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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Our Guide to the Big Greek Food Festival of Niles

Our Guide to the Big Greek Food Festival of NilesChicago TribuneWelcome to one of Chicago's biggest Greek Food Festivals! My name is Costa and I will be your guide for the weekend. I am one of the sons of Saint Haralambos' parish priest, Father Dean, and I have been coming to this festival since I learned how to walk.


Turkish gang smuggled ton of heroin into Greece

An unprecedented haul of heroin with a street value of around 30 million euros discovered at two sites in Attica on Friday was smuggled by an Istanbul-based gang into Greece via Iran and Turkey, sources told Kathimerini. The drug was found at a warehouse ... ...


'Big Greek Festival' returns to big success in Randolph

'Big Greek Festival' returns to big success in RandolphNew Jersey HillsAfter a brief sun shower on Friday afternoon, the weather was perfect all weekend for festival goers of all ages to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Greek culture. The festival was so popular this year that for all three days the ...


Citi Announces Agreement to Sell Consumer Bank in Greece

Citi has signed an agreement with Alpha Bank to sell its consumer banking business in Greece along with its Diners Club of Greece SA credit card operations. The sale includes approximately $600 million in GAAP assets, 480,000 customers, $1.4 billion in deposits and $540 million in customer receivables .


ECB funding to Greek banks drops 8.18 bln euros in May

European Central Bank funding to Greek banks fell in May by 8.18 billion euros, while emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the country’s central bank decreased by 3.12 billion euros down to zero, Bank of Greece data showed on Thursday. ECB funding to... ...


Ex-MP, journalist Aris Stathakis, 71, dies

Former MP and journalist Aris Stathakis has died at the age of 71. Stathakis worked at a number of media but is best known for his work in the world of motor sports. He was editor of 4-Trohoi (4-Wheels), Greece’s prime car magazine, between 1970 and 1974,... ...


BoG: Salary recovery from 2015

Salaries are expected to start edging higher as of next year, while the reduction in social security contributions from July will entail a drop in labor costs, according to the Bank of Greece. In its final report signed by outgoing Governor Giorgos Provop... ...


Drop in turnover for bakeries

Consumption of bread and pastry products in Greece posted a considerable decline at the height of the economic crisis in 2012, according to the latest sector study by Infobank Hellastat. The report states that the recession has hurt bread and pastry manuf... ...


Quality commercial spaces seen leading property market recovery

The category of high-standard commercial properties will be the first to post a rebound in the local real estate market, according to a Bank of Greece report on monetary policy published earlier this week. It also notes that the prices of such properties ... ...


Parliament to cut down on photocopies, save 3 mln euros per year

Greece’s Parliament plans to cut down on the number of photocopies it hands out in a bid to reduce the amount of A4 sheets of paper it uses by 3 million each year. Parliament’s general secretary issued a directive on Friday for each draft law to be photoc... ...


EWG seeks autonomy of tax authority

Greece’s representative at the Euro Working Group found himself at the receiving end of strong criticism yesterday for the government’s role in the departure of Haris Theoharis from the post of general secretary for public revenues. The council of senior ... ...


Colombia opens against Greece

Belo Horizonte, Brazil ( - Colombia may be embarking on its World Cup journey without its best player, but will still hope for a positive start to Group C play on Saturday against Greece at the Estadio Mineirao. Star striker Radamel ...


The Price of War: Iraqi Oil Soars

by  Kostis Geropoulos

THESSALONIKI – The outbreak of violence involving militant groups who seized two cities in Iraq and have pledged to march on Baghdad added to concerns over security and the country’s plans to expand oil production, pushing crude oil prices to ten-month highs on June 13. One of those two cities, Mosul, lies in an area that is a major gateway for Iraqi oil.

Upheaval in Iraq could throw the world’s oil market out of balance. “The markets were tight to start with and many people thought that there would be an increase in the price,” Narsi Ghorban, Secretary to ICC Environment and Energy Commission, Iran Committee, told New Europe on June 12.

