - the caliber used in Kalashnikov guns – and a message written in ancient Greek, which stated: “Whoever took part in this scam, whether it is a Minister, judge or prosecutor should correct their statement within 15 days, and release anyone that it in custody. Otherwise, within 20 months, these bullets will come from afar.” The threatening note, hints at the detention of politicians and, in general, opposes the Greek justice system and politicians: “If you don’t release all those who have been wrongly imprisoned in this case within the next 15 days, then in the next 20 months, the minister, the prosecutor or the investigator who were involved in the case, will mourn family members irrespective of sex and age. This time will be necessary to identify the targets. Injustice wipes out families.” The letter was signed by “Alepoudelis,” which is the real name of the famous Greek poet Odysseus Elytis, who originated from Mytilene, the hometown of the Supreme Court Prosecutor, Efterpi Koutzamani. Police say they do not consider the incident as very serious threat, at least for now, and meanwhile the case has been taken over by the anti-terrorist unit. Golden Dawn statements in regards to the bullets In a statement issued shortly after 3pm Golden Dawn, spoke of a case of “funny provocation” which only plans to impress: “Golden Dawn denounces the people who are trying to create confusion and disorient public opinion. We condemn this funny provocation of sending a threatening letter to the Supreme Court. We want everyone to know that you can’t stop Golden Dawn’s rapid electoral rise in such ways.”


FT Unfolds Story Behind Eurozone Crisis, Merkel in Tears

In a series of stories, London’s Financial Times unfolds the proceedings following the former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s decision to call a national referendum in 2011 on the bailout package imposed on Greece by the EU and the IMF, while also addressing the other EU leaders and the decisions taken at the time. “George Papandreou, the scion of Greece’s most famous political dynasty, had returned to Athens from one of the most consequential EU crisis summits to find his country in upheaval. On October 27, 2011 in Brussels, he had agreed to the largest sovereign default in history – a €200bn debt restructuring that cut what Athens owed private bondholders in half. But at home, he was being vilified,” the story by FT journalist Peter Spiegel says, continuing with Papandreou’s spontaneous decision to hold a referendum, and his following summon to appear at the G20 summit held at the time in Cannes, France, where he would be told to change the subject of the referendum, asking whether the country would like to stay in the eurozone, or abandon it. “For Merkel a key issue was whether the Greeks themselves wanted to be in or out, and if there would have been a referendum and the Greeks would have decided that they want out, that would have made the path easier,” a German official mentioned, while also going into the “brutal, recrimination-filled night, one many participants would recall as the nadir of the three-year eurozone crisis,” when “Europe’s most powerful and emotionally controlled leader [was] brought to tears.” “Das ist nicht fair.” That is not fair, the German chancellor said angrily in the presence of astonished French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President Barack Obama, tears welling in her eyes. “Ich bringe mich nicht selbst um.” I’m not going to commit suicide. According to the article, once Papandreou and Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos arrived in the conference room, the EU leaders begun something that Sarkozy’s finance minister would write down in his journal as “psychological warfare.” “Clearly the feeling was: We’ve done everything to help you, we’ve done everything to keep you in the eurozone, we’ve taken financial, political risk,” a member of France’s delegation said. “It’s the biggest debt restructuring in the world, ever, and now what you do is you betray us.” Finally, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Greece’s Finance Minister intervened and eventually put a stop to Papandreou’s much-desired referendum. “Mr Papandreou’s referendum was dead. As was his premiership,” the FT underlines.


