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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Green Champion in Greece

Panathinaikos forced a Game 5, the finals returned to OAKA and nothing could spoil the party. The Greens are once again Greek champions by beating Olympiacos (82-71). It’s the 34th league title in the history of the Athenian club. Panathinaikos got a double digits lead at the start of the second quarter (30-19), at half time the score was 53-32 and in the middle of the third period to score was 60-38, by far the best offensive performance of the hosts in a game against Olympiacos this season. The Reds were absent from the court during the first half and when they tried to mount a come back, they had to climb a mountain. The best they could do was cut the lead to 74-68 in the 35th minute. Panathinaikos managed to keep its distance and prevailed in the end. Jonas Maciulis with 15 points was the top scorer of the winners and Matt Lojeski had 17 points for Olympiacos. (source: eurohoops)


A Magical Village in Greece

A few kilometers away from Chania, in Crete, Greece, hidden among the mountains, there is a small village that seems to come from another era. Milia is a village with no electricity and no cars. This is not because technology has not reached that specific area, it is the residents’ choice. Anyone who decides to visit the area, chooses to do so in order to get in touch with nature, to spend their evening looking at the stars, to hear birds singing and the water running from nearby streams. Milia is a village built according to ecotourism standards. Milia was built quite recently, but in a completely traditional way, with absolute respect for the environment and landscape aesthetics. A group of people decided to restore the medieval settlement, building thirteen new homes in the ruins of old farmhouses, using stone and wood from the area, old furniture and basic amenities. They planted thousands of trees and systematically cultivated the land. Each house can accommodate two to four people and they are equipped with heating stoves or fireplaces, the hot water for the bathroom comes from boiling cauldron and there is no electricity, only some lamps for the night which operate with batteries and solar cells. Food is made with organic products produced by the residents of Milia, water comes straight from streams, the wine is locally produced and everyone, regardless of whether they knew each other or not ends up becoming friends. Lonely Planet ranks the quaint village of Milia 12th on its list of the top 50 secret European travel locations that everyone should at some point discover and visit.


TEDxKalamata: Embrace and Transcend Your Limits

After the success of last year’s TEDXKalamata, the event was named the second most innovative TEDx on a global scale, as it was the first TEDx in the world to be held at an archaeological site. This year TEDxKalamata invites the public to be inspired, to discover and overcome its limitations, through the personal experiences of the speakers. “Embrace and transcend your limits’ is this year’s theme for the third TEDxKalamata, which is entitled “limits” and will take place on June 7 2014, at the Theatre of Ancient Messene, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Limits exist to define our identity and challenge us. “In 2014, TEDxKalamata draws its inspiration from ‘ideas’ that indicate the existence of limits and manage to overcome them,” mentioned the event’s organizers. Several stories will be heard, proving how the impossible can become possible. TEDxKalamata proves its social conscience by letting unemployed people attend the event free of charge. For students and pupils the ticket costs 5 euros, while a regular tickets costs 15 euros. Tickets are available online and in selected stores throughout Greece. Tickets include entry to the event, transportation via bus from Kalamata to Ancient Messene and entrance to a party, presented by Kostis Maraveyas, a famous Greek singer, which will take place on June 8. The event will be equipped with a translation system from English to Greek and Greek to English.


Dammit, Greece Are Going To Try To Win Ugly Again

Greece have a pretty good domestic league that produces a handful of pretty good players who represent their pretty good national team. In the gauntlet that is European international competition, pretty good usually isn't enough. This year, though, Greece made it through the fire to earn a spot in their second straight World Cup, only their third ever. Read more...


Greek MUSA e-Magazine in the U.S.

The Greek Embassy is set to publish the cultural e-magazine “Muse” in the U.S.A. The Press and Communication Office will present the first issue of MUSA magazine, where “the U.S.A meets Greek culture” promoting important samples of the Greek ...


Greece Set to Negotiate with Algeria on LNG

Algeria has supplied Greece with liquefied natural gas under a long-term agreement between the two countries, which gave Algerians a stable percentage in Greek markets, with LNG sales at around 0.75 bcm per annum. However, the Greek state gas company DEPA ...


Golden Dawn leader hits out at Greek parliament's 'plot' to prosecute him

The GuardianGolden Dawn leader hits out at Greek parliament's 'plot' to prosecute himThe GuardianHurling abuse, telling other MPS to shut up and describing himself as an "unrepentant nationalist", the imprisoned leader of Greece's neo-fascist Golden Dawn party sent shudders through the country's political arena on Wednesday as deputies in the ...Jailed Greek far-right leader appears in parliament, hurls abuseReuters UKJailed Greek far-right leader denies arms chargesMuscatine Journalall 54 news articles »


Lunching at the Wilmington Greek Festival

Lunching at the Wilmington Greek FestivalThe News JournalWe shared our table with a very nice couple who are longtime Greek Festival attendees. (Photo: Patricia Talorico). You can walk through the "market" and see all kinds of cool things for sale, like Greek bowls, lanterns, candle holders, jewelry and ...St. Sophia's Greek Fest 2014: From souvlaki to baklava (with a glossary of ...The Post-StandardEHT's Greek Festival has something for everyonePress of Atlantic CityGreek Festival Comes During Big Year At Churchwnep.comNew Jersey Hills -WDEL 1150AM -TWC Newsall 10 news articles »


