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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

First Greek Manga Dedicated to Thessaloniki’s History

The Greek team “Mangatellers” using the techniques of Japanese comics, created the first Greek manga talking about Thessaloniki‘s history and current life. In the framework of the European Youth Capital 2014, Mangatellers were invited to create a ...


Greek former finance minister appears before judge to answer charges on Swiss banking list

ATHENS, Greece - Greek former finance minister George Papaconstantinou has appeared before an investigating judge to answer criminal charges over his handling of data on Greeks with Swiss bank accounts....


Falcao's absence spoils Colombia World Cup return

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Colombia's 16-year wait for a return to the World Cup was miserable enough for its supporters. Now they're coming to terms with a few setbacks before Colombia's Group C opener Saturday against Greece, including the loss of Radamel Falcao.


Greek former economy czar questioned on Swiss list

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek former finance minister George Papaconstantinou has appeared before an investigating judge to answer criminal charges over his handling of data on Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.


Santorini Arts Factory Aims to Boost Island’s Culture

The Santorini Arts Factory aspires to become one of the main cores of cultural action in Santorini and in the wider region of  the South Aegean, Greece. The SAF is prioritizing the island and its inhabitants by providing immediate access to quality cultural events and educational programs throughout the year. At the same time it is promoting the island’s ancient and modern history, its modern activities as well as the material and cultural goods that it can offer to the thousands of visitors from around the world that it hosts every year. The opening is scheduled to take place on July 12, with a wide variety of cultural events including theater and dance performances by top artists (some will reach the island directly after their appearance at the Athens Festival) as well as concerts, while a visual exhibition entitled “White, Grey and a Little Red,” is being prepared by art historian Iris Kritikouunder and will feature important Greek and foreign artists. Moreover, both the SAF and the newly established Industrial Tomato Museum in Vlichada wish to honor the role of women in the history of Santorini, as well as the role they have played in the creation and development of the Tomato Factory.


Greek Bond Crisis Exacerbated By Twitter, Google [STUDY]

As talk intensified on Twitter, investors grew nervous, raising rates not only in Greece, but Ireland as well A new academic paper concludes there is a relationship between social media conversations, Google search trends that exacerbated the Greek bond ...


Amount of recycled waste edges up to 442,000 tons

About 442,000 tons of waste was recycled in Greece last year as a result of households placing recyclable items in the blue dumpsters that are located in an increasing number of neighborhoods, the Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation (HERRCO) said on T... ...


To Potami party moves congress to Lavrio

To Potami, the centrist party formed by journalist Stavros Theodorakis, will hold its founding congress at the Technological Park in Lavrio, southeast of Athens, rather than a campsite in Thrace, northeastern Greece, as had been originally planned. The co... ...


Greece, Kuwait mark 50 years of friendship with deals

Greece and Kuwait marked 50 years of diplomatic relations on Thursday by signing two agreements, one regarding investments and the other tourism. The deals were signed by Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah ... ...


BC-SOC--WCup Glance

by  Associated Press BC-SOC--WCup Glance Associated Press - 12 June 2014 14:25-04:00 BC-SOC--WCup Glance,1054 2014 World Cup Glance

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All Times GMT FIRST ROUND GROUP A W L T GF GA Pts Brazil 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cameroon 0 0 0 0 0 0 Croatia 0 0 0 0 0 0 Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 0 Thursday, June 12 At Sao Paulo

Brazil vs. Croatia, 2000 GMT

Friday, June 13 At Natal, Brazil

Mexico vs. Cameroon, 1600 GMT

Tuesday, June 17 At Fortaleza, Brazil

Brazil vs. Mexico, 1900 GMT

Wednesday, June 18 At Manaus, Brazil

Croatia vs. Cameroon, 2200 GMT

Monday, June 23 At Brasilia, Brazil

Brazil vs. Cameroon, 2000 GMT

At Recife, Brazil

Croatia vs. Mexico, 2000 GMT

GROUP B W L T GF GA Pts Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 Chile 0 0 0 0 0 0 Netherlands 0 0 0 0 0 0 Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 Friday, June 13 At Salvador, Brazil

Spain vs. Netherlands, 1900 GMT

At Cuiaba, Brazil

Chile vs. Australia, 2200 GMT

Wednesday, June 18 At Rio de Janeiro

Spain vs. Chile, 1900 GMT

At Porto Alegre, Brazil

Netherlands vs. Australia, 1600 GMT

Monday, June 23 At Curitiba, Brazil

Spain vs. Australia, 1600 GMT

At Sao Paulo

Netherlands vs. Chile, 1600 GMT

GROUP C W L T GF GA Pts Colombia 0 0 0 0 0 0 Greece 0 0 0 0 0 0 Ivory Coast 0 0 0 0 0 0 Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 Saturday, June 14 At Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Colombia vs. Greece, 1600 GMT

At Recife, Brazil

Ivory Coast vs. Japan, 0100 GMT Sunday

Thursday, June 19

At Brasilia, Brazil

Colombia vs. Ivory Coast, 1600 GMT

At Natal, Brazil

Greece vs. Japan, 2200 GMT

Tuesday, June 24 At Cuiaba, Brazil

Colombia vs. Japan, 2000 GMT

At Fortaleza, Brazil

Greece vs. Ivory Coast, 2000 GMT

GROUP D W L T GF GA Pts Costa Rica 0 0 0 0 0 0 England 0 0 0 0 0 0 Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0 Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0 0 Saturday, June 14 At Fortaleza, Brazil

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica, 1900 GMT

At Manaus, Brazil

England vs. Italy, 2200 GMT

Thursday, June 19 At Sao Paulo

Uruguay vs. England, 1900 GMT

Friday, June 20 At Recife, Brazil

Costa Rica vs. Italy, 1600 GMT

Tuesday, June 24 At Natal, Brazil

Uruguay vs. Italy, 1600 GMT

At Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Costa Rica vs. England, 1600 GMT

GROUP E W L T GF GA Pts Ecuador 0 0 0 0 0 0 France 0 0 0 0 0 0 Honduras 0 0 0 0 0 0 Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 0 Sunday, June 15 At Brasilia, Brazil

Switzerland vs. Ecuador, 1600 GMT

At Porto Alegre, Brazil

France vs. Honduras, 1900 GMT

Friday, June 20 At Salvador, Brazil

Switzerland vs. France, 1900 GMT

At Curitiba, Brazil

Ecuador vs. Honduras, 2200 GMT

Wednesday, June 25 At Manaus, Brazil

Switzerland vs. Honduras, 2000 GMT

At Rio de Janeiro

Ecuador vs. France, 2000 GMT

GROUP F W L T GF GA Pts Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0 Bosnia-Herzegovina 0 0 0 0 0 0 Iran 0 0 0 0 0 0 Nigeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 Sunday, June 15 At Rio de Janeiro

Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2200 GMT

Monday, June 16 At Curitiba, Brazil

Iran vs. Nigeria, 1900 GMT

Saturday, June 21 At Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Argentina vs. Iran, 1600 GMT

At Cuiaba, Brazil

Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Nigeria, 1600 GMT

Wednesday, June 25 At Porto Alegre, Brazil

Argentina vs. Nigeria, 1600 GMT

At Salvador, Brazil

Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran, 1600 GMT

GROUP G W L T GF GA Pts Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 Ghana 0 0 0 0 0 0 Portugal 0 0 0 0 0 0 United States 0 0 0 0 0 0 Monday, June 16 At Salvador, Brazil

Germany vs. Portugal, 1600 GMT

At Natal, Brazil

Ghana vs. United States, 2200 GMT

Saturday, June 21 At Fortaleza, Brazil

Germany vs. Ghana, 1900 GMT

Sunday, June 22

At Manaus, Brazil

Portugal vs. United States, 2200 GMT<

Thursday, June 26

At Recife, Brazil

Germany vs. United States, 1600 GMT

At Brasilia, Brazil

Portugal vs. Ghana, 1600 GMT

GROUP H W L T GF GA Pts Algeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0 Russia 0 0 0 0 0 0 South Korea 0 0 0 0 0 0 Tuesday, June 17 At Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Belgium vs. Algeria, 1600 GMT

At Cuiaba, Brazil

Russia vs. South Korea, 2200 GMT

Sunday, June 22 At Rio de Janeiro

Belgium vs. Russia, 1600 GMT

At Porto Alegre, Brazil

Algeria vs. South Korea, 1900 GMT

Thursday, June 26 At Sao Paulo

Belgium vs. South Korea, 2000 GMT

At Curitiba, Brazil

Algeria vs. Russia, 2000 GMT

SECOND ROUND Saturday, June 28 Game 49 At Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Group A winner vs. Group B second place, 1600 GMT

Game 50 At Rio de Janeiro

Group C winner vs. Group D second place, 2000 GMT

Sunday, June 29 Game 51 At Fortaleza, Brazil

Group B winner vs. Group A second place, 1600 GMT

Game 52 At Recife, Brazil

Group D winner vs. Group C second place, 2000 GMT

Monday, June 30 Game 53 At Brasilia, Brazil

Group E winner vs. Group F second place, 1600 GMT

Game 54 At Porto Alegre, Brazil

Group G winner vs. Group H second place, 2000 GMT

Tuesday, July 1 Game 55 At Sao Paulo

Group F winner vs. Group E second place, 1600 GMT

Game 56 At Salvador, Brazil

Group H winner vs. Group G second place, 2100 GMT

QUARTERFINALS Friday, July 4 Game 57 At Fortaleza, Brazil

Game 49 winner vs. Game 50 winner, 2000 GMT

Game 58 At Rio de Janeiro

Game 53 winner vs. Game 54 winner, 1600 GMT

Saturday, July 5 Game 59 At Salvador, Brazil

Game 51 winner vs. Game 52 winner, 2100 GMT

Game 60 At Brasilia, Brazil

Game 55 winner vs. Game 56 winner, 1600 GMT

SEMIFINALS Tuesday, July 8 At Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Game 57 winner vs. Game 58 winner, 2000 GMT

Wednesday, July 9 At Sao Paulo

Game 59 winner vs. Game 60 winner, 2000 GMT

THIRD PLACE Saturday, July 12 At Brasilia, Brazil

Semifinal losers, 2000 GMT

CHAMPIONSHIP Sunday, July 13 At Rio de Janeiro

Semifinal winners, 1900 GMT

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

People, Places and Companies: Brazil, Salvador, Recife, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, France, Nigeria, Spain, Japan, Croatia, Switzerland, Algeria, Germany, South Korea, Ghana, Ivory Coast, West Africa, United States, Cameroon, Australia, Brasilia, Portugal, Russia, Belgium, Greece, Sao Paulo, Ecuador, Honduras, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Iran, South America, Latin America and Caribbean, Western Europe, Europe, Africa, East Asia, Asia, Eastern Europe, North Africa, North America, Oceania, Central America, Middle East

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


Colombia Vs Greece : Preview, Lineups, Predictions and TV Details

HamroFootballColombia Vs Greece : Preview, Lineups, Predictions and TV DetailsHamroFootballGreece on the other hand finished second in their Qualifier group considerably easier than others behind Bosnia and Herzegovina and will be looking to do one better than last time around as they look to progress to the next round of the World Cup ...and more »


Greece's Alpha Bank close to buying Citi's Greek retail ops: sources

Greece's debt crisis has prompted foreign banks, including France's Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), to sell local units to Greek banks in recent years. "We're close," said one banking source who spoke on condition of anonymity.


Greece Achieves 711 mln Primary Budget Surplus

According to provisional data on the Greek national budget, the deficit on the first five months of 2014  is 1.985 million euros, compared to 3.843 million euros on the same period in 2013.  The figure surpassed the government’s expectations, since the goal was set to 2.559 million euros for the period from January to May 2013.   Greece’s budget execution also showed a primary surplus of 711 million euros this year, compared to a  primary deficit of 970 million euros last year. Net revenues are up to 19.605 million euros, increased by 45 million euros or 0.2 percent of the target set. Regular budget net revenues have reached 17,305 million euros beating the target set by 62 million euros or 0.4 percent. Tax income reached 16,174 million euros, again surpassing the target set, by 254 million euros or 1.6 percent. Refunds have increased by 85 million euros reaching up to 1,269 million euros, exceeding the target set at 1.184 million euros. Public Investment Program revenues reached 2,300 million euros, 16 million euros below target. Budget expenditures followed a downward trend, slipping to 21,591 million euros instead of 22,119 million euros where the original goal was set. More specifically, budget expenditures were 19.810 million euros, down by 641 million euros, mostly due to a primary expenditures decrease of 459 million euros compared to the target. Compared to the same period 2013, regular budget spending fell by 2,057 million euros or 9.4 percent.  This is mainly attributed to the total primary expenditures being decreased by 1,528 million euros or 8.4 percent compared to 2013, despite the fact that 169 million euros were spent on social dividends and another 42 million euros on heating allowances. Finally, Public Investment Budget expenditures were estimated at 1,780 million euros indicating a 113 million increase compared to the target set and a 639 million increase compared to the same months in 2013.  