Coastal Development Bill Receives International Condemnation

The coastal development bill submitted to parliament by the Greek Finance Ministry has received international condemnation. The bill for the “definition, management and protection of beaches and shorelines,” lifts all current restrictions on the maximum area designated for beach concessions such as bars, umbrellas and sun beds, while abolishing the right to unhindered access to the coast for the public. It would also facilitate permanent constructions on beaches for commercial purposes, and will make it possible for businesses to pay fines in order to legalize their unlicensed constructions. According to the ministry, the new provisions will delineate the Greek coastline and simplify the construction on and the management of coastal areas. The public consultation on the bill has been extended to May 13. However, the new bill has caused major controversies among the Greek parties and the citizens and has been condemned by leading environmental organizations and pressure groups worldwide. According to the protesters, the bill will legitimize illegal businesses on the Greek coasts and will allow private businesses to fill beaches with umbrellas and sun beds without taking into account the bathers who don’t wish to pay to use the beach. International pressure groups and organizations have been using social media such as Facebook and Twitter and the #savegreekcoast and #aigialosSOS hashtags to protest against the new coastal provisions and raise worldwide awareness on the issue. Moreover, awareness campaigns concerning the bill have also been launched on the Avaaz and websites. The Ministry of Finance responded to international criticism assuring that the environmental protection of the Greek coastline will remain among the Environment Ministry’s top priorities, while disputing the alleged future privatization of the Greek shoreline.


Human Rights Court sentences Turkey on Cyprus invasion

Europe's top human rights court in its largest ever judgment ordered Turkey on Monday to pay 90 million euros to Cyprus for its 1974 invasion and the island's subsequent division.

The decision from the European Court of Human Rights said the passage of time did not erase Turkey's responsibility in the case, ruling that Turkey must pay 30 million euros in damages to relatives of those missing in the operations and 60 million euros for "the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents of the Karpas peninsula."

Hundreds of Greek Cypriots still live in the Karpas peninsula in the northernmost tip of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot part of the island.

Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state that was proclaimed in the north of the island.

The judgment comes as the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities are making a new effort to reunite the island.

The court said it would be up to the government of Cyprus to determine how to award the damages. Turkey has not always complied with the court's rulings.

In a 1998 ruling, the Strasbourg court ordered Turkey to pay Titina Loizidou 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million) in compensation for depriving her of property in the seaside city of Kyrenia. It was the first case in which a Greek Cypriot successfully sued Turkey over the invasion and earned the right to compensation.

Turkey paid the money in 2003, but has yet to comply with an earlier European Court decision ordering Ankara to allow Loizidou to reclaim her property.



VP Biden to visit Romania, Cyprus next week; will discuss global response to Ukraine crisis

by  Associated Press Biden to talk Ukraine on trip to Romania, Cyprus by Associated Press, Associated Press - 12 May 2014 12:06-04:00

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Vice President Joe Biden will discuss the Ukraine crisis next week while visiting Romania and Cyprus.

Biden will be in Europe from May 20 until May 23. In Bucharest, Biden plans to meet with Romanian President Traian Basescu and with U.S. and Romanian troops conducting a joint military exercise. The trip aims to reinforce America's commitment to NATO allies amid concerns about Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

In Cyprus, Biden will meet with both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political leaders and emphasize U.S. support for the Mediterranean island's unification as a bizonal federation. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by Cypriot supporters of union with Greece.

While in Europe, Biden also plans to discuss a pending trans-Atlantic trade deal.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Joe Biden, Traian Basescu, Cyprus, United States, Romania, Ukraine, Europe, Western Europe, North America, Eastern Europe

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


UMaine women's basketball signs Greek guard Gerostergiou

UMaine women's basketball signs Greek guard GerostergiouBangor Daily NewsORONO, Maine — University of Maine head women's basketball coach Richard Barron has announced the signing of Christiana Gerostergiou. Gerostergiou, a native of Greece, will join the Black Bears in the fall of 2014. “We are very excited to add ...


La Piazza now open in Armory Square: 'Flavor of the Greek islands'

La Piazza now open in Armory Square: 'Flavor of the Greek islands'The Post-Standard... 'Flavor of the Greek islands'. NYSYR-20140512-112730-La_Pi.JPG. The signature dish at La Piazza in Armory Square: Kebabs made from lamb, pork and beef, topped with house-made Greek yogurt and served on pita bread with tomatoes and red onions.


