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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Olga Kefalogianni in Australia to Boost Greek Tourism

The Greek Tourism Minister, Olga Kefalogianni, visited Melbourne and met with Australian politicians, major tourist agents and Greek organizations. Kefalogianni attended an event organised by the Greek Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HACCI ...


14 Homes That Come With The Ultimate Party Amenity — A Swim-Up Bar

These homes may have what may be the ultimate party amenity: a swim-up bar in the pool.

And we thought these only existed at all-inclusive resort.

Our friends at Estately helped us compile a list of houses across the country where you can practice your mixology and breast stroke simultaneously.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the homes were located out west or in the south, where warmer weather adds to the whole "it's 5 o'clock somewhere" feel.

If only these homes came with personal bartenders as well.

Pretend that you're spelunking down a sea cave in this nature-inspired pool.

This 9,000 square foot Mediterranean mega mansion in California also comes with maids quarters, a home theater and wine cellar.

Address: La Habra Heights, CA

Price: $12 million

There's plenty of room for thirsty guests at this six-seat bar.

This pool not only has the bar, but also cascading waterfalls to accent the 10,000 square foot California home with two master bedrooms and a billiards room.

Address: Indian Wells, CA

Price: $3.495 million

It's all about the ambiance at this Texas watering hole.

You might think you're back in ancient Greece with the Doric style columns mounted in the backyard, but the large Texas house includes modern amenities like a fire pit, hot tub, and subdivision tennis court. 

Address: Houston, TX

Price: $795,000

See the rest of the story at Business Insider


Colombia coach Pekerman includes Falcao in 30-man preliminary squad for World Cup

by  Associated Press Pekerman includes Falcao in 30-man WCup squad Associated Press - 13 May 2014 15:39-04:00

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Radamel Falcao, who is recovering from left-knee surgery, was named Tuesday in Colombia's preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup.

Coach Jose Pekerman has until June 2 to name the final 23-man squad.

Falcao has been sidelined since January. If he recovers in time — surgeons initially gave him a 50-50 chance — Colombia could be one of the real threats in the World Cup.

Colombia plays in Group C and opens on June 14 against Greece. It also faces Ivory Coast and Japan and is playing in its first World Cup since 1998.

News Topics: Sports, 2014 FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup, International soccer, Men's soccer, Soccer, Events, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Colombia, South America, Latin America and Caribbean

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


Fitch affirms NBG, Piraeus, Alpha, Eurobank at B-

Fitch Ratings announced on Tuesday it has affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings of National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank at B- with stable outlooks. [Reuters]... ...


Greece set to be integrated into EU power market

KathimeriniGreece set to be integrated into EU power marketKathimeriniThis project “is a high priority,” David Merino, a spokesman for the Slovenia-based Agency of the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, said by e-mail. The next step is to link Italy with France, Slovenia, Austria and Greece, known as the central-south region.and more »


FIFA Announces Greek National Team’s Slogan for World Cup

FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) has announced the 32 winning slogans that will be placed on each team’s buses at the 2014 FIFA World Cup held this summer in Brazil. An international competition entitled “Be There with Hyundai Contest” was held from October 2013 to February 2014, in order for fans to come up with a slogan for their national team. Upon completion of the submission phase, a voting phase took place after which the most popular slogans were chosen. These slogans will be used as an anthem to fans and players during the World Cup. Greek football fans have chosen the slogan “Heroes play like the Greeks!” to accompany the Greek national team to Brazil. The two other options for Greece ’s slogan were “This is Greece!” and “One Team, one Dream!” but they weren’t very popular among the voters. Some slogans picked for other countries are the following: Cameroon: “Un Lion Demeure Un Lion” (Translation: “A Lion remains a Lion”) Spain: “En Nuestro Corazón, La Pasión De Un Campeón” (Translation: “Inside our Hearts, the Passion of a Champion”) Ivory Coast: “Les Éléphants A La Conquête Du Brésil!” (Translation: “Elephants Charging towards Brazil!”) Costa Rica: “MI PASIÓN EL FÚTBOL, MI FORTALEZA MI GENTE, MI ORGULLO COSTA RICA” (Translation: “My Passion is Football, my Strength is my People, my Pride is Costa Rica”) England: “The Dream of one Team, the Heartbeat of Millions” Italy: “Coloriamo D’azzurro Il Sogno Mondiale” (Translation: “Let’s Paint the FIFA World Cup Dream Blue”) Switzerland: “End Station: 13.07.2014 Maracana!” (Translation: “Final Stop: 13-07-14 Maracana!”) France: “Impossible N’est Pas Francais” (Translation: “Impossible is not a French word”) Nigeria: “Only Together we can Win.” USA: “United by Team, Driven by Passion!” Belgium: “Attendez-vous À L’impossible!” (Translation: “Expect the Impossible!”)