“On top of that, suddenly we have the problems in Mosul whereby the whole infrastructure of Iraq would be in jeopardy,” Ghorban said on the sidelines of a regional energy conference by the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (IENE) in Greece’s northern port city of Thessaloniki.

“This is an additional kick to the market. On top of all that you don’t have Iran coming back to the market in full force soon because the limit is about 1-1.2 million barrels per day because of the sanctions,” he said, adding that all these factors together put pressure on the excess production capacity available in the market.

Iraq’s troubles unfolded last week as the northern export pipeline, which can carry some 600,000 barrels a day of crude from Kirkuk to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, has not been operating since early March due to repeated bombing by insurgents.

On June 13, the insurgency in deeply-divided Iraq spilled over to energy markets for a second day. After jumping over $2 on June 12, the benchmark US oil contract for July delivery was up 15 cents to $106.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It had earlier hit a high of $107.68. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was up 54 cents to $112.96 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Ghorban shrugged of analysts’ predictions that crude oil prices might reach $120 per barrel. “It has to break a lot of barriers in order to get there. But we are going to see the higher ranges rather than the lower ranges,” he said.

On June 11, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to keep their output target unchanged at 30 million barrels a day. The oil market is “very stable,” OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badry said.

Most OPEC members may not be able to substantially increase output in the short-term. “OPEC can do very little,” Ghorban told New Europe. “The production in Libya and Iran are curtailed. Iraq – as far as the big hope – is not doing well. Saudi Arabia has a limit to it,” he added.

However, Ghorban is optimistic that more oil will come from Iran in the long run. “Iran one way or another is going to come up with a lot more oil,” he said. The Islamic Republic will try to go back to 2 million barrels, he said, adding that Iranian oil production can go much higher if the sanctions are lifted. “But it takes time,” he quipped.

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​Previously on Energy Insider:

Scotland, Crimea, East Ukraine Eye Energy On Independence

Poland Spearheads EU Quest For Energy Independence

Putin: “Dasvidaniya” EU, “Ni Hao” China



Colombia searching for equilibrium against Greece

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Overcoming solidly defensive teams like Greece has never been the forte of South American sides, which thrive on attractive football. Consequently, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman sees the main challenge for his players in ...


Heroin worth EUR 30 M Seized by Greek Authorities

Over 1 ton of heroin worth over EUR 30 M was seized Friday near Athens in a joint operation of Greek police and coast guard and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The authorities also arrested 11 suspected traffickers, including six Greek nationals ...


Vendeta stands for Justice in Crete and Mani

The word “vendetta” derives from the latin verb vendigo, which means “to take revenge”. The word’s origins are rooted back in the Homeric era,  although  in several Greek regions, such as Mani in the Peloponnese and the island of Crete this word can be found throughout its history. Vendetta is a murder committed in order to avenge another murder or an attempted murder, usually between families. Vendetta is quite widespread in the societies of Crete and Mani, where families are seen like small armed forces. When a family loses one of its members, its fighting power is reduced. Vendetta murders between families occur when a  family is dishonored by another family and therefore blood must be shed to re-balance this injustice and family humiliation. In both Crete and Mani, vendetta is not considered to be a barbaric act. The person who takes revenge is one of  high respect in these societies. An indicative vendetta case, is Faratsi village in the area of Rethymno in Crete, which was abandoned by all residents  many years ago, since all  its residents lived under the fear of vendeta. In 1948 it was still a vivid village, until one day two children had a fight during a game and their families began a vendetta. Ever since, all residents feared each other and abandoned the village under the threat of a revenge. Nowadays, although vendetta are not very common, in mountainous and remote regions, protecting the family’s honor is still a value preserved through vendetta murders.  