Turkey to pay record compensation to Greek Cypriots: ECHR

Hurriyet Daily NewsTurkey to pay record compensation to Greek Cypriots: ECHRHurriyet Daily News30 million euros of the compensation package would be reserved for the missing Greek Cypriots and distributed to their living relatives, while 60 million euros in damages will be paid for "the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents of the Karpas peninsula," ...US AMBASSADOR: THE GREEK SHOULD TRUST TURKSDaily SabahCourt orders Turkey to pay Greek Cypriots 90mn eurosThe West AustralianEuropean Court orders Turkey to compensate Greek CypriotsEurope Online -Turkish Pressall 88 news articles »


Court orders Turkey to pay Greek Cypriots 90mn euros

Strasbourg (France) (AFP) - The European Court of Human Rights Monday ordered Turkey to pay 90 million euros ($124 million) to compensate Greek Cypriots who suffered discrimination as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The court said 30 million euros should go to the families of people who disappeared after the invasion, and the rest to enclaved Greek Cypriots on the Karpas peninsula in the north of the divided island under Turkish Cypriot control. The so-called \"just satisfaction award\" comes 13 years after the European court found Turkey guilty of \"massive and continuous\" rights violations following its military invasion and the creation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognised by Ankara. The July 1974 invasion by Turkish forces -- following an attempted coup by Greek Cypriots supported by a military junta in Greece -- led to a mass displacement of ethnic Greeks and Turks in Cyprus.


Greek Cypriot authorities slammed over migrant treatment

Immigrants in the Greek Cypriot south have complained of the near-impossibility of ever being granted asylum, with only 10% of those who try being offered protection, according to the latest Eurostat figures. The Greek Cypriot administration is facing ...


Greece Back In The Market. A Financial Miracle or Voodoo Economic Therapy?

Greeks due to the collapse of their economy are still under lethal Troika's (IMF-ECB-EU) financial austerity measures which accelerated poverty, bankruptcies, massive unemployment and suicides. Surprisingly, their government announced the resumption of ...


Turkey Ordered to Pay EUR90m Over Cyprus Invasion

Turkey was ordered by the European Court of Human Rights Monday to compensate victims of the 1974 invasion of Cyprus.  In one of the largest judgements handed down by the Strasbourg court, Turkey has been ordered to pay 60 million euros “in respect of the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents of the Karpas peninsula” and a further 30 million euros to relatives of those still missing after the conflict 40 years ago. Further to a judgment delivered on 10 May 2001 the ECHR found numerous violations of the Convention on Human Rights by Turkey, arising out of the military operations it had conducted in northern Cyprus in July and August 1974, the continuing division of the territory of Cyprus and the activities of the self-proclaimed but internationally unrecognized “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. Regarding the issue of just satisfaction, the ECHR held that it was not ready for decision and adjourned its consideration until now. The amounts are to be distributed by the Cypriot Government to the individual victims under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers.


Private service planned for toddler killed in Greece

Private service planned for toddler killed in GreeceRochester Democrat and ChronicleFamily and friends will gather Monday for a private visitation service for Rileigh Renee Daniels, the 17-month-old toddler killed last month in Greece. The private service is being held at Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral and Cremation Chapels on Long ...


England World Cup squad 2014: Barkley and Sterling called up  as it happened!

Lampard and Barkley make the cutStones on standby if Jones fails to recoverRoy Hodgson's England squad for the World CupAshley Cole: 'I think it best I retire from international football'Ross Barkley's journey from adversity to Rio

3.20pm BST

Right, then. That's about it from me. Stick around on site for all the news and further reaction. But from me, cheerio!

3.20pm BST

You'd have to say that England will have done well if they get out of their group knocking out one of Italy and Uruguay would really be a feather in Hodgson's cap and that, if they do indeed reach the last 16, a tie against either Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan or Greece isn't the most intimidating. If I was a betting man I'd say the quarter-finals were likely to be the place where it all comes to a juddering halt. But, like everyone else, surely the least any England fan could hope for would be that they play in a more entertaining and enterprising fashion than they have in the last three or four tournaments. And with this squad, there is a chance.

3.06pm BST

A few thoughts from below the line:

If we were playing in 10 degrees I genuinely think we'd have an outside chance.

But in the heat we will have the usual problem of keeping the ball.

I actually think it is a good squad, The only people I would question is Lampard and Baines. Baines kinda showed in the friendlies he can defend against top players and despite his cross and free-kicks could be a liability. Cole and Shaw would have been better combo of left-backs.