Greece, Cyprus, Israel Agreement on the Protection of Mediterranean

Greek ReporterGreece, Cyprus, Israel Agreement on the Protection of MediterraneanGreek ReporterGreece, Cyprus and Israel, preparing for the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean Sea, on Tuesday signed an agreement for the protection of the environment from possible oil pollution. Environment ministers from the three countries agreed ...and more »


Greek Court Clears Golden Dawn to Contest Upcoming Elections

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s Supreme Court has cleared the extreme right Golden Dawn party to contest the May 25 election to the European Parliament, despite it being prosecuted by authorities as a “criminal organization.” The court approved a list of 43 parties that will contest the poll. Governing partner New Democracy and main opposition Radical Left Coalition, also […]

The post Greek Court Clears Golden Dawn to Contest Upcoming Elections appeared first on The National Herald.


WorldViews: What Europe thinks of Muslims, Jews and Roma

Ahead of the upcoming European Union parliamentary elections, the Pew Research Center released its latest survey data for France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

There are a number of interesting points in the report, but one striking section shows the varied views about minorities in the region. And while perspectives on Muslims and Jews are largely mixed, the mostly negative views about the Roma people are striking.

Read full article >>


Greek Government Postpones Coastal Development Debate

The Greek government has postponed the debate over the controversial coastal development bill, which drew sharp criticism from many citizens and several members of the government, until after the European elections on May 25. Interior Minister Dimitris ...


EU military force to reach more than 800 troops in the Central African Republic by mid-June

LARISSA, Greece - European Union military officials say the EU expects to have more than 800 troops on the ground in the Central African Republic by mid-June.


Golden Dawn: ADL Anti-Semitic Poll Puts Greece Higher than Iran

International Business Times UKGolden Dawn: ADL Anti-Semitic Poll Puts Greece Higher than IranInternational Business Times UKA worldwide survey of anti-Semitic views released by a leading Jewish organisation has found that Greece is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe. Greece, the cradle of democracy, recorded a result in the Anti-Defamation League poll of 69% of ...Poll: One quarter of adults worldwide 'deeply infected' with anti-SemitismJerusalem Postall 32 news articles »


Two indicted in Thessaloniki over repeated attacks on local man

A council of misdemeanors court judges in Thessaloniki on Tuesday indicted two men, a Greek and a Georgian national, to face an investigating magistrate in connection with repeated assaults on a 54-year-old resident of the northern port over the past few ... ...


Deadline extended for Greek civil servant evaluations

The Administrative Reform Ministry has announced a new extension to the deadline for the evaluation of civil servants to be completed. Reports now have to be submitted by August 29. The reviews are a central part of the government’s public sector reform.... ...


Greek police warn against virus-carrying online links

The police’s cyber crimes unit on Tuesday warned Internet users to avoid opening links to a series of “shocking” videos that have been online since the weekend as they carry a severely debilitating virus. The videos to avoid have titles such as “Ghost att... ...


Greek Festival in Florence comes alive with food, music and tours

Greek Festival in Florence comes alive with food, music and tours Melissa Rollins Morning News Morning News FLORENCE, S.C. -- For more than 30 years, the Pee Dee community has been invited to learn about the Greek culture in a fun ...


Turkey rebuffs Cyprus pay-out order

Turkey says it will not pay compensation to Greek Cypriots over the 1974 invasion following a European court ruling it says is unfair.


What's new at the Capital Region Greek Festival in Wormleysburg?

