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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greek Football Team Playing Two Friendly Matches

The Greek national football team has not been confronted with any problems during its preparation for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. The Greek team is part the third group and will be playing on June 14, 19 and 24. The coach Fernando Santos has not faced ...


CHART: Here Are The Countries With The Most Obese Kids

The OECD just released a report on obesity around the world, and there appears to be a link between the Great Recession and obesity.

The OECD compiled the following chart, showing the percentage of children who are overweight in each country.

Surprisingly, the U.S. does not top the list. While the U.S. had the highest obesity rate among adults, Greece had the largest proportion of overweight children.

The OECD found that families who suffer economic hardship end up cutting healthier foods out of their budget, instead buying cheaper food loaded with more calories, sugar, and fat.

From the report, in 2008 and 2009, "households in the United Kingdom decreased their food expenditure by 8.5% in real terms, with some evidence of an increase in calorie intake (the average calorie density of purchased foods increased by 4.8%). This change resulted in additional 0.08 g of saturated fat, 0.27 g of sugar and 0.11 g of protein per 100 g of purchased food."

The OECD cites evidence that this link between economic hardship and increased consumption of unhealthy food existed throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States.

The recession even might have impacted exercise. In the U.S., after the economic crisis, leisure time exercise went up slightly, but this gain was more than offset by a huge loss in physical activity at work.

SEE ALSO: The Most Obese Cities In America

Join the conversation about this story »


Golden Dawn’s gains in EU election signal failure of Greece’s crackdown

ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — The picture of Golden Dawn leaders being led away in shackles by masked policemen last September was supposed to be a defining image: Greek authorities cracking down on the country’s neo-Nazi party as a harbinger of its demise.


Greek watermelon season is in full swing

Last week Remco de Boer and Lucien de Wit of PeDe visited the Greek producers of the Pantazis watermelons. PeDe will once again be working exclusively with the largest watermelon producer in Greece. PeDe received the first melons more than two weeks ago ...


World Cup 2014 Previews, Group C: Greece

World Cup 2014 Previews, Group C: GreeceThe Big LeadTactics/Style: Greece is a typical European 4-2-3-1 team. Dimitris Salpingidis and Giorgos Samaras will play out wide to support Kostas Mitroglou. This isn't a team that scores a lot; just 12 in 10 qualifiers. In two games against tiny Lichtenstein ...


Greece's cybercrime squad traces online fraudsters

Officers from the police’s cybercrime squad have traced a 52-year-old Greek man and a 26-year-old Romanian national who are alleged to have made a series of online purchases using stolen credit card details, sources indicated on Tuesday. The investigation... ...


Some Greek media ‘tried to emotionally blackmail voters before polls’

Greece’s broadcasting watchdog said on Tuesday it would investigate claims that some media and journalists had attempted to emotionally blackmail their audiences ahead of Sunday’s European and local elections. The National Council for Radio and Television... ...


Greece's Potami party to sit in same EU group as PASOK

The two MEPs elected to represent To Potami in the European Parliament will be part of the group representing center-left parties, including PASOK, it was decided on Tuesday. To Potami, a centrist party formed by journalist Stavros Theodorakis (photo) in ... ...


One in three Greek children overweight, OECD reports

One in three Greek children is overweight or obese, according to a new report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which found that Greece, Italy, Slovenia and the US have the highest levels of child obesity among... ...


Spanigh NGO says relaxing building restrictions along Greek coastline could damage tourism

Greek ministers have been warned not to follow Spain’s example by relaxing restrictions on building activity along the country’s coastline because this would have economic as well as environmental consequences. In a letter addressed to Greece’s tourism an... ...


Greece faces new debt threat of unpaid taxes

Channel News AsiaGreece faces new debt threat of unpaid taxesChannel News AsiaATHENS: Greece has finally made progress on balancing its spending, but data released on Tuesday shows it is facing a new debt threat: unpaid taxes have soared over 66 billion euros (US$90 billion). According to finance ministry figures, over 3.3 ...and more »


First Olive Tree Planted in Stavros Niarchos Park

A 3.5-metre olive tree was placed in the Mesogeios Garden at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on Friday, the first of thousands the foundation will plant to create a green oasis inside Athens. Stavros Niarchos Park will be a vivid green lung in Athens; a breath of life for the city which has the least green areas per capita in Europe. Olive trees and pines will stand alongside the pathways leading to the interior of the Stavros Niarchos Park. The gaps in between will be filled with smaller trees to rotate open-closed spaces and create light-shadow alternations as well as changes in colours and textures. An open space will be designed in the park to host concerts, festivals and film screenings, while the open-air, sunny Mesogeios Garden is planned to be a celebration of Greece’s rich flora. The variety of plants alone is enough to make this garden a top visiting point for locals and tourists. Visitors will have a chance to walk through evergreen and other endemic plant species such as sage, euphorbia, lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, boxwood and coronilla. Each month will bring new colours and different flower combinations to the garden.  