Lampard I just don't get. He doesn't have the legs so is no longer a goalscoring threat, doesn't have Gerrard's range of passing, so to me he seems like a passenger. It is dangerous to name a squad with no specialist defensive midfielder. Delph would have been a better option than Lampard, he might not be a big name the press lord but he has the attributes of speed and tackling that could protect England's week defence.

Fairly decent squad, but Smalling. Smalling? Really. Smalling! Stones should have gone, plays centre back and has played right back. He is also not terrible, like Smalling, and has played with two other members of the back four.Shawcross should have gone, but we gave up on that when Caulker was named in the last squad!

No surprises. Glad Shaw is going but would have taken Cole over Baines. I'd like Shaw to start now he's going. Wilshere is a big gamble. Think Carrick omission is a mistake. If Gerrard gets injured Lampard can fill in with experience - he's a good back up in that respect and an important squad member - but our shape will have to change because nobody else in midfield can distribute (if Roy is going to give Gerrard his Liverpool role). Frank can be a playmaker but it's not what he's best at.

I'm desperate for England to do well but realistically I can't see them emerging from the group.

2.55pm BST

Gutted to miss the World Cup because of my injury. I'm still a few weeks away from being fit so I understand why the gaffer has left me out

2.55pm BST

And that's that, as far as the broadcast segment of the press conference is concerned. Nothing too striking came out of that, other than the fact that John Stones will replace Phil Jones if the Manchester United man does not recover in time.

2.51pm BST

Last question: did you want Ashley Cole to go on the standby list? "I'm going to keep that conversation to myself. I don't really want to go into it. It was a private conversation. It was a difficult conversation."

2.49pm BST

Hodgson on other countries' perception of England: "I would defy anybody to give a clear and definite judgment on what 'the world' thinks of anything. It's a big place."

2.47pm BST

Hodgson asked what his players believe. "That they can have a very good tournament, win matches and go a good way in the tournament. They won't be put off in any way by any suggestions that there are countries out there that don't respect you any more. I know this group of players, what they want to do, and that they are going to try and do it.

2.42pm BST

Hodgson on Gerrard and disappointment of missing out on title: "Steven is mentally extremely strong. He loves Liverpool and he also loves England. I have no doubt he'll be as good as he ever was in this tournament." Those so inclined can add their own punchline here.

2.40pm BST

Hodgson asked what kind of car this squad is: "It's a very good question, but I don't think I'm clever enough to answer in those terms. I'll allow you to decide whether it's a sports car or a saloon. All I can say is, I'm really very happy to drive it."

2.38pm BST

Hodgson on pressure: "Whatever happens, it's up to you to be the player you are, the player you can be."

2.37pm BST

Hodgson says it wasn't an easy decision to leave out Andy Carroll. England manager was doing very well until that point.

2.36pm BST

Hodgson on Rooney: "It's not right to put the hopes of a nation like England on the shoulders of one man. The four forwards we've selected are very good. I'm hoping the onus and responsibility for scoring England's goals is shared. That might give Wayne Rooney the chance to show the other aspects of his game.

2.34pm BST

Hodgson on Carroll v Lambert: "That he played for Southampton didn't have any effect [on the decision]. It's no criticism of Andy, I didn't think there was room in the squad for both."

2.34pm BST

Hodgson on Barkley: "He's an exciting player, an exciting talent. I would hope that people are realistic in their expectations from him."

2.32pm BST

Hodgson on the difficult phonecalls: "I didn't enjoy that experience. Those conversations will remain private, but I knew it was a task that was incumbent upon me to take on."

2.30pm BST

Hodgson on prospects: "Do I believe the squad can win the World Cup? Yes of course I believe they can, otherwise what is the point. But they are empty words." Can't argue with Roy there it's an issue people pointlessly get hung up on.

"I'm sure Scolari is saying Brazil can win it. If we're going to win it, we'll have to prepare and play very well, and this talented group of players have to show their talent. Otherwise all the words in the world count for nothing. We're right to have some degree of optimism and to work on the basis there is a mood of optimism in the country. We'll feed off that, get our energy from that, and we'll make sure we do nothing to make sure we don't let our country down.