What's new at the Capital Region Greek Festival in Wormleysburg?Patriot-NewsCalamari, similar to what's served at Snapper's Bar & Grill in Mechanicsburg (pictured above) will be on the menu this year at the Capital Region Greek Festival. The event runs May 16-18 at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral off of Yverdon Drive.Have a feast at OC Greek FestOCRegisterGo Greek This WeekendAbout - Cities & Townsall 4 news articles »


Opa! Greek yogurt, an ingredient fit for the gods!

Opa! Greek yogurt, an ingredient fit for the gods!The Daily AdvertiserAfter a few months on a diet vacation I'm back on the wagon. I've said it before, but this time I'm sticking to a plan that works for me - healthy eating with some extravagances sprinkled in. My philosophy of substitutions not sacrifice is really my ...


Neil LaBute: 'Better for me not to be a Mormon than a bad Mormon'

His first work Bash got him excluded from the Mormon church. Now, as its three plays are revived in London with a modified script, Neil LaBute talks religion and R-rated movies

It is common for a particular work to be described as pivotal in a playwright's career and development. But in the case of Bash: Latterday Plays, currently being revived at the Trafalgar Studios in London, it would be no exaggeration to say that it changed its author's life. It was Neil LaBute's first published play, though it is actually comprised of three short pieces: a duologue sandwiched between two monologues, each part updating a different Greek tragedy to modern-day America with the gruesomeness intact.

Continue reading...


Man arrested for selling university-grade papers on Facebook

Investigators with the Greek police's electronic crimes squad are scouring the computer of 47-year-old man who has been arrested on suspicion of running an illegal business selling papers and essays to university students all over Greece. According to an ... ...


Fear of Greek Universities Closing Again as Staff Strike

Administrative staff at Greek universities started a 48-hour strike Tuesday, in protest at the lay-offs of their peers at the Athens University of Economics and Business and at the University of Ioannina. According to the protesters, the employees that were laid-off had not previously been part of the state’s ‘mobility’ program, which provides direct integration of “a limited number of staff with specific skills in order to move them to services where there is urgent need for staff to better serve citizens.” The universities’ administrative staff are seeking the immediate implementation of this program for their colleagues. Furthermore, they seek to stop the new evaluation system for all public sector employees. University employees think that this is a way for the Greek Education Ministry to create a huge pool of redundant employees.” Protests will take place in the center of Athens Tuesday and Wednesday, while administrative employees say that if their demands are not granted, they will bring the universities to a standstill  


First Female Head for Cyprus UN Peacekeepers

Major-General Kristin Lund has been appointed to head the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the first woman promoted to the position. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement May 12. Norwegian Kristin Lund is the first woman to be appointed as a peacekeeping force commander and will replace Chinese Major-General Chao Liu at the head of the 1,000-strong UN contingent in Cyprus on August 13. UNFICYP was established by the UN Security Council on March 4, 1964 to contribute to a return to normal conditions after the intercommunal violence and bloodshed between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish-occupied north and an ethnically Greek south since 1974. “Major General Lund has had a distinguished military career, with over 34 years of military command and staff experience at national and international levels,” Ban Ki-moon said. Born in 1958,  Lund graduated from the Norwegian Defence Command and Staff College, the Norwegian Defence University College and the United States Army War College. She joined Norway’s army in 1979 and participated in several UN missions, such as in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon in 1986 and in the UN Protection Force. She also has solid experience of multinational operations, including deployment to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and with the NATO’s International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004. Moreover, she served as deputy commander of the Norwegian army from 2007 to 2009 and in 2009, she became the first female officer promoted to the rank of major-general and was appointed chief of staff of the Norwegian home guard. Among others, Major-General Lund said that she had fallen in love with the UN while she was serving in Lebanon and when asked if she would want to head a peacekeeping force, she replied: “Yes, I love the UN.” “I think it’s time, and I think it’s important that other women see that it’s possible also in the UN system to get up in the military hierarchy to become a force commander,” Lund added.