The Greek Parliament Closes Abruptly – SYRIZA Objects

Without explanation, the Greek Parliament has suspended operations for two weeks, prompting an outcry from the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) that the government was trying to duck hearings on tough questions it wanted to pose. Parliament officials said no work will be undertaken until a Recess Section, giving workers another two-week vacation on top of many other days it has off, to go along with four month bonuses. The move came just after MPs voted to lift the immunity of Golden Dawn neo-Nazi leader Nikos Michaoliakos on charges related to those of running a criminal gang, for which he has been in detention for more than seven months. Greek media said only that since there were no major pending actions or bills that it wasn’t necessary for the Parliament to be open. SYRIZA objected, with its spokesman, Panayiotis Lafazanis, noting that the body is supposed to be closed only for elections and not for political maneuvering. There was no response from the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, nor his coalition partner the PASOK Socialists. Lafazanis further argued that this was a unilateral move by the government to delay several agenda discussions requested by SYRIZA, and court cases pending in the House Ethics Committee. SYRIZA intended to table a motion of censure against the government immediately after the debate on lifting the immunity of Golden Dawn members. On May 8 2009, just one month before the European elections, the Greek Prime Minister at the time, Kostas Karamanlis, made the decision to close the Greek Parliament abruptly after he was informed that PASOK was planning to submit a proposal for setting up a Committee of Inquiry, regarding the scandal of structured bonds.  


World Cup 2014 betting: odds on Greece, long shots to win Group C

SFGateWorld Cup 2014 betting: odds on Greece, long shots to win Group CSB NationGreece has made magic before on the world stage, but World Cup 2014 odds are stacked high against them.  Tweet Share on Twitter Share Share on Facebook  Share Share on Google Plus + Comments. Greece has a great defense, but odds makers ...World Cup 2014 Predictions: Group C and DSWOLall 107 news articles »


Brussels: The Ancient Greek Virtue Award

Greek ReporterBrussels: The Ancient Greek Virtue AwardGreek ReporterThe Association of Epirotes in Belgium innovated and established for the first year The Ancient Greek Virtue Award, in collaboration with the Secondary Education authority of Belgium. The award will be bestowed by decision of the teachers' council of ...


EHT's Greek Festival has something for everyone

Yianni Kyriakou knows people come to the annual Greek Festival in Egg Harbor Township for great food, dancing, rides and vendors offering everything from olive oil to T-shirts, but he says his favorite attraction is none of the above. “Our fireworks are ...


Why Brazilians Want More From the World Cup

Brazil is not ready for the World Cup, and after a .5 billion investment in stadiums and infrastructure, no one is more distraught than its own people. I recently returned from an eight-day trip to the South American country, where in the absence of sunshine, I basked in the country's distinct culture, picturesque vistas, amazing music, and vibrant people. But despite my positive and highly enriching experience, there's no doubt you could taste the mounting tension from Rio de Janeiro to Salvador. Brazil has always been a country of diversity. Its people comprise a true melting pot of African, European, and Latin American indigenous influences. Breathtakingly exotic. Visually stunning. Young and vibrant. Brazil's a country that encompasses a landmass of some 3.28 million square miles, including the Mantiqueira Mountains, the Amazon rainforest, and long stretches of white sand beaches. And just like its landscape, its economy is equally as diverse, featuring tremendous wealth and, sadly, crushing poverty. Nowhere is this juxtaposition more apparent than in Rio. While the city promotes tourism through images of perfectly tanned women lounging on its gorgeous beaches, it doesn't take long to discover the city's less fortunate side, which lingers only feet from the city's center. Rio is surrounded by slums, known as favelas, where the city's more than 1.4 million poorest citizens subsist in minimal conditions and in some places, abject squalor. In fact, more than 6 percent of Brazil's population lives in favelas, and the World Cup has only exacerbated already difficult conditions. In São Paulo, just a few miles south of the still-unfinished Arena Corinthians -- slated to host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup -- grows an encampment of more than 4,000 families living in tents with no plumbing or electricity. The World Cup, which the Brazilian government promised would raise living standards, has displaced thousands who can no longer afford to live in working-class neighborhoods as Cup development has spiked housing prices. While economic inequality is nothing new to the Latin American country, the billions in public money spent on building and refurbishing 12 soccer stadiums has fueled outrage and contempt among average Brazilians. The government promised that the World Cup would not only boost Brazil's tourist economy, but that it would revitalize Brazil's aging infrastructure. All the people would then benefit from the money spent. But as the World Cup nears, those promises appear empty. Brazil is way behind in completing critical infrastructure projects and now plans to leave some projects half-finished due to time restraints. The rail systems are limited, streets remain unpaved, hotels are half built, and most notably, stadiums -- built for a few games during the World Cup for many millions of dollars, in cities without a regular team to use them later -- stand unfinished, a seeming mockery to past promises. As the only country to ever win the World Cup five times, and as a land where soccer is a national religion, the nearing tournament is proving to be a cruel irony, bringing pain instead of a much needed diversion. For many Brazilians, this is a Marie Antoinette moment, as they are told to eat cake when there's no bread for the table. In the past few weeks alone, protests have erupted in São Paulo and other Brazilian cities, with every day bringing clashes between angry citizens and local police. Fed up activists, indigenous people, students, and regular citizens have joined together to rally against the World Cup, pleading for a better life. Brazilians, as I discovered, are open to discussing the current political state. On my trip, I spoke with locals from all walks of life. Each conversation ended with the same sentiment -- the need for change. And I hope that somehow, that's what the World Cup will bring to Brazil. At this point, there is no turning back. In less than two weeks, the World Cup will be played, and the world will judge if Brazil succeeds or fails. But from what I experienced, the people I spoke to, the things I saw, the chances of winning the public relations war seem remote, regardless of who wins the actual Cup. Brazil simply isn't ready. The influx of more than 600,000 international travelers will likely overwhelm the outdated infrastructure and the unfinished stadiums already flagged for failing safety requirements. From the look of things, the tournament could be heading toward an outcome far worse than the Sochi Olympic Games. A looming failure, though costly, could be the silver lining that brings change to a country plagued by poverty and income inequality. Under the media's unblinking eyes, Brazil might yet be forced to improve social conditions in the country. In parallel to the recent fall and rise of Greece after the Athens Olympics, the calamity could prove to be a prescription for social change. While all the international attention might bring tensions to a head, a blossoming nation could yet rise from the ashes. I have been to many countries throughout my travel career, and Brazil is among the most beautiful, most culturally fascinating, and most magnetic destinations in the world. Despite the glum mood and negative comments experienced during my visit, I have no doubt that with so much going for it, Brazil will move forward to overcome the many challenges it faces as it strives to create a better and richer life for its citizens. In the meantime, bumps and bruises notwithstanding, Brazil still deserves its seat on most bucket lists, and for now, the games will go on!