Repossessions in Greece- 10,000 Orders for Debts to Social Security Funds

Mandatory measures for collecting debts corresponding to up to 270 million euros were taken from the Centre for Insurance Debt Collection in the quarter of January-March 2014. In total, in the first quarter there were 7,498 garnishment orders issued, 1,832 orders for seizing movable and immovable property, 556 house repossessions, and 133 auction announcements. At the same time, the data on the course of time to pay the Greek Social Security Institute (IKA-ETAM) demonstrate that in the regulation “New Start” that allows payment in 48 installments up until April 2014 were at a debt of 439.1 million, while “Fixed” payment installments allowed in 24 doses, were at a debt of 176 million euros for the same period. By Kinthia Ktena


Ukraine, Greece, and the IMF: Déjà vu All Over Again?

Council on Foreign Relations (blog)Ukraine, Greece, and the IMF: Déjà vu All Over Again?Council on Foreign Relations (blog)We've seen this storyline before – in Greece, just a few short years ago. As the graphic above shows, the recovery projected for Ukraine is a more optimistic version of that envisioned for Greece in 2010, which turned out to be way too optimistic. The ...


The 5 Least Mind-Blowing Things About Hillary Clinton’s Book Tease

Clinton’s much-anticipated book is due out early next month


Greeks Hate Jews, Blacks, Gays, Immigrants

Nobody fought the Nazis more ferociously than did Greeks in WWII, so why do so many Greeks embrace the Golden Dawn neo-Nazis and anti-Semitism?

The post Greeks Hate Jews, Blacks, Gays, Immigrants appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Distribution Agency for Foreign Press Bankrupted

Circulation of foreign press in Greece has stopped amid bankrputcy of the distributor, leaving newsagents selling foreign titles to deal with the shortage. The Greek Distribution Agency for Foreign Press, the principal distributor of foreign press in ...


Europe, Wake Up!