American Mark Geiger to referee Greece’s opening match

Mark Geiger, a school math teacher from New Jersey was picked to officiate Saturday’s match between Greece and Colombia. The 39-year-old American referee was among the 25 referees selected by FIFA. Geiger has officiated Major League Soccer games since 2004 and had the privilege to become the first American referee to be selected in a World Cup game since 2002. The last American referee in a World Cup game was Brian Hall, who officiated Italy-Ecuador and England-Nigeria matches in 2002. The last time an American officiated a Greek match was Arturo Angeles in 1994, when Greece lost 4-0 to Diego Maradona’s Argentina team.



HamroFootballFactbox - Colombia v GreeceThe Star OnlineBELO HORIZONTE Brazil (Reuters) - Colombia play Greece in a World Cup Group C match in Belo Horizonte on Saturday. Where: The Mineirao stadium, Belo HorizonteCapacity: 58,259When: Saturday June 14, 13:00 local (1700 BST)Referee: Mark W ...Colombia Vs Greece : Preview, Lineups, Predictions and TV DetailsHamroFootballall 2 news articles »


Greece seeking ways to fight anti-Semitism, ADL says

The Times of IsraelGreece seeking ways to fight anti-Semitism, ADL saysThe Times of Israel“No Jewish person can be happy about the appointment of a man who was, until two years ago, a head of the extreme right-wing and anti-Semitic LAOS party,” said Victor Eliezer, the secretary general of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.and more »


Greece out to clip Colombia's attacking wings

By Karolos Grohmann BELO HORIZONTE Brazil (Reuters) - Containing Colombia's potent attacking game, even without injured striker Radamel Falcao, will be key to defensive-minded Greece's attempt to upset the World Cup Group C favourites on Saturday. The Greeks, who also play Japan and Ivory Coast in the group, have long said their first game will be the most crucial one with Colombia, who finished ...


Greek farm worker shooting trial cites dog killing

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A witness testifying against a Greek farm foreman on trial over a shotgun attack on protesting foreign strawberry pickers says the man had earlier killed two dogs in front of workers, threatening them with the same fate if they kept asking for their unpaid wages.


At trial of Greek foreman accused of shooting farm workers, allegations of dog killings

A witness testifying against a Greek farm foreman on trial over a shotgun attack on protesting foreign strawberry pickers says the man had earlier killed two dogs in front of workers, threatening them with the same fate if they kept asking for their unpaid wages.


Mission to boldly go where no Greek has gone before

KathimeriniMission to boldly go where no Greek has gone beforeKathimeriniForty-seven months of waiting has finally reached an end, as that special month that comes but once every four years for soccer lovers has begun with the kickoff at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The additional attraction for Greek fans is that the ...


Osborne to give Bank of England new mortgage powers, and clamp down on market abuse business live

Rolling coverage of finance and business news through the day

Bank of England to get power to set loan-to-value caps on mortgages

Summary: New criminal powers to prevent City traders rigging the markets

5.08pm BST

Breaking news tonight: the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to give the Bank of England new powers to control the housing market.

The Bank will be given the powers to cap the size of mortgages relative to borrowers' income and relative to the value of the homes they want to buy.

George Osborne is to give the Bank of England new powers to set a cap on mortgages set as a ratio of income or value.

Osborne to allow BoE to cap loan-to-income plus kick up backside for councils on brownfield sites. Here endeth pre-briefing of #mansionhouse

George Osborne will use his Mansion House speech to give City regulators the power to cap risky mortgage loans in a bid to allay fears of a growing housing bubble.

In a dramatic move, the chancellor plans to allow the Bank of England to limit mortgage loans that could undermine the financial stability of the UK housing market.

Our economic plan has brought stability and security and Im not going to let anything undermine that.

So I am acting against future risks in the housing market by today giving the Bank of England new powers to intervene and control the size of mortgages compared to family incomes and house values and Im also taking new steps so we build many more homes in our towns and cities.

4.59pm BST

A quick recap:

It will make it clear to traders that if you abuse those rules you will end up in prison.

4.42pm BST

With the Brent crude oil price hovering around $112 per barrel, a three-month high, City traders are wondering what impact the Iraq insurgency will have on the economy.

If oil prices move higher, they'll put a brake on economic growth and also drive up inflation, as Chris Beauchamp of IG explains:

Traders have seen the words Iraq and civil war in headlines and duly sent oil prices flying today. So far, the direct impact of the fall of Mosul and Tikrit has been limited in production terms, but it is a situation that will bear close attention.

The longer-term worry is the impact of higher oil prices on inflation readings for major economies it might finally deliver the higher price growth that Mario Draghi wants, but with inflation edging up in the US there will be concerns that CPI growth might get out of hand and force the Federal Reserve to take action.

4.22pm BST

A couple more photos from Athens, showing how riot police treated cleaning staff after the supreme court suspended an earlier ruling that they should get their jobs back.

3.59pm BST

In Greece, the cleaning workers who refused to accept being laid off by the government last year have suffered a defeat in the courts, and at the hands of riot police.

The Greek Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Greek government today, and suspended a ruling from a lower court that the workers -- who were dismissed last year -- should be rehired.

According to reports, at least three women were injured as riot police tried to remove protesting cleaners who had gathered in front of the ministry's entrance after the announcement of the decision.

Shocking video illustrating police brutality in #Greece: Riot policeman beats in the head unarmed woman. Pls RT.

MTR @Inflammatory_ Mr @Vkikilias [Minister of Public Order] what's you're position abt metal-enhanced gloves? #Greece

Laid-off cleaner protesting for months now, confronting policeman. Guts a whole country doesn't have v @JohnKemmos:

#greece Laid-off cleaners: today's photo of photojournalist Tat. Bolari outside FinMin TR @Gath___: #katharistries

3.26pm BST

Now here's a surprise....Portugal's government has turned down the final slice of its bailout, worth 2.6bn, rather than implement new austerity measures.

Portugal has decided to forego the last payment of its international bailout from creditors after the rejection of a series of austerity measures by the country's constitutional court, the finance minister said on Thursday.

"The government thinks that it is not the time to make decisions about substitute measures, a decision which has the consequence that we will not receive the last tranche of the programme," Finance Minister Maria Luis Albuquerque told journalists.