New Democracy Lost 529,530 Voters

Frantic New Democracy officials are trying to figure out how to convince voters who abandoned the party in the European Parliament elections it lost to come back.

The post New Democracy Lost 529,530 Voters appeared first on The National Herald.


No Penalties For Unlawful Athens Mall

The Greek government said it would legalize the illegal construction of the Mall of Athens and that the construction company that built it unlawfully would not be penalized.

The post No Penalties For Unlawful Athens Mall appeared first on The National Herald.


Ghanaian witch doctor claims he caused Cristiano Ronaldos knee injury

Nana Kwaku Bonsam predicted forward would miss World Cup This injury can never be cured by any medic

Ghanas most influential witch doctor has claimed he is responsible for the knee injury that is threatening to Cristiano Ronaldos participation at the World Cup.

Nana Kwaku Bonsam whose name translates literally as Devil of Wednesday predicted in February that the Real Madrid forward would be forced to miss this summers tournament in Brazil with injury. A statement from the Portuguese FA on Wednesday confirmed that Ronaldo is suffering from tendinosis in his left knee as well as nursing a muscle problem in his left thigh, which caused him to miss the 0-0 draw with Greece at the weekend.

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Government Expands Social Dividend Criteria

The Deputy Minister of Finances Christos Staikouras  the Deputy Minister of Labor Vasilis Kegeroglou, the General Secretary of Public Revenue Harris Theoharis as well as PASOK MPs Philippos Sahinidis, Giorgos Koutroumanis and Christos Protopappas held a meeting to discuss the expansion of eligibility criteria for the social dividend benefit. The Greek government’s officials agreed to expand the criteria so that a total of 650,000 households in Greece can receive it and also to reconsider applications that had previously been rejected. However, a solution for house guests who are currently excluded has not been provided. Applications for the benefit must be submitted by June 30.  According to the new eligibility criteria, single applicants can receive up to 833 euros while married couples can receive up to 1,000 euros. The amount of the benefit depends on the number of children and the applicant’s annual income. Single applicants must not have assets that exceed a taxable value of €125,000, while for married couples the threshold is €200,000. Applicants with vehicles are not eligible to apply if their vehicle’s engine is larger than 3,000 cm2.


Poland should discuss euro entry after 2015 election: president

Poland should start discussing euro adoption after the 2015 parliamentary election, President Bronislaw Komorowski said in a speech to parliament on Wednesday. Komorowski said euro entry was necessary if Poland was to strengthen its position in Europe. So far Poland has not set a date for swapping zlotys for euros, especially since public support for euro adoption has fallen significantly since the crises in euro zone economies such as Greece and Ireland.


Greece wary of Japan's World Cup threat

Greece wary of Japan's World Cup threatThe Japan TimesCHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA – Greek hero Giorgos Karagounis is wary of what his former club coach and current Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni may plot when the two sides clash at the World Cup in Natal on June 19. Karagounis, Greece's most capped ...