Clever Ad Campaign in Athens Metro

A new clever ad campaign that was introduced in Athens Metro trains has really impressed both the Greek people and tourists. Anyone who decides to move around the city of Athens using the metro is left speechless by a new ingenious ad campaign, which turns the train into a beach. Waves, sand, footprints and many more beach related images have filled the trains making everyone think they could be sitting on a beach enjoying the sun. This has been characterized as one of the most successful ads in recent years. The advertisement refers to a new game called “Scratch” which is being represented by Newtons Laboratory. In fact, even social media has been brimming with these images of summer in the Athens Metro trains!


SYRIZA a bit More Popular, But ND Slight Edge at Polls; Potami, Dawn far Behind

A new poll by GPO, on behalf of Mega TV, revealed that SYRIZA has a razor-thin lead, only half of one percent, over New Democracy. But the poll also showed that ND conservatives are 1.4 percent more likely to be elected if elections were held now. The full poll results, as reported by Kathimerini, just […]

The post SYRIZA a bit More Popular, But ND Slight Edge at Polls; Potami, Dawn far Behind appeared first on The National Herald.


Sneak Preview from Travel Edition: Poros

The National Herald’s Travel Guide to Greece hits the newsstands this weekend!  Here’s a sneak preview of one of the articles about great vacations spots for this summer. The Picturesque Port of Poros Each offering their own flavor and tradition, Greek islands are magical destinations to experience during all times of the year. If you prefer […]

The post Sneak Preview from Travel Edition: Poros appeared first on The National Herald.


HMS of New York Honors Maria Vogiatzi

NEW YORK – Dr. Maria G. Vogiatzi was honored with the fourth annual Mary Kalopothakis Award at the 2014 Distinguished Physician/Scientist Award Symposium of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York on April 30 at the Einhorn Auditorium of Lenox Hill Hospital. Maria Kalopothaki was the first Greek-American woman to practice medicine in Modern Greece […]

The post HMS of New York Honors Maria Vogiatzi appeared first on The National Herald.


Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure in Ivory Coast's provisional World Cup squad

by  Associated Press Drogba, Yaya to lead Ivory Coast WCup challenge Associated Press - 13 May 2014 08:38-04:00

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure are expected to lead Ivory Coast's challenge at the World Cup next month after being included in a provisional squad of 28 players.

Striker Drogba and midfielder Toure will likely form the spine for Africa's top-ranked team when it plays Japan, Colombia and Greece in Group C in Brazil.

Toure's brother Kolo, the Liverpool defender, was also on the list released Tuesday by coach Sabri Lamouchi, along with strikers Wilfried Bony of Swansea and Gervinho of Roma.

Ivory Coast has its best chance of going far at the World Cup after being drawn in a relatively manageable group. Drogba, one of Africa's best-ever strikers, is 36 and almost certainly heading for his last World Cup appearance.

News Topics: Sports, 2014 FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup, International soccer, Men's soccer, Soccer, Events, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony, Gervinho, Ivory Coast, Africa, West Africa

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


Despite ruling, Turkey won't pay damages to Cyprus

SFGateDespite ruling, Turkey won't pay damages to CyprusDaily MailANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey says it won't pay $123 million in damages to Cyprus that was ordered by Europe's top human rights court and is calling that ruling the biggest blow yet to peace talks for the divided island. The European Court of Human Rights ...Turkey will not pay compensation to Greek Cyprus: FM DavutoğluHurriyet Daily NewsTURKISH PRESS REVIEW on MAY 13www.worldbulletin.netall 300 news articles »


Greeks still skeptical of European Union, Pew survey finds

Crisis-hit Greeks remain deeply skeptical of many aspects of the European project despite signs of rebound in overall sentiment, an opinion poll carried out by the Pew Research Center and published on Monday has found. Out of the 7,022 people surveyed in ... ...


Greece: "privatization" of beaches condemned worldwide

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, MAY 13 - The Greek coalition government has caused major controversy with a draft bill that was submitted in Parliament regarding the "definition, management and protection of beaches and shorelines", which appears to introduce legal ...


Turkey to ignore court order to pay compensation to Cyprus

By Tulay Karadeniz and Ece Toksabay ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has no plans to pay 90 million euros ($124 million) to Cyprus as ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday. The money was ordered in compensation for Turkey's invasion of the island 40 years ago. The Mediterranean island has been split since 1974 - when Turkey sent in troops after a brief Greek Cypriot coup staged by supporters of unification with Greece. Davutoglu said Turkey, which is seeking to join the European Union of which Cyprus is a member, sees no obligation to pay the compensation to a country that it does not formally recognize.