Fernando’s last interview before the World Cup

Portuguese Fernando Santos is one of the most successful managers in the Greek National Team’s history. He proved to be the ideal replacement of Greece’s former head coach, German Otto Rehhagel, the coach that led Greece to win the European Cup in 2004. Under the leadership of the 60-year old Portuguese manager, Greece qualified in the quarter finals of the Euro 2012 and secured a place in the 2014 World Cup. Just a few days before Greece’s long journey to Brazil, Fernando Santos gave his last television interview.  The Portuguese manager expressed his feelings making “a childhood dream” of participating in a World Cup coming true. Moreover, he stated that this is his last appearance as a coach of the Greek National team, since his contract ends this season and he decided not to renew it.  The games of the Greek team in the 2014 World Cup would be his”good-bye gift” to them, a way of saying  “thank you” for the 4 wonderful years he spend next to the National’s bench and for the love he received from Greeks throughout the course his 13 year-long career in the country, as manager of AEK  and Panathinaikos teams in Athens and PAOK in Thessalonica.  Finally, he said that the place he loved the most was Meteora in Central Greece and that his favorite greek dish was mousaka. And do not forget, Greece’s opening game against Colombia  is on Saturday at 12 pm. GreekReporter will be live blogging.  


The Sacred Island of Milos

The Greek island of Milos in the Aegean will be officially proclaimed “a sacred island” for its unique catacombs dated at the early Christian ages.  A series of events will take place during this weekend, June 14 and 15, co-organized by the Holy Metropolis of Syros and Milos’ Municipality, in order to mark the occasion.  Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos is scheduled to attend the events. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Saturday at 10am at the conference center “George Iliopoulos,” where speeches by eminent scientists, regarding the proclamation of the religious and archaeological significance of the Catacombs of Milos, will be delivered.  The island’s monuments have attracted both tourist and scientific attention over the past years. The official welcoming ceremony for Archbishop Ieronymos will take place at 7pm on Saturday at the Church St. Nicholas in the presence of many bishops, while the Coast Guard Band will pay tribute to the attendees. Several cultural events have been scheduled for later that day, by the island’s cultural organizations. On Sunday morning a Mass will be performed by the Bishop of Syros and Milos, Dorotheos II, and later the official documents and the relevant Presidential Decree regarding the proclamation of Milos as sacred island will be read.  


US-Greek Raid Nets 1.13 Tons Heroin

More than 1.13 tons of heroin was seized and 11 people arrested in Attica on June 13 during a joint operation between Greece and the U.S. DEA.

The post US-Greek Raid Nets 1.13 Tons Heroin appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Banks Go Through the Looking Glass

Through the looking glass is a world turned backward. The European Central Bank has created a world where not only are interest rates negative but where Greek banks have become increasingly attractive investments. Alpha Bank ALPHA.AT -1.52% Alpha Bank A.E ...


Relatives of ex-finance chief released without bail

Three relatives of former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou, who is accused of removing their names from the Lagarde list of Greeks with deposits at a Geneva bank, were granted unconditional release on Friday. Eleni Papaconstantinou, the ex-minist... ...


The Calm, Steady, Reliable Greece

The Calm, Steady, Reliable GreecePacific StandardAttempting to extract a definitive playing style from Greece's relatively volatile 20th century is like parachuting out of a plane and trying to land on a moving target. Precisely when you seem to have the thing pinned down, the wind shifts and your ...and more »


Greek Police and DEA Seize More than a Ton of Heroine in Athens Operation

A large-scale operation is under way by Greek and American authorities for the dismantling of a large heroin distribution network. The police also conducted investigations in a villa in Philothei and in other luxurious houses in Athens’ northern suburbs.


Plate Lab: Sesame-crusted, honey-drizzled feta transports you to Greece

Plate Lab: Sesame-crusted, honey-drizzled feta transports you to GreeceWashington PostAs soon as he and his wife, Dominique, tasted a sesame-fried feta dish at some “random taverna” while visiting her family in Greece four years ago, he knew what he had to do. “I cooked it for the family, there in Santorini, played around with it, then ...and more »