Hercules trailer: The Rock plays a reluctant Ancient Greek superhero

The IndependentHercules trailer: The Rock plays a reluctant Ancient Greek superheroThe IndependentHercules then must save the world from that the descendants of Hades, the ancient Greek god of the underworld, wreaking havoc on the living. The epic fantasy film is based on the Radical Comics character and stars semi-retired wrestler Dwayne “The Rock ...Latest 'Hercules' Trailer With Dwayne Johnson Mixes Old Myths and NewYahoo News'Hercules' Trailer Features Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson But He's Hardly the ...BustleWATCH: 'Hercules: The Thracian Wars' 2nd Official TrailerHeavy.comall 103 news articles »


The 20 Best Business Books To Read This Summer

Whether you want to learn about highly successful businesspeople or gain some practical career advice, there are a bunch of great new books to add to your summer reading list.

There are Wall Street stories like Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys," useful guides like "Talk Like TED," and memoirs from successful people, such as Twitter cofounder Biz Stone's "Things A Little Bird Told Me."

We've collected 20 of the most valuable and interesting business books released this year that can keep you busy on your next flight or trip to the beach.

"Think Like A Freak"

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, the authors of the hit "Freakonomics," return with a book that explains how to "think like a Freak" by approaching problems from angles nobody else has, and following these ideas through to their absurd ends.

As you pick up some useful problem-solving skills, you'll learn how Takeru Kobayashi became a hot dog eating champion, why Nigerian email scammers are smarter than you may think, and what exactly Biblical King Solomon and Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth have in common.

Buy it here >> "The Obstacle Is the Way"

Ryan Holiday explains how a range of successful people, from Marcus Aurelius to Steve Jobs, practiced the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism when they turned obstacles into opportunities.

You'll learn things like why Thomas Edison's reaction to his factory burning down shows how there's only one logical response to tragedy, and how Alabama coach Nick Saban's "The Way" is a tactic you can use to confront overwhelming adversity.

Buy it here >> "Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder"

In 2007, Arianna Huffington collapsed from exhaustion, cutting her eye and breaking her cheekbone. This moment taught her that even though she had achieved great success with her site The Huffington Post, none of it mattered if she couldn't take care of herself.

"Thrive" is an exploration of why true success comes not only from money and power, but from well-being. She cites the latest research in psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology to explain how leading a happier, healthier lifestyle can make you more successful.

Buy it here >> See the rest of the story at Business Insider


Greek brothers come to Scranton to revitalize church

Scranton Times-TribuneGreek brothers come to Scranton to revitalize churchScranton Times-TribuneWith half the walls at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Scranton covered with fresh and colorful icons, and the other half exhibiting older, smaller and faded ones, the priest projects an apt symbol of the building, which has become a mixture ...


Did Keshi’s plans unravel against Greece?

There was a genuine fear, about 43 minutes into Nigeria’s friendly match against Greece, that Stephen Keshi’s World Cup plan was unravelling. There have been two main talking points, two key divisive issues, that have dominated the discourse for Super ...


Jailed Greek far-right leader appears in parliament, hurls abuse

ATHENS (Reuters) - The leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party made a brief appearance in parliament on Wednesday for the first time since he was jailed eight months ago, hurling abuse at lawmakers before they voted to strip him of immunity from prosecution.


Greece: Golden Dawn, Parliament to vote on lifting immunity

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, JUNE 4 - The Greek Parliamentary Assembly will convene on Wednesday in order to vote on lifting the parliamentary immunity of Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, who is currently detained at the Korydallos prison with other detained ...


Grilling, halloumi offer fresh take on Greek salad

If you haven't yet tried halloumi — often also called Greek grilling cheese — let this recipe for a romaine salad be your excuse.


AGAPW Presents Ioanna Karatzaferi

  NEW YORK – The Association of Greek American Professional Women (AGAPW) presented “Meet the Author: A retrospective on award winning author Ioanna Karatzaferi,” at the Greek Press Office on May 29. The evening of readings culminated in a dance and musical performance piece inspired by Karatzaferi’s poetry. After Dimitra Nikolou, the evening’s Emcee, offered […]

The post AGAPW Presents Ioanna Karatzaferi appeared first on The National Herald.


Chinese Leaders Coming to Greece

China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping will visit Greece in an event Greek officials hope will give a big boost to growing ties, business and tourism.

The post Chinese Leaders Coming to Greece appeared first on The National Herald.


Portugals Cristiano Ronaldo suffering from tendinosis before World Cup

Real Madrid forward also nursing a thigh problem Nani: I dont believe the situation with Ronaldo is worrying

Portugal have confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo is suffering from tendinosis as they continue their preparations for the World Cup.

The Real Madrid forward has been struggling with a muscle problem over the past fortnight and missed the 0-0 friendly draw with Greece at the weekend. However a statement from the Portuguese FA on Wednesday revealed that the 29-year-old has also picked up left-leg patellar tendinosis and has been training separately to his team-mates in a bid to recuperate.