#Portugal decided not to receive last tranche of #bailout, FinMin says no plans to reopen programme - #EC to comment soon #eurozone

3.01pm BST

Twitter's share price is now up 3%, as Wall Street investors digest Ali Rowghani's departure as COO.

Investors now like $TWTR shakeup. Up 3%. 24% bounce from $29.51 low back in early May. Is worst over or will $TWTR slip back towards $30?

2.48pm BST

Shares on Wall Street have dipped in early trading, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling around 0.2%.

But Twitter's shares are bucking the trend, rising by 1%. Shortly before the market opened, its chief operating officer Ali Rowghani announced he was leaving.

Goodbye Twitter. It's been an amazing ride, and I will cherish the memories.

Why Twitters COO had to resign, in one chart

2.10pm BST

Torbjorn Kjus, oil analyst at DNB Markets in Norway, also believes the oil price could spike if the situation in Iraq worsens.

Kjus told the WSJ:

"It's purely a fear-factor hitting right now.

"Right now it's $2 up, and it could easily go up more than that based on developments" [such as a move of violence southward].

Oil prices at these levels are going to become problematic in weak economies.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil passes US $112 which in these odd times will please the #ECB if sustained #inflation #Iraq

1.56pm BST

Some mixed-looking US economic data has been released, but it's not as bad as it first appeared.

US retail sales rose by just 0.3% in May, just half as much as expected. But April's initial reading of 0.1% has been revised up to a healthier-looking 0.5%.

Ian Shepherdson on retail sales: In one line: Much less disappointing than it appears, thanks to upward revisions.

Decent jobless claims and revised sales = good to meh

1.19pm BST

Perhaps the solution to preventing manipulation of the FX market is simply to stop using a one minute window at 4pm to set the daily currency rates.

Mark Taylor, the dean of Warwick Business School, believes traders would be incapable of influencing a larger window, given the size of the market.

If we really want to make sure the foreign exchange reference rate isnt rigged, we need to remove the incentives to cheat. At the moment the foreign exchange benchmark the daily London 4pm fix is made by taking the average of trades 30 seconds before and after 4pm, so if some large trades worth billions of dollars each are sent through it can move the rate a small amount and that could be worth millions of dollars to the traders.

One solution would be to take away the temptation by taking the average over an hour - so 30 minutes either side of 4pm rather than 30 seconds. Its a simple, workable solution because it would be a lot harder, if not impossible, to move a market as big as the FX market for an hour. Removing the incentive is much better than regulation because of the global, decentralised nature of the foreign exchange market.

1.06pm BST

UK prosecutors are likely to take a "highly aggressive approach" with suspected wrong-doers in the financial markets, once the new criminal powers planned by the government are available.

The number of prosecutions achieved by the regulators with their new powers will be seen as the yardstick of their success. This will put them under a huge amount of pressure to achieve results and almost guarantees a highly aggressive approach.

The SFOs Director, David Green, has said he expects to be judged by the results of the agencys prosecutions of those involved in Libor and now the same will be true for future foreign exchange manipulation.

Yet more criminal sanctions from the UK government suggest a wholesale move towards the US-style of enforcement for financial offences, but it remains difficult to see how such an offence will be proved beyond all doubt. The threat of prison is used with great effect in the US but it is questionable how many convictions will be achieved as a result of this style of enforcement in the UK."

12.44pm BST

George Osborne's plan to bring in new criminal sanctions for market abuse may sound good, but will they work?

The CBI, which represents British businesses, says it's important to send a signal to the City - but more important to actually change its character (a point the Robin Hood campaign made earlier)

Rebuilding trust in banking is critical to underpinning the economic recovery and to the UKs long-term growth, so it makes sense for the regulatory focus to be firmly on conduct.

We need to send out a strong signal against wrongdoing and beefing up regulators tools to combat market abuse will help to do this.

12.11pm BST

Here's a chart showing how the price of Brent crude has jumped to a three-month high this morning of $112 per barrel, driven by the escalating situation in Iraq (see 10.17am for more details).

Cheery stuff. Map of iraq showing Isis gains.

"I would entirely ascribe this move to the insurrection in the north of Iraq ... The fear is that it will cause a threat to Iraqi oil exports

"If this conflict knocked out Iraq as an exporter, that would have significant impact on prices ... How high could they go? It depends on what happens."

11.41am BST

Vince Cable's warning about Britain's house price boom (see 11.16am) comes as figures published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed how borrowers are stretching their salaries to raise enough money to get on the housing ladder.

In April, first-time buyers across the UK took on mortgages that were 3.42 times their salary, and worth 83% of the value of the property they were buying.

Only in December 2013 have first-time buyer income multiples been higher, although as the property market reached its last peak they were up at 3.39 times salary.

The average size of a first-time buyer mortgage reached its highest level on record, rising to £121,500, from £118,750 in March. At the same time the typical income of a first-time buyer household increased to £37,000, from £35,704 in March, which was also the highest average income on record.

The most recent data for London showed first-time buyers were taking out mortgages worth 3.83 times their salaries. Deposits from parents and the fact that buyers in the capital are slightly older, at an average of 32 when they take their first loan, versus 29 across the UK, meant that loan to values in London are lower, at 75%.

11.33am BST

In other news, Intel has lost its appeal against the 1.06bn fine handed down by the EU in 2009 for anti-competitive conduct.

Brussels' competition chief Neelie Kroes insists the chip-maker got its just desserts:

It was never a pleasure to fine companies as EU competition referee, but rules are rules. Am pleased the court upheld our 1bn Intel fine

11.16am BST

Is George Osborne also planning to announce new measures to rein in the housing market, in tonight's Mansion House?

Business secretary Vince Cable appeared to drop some hints this morning, telling Radio 4 listeners that banks must be put under more pressure not to "throw petrol on the fire" of the house price boom.

"Most of us who have been through various housing booms in the past have recognised that a kind of stable level is three or three-and-a-half times

"I was appalled when I discovered that banks were lending five times.

V Cable saying banks should not lend more than 3.5 times income odd: point of Bank of Eng reforms was to remove politics from such decisions

10.38am BST

Back to the UK government's market abuse clampdown.... and campaigners for a fairer tax system don't believe it will change the City's priorities.

David Hillman, spokesperson for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, says:

"It's better late than never for the Government to get a grip on this scandal, which shows once again that our supposedly reformed financial sector is still a law unto itself.

"But while the review may tackle this particular malaise it won't tackle City culture which continues to put a fast buck ahead of its obligations to society.