Economist: The Greek Government Reshuffle and Early Elections

The Economist magazine published an article today, June 13, commenting on the Greek Prime Minister’s actions and the recent Greek government reshuffle, concluding that Antonis Samaras decided to put his best players in key cabinet member positions, in order to ready to face possible early elections. The Economist reports that “Greece may be emerging from recession, at last”, but the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, still has “to keep relations with international creditors on an even keel.” Furthermore,  it notes that “Athens may even need a third bail-out after the current package expires in 2015, the European Commission has warned”. According to the magazine, the Greek prime minister chose a technocrat trained in the U.S., Gikas Hardouvelis, who has “a long “to-do” list of measures aimed at boosting competition but resisted by interest groups, from pharmacists to producers of fresh milk.” Meanwhile, former Greek Finance Minister, Yannis Stournaras, has been appointed as the head of the central bank. In addition, the Economist commented on the fact that Nikos Dendias (“a lawyer”) took over as the new Minister of Development and has to face two critical fronts: to divide the EU funding and to manage foreign investments. “Both [fronts are] critical to putting Greece on the path to sustained growth.” While analyzing the new members of the Greek government, the Economist, states that the Prime Minister’s action suggest that he “wants to take a tougher line towards (extreme-left wing party )SYRIZA, perhaps in preparation for an early election.” SYRIZA’s leader, Alexis Tsipras is planning on call on early elections, in February, when the time to vote for the new President of the Hellenic Republic comes. Indeed, the magazine assumes that the Prime Minister will not be able to secure enough votes from independent MPs to elect a President. Therefore he may not succeed in avoiding early elections.  


Golden Dawn MP Released on Bail; Banned from speaking publicly

Golden Dawn lawmaker Michalis Arvanitis was released from custody on Friday.  He was remanded in custody on charges of directing and participating in a criminal organization. After testifying at the Greek highest court’s investigating magistrates Ioanna Klapa and Maria Dimitropoulou, the 72 year-old Golden Dawn lawmaker was released on restrictive orders. Arvanitis was ordered not to leave Greece and was banned from speaking publicly in any Golden Dawn party assemblies outside the Greek Parliament. The ban from participating in his Party’s assemblies was an unprecedented order in Greek judicial history. During his testimony, Arvanitis invoked the right to remain silent, he read out a one-paragraph statement and refused to answer any further questions. “I am a member of a political party. I don’t belong in any criminal organization.  My prosecution is disgraceful and unacceptable.” stated Arvanitis. After the proceedings, both Arvanitis and Golden Dawn’s spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, said that the Greek government is trying to suppress the members of the party. Greek authorities have launched a wide investigation into Golden Dawn’s activities. Many of the party’s members, including its head, Nikos Michaloliakos are also accused of participating and directing a criminal organization. On Tuesday, Golden Dawn MP, Nikos Kouzilos, was arrested after the police found photographs proving that he was involved in attacks against anarchists.  Moreover, on Thursday, the wife of Golden Dawn leader, and also Golden Dawn MP herself, Eleni Zaroulia, was given by the court an extension until Tuesday to prepare her deposition.  