Europe needs to wake up to the threat posed by anti-Semitism. Sure, it thinks it's awake, but, in reality, only partially. The problem is bigger and deeper than many realize. And the stakes couldn't be higher, not just for Jews, but for Europe's core values, beginning with the protection of human dignity. As a long-time Europhile whose wife and three children are EU citizens, I have some familiarity with this subject. We were living in Europe in 2000-1, when the anti-Semitic genie reemerged from out of the bottle in several West European nations. It was obvious, and it was close at hand. There was the rally in the center of London, where the speaker told the crowd the latest "joke" about the Jews -- What do Jews and pizza have in common? They both go into the ovens, but at least the pizza makes no noise. The crowd roared with delight. And when my wife protested, a well-dressed Englishman looked her straight in the eye and said "F--k the Jews!" No one uttered a word of protest. There were the incidents at our children's international school outside Geneva. In one, an older student, the son of a UN ambassador from a Persian Gulf nation, cornered our youngest child. He said he heard a rumor that we were Jewish and hoped that wasn't the case, as he didn't like Jews. Our son was frightened, but admitted that, yes, he was Jewish, before running across the campus in search of his older brother's protection. When we protested the incident, school officials didn't bat an eyelash. They simply were not interested. Perhaps they didn't want to run the risk of offending their substantial Arab clientele. And then there was the case of the Israeli student at the school. On International Day, when children were asked to wear something from their native countries, she wrapped herself in an Israeli flag. A group of hostile students approached, taunted her, and then humiliated her by dripping soda on her head. She broke from the group and rushed in search of an official. Finding one, she breathlessly began to recount what had just happened. The official responded stone-faced: We don't get involved in political matters at the school. That's between you and them. Meanwhile, with Arafat having turned down the Clinton-Barak proposal for a two-state accord and unleashing a second intifadah, Israel's need to defend itself became the target of often incendiary reporting in many European media outlets. I developed an ever-growing folder of one-sided examples, including shocking cartoons and headlines in the mainstream Spanish media that inverted the Holocaust, suggesting that Israelis were the new Nazis and Palestinians the new Jews. Then came 9/11 and a frantic query from our friends in Greece. Some Greek papers were buying the outlandish notion that the whole thing was a "Zionist plot," and that thousands of Jews had been alerted in advance to stay away from the World Trade Center on September 11th. Could AJC send a list of Jewish victims of the terrorist attacks to disprove the ghoulish rumors swirling in Athens? And I vividly recall a tense meeting in November 2001 with Hubert Védrine, the French foreign minister, during the postponed opening of the UN General Assembly session. We expressed our concern about the growing threat to Jews in France, a threat I witnessed from my Geneva perch just across the border and that I had discussed with French Jewish leaders on many visits. His response was immediate and categorical: There is no problem of anti-Semitism in France. The problem is one of "hooliganism." And indeed, he and his French colleagues would more or less stick to that line, until Nicolas Sarkozy became Minister of the Interior and then President, and began to face things head-on, followed by the current leadership team of President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Occasionally, we'd be told in France in those early years that anti-Semitism was, in reality, "inter-communal violence." That Jews were always on the receiving end of the attacks didn't seem to matter to those who peddled this "even-handed" formulation. Or that the danger was a regrettable but inevitable result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meaning that the targeting of French Jews could somehow be contextualized -- and, yes, held hostage to a conflict a continent away for as long as the peace that Israel sought went unfulfilled. I could recount literally hundreds more meetings with European officials, not to mention dozens of op-eds, speeches, and conferences, with which AJC was involved in an effort to press the point. More often than not, we were met with varying degrees of skepticism and doubt. It was as if by pretending otherwise -- that age-old temptation of denial -- the problem might somehow magically disappear of its own accord. Along the way, though, some European leaders, to their credit, became more attuned and assertive, but precious time had been lost and the dangers had become more deeply rooted. Years of failing to call anti-Semitism by its true name had taken their toll. Years of media irresponsibility in demonizing Israel -- from dubbing Gaza the new Warsaw Ghetto to branding Israel the killer of the second Jesus, the Palestinian; from claiming Israel was harvesting the organs of Palestinians to asserting that Israeli prime ministers devoured Palestinian children -- had had an effect. Years of looking the other way, averting eyes, rationalizing hateful behavior, issuing statements that weren't necessarily followed by appropriate actions, and underestimating the growing threat had had their impact. When an EU survey last year of European Jews revealed shocking results, including the fact that more than 40 percent of Jews in Belgium, France, and Hungary have considered emigrating, and that more than 20 percent of European Jews avoid Jewish events or sites out of fear, it should have raised alarm bells and stepped-up, and sustained, efforts to grapple with this assault on European values. When openly anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi political parties gained a foothold in national parliaments and regional councils, and now in the European Parliament itself, more alarm bells should be raised. And after deadly attacks, inter alia, at a Jewish school in Toulouse killed three children and one adult, at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday killed four people, and on two kippah-wearing brothers outside Paris the day after, still more alarm bells need to be raised. It's high time for Europe to face the stark reality that anti-Semitism is alive and well in its midst, and more action -- real action -- is needed, and now. From better intelligence-gathering to enhanced protection, from tough prosecution to improved civic education, from media responsibility to public solidarity, from confronting anti-Semitism at sports events to monitoring social media, there are many pressing fronts to pursue. The menace comes from a far-right that's been given a new lease on life by populist anger over economic pain and seemingly uncontrolled immigration. It comes from a far-left that relentlessly questions only one nation's right to exist, Israel, and vilifies the Jewish state at every turn. And it comes from within Europe's growing Muslim population, some of whom have embraced the deadly virus of anti-Semitism nurtured in the mosque, the madrassa, or the media. If there's good news, it's that, apart from some question marks about Hungary, no European government today condones anti-Semitism, much less encourages it, and that Jewish communities are determined to stand tall and proud as European citizens -- and as Jews. The future of Jews in Europe depends on getting this right. No less, perhaps, the future of Europe itself may hang in the balance.


Come Celebrate Greek Culture!

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – The talented young dancers from the Doxa Dance Group of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral performed a traditional Greek Dance in preparation for the 39th Annual Richmond Greek Festival that gets underway Thursday ...


The Greek tragedy that is David Dewhurst's political career

Washington Post (blog)The Greek tragedy that is David Dewhurst's political careerWashington Post (blog)The Greek tragedy that is David Dewhurst's political career. By Aaron Blake. May 27 at 12:04 pm. More. Comments. Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), running for reelection, talks to supporters and the media in Houston in March. (Richard Carson/AP).and more »


Former Minister Andreas Loverdos Returns to PASOK

Two days after the European, municipal and regional elections in Greece, Andreas Loverdos, a former MP with socialists PASOK, has stated that he intends to return to the party fold. In December 2012, Loverdos left PASOK in order to set up his own party, RIKKSY. Speaking to Greek newspaper To Vima, Loverdos also said that Christos Aidonis, another former PASOK MP, has also decided to return to the party as well as Markos Bolaris and Mimis Androulakis. However, Androulakis has refuted these allegations and claimed that he prefers to stand as an independent MP. If they return to PASOK, the party’s parliamentary group will number 29 MPs. PASOK collected 8% of the votes in Sunday’s, May 25 elections for local government and European Parliament with its center-left coalition Elia. From 3 January 2002 until 7 March 2004, Loverdos served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. In October 2009 he was appointed as a Minister for Employment and Social Security. He held the post until September 2010, when he was appointed to the post of Minister for Health and Social Solidarity.