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Illegally Built Athens Mall to be Legalized

Although the State Council had announced that the construction of “The Mall Athens” — the biggest shopping center in the Balkans — is illegal and unconstitutional, the Greek government found a way to legalize it. More specifically, the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments headed by Development and Competitiveness Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, stated that it will be legalized under fast-track procedures for strategic investments. The Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments has included the 75,000 square meter building which is considered to be “Europe’s largest unlicensed structure” in the legislation for future investments. The construction of the shopping center, located in the northern Athens suburb of Marousi, had caused widespread reactions due to size, location and the conditions of its construction. However, the government has included it in the legislation for future strategic investments of Greece. The decision of the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments gives the opportunity to the owner company, Lamda Development, controlled by Greek tycoon Spiro Latsis not to pay a single euro in fines for the illegal construction. According to the State Council no environmental survey was conducted before its construction while the court also discovered a number of urban planning violations and omissions regarding construction, which go against Greek and European legislation.


Greek Language Courses Decrease in State Schools of Victoria

The 2014 Conference of the Modern Greek Teachers’ Association was held successfully at the University of Melbourne with the participation of about a hundred teachers of Modern Greek. The conference entitled “Teaching Modern Greek: Successes and ...


Jailed Greek Golden Dawn leader claims charges against his Nazi-inspired party are a 'plot'

ATHENS, Greece - The jailed head of Greece's Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party insisted Wednesday that a judicial crackdown on the party is an establishment plot aimed to sap its growing popularity.


Jailed Greek far-right leader denies arms charges

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The jailed head of Greece's Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party insisted Wednesday that a judicial crackdown on the party is an establishment plot aimed to sap its growing popularity.


B-93 Birthday Bash, Greek Fest and more to do in this weekend's Top 5

B-93 Birthday Bash, Greek Fest and more to do in this weekend's Top 5Mlive KalamazooKALAMAZOO, MI -- One of the biggest and busiest weekends of the season is here and promising fun events for fans of art, general wackiness, local bluegrass music, Greek culture or major country music performers. Here's a snapshot of the Top 5 event in ...and more »


Report: Ranieri set for Greece job

Report: Ranieri set for Greece jobFootball ItaliaClaudio Ranieri is on the verge of becoming the new man in charge of the Greece national team. Current incumbent Fernando Santos is set to leave after their World Cup campaign this summer, and Sport24 insist that a deal with the Italian tactician has ...and more »


Nigeria vs Greece Score, Result, Recap: FIFA Football Game in Philadelphia ...

Nigeria vs Greece Score, Result, Recap: FIFA Football Game in Philadelphia ...The Epoch TimesNigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, center, dives to block a shot by Greece midfielder Ioannis Fetfatzidis, right, as defender Elderson Echiéjilé, left, and midfielder Ogenyi Onazi look on during the first half of an an international friendly soccer ...


Defiant Michaloliakos Blasts Parliament

Jailed Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos spat out a rant of defiance in Parliament where lawmakers debated whether to further lift his immunity.

The post Defiant Michaloliakos Blasts Parliament appeared first on The National Herald.


ILO Cites Austerity Suffering

Greece's economic crisis has taken a devastating toll on its most vulnerable, with long-lasting damage, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said in a report on austerity.

The post ILO Cites Austerity Suffering appeared first on The National Herald.


It's time to go Greek in Canonsburg

It's time to go Greek in CanonsburgWashington Observer ReporterHelene Semanderes, left, serves one of many Greek specialties to Corky Kondas of North Hills and her friend Deb Wutter, right, of Aliquippa. Both women, employed at Southpointe, had lunch at the Greek Food Festival at All Saints Greek Orthodox Church ...


Golden Dawn Leader, MPs Testify in Parliament

Jailed Greece ‘s Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn leader, Nikos Michaloliakos and two of his hierarchy, Giannis Lagos and Christos Pappas, were to testify in Parliament on June 4 about the lifting  of their immunity as the government proceeded with prosecution of the extremists. They have been detained in prison for seven months pending trial on charges of running a criminal gang, but have denied all the accusations and said they are victims of a political witch hunt. Michaloliakos and Lagos, are also facing charges of illegal weapon possession, while Pappas is facing charges for keeping an illegal archive. Security was beefed up after about 200 supporters turned up outside the Parliament in Syntagma Square, waving Greek flags and denouncing the government. On June 3, five Golden Dawn deputies were granted additional time to prepare testimonies as part of the ongoing criminal probe into the party’s activities.