Your Definitive Guide To Reading A Piece Of Abstract Art

Abstract art can be a doozy. We'd be lying if we said we've never approached a daunting canvas buzzing with indiscernible colors, shapes and stripes and, on the verge of a panic attack, grasped for the nearest museum guide. Ellsworth Kelly It's hard to shake the nagging desire to solve the puzzle at hand, parse through the images and figure out what it all means. But, in our hearts, we know abstract art is no Sunday morning crossword puzzle, and should not be treated as such. On that note, we're diving in. Abstract art is a beast all its own, and as such requires our utmost attention, patience and imagination. "Abstraction is staggeringly radical, circumvents language, and sidesteps naming or mere description," Jerry Saltz writes in his wonderful manifesto on abstraction. "It disenchants, re-enchants, detoxifies, destabilizes, resists closure, slows perception, and increases our grasp of the world." And so it may, but how do we actually engage with it? We're taking it slow and attempting to navigate the perilous waters of abstract art one step at a time. Consider this a beginner's guide to a lifelong relationship between, you, art, and your spirit guide Jerry Saltz. Here are nine things to consider next time you approach a seemingly impenetrable work of abstract art. Clyfford StillThere's no code to crack. As human beings, we take pleasure in solving problems. While this is useful in many aspects of life, the realm of abstract art is not one of them. Take a deep breath and let go of the desire to align every brushstroke to a symbolic meaning, every color to an aspect of the artist's biography. While "getting" an artwork brings a momentary feeling of victory, bathing in its mystery brings enjoyment for far longer. Don't look at the clock. How long should you take to digest and fully experience a work of art? While the average time spent in front a museum artwork is around 30 seconds, truly taking in an artwork can take years. (Remember when Saltz said abstraction slowed perception?) Kitty Scott, director of visual arts at the Banff Centre, likened learning an artist's visual language to learning a new written one. "Over the years, you may see 20 works, and then you start to understand their language and what their subject is," she explained. Cy TwomblyDon't talk about your five-year-old. You know, and have likely felt the urge to recite, the old "my five-year-old could do that." And yes, sometimes it's hard to reckon how a white canvas can sit in the MoMA and not in the "before" pile of an artist's studio. One artist whose work is often looped into this category of the "childhish" is Cy Twombly, whose loopy scribbles often resemble youthful nonsense. But this passage by Roland Barthes may change your mind: "It is not childish in form, for the child applies himself, presses down, rounds off, sticks out his tongue in his efforts, the child works hard to join the code of grown-ups. [Twombly] draw away from it, loosens, lags behind, his hand seems to levitate -- as if the word had been written with his fingertips, not out of disgust or boredom but out of a kind of caprice open to the memory of a defunct culture which has left no more than the trace of a few words." Now, could your child do that?Wassily KandinskyDon't think of a picture, think of a thing. When we look at a picture, there are certain questions that immediately come to mind. The simplest being, What is it a picture of? When you shift gears a little, you're free to open your mind up to the many questions that could make their way into your brain. What is this thing? What is it made of? What's its speed? Its texture? Is it peaceful or cacophonous, heavy or light, open or closed? These questions, unlike the first, have no definitive answers, but may help you locate a starting point from which to navigate the artistic world before you. One easy place to start is color. As Wassily Kandinsky, one of the first abstract artists, wrote: "Color is a power which directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul." Perhaps start there. What colors do you see, hear and feel?Mark RothkoDitch the questions completely. If asking questions feels too much like a cross examination, focus on affirmative statements instead. It may sound cliche to think about how the painting makes you feel, but the sentiment isn't actually too far off. After all, abstract artist Agnes Martin did say "Abstract art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings." In his book "Pictures and Tears" James Elkins perused a guest book at the permanent display at the Rothko Chapel. From reading the visitor comments, one would expect the viewers had just witnessed a supernatural event or a religious epiphany rather than sat before an artwork. Comments ranged from "This makes me fall down," to "The silence pierces deeply, to the heart. Once more I am moved -- to tears." Sometimes asking questions only proves to be a distraction. That being said, don't stress about getting emotional. We know few things are more frustrating than watching a fellow museum-goer weep uncontrollably in front of an artwork you think is just okay. You don't have to love or even like every piece. Don't be afraid to move on and find one that speaks to you.Joan MiroRead the wall text. Here's the part where you get a clue, if you're so inclined. While the title will not, and should not, explain the piece, it could illuminate an aspect of it or an angle from which to view it you hadn't noticed before. Let the work's verbal and visual components bounce off each other, and harmonize. You may not get closer to understanding, you may even wind up more confused. It's all part of the process. Also, you could wind up with an untitled piece. Along with the work's title, knowing the era and geographical origin of the artwork will also help acclimate you to the atmosphere from which the piece emerged. To again quote Kandinsky, art and literature reflect "the dark picture of the present time and show the importance of what at first was only a little point of light noticed by few and for the great majority non-existent. Perhaps they even grow dark in their turn, but on the other hand they turn away from the soulless life of the present towards those substances and ideas which give free scope to the non-material strivings of the soul." What would a work like this say about the world from which it came? The essence may be so radical it couldn't yet be put into words. Ellsworth KellyRemember, some artists don't even know, or care, what their work means. This is the part where you take a deep breath and fully accept the fact that you're working outside the realm of answers and explanations. Even the artists themselves sometimes don't dwell over why they're making what they're making. In a talk at MoMA, famed abstractionist Ellsworth Kelly was asked about his iconic "Chatham Series," which dates back to 1972. "It's hard to remember. I'm quite impressed with them now!" He said, gesturing to the works and sighing. "But it's always a mystery looking back." If Ellsworth himself is content to marvel at the mystery of his own works, there's no reason you shouldn't be also. Think about the fact that all art is really abstract art. And let your mind be blown. There's an old art lovers' tale about an American soldier telling Picasso his artworks aren't close enough to life. He pulls out a photo of his fiancee and says: "This is what a picture should look like." Picasso, in typical Picasso fashion, responds: "Your girlfriend is rather small, isn’t she?" Point being, all art is abstracted from reality, or else museums would take up a lot more space. Whether this assuages your anxiety or throws you into a downward spiral of panic is up to you. To again quote Jerry's infinite wisdom: "Abstraction is as old as we are. It has existed for millennia outside the West. It is present on cave walls, in Egyptian and Cypriot Greek art, Chinese scholar rocks, all Islamic and Jewish art -- both of which forbid representation. Abstraction is only new in the West." Abstraction was around way before your pretentious art school friend showed you his dot experiments and expected you to be impressed.Gerhard Richter This is where our brief foray into the wonders of abstraction comes to a close. While this short list may not help you understand your next trip to your local modern art museum, it may alleviate some of the pressure to understand it in the first place. What are your tips for approaching a work of abstract art? Let us know in the comments.