Tree Scuplture Draws Attention in Matala, Crete

Matala is a picturesque village famous for its caves and beautiful beaches of rare splendour, 75 km south-west of Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete. Spyros Stefanakis, a Cretan artist, carved the wood of the huge tree to create a masterpiece, which stands at the entrance to the village. The tree is carved in great detail to form fascinating images around the trunk. Stefanakis is a well-known sculptor not only within Crete but across Greece. His work has been exhibited all over the world, but the skilled craftsman and artist gave Matala a precious gift to inspire locals and visitors alike.


Stournaras Backs Worker Merit Pay

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said that public worker salaries should be based on merit and performance and asked Parliament to approve it.

The post Stournaras Backs Worker Merit Pay appeared first on The National Herald.


Greece's Attica Bank looks for strategic investor in cash call

Greek lender Attica Bank has hired advisers to look for an investor to take part in a planned equity offering, as it becomes the fifth of the country's banks to tap international markets to plug a capital hole, it said on Tuesday. Attica will issue new sh... ...


Luxurious Regal Princess Cruise Ship Arrives at Piraeus Port

The luxurious Regal Princess, the youngest vessel in Princess Cruises’ fleet and one of the biggest cruise ships worldwide, arrived Tuesday at the port of Piraeus, on Greece during its maiden voyage. Built in Italy, the Regal Princess is 330 meters long and weighs 142,714 tons. Its crew consists of 1,346 members and can host 3,560 passengers in 1,780 rooms on its 19 decks. The ship has also 16 bars and restaurants, a luxury spa and a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending over the edge of the ship. Its Captain, Edward Perrin will be welcomed by officials of the Piraeus Port Authority, whose president and chief executive Yiorgos Anomeritis will present him with a commemorative plaque and books for the ship’s library at a special ceremony on board on June 23. Paul Ludlow, Princess Cruises’ managing director, said about the new ship: “Regal Princess is a magnificent ship and it’s a pleasure to welcome her into our fleet. The variety of on board options means guests will be spoilt for choice when they take a cruise, from being pampered in the luxury spa, to dining in the specialty restaurants to taking a dip in the fresh water pools.” The Regal Princess started its maiden voyage on May 16 and its inaugural cruise includes stops in several Greek islands such as Corfu and Mykonos, and Istanbul.  


Finance Ministry Cleaners Vindicated by Greek Supreme Court

Greece’s Supreme Court Friday ruled in favour the cleaners suspended from the Ministry of Finance, which had appealed a previous ruling to reinstate the janitorial staff, who are continuing their sit-in outside the building while their former employer refuses to give them their jobs back for fear of jeopardizing Greek government’s job-cutting plans. Some 400 cleaning employees were suspended in September 2013, as part of the availability measures implemented by the government, and are facing dismissal nine months later. After several mobilizations (or rather, immobilizations) and protests over the past few months challenging their suspension and future dismissals, the First Instance Court of Athens cancelled the 397 dismissals from the Greek Finance Ministry, deeming them unconstitutional. According to the court order, the suspended employees must be reinstated in their positions immediately. However, Secretary of Revenue Haris Theocharis said that he would not implement the court’s decision and that the cleaners’ reinstatement is a political decision. Following that announcement, a lawsuit against any person responsible was submitted last week to the Misdemeanors Prosecutor in Athens by the cleaners’ union, in order to investigate the reasons behind the ministry’s decision not to follow the court’s order. The Finance Ministry, after consulting with government lawyers, referred the matter to the Supreme Court and appealed against the First Instance Court’s decision, fearing that the decision will set a precedent and will put at risk the ministry’s suspension and dismissal plans. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the case on May 23.


Marine Le Pen to meet other far-right leaders in move to create EU bloc

Front National leader rules out joining forces with extreme-right parties Golden Dawn, Jobbik and Ataka

France's Front National leader Marine Le Pen will meet other far-right and eurosceptic leaders on Wednesday in an attempt to create a powerful bloc in the European parliament.

However, Le Pen ruled out joining forces with the extreme-right Golden Dawn in Greece, the Hungarian party Jobbik or Ataka in Bulgaria.