Poll: SYRIZA Tops EU Elections, New Democracy National Elections

A recent poll for the Greek TV channel MEGA which was published Monday by Greek pollster company GPO points to a marginal victory by main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party in the forthcoming European Parliament elections, while current ruling New Democracy party is revealed to win a possible national parliamentary election stand-off. The poll gives SYRIZA a 0.5 percent lead in the EU elections, while New Democracy gets a 1.4 percent lead in parliamentary elections; 51.8 percent of the sample said that it will cast its EU vote so as to contribute to the political stability of the country, while 38.7 percent will vote in order to overthrow the current government. Asked who they would vote for, 21.5 percent said SYRIZA and 21 percent New Democracy. Third ranks journalist Theodorakis’ party “To Potami” (8.5 percent), followed by Golden Dawn (7.5 percent), Greek Communists KKE (7 percent), Elia (6 percent), Independent Greeks ANEL (3.7 percent) and Democratic Left DIMAR (3 percent). Swing voters are around 13.8 percent. As for national elections, approval ratings of both major parties are to increase, giving New Democracy a 24.5-23.1 percent edge over SYRIZA, if national elections were to be held tomorrow. Greece’s parties’ general ranking also seems to have shifted, with KKE securing the third place (7.2 percent), followed by To Potami (7 percent), Golden Dawn (6.9 percent), Elia (5.9 percent), ANEL (4 percent) and DIMAR (2.8 percent). Swing voters are at 12.1 percent. Voters see Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras as the most popular party leader reaching 41.2 percent, Fotis Kouvelis follows with 37.9%, Stavros Theodorakis at 37.5%, Alexis Tsipras with 36.9%, Dimitris Koutsoubas with 32.6%, Panos Kammenos with 28.8%, Evangelos Venizelos 25.1% and Nikos Michaloliakos with 10.9%. When asked who is best suited to hold the PM position, Mr. Samaras excels again with 44.6%, versus 29% who prefer Mr.Tsipras, while 24.7% of respondents answered “none of them.“ The poll also finds that two in three voters are still pessimistic regarding the country’s future, wishing for Greece to stay in the eurozone (69.4 percent) without though agreeing to any new bailouts (93 percent). Sixty-Seven percent however, believe that there will be a new bailout, while only 31.5 percent say that the country is exiting the crisis.


KKE European Elections Candidate Dies After Major Heart Surgery

Babis Angourakis, a KKE MEP died last night from aortic dissection, after major heart surgery and hospitalization in the intensive care unit of Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center. Babis Aggourakis was born in 1951 in Bucharest, and he was a leading member of the Greek Communist Party (KKE). He graduated from the University of Dresden with a degree in Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. where he also worked as an assistant in the Department of Informatics until 1978. Angourakis used to be a Member of the Central Council of KNE since 1975, and became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1985. In 1997 he was elected as MP of the Communist Party and by 2000 he was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He was elected MEP for the Communist Party for the first time in 2009. Angourakis was injured on March 6, 2013 in the center of Athens, when riot police intervened to prevent a team of protesting workers from reaching the Greek Ministry of Finance.


UConn bans 2nd Greek organization over hazing

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut has banned a second Greek organization over a hazing incident in which a woman says she was forced to lie on the floor and "sizzle like bacon" and then drink until she passed out.


Can you think of better World Cup slogans for the 32 teams?  open thread

The England team are not 'the heartbeat of millions', real men do not 'wear orange' and since when did 'heroes play like Greeks'? The World Cup slogans need a rewrite. Can your wit help?

The World Cup slogans are a mess. Argentina's claim to be "not just a team, we are a country" is a mere statement of fact; Belgium's rallying cry of "expect the impossible" has scant regard for logic or good sense; and England's abomination "The dream of one team, the heartbeat of millions!!" manages to squeeze two extraneous exclamation marks into a sentence that means nothing.