New York Federation Elects New Board

NEW YORK – Petros Galatoulas garnered the most votes in elections for the Board of Directors of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, held on June 8. The Federation consists of Hellenic-American organizations in the New York Metropolitan Area, each of which sends representatives to vote for the Board, which comprises 21 […]

The post New York Federation Elects New Board appeared first on The National Herald.


Bank of Greece Maps Out The Crisis

After five years of deep recession, the Greek economy has entered a new phase of recovery, though growth is still slow The Greek economy has come a long way in terms of adjustment and its economy seems poised to recover, notes a recent Bank of Greece ...


Greek Hotel Owners: Athens is the Cheapest Capital of Europe

Greek Hotel Owners: Athens is the Cheapest Capital of EuropeGreek ReporterGreek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, requested earlier this week from the President of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, SETE, Andreas Andreadis, to take immediate action to stop the noticeable price-hiking observed at several top tourist ...Tourism: Greece; minister urges curb to price hikesANSAmedall 2 news articles »


Over 1 ton of heroin seized in joint Greek-US operation [Update]

Over 1 ton of heroin was seized and 11 people were arrested in Attica on Friday during a joint operation between Greece's police and coast guard and the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). More than 1.13 tons of the drug were found wrapped in ... ...


Greece ready for World Cup square-off against 'dangerous' Colombia

Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL - Colombia and Greece clash on Saturday in Group C plagued by fears over where their World Cup goals will come from. The South Americans were rocked when talismanic striker Radamel Falcao lost his battle to be fit for the finals aft... ...


Greek Authorities Seize Record 1.1 Tons of Heroin

Greek Authorities Seize Record 1.1 Tons of HeroinABC NewsGreek authorities say they have seized a record 1.1 metric tons of heroin, worth more than 30 million euros ($40 million), near Athens and arrested 11 suspected traffickers. A coastguard statement Friday said the operation, which followed a tip-off ...and more »


Mary Beard's Greece: a walk on the wise side

Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, scientist, political theorist and critic, and universal guru, was – according to legend – a great walker. One story has it that his own brand of philosophy became known as the peripatetic (wandering) school ...