10.31am BST

The escalating situation in Iraq (see last post) has also driven the cost of US crude oil up this morning.

US crude touched $105.4 per barrel this morning, the first time it's broken above the $105 mark since March. You've got to go back nine months for a higher price.

London-based Brent crude for July delivery surged $1.09, or 1.1%, to $111.04 a barrel. If Brent settles at this point, it will be the highest level for a front-running contract since March 3, when the front-running contract settled at $111.20 a barrel.

Oil prices shot up in March on rising tensions over Russia and the Ukraine.

10.17am BST

Over in the City, the sight of insurgents taking control of Iraqi cities has pushed the oil price up by 1%, to a three month high.

Oil prices are pushing higher off the back of unrest in Iraq and although the situation is some distance from the oil fields, the reality is that a $20/barrel spike in crude prices could well prove sufficient to derail the global economic recovery.

Ultimately with markets so toppy and repeatedly looking for a reason to sell, this could all make a lot of sense.

The apparent unravelling of the post-2003 settlement in Iraq has sent oil prices surging for the second time in a week; a signal of how sensitive investors are to the prospect of higher oil prices that could act as a dramatic drag on global growth.

For now, it seems the selling is confined to the more skittish market participants, but if the index moves much lower the quiet retreat could turn into an increasingly panicky rout.

9.39am BST

With over three trillion pounds worth of foreign exchange trading each day, how could a few rogue City traders possibly rig it?

The key is that benchmarks are calculated at a certain time every day, to give a snapshot of what various assets are worth.

The traders at the bank have to take hedging positions, they place trades in the market, they share some information with colleagues or people at other banks to try and avoid risks around when those trades are completed.

And that's when it all gets tricky - it's that half-hour period. What have they discussed with each other?

Until that were done, it would be impossible to regulate this market completely.

9.08am BST

Full details of the government's markets review are online here.

It explains how the existing law against Libor-rigging would be extended to cover market rates, and also tries to justify opting out of the EU's own market-rigging rules.

9.03am BST

More reaction to the news that the chancellor wants to clean up the City (by mid-2015, anyway)

In a shock move, George Osborne to make criminal activity in the City a crime. After a 12 month consultation.

Apparently "Rigging foreign exchange, bond & commodity markets" is NOT a Criminal Offence Today... No that's for shoplifting & petty theft

8.58am BST

George Osborne will also announce tonight that the UK will opt out of a European directive, which sets out specific rules to make market abuse a criminal offence.

Not for the first time, Britain wants to go it alone (the Treasury argues that this means we can get criminal sanctions in place sooner, but it will also keep the City at arms length from Brussels).

"The key task ... will be ensuring that we have a system that is robust and punishes any wrongdoing while being sensitive to the need to continue to attract global banks and investors to the UK."

8.42am BST

While ITV's Joel Hills is suspicious that the chancellor has at least one eye on the next election, by announcing this new clampdown tonight :

Allegations that traders within banks colluded to manipulate foreign-exchange rates in currency deals are being looked at by the authorities in the UK and abroad. The investigations are ongoing, the outcomes uncertain but the mood in the City is, let's say, "not optimistic".

The Chancellor is expected to say he is acting to protect "the integrity of the City" but some will also see this as an attempt to protect himself from accusations of failure to act should hefty fines start being imposed on banks in the run-up to the general election.

8.34am BST

This is the fourth time that the government has taken aim at the City, says Sky's Mark Kleinman.

In the wake of the Libor-rigging inquiry, which has seen a handful of banks fined with more to come, the Chancellor believes there is further political capital to be generated from trying to stamp out errant behaviour.

His crosshairs are focused on the foreign exchange and commodity markets, where arcane price-setting mechanisms based on cosy huddles of bankers predominate.

Potentially more troubling for the Chancellor is that he will require widespread international backing to impose an effective clampdown on trading practices.

He may find that without it, his latest attempt to regulate the banking sector looks like little more than tinkering around the edges.

8.27am BST

Dr Gerard Lyons, economic advisor to Boris Johnson, has welcome George Osborne's market review.

He's also struck by the change in Britain's approach to the City since the financial crisis struck.

In recent years regulatory pendulum swung from 1 extreme of light regulation before crisis & now continues to head towards other extreme.

Good that #osborne unveiling a fair & effective markets review at #MansionHouse tonight. UK ensuring need for fair open transparent markets.

Scale of daily FX turnout has to raise question why so big? DAILY turnover $5.3 trillion ANNUAL global trade $18 trillion #MansionHouse

Scale of some markets hard to get your head around: outstanding derivates $763 trillion, Daily FX $5.3 TRN. Effective regulation essential.

8.13am BST

Andrea Leadsom, economic secretary to the Treasury, has confirmed this morning that the government is determined to clean up the financial markets.

It will make it clear to traders that if you abuse those rules you will end up in prison.

The problem is there are a small group of people who need to understand that rigging benchmarks is unacceptable.

7.57am BST

Lots of coverage of the chancellor's upcoming Mansion House speech in the papers.

The Independent reckons that Osborne's review could result in long stretches for rogue traders convicted of rigging the markets.

Tougher penalties, including jail sentences of up to seven years, will be extended to other parts of the financial services sector in an attempt to prevent more scandals.

Cathy Jamieson MP, the shadow financial secretary, said: "This review is too little, too late. We pressed ministers to regulate commodities markets and the full array of financial benchmarks back in 2012, but the chancellor failed to act."

With the FCA and other regulators investigating the FX markets amid rigging allegations, Mr Osborne is anxious to show he is taking firm action as an election looms in 2015.

Central to his plans is a new fair and efficient markets review which will be led by Minouche Shafik, the new BoE deputy governor for markets and banking, along with Martin Wheatley, FCA chief, and Charles Roxburgh, director-general, financial services at the Treasury

George Osborne is to reject Brussels efforts to clamp down on rogue bankers and introduce new UK rules designed to criminalize those who manipulate Londons key markets instead.

7.49am BST

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

Criminal offences for manipulating these global markets, which are based in London, will be among measures considered in a year-long review being launched by the chancellor, which was immediately criticised by Labour for being too late.

It follows steps in 2012 to allow prison sentences of up to seven years for anyone involved in rigging the key interest rate benchmark Libor.

"The integrity of the City matters to the economy of Britain.

"Markets here set the interest rates for people's mortgages, the exchange rates for our exports and holidays, and the commodity prices for the goods we buy. I am going to deal with abuses, tackle the unacceptable behaviour of the few and ensure that markets are fair for the many who depend on them."