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Cypriots Sue Over Bank Seizures

Cypriots who lost nearly half of their bank deposits over 100,000 euros as part of a government bailout deal with international lenders are suing to get their money back.

The post Cypriots Sue Over Bank Seizures appeared first on The National Herald.


Tsakos Feted at AHI Dinner in Athens

  By Anthe Mitrakos   ATHENS – The Washington, DC-based American Hellenic Institute AHI) honored Captain Panagiotis N. Tsakos of Tsakos Shipping and Trading, with the Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award at its 10th annual awards gala in Athens. The historical and elaborate hotel Grande Bretagne hosted the honoree’s family, distinguished guests, representatives, and friends of […]

The post Tsakos Feted at AHI Dinner in Athens appeared first on The National Herald.


Recipe of the day: Greek Baked Beans on Toast

Irish IndependentRecipe of the day: Greek Baked Beans on ToastIrish IndependentIsh Factor: Oregano is one of the most predominant herbs in Greek cooking. Greek oregano has a particularly pungent flavour and the name literally means 'joy in the mountain' in Greek. There are several types of oregano that are widely grown. The good ...and more »


Finance minister supports performance-based pay

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Tuesday argued in favor of civil service salaries being based on performance in a document submitted to Parliament. Stournaras was responding to a question by independent deputies Yiannis Kourakos and Nikos Niko... ...


‘Eumenides’ by Aeschylus in Brussels

The Greek German Theater of Cologne, under the direction of Greek expat Costas Papacostopoulos, will be presenting the ancient Greek tragedy “Eumenides” by Aeschylus, in Brussels. The show will be staged on June 7 at the prestigious Royal Museum of ...


Samaras, Venizelos Repeat: No Snap Polls

The long and rancorous campaign for Greek municipalities and the European Parliament, which saw the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) come in first, won’t bring national elections, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said. The 3.8 percent win by the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in the EU ballot gave them six seats in Brussels while the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras got five, and other Greek parties got fewer according to the representation of the vote they got. And that relatively small margin, said Samaras and his coalition partner, PASOK Socialist chief Evangelos Venizelos, means the government will carry on until 2016 and there won’t be snap polls before then no matter how much SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras demands them. SYRIZA got 26.5 percent to New Democracy’s 22.7 while PASOK, which tied itself to the new center-left political alliance Elia, or Olive Tree, in a bid to keep from vanishing, came fourth with 8 percent. While PASOK lost 30 percent of its previous vote, its showing was enough, Venizelos said, to show a majority of Greek still support what he and Samaras were doing in imposing harsh austerity measures on orders of international lenders and not a mandate for change as Tsipras insisted. Combined, New Democracy-PASOK had more of the vote than did SYRIZA. Samaras said SYRIZA’s failure to increase its share of the vote from the June 2012 general elections meant that there was no question of the government being able to carry on. “Those who tried to turn the EU election into a plebiscite failed,” Samaras said in a brief televised address. “They failed to create conditions of instability, uncertainty and political ungovernability.” He pledged that the government would heed the messages from Greek voters during the European vote, as well as in the second round of local elections that also took place on May 25. “I know we have been through two difficult years,” added the premier. “I have traveled throughout Greece and listened to citizens. I understand their problems and I known what must change. We will move forward as quickly as possible.” He didn’t say what that mean. A crowing Venizelos said he had been redeemed and what he called SYRIZA’s “blackmail” had failed, referring to the Leftists rant against pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions, worker firings and stiffing investors with losses that Venizelos said saved the country. “SYRIZA’s rhetoric was met with indifference by the majority of people,” he said as Elia performed slightly better than opinion polls had suggested. Tsipras, however, interpreted the vote as a clear win for SYRIZA and said it raised questions about whether the government could continue, especially in debt restructuring talks with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) which put up 240 billion euros ($327 billion) in two bailouts. “With what moral and political legitimacy will Mr. Samaras negotiate the issue of debt relief based on these percentages?” asked Tsipras. “With what moral and political legitimacy will he impose new, tough measures and the new memorandum he has agreed but is keeping locked up in his drawer?” The SYRIZA leader called for general elections “as soon as possible.” Meanwhile another new movement, the populist To Potami (The River), which had been polling third, lost that spot to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn which got almost 10 percent, compared to the newcomers 6.6 percent, less than expected. To Potami founder, former TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis, said that was enough, however, to show Greeks wanted change although he had simultaneously said he was willing to work with both New Democracy and SYRIZA, who won’t work with each other. He didn’t explain how that could happen. “To Potami will challenge for the responsibilities that a new political force, which has no loans from the past but has young people, must challenge for with the aim of changing everything,” said Theodorakis. To Potami was followed by the Communist Party (KKE) at 6 percent and Independent Greeks on 3.4 percent. The results mean SYRIZA will elect six MEPs, New Democracy five, Golden Dawn three, Elia, KKE and To Potami two and Independent Greeks one.