Defiant Michaloliakos: “Don’t You Dare Touch Me”

Jailed Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, brought back to Parliament on June 4 to testify as his colleagues debated whether to further lift immunity protection, spat out a rant of defiance. “You are a sad minority government, you put me into prison for no reason. I’m an unrepentant nationalist and proud member of the Golden Dawn and you will never change me,” he proclaimed. Michaloliakos and fellow Golden Dawn lawmakers Christos Pappas and Yannis Lagos were transferred from prison to Parliament to speak during a debate on lifting their immunity on additional weapons charges. They have been detained in prison for seven months pending trial on charges of running a criminal gang, but have denied all the accusations and said they are victims of a political witch hunt. Michaloliakos and Lagos, are also facing charges of illegal weapon possession,while Pappas is facing charges for keeping an illegal archive. Security was beefed up after about 200 supporters turned up outside the Parliament in Syntagma Square, waving Greek flags and denouncing the government. The moment that Michaloliakos entered the building, relatives and GD supporters rushed to meet him, chanting slogans urging him to expose and ridicule the “system”. When he was approached by members of the Parliament Guard, Michaloliakos shouted at them: “Don’t you dare touch me.” He vented furiously at the government of Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and its coalition partner the PASOK Socialists, who are trying to dismantle the neo-Nazi party. “You are guilty of orchestrating a political conspiracy, manufacturing charges based on poll results,” he said. He added that: “I do not fear prison, my handcuffs are a badge of honor.” He also taunted authorities who had been searching for a massive weapons cache without finding it. “You were searching for an “arsenal, what did you find?” he asked.


Dijsselbloem: Third Bailout Program for Greece is Possible

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurogroup, left open the possibility of a third bailout package for Greece two days after Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German Finance Minister, had made similar statements that caused the reaction of Greek government. “How much money Greece will need and what is going to be the basis of the new aid will be decided after the summer,” said the head of the Eurogroup in an interview on a Dutch TV Channel, following the line of the German Finance Ministry. “The Greek economy is doing better, but the debt is still high. If the interest rate remains high, Greece will need some help again,” stated Dijsselbloem. At the same time, he stressed that the budget of the country is considered satisfactory, while, talking about the positive aspects of the course of the Greek economy he referred to the growth potential of the tourism sector.


Dendias: 100,000 Illegal Immigrants Will be sent Home

Nikos Dendias, the Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection, speaking at an event organized by the Rotary Club of Athens, on Tuesday, stated that the Ministry is taking several measures to prevent illegal immigration and criminality in Greece. The minister claimed that more than 100,000 illegal immigrants will be sent back to their countries and that Greek borders will be shielded with electronic monitoring tools. Dendias talked about the mistakes committed in previous years in the areas of terrorism and illegal immigration and presented the  plans of his ministry. He stressed that Greece is a champion in tackling illegal immigration as by 2015 more than 100,000 illegal immigrants will be returning to their countries. At the same time, he mentioned the ways and means by which Greece is being protected from the illegal immigrants, saying that electronic monitoring tools have been installed along a large section of the Greek borders with Turkey in Evros. By the end of 2016, similar electronic systems will be installed across the entire borderline in Evros, but also in a large part of the borders in northern Greece. According to Dendias the “Operation Xenios Zeus” and the placement of 2,500 border guards in remote areas of the country have contributed in stemming the influx of illegal immigrants. Regarding criminality Dendias claimed that in 2012 it fell by 27% compared to 2011 when it had reached its peak, while in 2013 a further fall of approximately 30% was recorded.


Business Live: UK job creation at 17-year high, as France's struggles continue

Rolling business and financial news through the day

Latest: Britain's private sector creating jobs at fastest rate since 1997

Service sector firms raise wages as orders flood in

Eurozone private sector expanded in May

But French service sector contracted

11.41am BST

Over in Greece, neo-nazi Golden Dawns partys imprisoned leader is currently testifying before the Athens parliament.

For the first time in the history of the Greek parliament an elected political party leader has been brought before the House in handcuffs and under draconian security. Imprisoned for the past eight months on charges of operating and directing a criminal organization, Golden Dawns leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, was rushed through the side door of Athens parliament building as around 500 diehard Golden Dawn supporters, gathered in Syntagma square, shouted leader, leader, our great leader. In an unprecedented step, police cordoned off the central boulevard that runs past the parliament - and stepped up security in the House itself - in a bid to thwart incidents of violence.

Michaloliakos was taken to parliament with his second-in-command Christos Pappas and Ioannis Lagos, an MP accused of ordering the killing of a Greek rapper last year, who like him are also being held in pre-trial custody at Athens top security Korydallos prison.

All three will deliver testimonies of defense before the House. As I write Lagos is giving a rousing speech denunciating the fabricated charges brought against him. To his left and right are Micholiakos and Pappas seated in the benches reserved for Golden Dawn MPs.

Far right #GoldenDawn supporters outside parliament before debate on lifting immunity of jailed leader, MPs. #Greece

Golden Dawn's 2nd-in-command quotes Gandhi: 'First they ignore u, then they ridicule u, then they fight u, then u win' #toosurrealforwords

11.27am BST

The EC's official statement, saying Lithuania is ready to join the euro, is here:

11.24am BST

Olli Rehn added that joining the eurozone will be a major, hard earned and welcome achievement for Lithuania and its people.

11.18am BST

Over in Brussels, the European Commission has given Lithuania the green light to join the eurozone.

Yes, two years on from the heights of the debt crisis, countries are looking to join the euro rather than quitting it.

To adopt the euro, a country has to have government debt no higher than 60 percent of gross domestic product, a budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP, low inflation and interest rates and its own currency has to be stable against the euro.