Continue reading...


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First Quarter Unemployment 2014, Stable at 27.8%

The unemployment rate for Greece stood at 27.8% for the first quarter of 2014. It remained unchanged compared with the previous quarter, while showing a slight increase compared to the 27.6% rate recorded in the first quarter of 2013. According to data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), the number of employed amounted to 3,483,716 people, with employment showing an increase of 0.1% compared with the previous quarter and a decrease of 0.6% compared with the first quarter of 2013. At the same time, the number of unemployed people was 1,342,299, an increase of 0.4% compared with the previous quarter and 0.5% compared with the first quarter of 2013. In accordance with ELSTAT’s data, unemployment continues to greatly affect women and young people. The unemployment rate for women was 31.4% versus 25% for men, while the unemployment for young people aged 15-24 reached 56.7%. For young women the rate is more than 61% (61.5% in the first quarter). Furthermore, the distribution of unemployment, taking into account the level of education, is as follows: the highest rate was recorded in people who have only attended some classes of primary school (45%), followed by people who have never been to school (38.4%). The lowest rates were observed in those with a doctorate or master’s degree (15.3%) and graduates of higher education (18.7%). During the first quarter of 2014, 4% of Greece’s unemployed rejected a job offer for various reasons, the main ones being either because the job location was not easily accessible (27.7%), because the salary was not satisfactory (25.6%), or because the working hours were not convenient (23.4%). The rate for the “newly” unemployed (the people who have never worked in the past) is 23%, while the long-term unemployed (those have been looking for work for 12 months or more) is 71.4%.


Finance Ministry’s Cleaners in Availability until September

The Supreme Court of Greece accepted the appeal of the Greek Finance Ministry. The appeal requested to delay a court decision ordering it to rehire its cleaners. The ministry had appealed to the Court in an effort to temporarily freeze an earlier Athens court decision which vindicated the suspended cleaners and ordered their reappointment. According to the Supreme Court’s decision, the cleaners will remain in availability until September 23, when the Court will discuss the ministry’s appeal.  The Ministry claimed that the Athens court had no jurisdiction to rule on the case, arguing that the case should be handled by administrative courts. Moreover, they claimed that the suspension of the cleaners would benefit the country as the reduction of the public sector improves finances.  The cleaners’ defense argued that they were dismissed without any compensation. They have also refuted claims that the reappointment of the cleaners will damage the State’s finances while they described the Ministry’s appeal as “unacceptable,” arguing that it is only permitted against final rulings. The suspended cleaners have camped outside the Finance Ministry demanding their reappointment. The Court order and a video released on Wednesday showing a riot police officer assaulting a 60-year-old woman has caused a strong reaction among the cleaning staff. Clashes Between Cleaners and Riot Police After the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision, clashes occurred in front of the Ministry’s entrance between the cleaners and the riot police who were trying to remove the protesting women. Journalists and camera operators who were there, got also injured. The journalist Tatiana Bolaris, was transferred to the hospital after being kicked by a police officer in her back.  


ADL Upset Samaras Named Voridis Health Chief

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ naming of far right-winger Makis Voridis as Health Minister in another Cabinet shakeup has riled the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism was upset that Samaras – whose initial failure to go after the extremist Golden Dawn party also upset Jewish groups – named Voridis to a key post because of his background of being involved with hate groups. Speaking to Kathimerini, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, who earlier this week met with in Athens, said the choice of Voridis, a lawyer with a far-right background, was at odds with the Greek prime minister’s stance during the crackdown on the country’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. “We are saddened and concerned by the appointment of Makis Voridis as Health Minister,” he said. “We praised the prime minister’s stance in the case of Golden Dawn but underlined that this appointment undermines his approach. “Mr. Samaras set high standards in terms of morals and respect for diversity and now he appoints Mr. Voridis. He did not agree with our view but agreed to examine the matter again in the future.” Foxman said he was now unsure whether Samaras also intends to continue going after Golden Dawn, whose constituent base is a group tht Samaras said he coveted as voters, saying most of them were not neo-Nazis but disgruntled over austerity measures he  had to impose on orders of international lenders. Foxman said he had told Samaras that the US-based organization was uneasy over a recent ADL global survey that found 69 percent of Greeks had anti-Semitic views, the highest percentage in Western Europe. Foxman said the Greek premier told him he was “shocked” by the ADL findings and that the two men agreed to discuss measures to curb the trend but that it wasn’t enough to keep the Premier from giving Voridis a plum job. Ironically, Voridis was a member of the ultra-nationalist LAOS and replaced Adonis Georgiadis, also another former LAOS member, as Health Minister although neither has a bit of experience in health care and the system has suffered severe budget cuts and is now among the worst in Europe. In the early 1980s Voridis led the EPEN (National Political Union) youth group that was founded by ex-dictator Georgios Papadopoulos from inside Korydallos Prison. Five years later, Voridis was kicked out of the law school student union for engaging in extremist acts. In an infamous picture taken at the time, he is seen wielding a hand-made ax which he later said was for self-defense. In the mid-1990s, Voridis established the Hellenic Front (Elliniko Metopo), a nationalist party with close ties to Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front in France. In 2005, Hellenic Front merged with LAOS and Voridis was elected to Parliament two years later. Georgiadis, who has been Samaras’ attack dog and defended big health care cuts, was given the job of New Democracy’s Parliament spokesman after being removed as Health Minister amid concerns he had been a lightning rod for criticism of austerity and suffering of people who don’t have access to the health system. “He is one of the party’s worthiest, most skilled and most combative members,” Samaras said of the former health minister, praising his willingness to push reforms and take the heat out front and protecting the Premier’s flank. While maintaining that he opposes extremism, Samaras has taken Georgiadis, a former TV infomercial book salesman known for strident outbursts, and Voridis under his wing, overlooking other New Democracy veterans.  


Reduction of Greek Houses Prices Second Worldwide

According to a survey published at the Global Housing Watch website, prices of Greek houses in the fourth quarter of 2013, have dropped by 7%, which is the second highest rate after India.  The survey was based on IMF and OECD data. India comes first in the drop of house prices with 9.1%, followed by Greece with 7.02%, Italy with 6.54%, Cyprus with 6.48% and Croatia with 6.35%.   The survey indicates that in Greece the house price-to-rent cost ratio differs by about 16.3% from the historical mean average. Among the 51 countries included in the Global Housing Watch list,  the biggest increase in house prices was recorded in the Philippines (10.56%), Hong Kong (10.25%), New Zealand and China (9.1%) as well as in Colombia (8.1%). The IMF stated that the recovery of the house market is a positive sign, however measures must be taken to make sure that this trend is secured.  Moreover, it notes that an observatory of prices must be created, in order to avoid “real estate bubbles” phenomena in the future, that are really harmful for the real economy.  