The Magical Greek Island of Skiathos

When people think of Greek summer what usually comes to mind are small white houses with blue windows, windmills, clear seas, bright blue skies and days filled with sunshine. If you are planning on visiting a Greek island you will not be disappointed. It seems that the economic crisis has not affected the romanticism and charm of Greece ’s 227 inhabited islands that continue to welcome millions of tourists every summer. The Hollywood movie Mamma Mia, starring Meryl Strip and shot in Sporades, showed the world a beautiful image of the island of Skiathos and convinced many people, that it was the perfect place for summer vacation. Indeed it is! Skiathos is part of Sporades, a group of islands located in the Aegean Sea, easily accessed by boat or airplane from Piraeus and Athens. It is the epitome of Greek islands, with its hilly landscape, pristine clear blue waters and hospitable inhabitants, some of the main reasons it is one of the most visited summer destinations in Greece. A large part of the island has paved roads but some of the most beautiful places can only be accessed by dirt roads or by boat. If you decide to walk near the main harbor, you should know that there are two places you must visit. First of all the clock tower at the top of the town will give the most amazing view of the island, as well as the opportunity to wander through the small town’s webbed pathways in order to reach it. Furthermore, near the harbor there is a paved waterfront that will positively compel you to stay. The waterfront is always full of people, Greeks and tourists who want to just lay back and enjoy the day. There is a large selection of options, you can find coffee shops, bars, clubs, restaurants, tavernas and of course places selling souvlaki. No matter what you decide though, one thing is for sure, your day, or night, will be filled with music, laughter, food and amazing people. Meanwhile, Skiathos has some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches. Sometimes during summer vacation all you want to do is relax. Well you’re in luck! Lalaria is the most amazing secluded beach that can only be accessed by boat therefore not many people visit it daily. There are many small boats in the harbor that will take you to the pebbled beach with pristine blue waters and jagged grey rocks that will take your breath away. However, if you are a party animal and prefer beach clubs, water-sports and parties you can visit Koukounaries, a white sand beach that never sleeps during summer season and is thought to be the finest beach in all of Sporades. You cannot leave the island without visiting Kastro (Fortress), the medieval capital of the island that was built during the 15th century to protect its inhabitants from pirate attacks. Finally, another place that is worth visiting is the Monastery of Panagia Evangelistria, built in 1806, it used to be very important to the islanders especially during the Greek Revolution in 1820 when it offered shelter to fighters and refugees as well as money to economically support the Revolution. Skiathos may not be as known or as visited as other Greek islands but we can assure you that your vacation there will be an amazing experience.


Final Greek Results of the European Parliament Elections

With all votes finally counted, Greece’s Interior Ministry published Monday evening the final results of the European Parliament vote and the MEPs elected to represent the country in Strasbourg. The turnout across Greece reached 59.96 percent, with 5,931,835 out of 9,892,622 registered Greek and EU citizens casting their vote. SYRIZA officially topped the European Parliament vote, with New Democracy losing by a 3.87 percent margin, while neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party ranked third and will also send MEPs to Strasbourg. Compared to the last EP vote in 2009, SYRIZA climbed from the fifth place to the top of the list, electing six MEPs, opposed to only one in 2009. New Democracy lost three seats, while PASOK endured the hardest lost with six seats. Radical rightists LAOS and Ecologists Greens also lost the one seat each party had. Golden Dawn, To Potami, and ANEL are being represented for the first time in the EuroParl. Greece currently holds 21 seats in the European Parliament, opposed to 22 in the 2009 vote, due to the EU enlargement. The final list of all elected parties, the percentage gained, and the seat allocation SYRIZA – 26.58 percent (6 seats) New Democracy – 22.71 percent (5 seats) Golden Dawn – 9.40 percent (3 seats) Elia (PASOK) – 8.02 percent (2 seats) To Potami – 6.60 percent (2 seats) Communist Greeks KKE – 6.09 percent (2 seats) Independent Greeks ANEL – 3.46 percent (1 seat) The Greek MEPs elected to the European Parliament SYRIZA: Manolis Glezos, Sofia Sakorafa, Dimitris Papadimoulis, Konstantina Kouneva, Giorgos Katrougalos, Konstantinos Chrysogonos New Democracy: Maria Spyraki, Eliza Vozemberg, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Giorgos Kyrtsos, Thodoris Zagorakis Golden Dawn: Lefteris Synadinos, Lampros Fountoulis, Giorgos Epitideios Elia: Eva Kaili, Pantelis Kapsis To Potami: Giorgos Grammatikakis, Miltiadis Kyrkos KKE: Konstantinos Papadakis, Sotiris Zarianopoulos ANEL: Giorgos Romanias