The formal decision to accept Lithuania into the euro zone will be taken by EU finance ministers in the second half of July, at which point the ministers will also agree on a conversion rate of the litas currency into the euro.

In new report, @EU_Commission recommends #Lithuania join #eurozone in January 2015. #EU ministers to decide by July.

11.01am BST

But it's a darker picture in the eurozone, with Eurostat reporting that the prices charged by manufacturers continued to fall in April, adding to deflationary pressures.

Producer prices fell by another 0.1% during April, meaning they were 1.2% lower than a year ago.

@katie_martin_FX yes. Me

10.52am BST

Here's another sign that the UK labour market has improved (on top of the surge in hiring)

The UK's Office for National Statistics has issued data this morning showing that Britain's employment rate has, finally, returned to its long-term average:

10.27am BST

Back in the eurozone.... Eurostat has confirmed that GDP across the euro area grew by just 0.2% in the first three months of 2014.

That is in line with its initial estimate.

10.05am BST

Job creation across the entire UK private sector remained at April's 17-year high in May, Markit has also calculated.

It says:

The strongest rate of job creation was seen in the construction industry, followed by services. Although still robust, employment growth in manufacturing was tempered by the desire to boost productivity.

With every strong PMI reading, the more lively the discussion will become among the Bank of Englands Monetary Policy Committee that a pre-emptive early hike in interest rates is warranted. However, with inflationary pressures remaining subdued, the case for higher rates is by no means clear cut.

Although the rate of increase slowed very slightly, it remained close to an all-time high and indicative of the sector expanding by approximately 1.5% in the second quarter.

This would be the best performance the goods-producing sector has seen since the initial rebound from the financial crisis in the second quarter of 2010 and builds on the strong 1.4% rise seen in the first quarter.

9.52am BST

Just in -- UK service sector firms are taking on staff at a rate not bettered in 17 years, as activity continues to grow strongly.

And in another encouraging sign - they're paying their staff more too, as new orders flood in.

The UK economy continued to boom in May, in what is the best spell of growth since 2007. The buoyant services PMI follows similar upbeat manufacturing and construction reports, which collectively suggest that the economy is on course to grow by 0.8% again in the second quarter.

Firms in the services sector are creating jobs at a level seen only once since 1997 and offering bigger salaries to boot; a sign of ever-increasing confidence in the sector, which is enabling firms to support expansion and take advantage of improved economic conditions.

Whilst increased salaries are driving up operating costs, alongside suppliers looking to increase their margins, there is willingness to invest. This is being driven by strong domestic and overseas markets, suggesting we can be confident this positive trend will continue.

Service sector purchasing managers' index 58.6 in May, versus 58.7 April. All three sectors of the economy maintaining good growth rate.

Strong service sector PMI for May. Interestingly firms are reporting increasing wage bills alongside strong employment growth.

9.38am BST

This chart shows how France's private sector has slipped back into contraction, while Spain and Italy's firms are finally reporting growth.

9.34am BST

Oh, and we're running a poll on whether Phil Clarke will still be Tesco CEO in a year's time:

@Josh_CityIndex about a year ago...!

9.26am BST

Our full story on Tesco's results, and the pressure mounting on Phil Clarke, is here. (Tesco's shares are now down almost 1%, by the way, as the City digests the details)

9.15am BST

The eurozone private sector is on track for its best quarter in three years, despite being dragged back by France's weak economy.

Data firm Markit reports that its Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index came in at 53.5 for May, slightly lower than Aprils near-three year high of 54.0. That shows that manufacturing and service sector firms across the region continued to expand last month.

Germany continued to report strong output growth, with manufacturers and service providers both benefitting from rising new order inflows. In contrast, output in France fell back into contraction, reflecting the ongoing weakness of the French domestic market.

Elsewhere among the big-four economies, output rose further in both Italy and Spain. Rates of growth ticked higher in Italy and stayed close to Aprils seven-year record in Spain.

Germany and Spain reported further jobs growth, while Italy saw a slight increase for the first time in three years. France reported further cuts.

9.05am BST

Germany's service sector grew at the fastest pace in almost three years, putting France's trouble into stark perspective.

Markit's Service sector PMI rose to 56.0, from 54.7 in April, showing that activity picked up. It's an "encouraging sign" for Germany's economy, Markit says.

9.01am BST

The bad news keeps coming for France too --- its service sector has slipped back into contraction.

Data firm Markit reports that its French service sector PMI fell to 49.1 in May, from 50.4 in April, indicating that activity across the sector fell.

The French service sector disappointingly sank back into contraction territory during May, with activity falling for the first time in three months. A sluggish demand environment was blamed for a further drop in new business, while companies responded by cutting employment again.

Whats more, competitive pressures necessitated a sharper cut in output prices despite faster input cost inflation, putting pressure on companies operating margins. After GDP stagnated in Q1, there seems to be little evidence of the French economy turning the corner so far in the second quarter.