Two Greek Hotels on World’s Best list, the world’s leading luxury travel site has announced the winners of  its 2014 Best of the Best hotel awards. The choice was based on 15 categories of different criteria ranging from “Pampering and Romance” to “Pool Scene and Comeback”.  Each category includes a winner and two runner-ups.  Two Greek hotels managed to win a place among  the world’s best hotels.  “Andronis Boutique Hotel” located in the Greek island of Santorini was a finalist in the “Romance” category and “New Hotel” located near Acropolis, in central Athens, Greece was a finalist in the “Style” category. The team, consisting of 200 travel correspondents examined a list of 2,500 hotels across the world. Then a commitee consisting of senior-level editors proceeded with the final selection of one winner and two runner-ups in each category.   The winners are: Best Design: Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Best Comeback: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada Best Hotel for Communing with Nature: Belmond Safaris, Botswana Best Nightlife: The Standard, High Line, New York Best for Foodies: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire, UK Best for Pampering: Lumeria Maui, Hawaii Best on the Beach: Grace Bay Club, Turks & Caicos Best Reward for the Travel Effort: Hotel Escondido, Puerto Escondido, Mexico Best Big City Sleep: Dean Street Townhouse, London, UK Best Business Meets Pleasure: Soho House Berlin, Germany Best for Romance: Sextantio Le Grotte, Puglia, Italy Best Style Steal: Mama Shelter Istanbul, Turkey Best-Looking Guests: Hotel Majestic Barriere, Cannes, France Best All-Inclusive: Blue Diamond Riviera Maya, Mexico Best Pool Scene: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas  


Samaras Refs Minister’s Battle Over College Firings

Just after swearing in a new Cabinet, Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras has had to step in between two of his ministers who are arguing over whether to rehire university staff fired as part of reforms he has pushed. New Education Minister Andreas Loverdos wants to bring back 800 of 1,135 college staff workers who last year were put into a so-called “mobility scheme,” in which they were paid reduced wages for eight months and will be let go unless another position can be found for them. But the man who laid them off, Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is upset that Loverdos, who had quit PASOK before recently rejoining the party, is trying to usurp his authority and reverse his call. Loverdos is backed by his PASOK leader, Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who is serving in Samaras’ coalition and has usually relented to what the Premier wants. The frozen staff will be let go on June 15 unless rehired. Mitsotakis said that the government cannot afford to rehire more than 500 university employees as it has to also abide by the target for civil service sackings it agreed with its international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB). Greece pledged last year that it would fire 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014. Venizelos, who was elevated after agreeing to the firing of all 2,653 workers last year at the now-defunct ERT national broadcaster, has occasionally squawked about more firings and other reforms before giving in. Apart from how many workers could be brought back – and who they are – Mitsotakis said he believes too many rehirings could send out the message that the government is relenting in its efforts to carry out structural reforms. Earlier this week, the IMF warned that “adjustment fatigue has set in” and that the government is finding it “difficult to move forward boldly and swiftly with needed reforms.” Another of Samaras’ new appointees, government spokewoman Sofia Voultepsi, also created a brouhaha when she wrote a piece saying government should be left to politicians and not technocrats, an indirect swipe at former Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who was brought in from a think tank to be the country’s top financial officer. Stournaras is now headed to the Bank of Greece to take over as Governor but career politicians had carped against him as he stood strong on reforms while many of them complained it had put them in difficult positions – which they also backed, but after making some wan protests. In the piece published online, Voultepsi argued that technocrats offer “the safe road toward catastrophe.” She also criticized the liberalization measures recommended by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), labeling them a “technocratic creation” that had failed to bring down prices.


Greece's 500

In Greece, hundreds of cleaners have been protesting layoffs, facing violence and poverty.


A Complete Guide to Scuba Diving in Greece

A few years ago while sitting at a cafe on Manhattan’s East Side I was speaking with another patron born in Greece. During our conversation I revealed that I had often gone scuba diving in Greece. Much to my surprise she surmised and insisted that I am ...


Citi to Sell Greek Consumer-Banking Business

Economic TimesCiti to Sell Greek Consumer-Banking BusinessWall Street JournalThe deal includes 480,000 customers, $1.4 billion in deposits and $540 million in card and loan accounts. Alpha Bank, Greece's fourth-biggest lender by assets, will also receive Citi's 730 consumer banking employees, as well as the branch and automated ...UPDATE 1-Alpha to buy Citibank's Greek retail businessReutersGreece's Alpha Bank confirms purchase of Citibank's Greek retail operationsEconomic TimesAlpha Bank Acquires Citibank's Greek Retail Banking Business - Quick FactsRTT NewsMarketWatchall 15 news articles »


The protesting cleaners have faced violence from the police, writes Tsimitakis ...