Golden Dawn Polls Top Places at Police Voting Stations

Support for Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party was twice as strong at polling stations used by Greek police officers serving in Athens who couldn’t get to their district to vote. In at least three polling stations in centrally located Ambelokipi, Golden Dawn secured around 20 percent of the votes, well above its national average of 9.4 percent, and ranked second. Ruling New Democracy party led by conservative Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras came first at all three stations, but with a tissue-thin margin ranging between 0.27 and 1.64 percent. The big winner of the EU elections, SYRIZA, was left third. The polling was similar in four other polling stations in nearby Gyzi, which were used by police officers and special guards serving in the DIAS and DELTA special units. Golden Dawn ranked second with approval ratings ranging from 16.23 to 22.73 percent, followed by SYRIZA. At the other stations in the same district, the ultra-nationalist party came third, but still received no less than 17.8 percent of the votes. Several Greek police officers were suspended last October after an internal investigation into suspected links between the force and Golden Dawn was launched, although it failed to uncover any signs of “organized cells” affiliated with Greece’s neo-Nazi party. The inquiry was launched after leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was murdered by a Golden Dawn supporter.


Finance Ministry Planning to Facilitate Taxpayers

Greek tax offices are promoting new regulations aiming to prolong the payment period for tax debts in order to facilitate the overburdened Greek households, while also increasing state revenue, the Greek Finance Ministry announced. Finance Ministry officials plan to increase the installments for paying a debt to 48, as opposed to today’s 12, and are to introduce the plan to the negotiations with the Troika. It is estimated that by increasing the number of installments for settling tax debts, many taxpayers would be able to easier serve their financial obligations, thus avoiding fines and imprisonment. The existing regulation which foresees for 12 installments hasn’t resulted in positive results yet, as many Greek taxpayers can’t afford to pay for the large amounts that result by the particular installment regulation. Moreover, current regulations only increase the overdue debts for 2014, which at the end of April, according to data by the Ministry, exceeded €4.3 billion, opposed to €3.5 billion the previous month, and are to further increase in May. The new regulations are also expected to contribute in increasing public revenue, under the condition that more taxpayers will be subjected to the new regulations. Meanwhile, earlier on Tuesday, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou announced tax cuts and other measures for supporting vulnerable groups in the new state budget, which is due for the end of the year.


Despite EU Loss, Samaras Nixes SYRIZA Early National Election Call

Greece's government has nixed a bid by the anti-bailout Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party for an early general election after it got the most votes for European Parliament seats in balloting that also saw the extreme-right Golden Dawn party come in third place.

The post Despite EU Loss, Samaras Nixes SYRIZA Early National Election Call appeared first on The National Herald.


Embattled Golden Dawn Stays Strong

As the government tries to dismantle it for being a criminal gang, the extremist Golden Dawn party still won three seats in the European Parliament elections.

The post Embattled Golden Dawn Stays Strong appeared first on The National Herald.


Worried Samaras Plans Shakeup

Taking a beating to SYRIZA in EU Parliament polls, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras may shake up his Cabinet and reach out to other parties to join his coalition.

The post Worried Samaras Plans Shakeup appeared first on The National Herald.


Hoop Finals: Olympiakos Gets Even

Olympiakos' hoopsters thrashed Panathinaikos, 89-64 on May 26 to even their series 1-1 in the best-of-five Greek basketball league finals, running away with an easy victory.

The post Hoop Finals: Olympiakos Gets Even appeared first on The National Herald.


Scouting Greece

Vavel.comScouting GreeceFantasy Football ScoutGreece's triumph at Euro 2004 is no doubt the biggest sporting achievement in the country's history for a men's team sport. As a result, they were selected as World team of the Year at the 2005 Laureus World Sports Awards. Fans were, however, once ...FIFA World Cup Preview: GreeceVavel.comall 2 news articles »


Theo & Stacy's Greek Fest Blends Culture, Entertainment

Theo & Stacy's Greek Fest Blends Culture, Entertainment - and Lots of FoodWMUKWe were the first ones to decide to bring our Greek culture to Kalamazoo - with Greek food, Greek music, dancing and everything, and Kalamazoo embraced our Greek culture very well," says Mrs. Skartsiaris, who is the proprietor of the family's Theo ...


Greek seniors start battle for university placement

Greek high school seniors will be sitting down for national university entrance exams, starting Wednesday morning with Modern Greek. Some 105,000 students are expected to take part in the exams for 70,305 spots, which will determine whether they will get ... ...