More economic woe for #France "Service sector activity falls for first time in three months during May #PMI

#France in econ trouble RT @cigolo French May Final Composite Pmi Falls To 49.3 (April Final 50.6, May Flash 49.3)

8.49am BST

That poor Russian economic data means it's heading into recession, suggests Chris Williamson of Markit.

#Russia heading for another recession as PMI signals steepest downturn for 5 years in May

8.48am BST

We've also seen evidence that Russia's economy is continuing to deteriorate.

Output across Russia's manufacturing and service sectors fell at the fastest rate in five year, according to HSBC data.

Overall, the PMI survey signals another leg down in the Russian economy is most likely in the coming months before the situation can start improving, if the resumption in new order growth in manufacturing continues. The ongoing recovery in the 'transport & storage' sector in services is also encouraging in this respect.

8.37am BST

Speaking of the eurozone, the FT's Peter Spiegel suggests that we may get an update on Lithuania's bid to join the single currency later today.

Will #Lithuania become the 19th member of #eurozone? I suspect we'll know more at midday. cc: @ollirehn

8.28am BST

In the eurozone, Spain's service sector has now expanded for the seventh month running, although the pace slowed a little last month.

Markit's monthly PMI index, which measures activity across the sector, dropped to 55.7 May from 56.5. Crucially, that's still over the 50-point mark showing growth.

However, there was further evidence of a reluctance among companies to increase staffing levels at a rate comparable with growth of new work, despite another build-up of outstanding business and strong optimism regarding the prospects for growth of activity.

8.17am BST

Tesco's boss may only have a year to get things right, reckons Julie Palmer, retail expert at Begbies Traynor.

With growing scepticism over the viability of his plans and leadership, I expect Philip Clarke has at most 12 months to prove his worth before investors demand more drastic measures.

While Aldi and Lidl have carved out a customer base at the value end of the market, Asda and Sainsburys in the middle and Waitrose and M&S at the top, Tescos brand identity has lost its way. The Groups overhaul of its shopping experience couldnt come sooner as customers have been put off by Tescos complex multiple buy offers and outdated stores, which are only now being upgraded.

8.08am BST

Veteran analyst David Buik says Tesco's shares rose this morning because today's numbers are "marginally less awful than expected".

8.04am BST

The London stock market is open.... and Tesco's shares have risen almost 2%.

Some analysts had predicted an even steeper fall in sales, of up to 4.1%, so there's relief that today's figures aren't worse.

8.00am BST

Phil Clarke insisted that his strategy is working. But John Ibbotson, director of the retail consultants, isn't convinced.

Ibbotson says:

"Despite the PR spin, Philip Clarke's turnaround plan is not working."Revamping stores with posh bakeries, Giraffe restaurants and a paltry £200m in price cuts is not enough to address the seismic shift in UK retailing."

7.49am BST

Tesco CEO Phil Clarke is fielding questions from financial reporters on today's results.

My colleague Sean Farrell is on the call, and reports that Tesco is promising more price cuts ahead -- but also vowing to end short-term gimmicks.

Tesco CEO Clarke says signed up more clubcard customers in last six weeks than in previous 30 weeks because of fuelsave offer.

In preamble, Tesco CEO Clarke says "loyalty is the prize worth having". Wants to get rid of "short-term gimmicks".

Tesco CEO Clarke says he's "not making any promises about sales improvements in the next few quarters".

Tesco CEO Clarke says "price is an important part of the story but it's not the only story".

Tesco CEO Clarke says "there's more [price cuts] to come but the ones we've done were the most important for our customers".

Tesco CEO Clarke says "I haven't seen a quarter of like for like sales like this before that I can remember".

7.41am BST

There's not much in Tesco's results to inspire confidence, says Josh Raymond of City Index.

My honest opinion on #tesco q1. Thought it could have been worse but nothing here to inspire confidence.

May get worse at Tesco before it gets better. Turnaround to "continue to impact our headline performance throughout the coming quarters".

7.38am BST

This chart shows how the fierce price war raging in Britain's supermarket sector sent Tesco's UK sales sliding in the last three months, at a faster rate than the previous quarter:

Our like-for-like sales performance in Asia has improved since the last quarter despite the continued effect of the political situation in Thailand. In Europe, like-for-like sales were positive in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Polandand Turkey.

Whilst Ireland remains intensely competitive with high levels of untargeted couponing in the market, our performance there is starting to improve.

7.30am BST

Tesco's troubles continue, with a hefty drop in sales across the UK as chief executive Phil Clarke continues to battle to turn Britain's biggest retailer around.

It has just reported that like-for-like sales in the UK slumped by 3.8% in the last quarter.

We are pleased by the early response to our accelerated efforts to deliver the most compelling offer for customers.

We expect this acceleration to continue to impact our headline performance throughout the coming quarters and for trading conditions to remain challenging for the UK grocery market as a whole.

Tesco still looks in stead decline - like for like sales fall again. Down 4% as it continues to lose customers to its rivals.

7.29am BST

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

There's lots for data junkies this morning. New Service Sector data is being released through the day, showing how the private sectors in Asia, Europe and the Americas fared.

Continue reading...


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