Legion of Honor Bestowed On D-Day Veteran

The Beaches of Normandy "Jim" Reid, 89, of the 90th Division on D-Day, was inducted into the French Legion of Honor by French Consulate General Graham Paul at a ceremony held on the grounds of the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois. Reid was surrounded by 21 D-Day veterans, as earth from Normandy was committed into the grounds of the First Division Museum in memory of those who died on D-Day, 70 years ago. In awarding the Legion of Honor, Mr. Paul saluted "the ideals, the might and the courage," which the veterans brought to the beaches of Normandy. "The D-Day landing changed the course of history. Hope was alive again," Mr. Paul said. Jim Reid was born in Chicago and grew up on the south side of Chicago. His father Thomas, was born in Scotland and served in WW1 with the 33rd Division. Reid's mother Clara Rasmussen Reid, was born in Chicago. Thomas Reid served in WW1 with the 33rd Division and worked as a machinist, a manager for Kroger's and later as owner of Reid's Toy Store. The store's motto was, "store ain't for people -- just for kids." Reid's mother worked at Marshall Field's, mostly in the candy department. "Hmm... "his father owned a toy store and his mother worked in the candy department at Field's. You gotta believe that a personable young Jim Reid never lacked for friends. Reid obtained a draft deferment in order to finish high school, graduating from Calumet High in 1943. Upon entry into the U.S. Army, he trained at Fort Bragg, N.C. for military instrument and survey (228). He then shipped to England where he was based near Wolverhampton and also in Wales. Reid's training in instrument and survey led to his assignment as a forward observer with the 344th Field Artillery, 90th Division supporting the 358th Infantry Regiment in the invasion of Normandy in June of 1944. After the war, Reid continued his education at Kansas State, majoring in electrical engineering and graduating in 1949. When asked about the chaos of D-Day when many men took the battle where and how they found it, some planned and some unplanned, Reid remembered, "The Commanding Officers of the 344th were ahead of us and proceeded as planned. My lieutenant and I came after them and our experience was different from what was planned." Reid continued, My experience was different than planned because as we disembarked from the landing craft (on display at the First Division Museum, see below), my jeep became submerged in a sinkhole. My lieutenant, Leonard Green (now deceased) and I had to wade ashore, minus all of our equipment, including personal belongings. It was our job to catch up with our commanding officer, so we could begin to locate positions where our artillery guns could be placed to help support elements of the 82nd and 101st Airborne. Our guns fired for the first time on June 10, 1944. Reid recollected details. We left England on June 4 on a Victory ship -- there were approximately 500 men on board the ship. What I most remember about the crossing is that we were being briefed on procedures of the off loading of the ship to the landing crafts and then getting ashore from the landing crafts. Reid landed on what Allied Forces' maps refer to as Green Beach, one of three landing points on Utah Beach."The water was relatively smooth," he said. "The water temperature somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees. The tide was running out and the water was seven to eight feet deep." Reid swam to shore in an inflatable life jacket. When he hit the beach, he was "without a gun or vehicle and wondering, am I ever going to dry out and find another jeep." Enemy fire was light when Reid hit the beach, "because the infantry elements had landed earlier and had already moved inland. There was limited enemy small arms fire coming from beyond the beach" he said. "Understand', Reid continued, Utah Beach was comprised of marshes and only limited road access. It was littered with wounded and dead soldiers, captured Germans and enemy wires and mines. There were no cliffs at Utah Beach -- it was flat and marshy. When asked about the effects of Allied bombing, Reid said, there were bomb craters from Allied Naval bombs, but we did not take cover in them. Our goal was to get a jeep and get off the beach as quickly as possible and meet up with our commanding officers. Though he landed without even a rifle, and had no jeep, Reid never-the-less, headed for his assigned meeting point, Ste Mere-Eglae, France, and found gun positions all along the route. He accomplished his D-Day mission. Later, as the 90th Division moved forward through France and Germany, Reid was wounded, but again continued forward to support the mission of his unit.The Fields of Againcourt Four hundred and fifteen years ago, another battle was fought in France, the Battle of Agincourt which became the subject of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Henry V. Henry V has been running for some time now at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier in Chicago. This particular production of Henry V is distinguished by the clarity of the Shakespearean language, solid acting, spectacular costumes and a production that seems to inhabit the Globe Theater on Navy Pier in Chicago. Clarity is often elusive in theater. "What did they say? What did they mean? Do they have to have such loud music muddy the poetry?" You never have a sense of these annoyances in this Henry V. In the play, when Henry (Harry Judge) says, "and now, off to the enterprise," the clarity in the language of this production, informs the audience in a way that the word "enterprise" practically leaps off the stage to mingle with the audience. The word becomes a character in the play. Shakespeare wrote this line as something that was to be understood by the audience of the time as very specific, harkening back to the language and mythology of medieval England. To grasp the meaning of the word enterprise is to understand some of the back story and meaning of the play Enterprise is from the word "enter," to penetrate into the substance deeply, and from the word "prize." Prize in Greek, originally referred to war booty that was auctioned off. But in English mythology, enterprise often referred to a dark deed. Hence one word clues us to an understanding of Henry V: as a history of a darkly inspired war that we see on stage, being led by an inexperienced King who transforms himself, the cause and his men through stirring language and an identification with his men. The English forces were overwhelmed in number by the French at the Battle of Agincourt. But the bond Henry forged with his men and his inspired call to battle, carried the day.Director Christopher Liscombe of the Royal Shakespeare Theater In London, who directed the production on Navy Pier commented on the relation of Henry V to D-Day: Looking at Henry V's words before Agincourt, Eisenhower's address before D- Day, and in our own time Tim Collins celebrated eve of battle speech before the Iraq War, it's clear very little changes. Reminders of shared humanity, and the value of comradeship against a common enemy will always retain their potency. It's proved deeply moving to observe the King's language transform a draggled bunch of soldiers into a formable fighting machine in a matter of minutes. It has a quality of magic spell, the palpable decency of the cause, and the beauty of the poetry do sway us, four hundred years after the speech was given. Through Shakespeare's alchemy, Navy Pier and Shakespeare's Globe suddenly inhabit the same plot. From the Beaches of Normandy to the Fields of Agincourt, they are bands of brothers. The Frirst Divsion Museum Cantigny Park, Wheaton, Illinois On temporary display, a rare Higgins landing craft of the type used in D-Day landings Henry V Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier Though June. 15


ADL Ired Samaras Named Former LAOS Extremist Voridis Health Minister

Again testing his relations with Jewish organizations, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' naming of far right-winger Makis Voridis as Health Minister in another Cabinet shakeup has riled the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The post ADL Ired Samaras Named Former LAOS Extremist Voridis Health Minister appeared first on The National Herald.