Greece cancels transfer of water stake to state asset-sales fund

Greece canceled the transfer of a government stake in Athens Water Supply & Sewage Co (EYDAP) to the state-asset sales fund as the move was ruled unconstitutional. The shift of the 34 percent stake was canceled after a decision by the Greek State Council ... ...


Markets Are Quiet

Good morning!

Things get back in full swing today, as the US comes off of its Memorial Day holiday.

Essentially the scene is this: European markets gained yesterday, but are now slightly down.

US futures are playing catch up and are higher.

The biggest developments since last Friday was the European Parliamentary election, which was characterized by the rise of right-wing, anti-EU parties in several countries. However, markets paid just as much attention to the fact that in Italy and Greece, establishment parties performed solidly (especially Italy) and that helped give markets a boost.

Meanwhile, stories about Chinese tension in Asia are running rampant — the latest event being the downing of a Vietnamese shipping vessel at the hands of a Chinese boat.

Join the conversation about this story »


Greek Life Shown to Be Linked to Real-Life Happiness

Greek Life Shown to Be Linked to Real-Life HappinessWall Street JournalGreeks have higher engagement in their jobs and a better sense of well-being. They are less stressed about money, have more supportive social lives and are physically healthier. They also are more likely to have connected with a professor during school ...Fraternity and Sorority Membership Linked to Higher Well-Being for College (blog)all 3 news articles »


Greek Left opposition wins more in European Parliament elections, but less in local polls


ATHENS, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Greece's opposition Radical Left SYRIZA party celebrated a "historic" first victory in the elections for the European Parliament in Greece on Sunday, but failed to overshadow the conservative-led ruling coalition in the parallel local polls.

     The results of the double polls sent mixed messages to both the two-partite coalition and the opposition that most likely a cabinet reshuffle is on the horizon rather than early general elections as SYRIZA requested, political analysts in Athens said on Monday.

     SYRIZA won about 26.6 percent of votes or six seats out of 21 allocated to Greece in the European Parliament polls in the country, against 22.7 percent or five seats for the New Democracy (ND) party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, with 95 percent of the total votes counted.

     However, the ND dominated the local polls which were held in two rounds on May 18 and May 25, winning eight of the total 13 regions and the majority of the 325 contested municipal councils across the country.

     Samaras' socialist partners of PASOK which run under the electoral alliance of Elia (Olive Tree) also stood firm garnering 8 percent of votes in the European Parliament elections after the far-Right Golden Dawn party won 9.3 percent and three seats in the European Parliament.

     SYRIZA's leader Alexis Tsipras called for snap elections in his first comments on the result and requested a meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

     "Democracy demands the popular verdict as soon as possible," he said.

     During the pre-election campaign, SYRIZA had sought to turn the double polls into a referendum on the bailout deals and the government's policy and to stay in office.

     On the other hand, for the government which was arguing that a vote in support of anti-bailout forces would trigger political instability that jeopardizes the progress achieved in economic recovery, there is no issue of early polls.

     The government coalition's stability is not in question. The headlines on the front pages of Greek dailies on Monday morning reflected this climate.  

     Political analysts expected an imminent cabinet reshuffle and a slight shift of some policies -- always within the framework of bailout deals with international lenders -- to ease the pain of four-year austerity and six-year recession, but no dramatic changes in the political landscape.

     Samaras late Sunday reaffirmed his conservative-led coalition government's firm rejection of SYRIZA's call for snap general elections following the latter's lead in Sunday's elections for the European parliament, according to the first official results.

     "The Greek people sent a message to the government, but rejected SYRIZA's call for overturning," Samaras said late Sunday commenting on the polling, with about 35 percent of total votes counted.

     If the outcome is confirmed by the final official results which are expected on Monday evening, SYRIZA can secure six seats in the European parliament against five for the ND.

     The two-party coalition government withstood the double electoral test of the elections for the European parliament and local administration and remains a "guarantor of stability to exit the economic crisis," the prime minister said.

     He argued that SYRIZA has attempted in vain to turn the double May 25 elections into a referendum on the bailout deals, as well as the government's economic policy and its fate. 


Poor choices

In the past Greece has been represented in the European Parliament by many capable and respectable politicians who have made a name for themselves in politics, business and other areas. By allowing voters to pick their candidates as well as their parties,... ...


Greek government spokesman rules out early elections

Greek government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Tuesday said the coalition has "absolutely no intention" of calling early elections following calls for snap polls from opposition SYRIZA in the wake of the leftist party's electoral victory in Sunday's elect... ...