Aljazeera.comThe protesting cleaners have faced violence from the police, writes Tsimitakis ...Aljazeera.comThe fate of these 500 women is nothing new in Greece; for years now, and especially since the financial crisis, workers have had to take to the streets to reclaim their rights. Surviving an acid attack. Overall, privatising services and reverting to ...


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The post Ministers Feud Over College Firings appeared first on The National Herald.


Lenient Sentences For Greece’s Corrupt

Greek judges say the government wants to cut maximum life sentences to as little as five years for those found guilty of corruption, and ignores court orders it doesn't like.

The post Lenient Sentences For Greece’s Corrupt appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Journalist Aris Stathakis Passes Away

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Employment up by 0.1% in euro area and by 0.2% in the EU28


A minor increase recorded in Eurozone employment in the first quarter of 2014. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, announced that employment in Eurozone was up only by 0.1 per cent. On the other hand, Eurozone recorded a international trade in goods surplus of 15.7 bn euro in April.  

Employment up by 0.1% in euro area and by 0.2% in the EU28

The number of persons employed increased by 0.1% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.2% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat. In the fourth quarter of 2013, employment also increased by 0.1% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU28. These figures are seasonally adjusted.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment increased by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.7% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2014 (after -0.4% and 0.0% respectively in the fourth quarter of 2013).

According to estimates from Eurostat, 224.2 million men and women were employed in the EU28, of which 146.1 million were in the euro area, in the first quarter of 2014. These figures are seasonally adjusted.

These quarterly data on employment provide a picture of labour input consistent with the output and income measure of national accounts.

 Employment growth in Member States

Among Member States for which data are available, Hungary (+1.5%), Latvia (+0.8%), the United Kingdom (+0.6%), the Czech Republic and Poland (both +0.5%) recorded the highest increases in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter. Cyprus (-1.2%), Portugal (-0.3%), Lithuania and Finland (both -0.2%) and Italy (-0.1%) recorded the only decreases.

Euro area international trade in goods surplus 15.7 bn euro

The first estimate for the euro area (EA18) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in April 2014 gave a 15.7 billion euro surplus, compared with +14.0 bn in April 2013. The March 2014 balance was +16.7 bn, compared with +21.8 bn in March 2013. In April 2014 compared with March 2014, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.2% and imports by 0.5%.

These data are released by Eurostat.

The first estimate for the April 2014 extra-EU28 trade balance was a 1.3 bn euro surplus, compared with +8.5 bn in April 2013. In March 2014 the balance was +4.1 bn, compared with +14.7 bn in March 2013. In April 2014 compared with March 2014, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.0% and imports by 0.9%.

EU28 detailed results for January to March 2014

The EU28 deficit for energy decreased (-86.8 bn euro in January-March 2014 compared with -95.8 bn in January-March 2013) as did the surplus for machinery and vehicles (+58.1 bn compared with +65.3 bn).

The highest increase in EU28 exports was registered with China (+11% in January-March 2014 compared with January-March 2013) and the highest increases in EU28 imports with South Korea (+13%), Switzerland (+7%) and Turkey (+6%). The most notable decreases were recorded for exports to Russia (-11%) and Switzerland (-9%), and for imports from Russia (-10%) and Brazil (-8%).

The EU28 trade surplus increased with the USA (+23.9 bn euro in January-March 2014 compared with +22.7 bn in January-March 2013), but decreased with Switzerland (+13.9 bn compared with +19.5 bn) and Turkey (+4.7 bn compared with +6.3 bn). The EU28 trade deficit fell with China (-33.0 bn compared with -34.0 bn) and Russia (-23.4 bn compared with -26.0 bn) and remained stable with Norway (-10.6 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+48.6 bn euro in January-March 2014), followed by the Netherlands (+15.9 bn), Ireland (+7.9 bn) and Italy (+6.9 bn). The United Kingdom (-26.3 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by France (-18.8 bn), Spain (-6.8 bn) and Greece (-5.4 bn).


Greek Festival moves from Darlington to John Carroll for church's 10th anniversary

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Three Greece players to watch at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

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