High Court Nixes Cleaning Ladies Rehire

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The post High Court Nixes Cleaning Ladies Rehire appeared first on The National Herald.


Visit Greece backs environmental initiative

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Colombia faces a World Cup without 'El Tigre;' will Greece benefit in Group C opener?

by  Associated Press Falcao's absence spoils Colombia World Cup return by FRANK GRIFFITHS, Associated Press - 12 June 2014 09:49-04:00

Colombia's 16-year wait for a return to the World Cup was miserable enough for its supporters. Now they're coming to terms with a few setbacks before Columbia's Group C opener Saturday against Greece, including the loss of Radamel Falcao.

The star forward was cut from the squad last week after failing to recover in time from a serious knee injury. While Colombia has other attacking options, Falcao's exclusion is a psychological blow.

Coach Jose Pekerman described it as his "saddest day" since taking charge of "Los Cafeteros" when he dropped Falcao along with first-choice center back Luis Perea, who was carrying a thigh injury. Then, midfielder Aldo Ramirez was sent home with a foot injury sustained in a training session last week, days after Pekerman announced his final squad.

Falcao, nicknamed "El Tigre," will be sorely missed. The 28-year-old striker, who joined Monaco from Atletico Madrid, tore left knee ligaments in a French Cup game in January. He was key to Colombia's successful qualifying campaign, scoring nine goals — a record for the country.

Despite all the bad news, the squad remains optimistic about its chances in a group that also includes Ivory Coast and Japan. Colombia's main playmaker, James Rodriguez, points out that even without Falcao the team has a strong strike force which includes Carlos Bacca, Teofilo "Teo" Gutierrez and Jackson Martinez.

"The responsibility is weighing on us even more without Falcao, but we're not alone," the 22-year-old Rodriguez said. "The attack isn't going to change. It's the same. Apart from Falcao, we have Teo, Jackson and Bacca."

The Greece team considers its opener with Colombia at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte as the toughest match in the group, and is showing little sign of relief over Falcao's absence.

"Our aim is to get out the group," defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos said. "That would be a very big achievement for us ... the first match is the one that gives you strength or disappointment."

Greece broke a three-game scoring drought with a 2-1 win over Bolivia in friendly played in New York last week. Goal scorer Costas Katsouranis said the result showed his team was improving despite some trouble with finishing chances.

"I think we will be better against Colombia," he said. "For sure, there will be difficult conditions. It's hot and it's humid, so it's hard to know how that will affect us."

It's also unclear how Greece's late arrival in Brazil might affect the team's preparations for the first match. Greece arrived a day late after a flight cancellation in the United States, and FIFA had to step in to help the team reach its base in Aracaju.

"We had some problems during our arrival here, but now everything is perfect," Greece midfielder Yiannis Maniatis said.

Coach Fernando Santos acknowledges that Greece isn't a high-scoring team, but is confident the goals will come when needed.

"What I'm happy about is that we're creating more chances," Santos said. "We're in a group where any of the teams could qualify, but I do believe we will make it through."

Santos believes striker Kostas Mitroglou will be ready despite his lack of game time since moving to England at the start of the year to join Fulham, which has been relegated from the Premier League. Santos also selected veteran players, including 2004 European Championship winners Katsouranis and captain Giorgos Karagounis.

Colombia, playing in its first World Cup since 1998, is keen to make up for lost time. But the South Americans are aware that Greece has the propensity to surprise in international tournaments, like it did at Euro 2004.

"Greece is a difficult rival," right back Santiago Arias said. "We have to concentrate on our lines ... We have everything we need to have a good World Cup."


Associated Press writer Derek Gatopoulos and Demetris Nellas contributed to this report from Athens, Greece.

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

People, Places and Companies: Jose Pekerman, Aldo Ramirez, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Fernando Santos, Giorgos Karagounis, Greece, Brazil, Colombia, Western Europe, Europe, South America, Latin America and Caribbean

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


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Adonis Georgiadis Appointed Parliamentary Representative

Today, June 12, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras appointed the former Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis as the new parliamentary representative as part of the government reshuffle which took place earlier this week. Samaras showed that he still has faith and respect towards Georgiadis and announced the politician’s appointment outside Maximos Mansion. Adonis Georgiadis will therefore be the parliamentary representative for New Democracy for the summer sessions of the Greek Parliament, as well as for the plenary sessions which will restart in October 2014. Georgiadis will be replacing Makis Voridis who has now taken his place at the Greek Ministry of Health. The Prime Minister praised the work of Adonis Georgiadis regarding the health sector reforms and stated that he considers him to be a valuable member of New Democracy. “He is one of the most worthy and capable members of our political party. He is always fighting to make reforms and he has been successful. Therefore, he will be the parliamentary representative for the party during the third summer session in September and then at the plenary sessions,” stated the Greek Prime Minister. During his statement, Adonis Georgiadis said: “The success of reforms is the future of the people and it should be secured,” and added that even though “a lot has been published in the last few days, I want to say that I support the Prime Minister and I am a soldier of the party. I will help in every way I can to ensure the government’s success. I will always be at the disposal of the party, as well as the Prime Minister.”


Greece Ready to Face Colombia in 2014 World Cup

Just two days to go for Greece’s match against Colombia and the members of the Greek National Team are training hard. Everyone is in great mood and Greece’s manager, Fernando Santos seems to have decided which players to put in the starting line-up. Greece’s national team played three friendly games against Portugal, Nigeria and Bolivia and performed well.  Now the team is ready to face the World Cup challenge. According to the latest information the golden team that will face Colombia will consist of the following players: Karnezis (goalkeeper), Torosidis (right back), Holevas ( left back), Papastathopoulos and Manolas (center backs), Karagounis, Katsouranis and Maniatis in the midfield and Samaras, Salpigidis and Mitroglou upfront. The game begins at 12 pm on Saturday and GreekReporter will be live blogging.