2.26pm BST

Standby players Jon Flanagan and John Stones will be joining the squad on the trip. "If by 2 June Phil Jones is not fit, John Stones will be his replacement."

2.25pm BST

Hodgson on injury worries: "We wouldn't have selected anybody in this 23 if we seriously thought we'd be on tenterhooks with regards to his fitness. The only one that seriously still poses a question is Phil Jones. Everyone tells me, and my research tells me, points to the fact that it's three-week injury."

2.23pm BST

Hodgson on youngsters: "They've played so well, been so effective, that they have imposed themselves and imposed their ability on my thinking. I'm sure in October after the last qualifiers if I had to pick the squad it would look different a lot of water has passed under the bridge since."

2.22pm BST

Hodgson on 'inexperience' in squad: "How do you get experience? You get it by getting the opportunity It's a catch 22 But the balance is good. Everyone is inexperienced until they get the chance to do the job."

2.20pm BST

Hodgson on Lampard: "You can't think about players in terms of age. You think about them in terms of position, in terms of what they can bring to the team."

2.20pm BST

Hodgson on Cole v Shaw: "I had to make a choice. I'm unbelievable impressed by the maturity and graciousness that Ashley Cole has shown."

2.18pm BST

And Roy Hodgson has emerged to justify his selection. He starts off by thanking everyone for coming. "It's a big day."

2.17pm BST

By my reckoning 10 of England's 23 have won 10 caps or fewer which could be construed as a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view.

2.11pm BST

Michael Carrick has tweeted on his disappointment at being left out:

Disappointed to be left out of the squad, World Cups are special and to miss out hurts. Want to wish the boys the very best of luck.

2.10pm BST

So, there it is. Pick the bones out of that. With Lallana, Barkley, Sterling, Shaw and Oxlade-Chamberlain in there Hodgson can hardly be accused of playing it safe, even if Lampard has edged ahead of a couple of younger options. Whether he can turn that 23 into a successful XI will, of course, be the key.

2.03pm BST

And on standby (it's as expected)

2.02pm BST

And for the tweet averse:

2.00pm BST

CONFIRMED: Roy Hodgson has unveiled his @England squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil #3Lions

1.52pm BST

For those of you in a position to watch, there is a video stream of Hodgson's press conference available on YouTube here's the link and also available at the top of the page (you might need to refresh your browser). Currently it's just an empty stage and a pack of journalists discussing the standard of the buffet, but watch this space.

1.34pm BST

Roy Hodgson has entered the building. Not Guardian Towers, obviously (now that would be a curveball), but the car factory in Luton from which he will be answering questions on his 23.

From Corsa to Copacabana; Roy Hodgson arrives at a Luton car plant to announce his England WC squad

1.29pm BST

The road to Manuas

This is quite a handy little guide how England's schedule shapes up between today and the tournament.

1.26pm BST

The Press Association's man on the south coast also reckons Southampton will have a trio of players in the 23:

Just had it confirmed that #SaintsFC trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana & Luke Shaw are all in the 23-man England squad.

1.21pm BST

I'm told by our man on the scene that Roy Hodgson is en route to the press conference at the Vauxhall factory in Luton, hopefully in the back seat of a 1985 Astra. (I'm also told that the sausage rolls aren't up to much, but that seems less relevant). Its fair to say we're fairly confident that the 23 posted earlier on will be the 23 names on Hodgson's list, but who knows, maybe there'll be a curveball.

1.02pm BST

England squad announcements weren't always like this live blogs, Twitter frenzies, press conferences at car factories at Luton. This, rather wonderfully, is how we reported the England team announcement for the 1950 tournament, the last time the World Cup was in Brazil:

12.43pm BST

An email "I think England should invest their time, energy and resources on being successful in the various youth tournaments," writes Owen London. "If we can establish ourselves in the youth arena, then that could give us the springboard."

Well, there's no doubt that plenty of time, energy and resources go into the youth sides, though whether it's enough is another matter and results haven't always been as strong as you would like (particularly given sound the Can of Worms Klaxon the Premier League's vast riches). Anyway, as I type England's Under 17 side have just beaten Turkey 4-1 in the European Championships in Malta. It pretty much guarantees them a spot in the semi-finals.