A few of them are nearly there. "No one can catch us" sums up Russian foreign policy with some accuracy and the deceptively simple Cameroon slogan "a lion remains a lion" will at least give the opposition something to ponder. But most of these are dire. Can you do any better?

Continue reading...


EU Commission Asks Greece to Honor Their Terms

Greek ReporterEU Commission Asks Greece to Honor Their TermsGreek Reportereuropeancommission European Commission officials don't intend to take a clear stand in favor of any particular party involved in Greece's political scene, but EU sources monitoring the Greek bailout program tend to agree with the statements by ...and more »


Slow recovery holds back TUI Travel as tourists return to Greece

Yahoo!7 NewsSlow recovery holds back TUI Travel as tourists return to GreeceYahoo!7 NewsChief Executive Peter Long said TUI Travel had seen a "huge resurgence" in demand for holidays to Greece as the country stabilises following its debt crisis and international bailout. Spain's Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, as well as Turkey, were ...and more »


Bomb scare at Thessaloniki courthouse a hoax

Bomb disposal experts called to the main courthouse in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Tuesday following an anonymous telephone call warning of a bomb have said that the threat was a hoax. The call shortly after 11 a.m. to one of the court's offices. Po... ...


Fast Food and Beauty Salons Thriving in Economic Crisis

Fast food restaurants and beauty salons are the businesses thriving in Greece during the economic crisis, as revealed by a secret survey. The survey was conducted by a Task Force for Greece in partnership with the European Commission in four major Greek urban centers, Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Patras for the past two years. According to the findings, during the economic crisis Greeks aged from 25 to 50, regardless of their educational level, decided to invest an average of 20,000 to 30,000 euros coming from their savings or from compensations after getting fired in opening fast food restaurants, cafeterias and hair, nail and spa salons. The soaring unemployment along with a decrease in domestic demand and the lack of bank financing during 2012 and 2013 discouraged capital-intensive and knowledge investments such as high-tech or nanotechnology companies, which require big capitals and proper training and need time to turn profitable. Instead, the young unemployed decided to turn to businesses with low operational costs but high and quick profitability in order to make a living. According to the survey, from 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses that have opened in the past two years in Greece, some 50,000 of them are related to the fast-food industry (restaurants with souvlaki or burgers, bakeries, pizzerias, cafeterias) and only 10,000 of them are the normal type restaurants. Furthermore, about 10,000 hair and nails salons have opened over the past two years, showing a constant demand for beauty services in Greece. The survey was conducted to demonstrate the drastic changes in the Greek production model and compare them with the changes in other crisis-hit countries.


Nigeria’s Nollywood Is Thriving Despite Terrible Conditions

Nollywood Is Hollywood with more bribes, gunplay, and crime


How Golden Dawn is sinking roots in Greece

Softer approach finds a receptive audience among those that feel abandoned as Athens has been forced to slash social spending


Ban Ki-moon appoints Kristin Lund UN's first female peacekeeping commander

The UN has appointed its first female peacekeeping force commander. In August, Major General Kristin Lund will go to Cyprus, which has been divided into a north claimed by Turkey and an ethnically Greek south since 1974.


Communist party candidate Babis Angourakis, 63, dies

Babis Angourakis, 63, a Greek Communist Party (KKE) candidate for the May 25 European Parliament elections, died on Monday night at an Athens hospital, where he had been rushed after suffering an aneurism. Angourakis was born in Bucharest in 1951 and stud... ...


Protests and tourism

The Greek capital and many other holiday destinations across the country have observed an unprecedented number of international visitors this season. The fact that elections and other domestic affairs no longer act as deterrence for those who wish to visi... ...


Missing teenage shepherd found dead in river; farmer arrested for employing a minor

A 16-year-old boy who had been reported missing was found dead in the early hours of Tuesday in the Pramoritsa River in Kozani, northern Greece. The unnamed teenager was working as a shepherd for a 50-year-old local livestock farmer when a fellow-shepherd... ...


Building activity in Greece continues to crumble

Building activity in Greece continues to crumbleThe Corner EconomicATHENS | By Macropolis | Greek building activity (as measured by the number of building permits) retained on a downward curve for the third straight month in February, retreating by 20.7 percent according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).


Have a feast at OC Greek Fest

Have a feast at OC Greek FestOCRegisterCelebrate the food, music and culture of Greece at the OC Greek Festival this weekend. The annual festival features an outdoor marketplace, live music and dancing, carnival rides, games and more. If you work up an appetite shopping and dancing, satisfy ...Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral to host annual Greek FestivalPatriot-NewsGo Greek This WeekendAbout - Cities & Townsall 3 news articles »


The need for a new European industrial policy


The need to draft a new European Industrial policy was highlighted during the first day of the informal Competitiveness ministerial council meeting, organised by the Ministry for Development and Competitiveness, in the context of the Greek presidency of the Council of the EU.

More than 20 Ministers and deputy ministers from the 28 EU Member-States, high ranking European Commission officials as well as representatives of European stakeholders of the Industry contributed to the meeting.

Daniel Calleja, Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry, Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BUSINESSEUROPE, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, president of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises addressed the council on the topic of “Drivers for Industrial Competitiveness”.

During the Informal Ministerial Meeting, two distinct aspects were thoroughly discussed as core challenges of the European Industry:

a) innovation and key enabling Technologies of general application, focusing on bridging the “innovation gap” and b) the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries, with emphasis on mitigating the grim consequences of the rise in energy cost. Relevant to these were the contributions of Hubert Mandery, Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), and Adrian Harris, Director General of the European Engineering Industries’ Association (Orgalime).

The working lunch, upon the recommendation of Italian Development Minister Frederica Guidi, was devoted to the elaboration of the mechanisms that can secure the most effective incorporation of Industrial Competitiveness in all relevant policy sectors on the European level.

Greek Development and Competitiveness minister, Kostas Hatzidakis, pointed out that: “the Greek Presidency has set as a priority to bring Industrial Policy at the top of the agenda of European public debate. The Competitiveness Council in March, the Spring European Council, today’s informal Competitiveness Council as well as a series of actions, upon initiative of the Ministry for Development and Competitiveness were focused on Industry and its main challenges. The European Union neglected Industry and is now paying the cost: de-industrialisation, fewer jobs, fewer investments, competitiveness deficit. The next European Commission has to work in a coordinated and horizontal way, mainstreaming its policies with the view to reviving European Industry, lifting bureaucratic barriers, improving legislation. The Greek Presidency is laying the foundations and I’m certain this policy will definitely continue in this light.”


Council: Albania made further progress on EU integration issues


The Stabilisation and Association Council (SA Council) between Albania and the European Union held its sixth meeting on 12 May 2014. The meeting was chaired by Mr Ditmir Bushati, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania. The Albanian delegation included the Minister for Integration, Ms Klajda Gjosha and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on EU integration, Ms Majlinda Bregu. The EU delegation was led by Mr Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, on behalf of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Commissioner Štefan Füle represented the European Commission. EEAS Director for the Western Balkans Division, Mr. Fernando Gentilini, also participated.

The SA Council noted that the Commission 2013 Progress Report on Albania concluded that the country made further progress towards meeting the political criteria for membership and had adopted key judicial, public administration and parliamentary reform measures that had been identified as necessary for the granting of candidate status.

The SA Council noted the reform efforts made by Albania and its firm commitment to advance on the EU integration path. Noting that EU remains fully committed to Albania's EU integration and will continue to support and assist the country in this regard, the SA Council recalled that a sustained constructive political dialogue remains essential for Albania to fully address the EU-reform agenda and for the sustainability of the reform process. It encouraged Albania to pursue it in a spirit of compromise and inclusiveness. In this regard, the SA Council welcomed the Parliament Resolution on EU Integration, which was unanimously adopted in November 2013. The SA Council stressed the importance of further concrete results under the key priorities identified for the opening of accession negotiations with particular attention to the rule of law, including the reform of the judiciary and the fight against corruption and organised crime.

The SA Council underlined the importance of ensuring the professionalism of state institutions, including the judiciary, regulatory authorities and independent agencies, and the respect for and non – interference in their work as key elements of the functioning of the country's democratic institutions. The SA Council stressed the importance of full transparency and respect of the applicable legislation in the reform of the public administration and called for further efforts to strengthen its professionalism, de-politicisation and meritocracy. It welcomed the efforts made to ensure the implementation of the new Civil Service Law. The SA Council also underlined the importance of addressing the territorial administrative reform and decentralisation in a spirit of constructive political dialogue, aiming at enhancing good governance at local level.