12.30pm BST

A squad has been announced! But, slightly underwhelmingly, it's the Scotland squad to face Nigeria in a friendly later this month. The Derby duo of Craig Forsyth and Chris Martin have been called up for the first time.

Scotland squad to face Nigeria: Goalkeepers Cammy Bell (Rangers); Matt Gilks (Blackpool); David Marshall (Cardiff City); Allan McGregor (Hull City). Defenders Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town); Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic); Craig Forsyth (Derby County); Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion); Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers); Alan Hutton (Aston Villa); Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic); Andrew Robertson (Dundee United); Steven Whittaker (Norwich City). Midfielders Ikechi Anya (Watford); Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace); George Boyd (Hull City); Scott Brown (Celtic); Craig Bryson (Derby County); Chris Burke (Birmingham City); Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion); Darren Fletcher (Manchester United); James McArthur (Wigan Athletic); James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion). Forwards Leigh Griffiths (Celtic); Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic); Chris Martin (Derby County); Ross McCormack (Leeds United); Steven Naismith (Everton).

12.17pm BST

A few thoughts from below the line:

It's interesting that Hodgson is opting to name a 23 and seven standbys today rather than a provisional 30 which was what I thought he was going to do.

Had he chosen the latter option, he could have kept Cole involved and chopped him later only when Baines and Shaw have avoided injury during the training camp. Now he'll be forced to call up Gibbs or Flanagan if the other two get injured.

I would be hugely surprised if Ben Foster isn't on the plane. Surely our second best option in goal by a country mile? Also knows Foster from his time at WBA, and persuaded him out of retirement.

Despite the youthful promise that looks like being send to Brazil, you can't help feel that the defence and Roy's mindset will result in the usual World Cup misadventure.I wonder how Liverpool's emotional roller coaster will deliver the likes of Gerrard, Sterling, Sturridge et al. two weeks ago they looked like they could sweep all before them, now there's lots of staring into the mid-distance, not an ideal frame of mind to approach a tournament?

A serious question: what have Lampard, Wilshire, Jones, Smalling and Welbeck done to be in our squad? It appears likely they'll go, but Jones and Smalling have been dreadful, two of the worst centre backs in the league, and not skilled or fast enough to play fullback, Lampard is used to rest other midfielders, these days, and Welbeck is an attacking player who doesn't score goals and doesn't have enough skill or guile to be considered a creator. Oh, and Wilshire is recovering from injury and has regressed this season So why does everyone assume we'll take them and why should we? I'd love to hear a justification that goes beyond, "they're the men in possession", but they've hardly performed in stellar fashion for England, either, have they (although I know Wilshire regularly plays well)?

12.02pm BST

The standby list, part II

Our understanding is that these are the seven names on Hodgson's standby list, each of them trying to be a good person but still secretly praying to the God of Hamstring Strains and Groin Twangs for a little help:

11.57am BST

The standby list, part I

It's interesting that Hodgson has opted to name his 23-man squad with a standby list of seven, rather than name a provisional squad of 30 (as Germany did last Thursday). It makes sense, given his insistence that he will pick on form over the course of the season rather than these last few weeks, though it's presumably not an approach that many other countries will take.

11.38am BST

Hodgson, like all England managers over the past decade it feels, has had his share of criticism for sticking with members of the old guard, but whatever the 23 (with seven standbys) named today it's sure to have a completely different feel to the 2010 squad. David James, Michael Dawson, John Terry, Aaron Lennon, Peter Crouch, Joe Cole, Robert Green, Stephen Warnock, Gareth Barry, Matthew Upson, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jamie Carragher, Jermain Defoe, Ledley King, Emile Heskey all went to South Africa. Will any other squad in Brazil have undergone such a transformation in the four years between tournaments? That's not a rhetorical question, by the way if anyone knows then feel free to post below the line.

11.20am BST

Morning all. So today's the day. Roy Hodgson has dotted the i's and crossed the t's on his final 23-man England squad for the World Cup. He's told the players. All that is left for him to do is tell the rest of us.

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