The SA Council recalled that the reform of the judicial system remains a key challenge for Albania's EU integration process. The SA Council underlined that the independence, impartiality, transparency, efficiency and accountability of the judiciary are central elements in the assessment of the political criteria for EU accession, and are key for ensuring respect for the rule of law.

As regards the fight against corruption and organised crime the SA Council noted Albania’s efforts to strengthen the legislative framework and the development of a positive track record. Underlining that these areas are key priorities for Albania's EU-integration future, the SA Council stressed the need for further efforts to consolidate and strengthen a track record of investigations, prosecutions and convictions at all levels.

The SA Council underlined the need for realistic and sustainable reforms in the area of property rights, including the adoption of an action plan for the setting up of an effective restitution mechanism according to the European Court of Human Rights case law. The SA Council welcomed legislative developments and the ratification by Albania of a number of international conventions in the field of human rights and encouraged further efforts to reinforce the protection of human rights and anti-discrimination policies, including in the area of minorities.

The SA Council noted that the EU remains committed to the short-term visa free travel regime for Albania and welcomed the efforts of the Albanian authorities to ensure respect of the conditions attached to visa liberalisation. The SA Council encouraged Albania to pursue its efforts to ensure the fulfilment of all conditions of the visa roadmap and to take further steps to address the issue of unfounded asylum applications lodged by Albanian nationals. In this respect, the SA Council welcomed the smooth implementation of the readmission agreement.

As regards the economic criteria, the SA Council noted Albania’s positive, albeit moderate, economic growth and the efforts made towards establishing a functioning market economy. It noted the approval by the IMF of an Extended Fund Facility to support Albania's economic recovery and encouraged Albania to enhance economic governance and implement pro-growth policies and structural reforms. The SA Council underlined that addressing shortcomings in the rule of law and on property rights would improve the environment for business and investment.

The SA Council noted that overall Albania has been implementing well the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), and called for substantial further efforts as regards the protection of intellectual and industrial property rights. The SA Council welcomed the signature of the Protocol to the SAA to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union. Furthermore, the SA Council noted the progress made by Albania in aligning its legislation with European standards and encouraged Albania to continue strengthening its overall administrative capacity to effectively enforce legislation and implement the SAA.

The SA Council exchanged views on the developments in the Western Balkans region and underlined that good neighbourly relations and regional stability are essential elements of the Stabilisation and Association process. It also commended Albania’s constructive regional stance and positive role in maintaining regional stability and reiterated the importance of remaining committed to these objectives. The SA Council noted with satisfaction Albania's continuous alignment with EU statements in the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Statement of Commissioner Füle after the meeting of the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Council

European Commissioner for Enlargement Štefan Füle said after the meeting:

We had a very good and forward looking meeting. We have welcomed Albania's continued commitment to EU-related reforms and have taken note of the actions taken by the government in a number of areas, with particular attention to developments related to the rule of law, including the reform of the judiciary and the fight against organised crime and corruption.  It is up to Albania to continue building on the progress made and consolidate and intensify the reform momentum, delivering solid and convincing results on the priority areas that have been identified as getting the candidate status. We will issue a report in June on the progress made by Albania notably focusing on the implementation the judicial reform and on the fight against corruption and organised crime.  This will be the basis for the Member States to decide on the candidate status. I see a clear road to the decision about candidate status for Albania in June; I am encouraged by the determination shown by the government and by the results achieved so far, and I am confident that the country has the capacity to tackle its European integration challenges. 

I have always stressed that to succeed, European integration needs to be an inclusive process and become a national agenda. The government and the opposition need to work together, in a spirit of moderation and constructive dialogue, to achieve this common goal. We will continue to monitor Albania's progress closely and further assist the country in achieving its objective of moving ahead on European integration. The key for success is in the hands of Albania itself.  It will make progress by demonstrating with concrete results its strong commitment to sustainable implementation of the necessary reforms.