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

Monday, June 16, 2014

25 Ancient Greek Theaters Will Open to the Public

Greek Reporter25 Ancient Greek Theaters Will Open to the PublicGreek ReporterAntichi teatri greci : Il teatro di Dodoni The “Athens Festival” institution, in collaboration with “Diazoma” association, have taken the initiative of opening 25 ancient Greek theaters and archaeological sites to the public in order to promote the ...Culture: Greece; 25 theaters, ancient sites to open soonANSAmedall 2 news articles »


Pressure That Kills: Greek University Entrance Exams

The suicide of an 18-year-old high school student in May, who jumped off an apartment building the day he was due to take university entrance exams, showed how intense is the pressure to get into Greece’s colleges, and which leaves many applicants unable to eat or sleep right until they know the results. The head of the local branch of the National Health Operations Center (EKEPY), Tzina Leptokaridou, linked the apparent suicide to pending exams. “Instead of going to school, he climbed to the fourth floor of a nearby building and jumped, ending his life,” she said. The irony is that all the pressure on Greek students is to get into college because there’s literally none after, when they can stay as “eternal students” for decades if they want, don’t have to attend classes, don’t have to graduate and don’t have to take exams, but are still listed as students. But for most graduating high school seniors, the Panhellenic Exams are one of the most trying periods of their lives, physically and emotionally, as they get worn down by studying, preparing – including with private tutoring or at Frontistiria and prep schools – as they want to excel in competition for the annual allotted slots at state schools. This year, there were about 105,000 students taking part in the exams, but only 70,305 spots open at state schools around the country, with the University of Athens among the most in demand. Greek colleges fare poorly in world rankings because the standards are so low once students are admitted and the universities are run by politically-oriented groups aligned with the country’s notoriously divisive parties – as is the faculty. Students can be admitted to universities with what would be failing grades on their exams in countries such as the United States. Grades are given on a basis of 0-20, and Greek students are generally required to have results of what would be 50 out of 100 to be admitted. Some with scores as low as 19 out of 100 have been allowed to attend technical schools or those such as teaching them to be ferry boat captains. There are two waves of exams, the first with basic subjects such as math, composition, economics and history, and a second test of specialty subjects such as foreign languages, architecture, music, and others leading to professions. Modern Greek was the subject on the first day of exams this year in May with high school seniors asked to develop their ideas on humanism. The senior students’ performance in the exams will determine whether they will get into their university or a technical college of choice, and whether it’s near where they live. The pressure even reaches teachers monitoring the taking of the exams and there have been cheating scandals when test questions were revealed. Adonis Kalafatis, 17, wants to study economics and management and said he had to study incessantly, even skipping school to make sure he was prepared in the competition with his peers. “I was irritable and I didn’t sleep well because before I went to bed I was thinking of the exams and what I had to study,” he told the Greek Reporter. “In some subjects I was more confident but in some that were more difficult I knew I wouldn’t do well and I didn’t.” Now he has to wait to see where he will land. “I try not to think of it now and just try to relax,” he said. His first choice is the University of Athens. “But depending on the school I might have to go to another city,” he said. He and his friends would get together to discuss the exams and on the weekends, even when they were out trying to take it easy, couldn’t stop talking about it, the exams always on their minds. “It’s very tiring. I had to take my entrance exams and then I had to go back to take my school exams too,” he said, the pressure on two fronts to succeed. “It was tedious, I had to go Frontistirio and school and study,” he added. “If I don’t get the school I want with the grades I get, I might go to another school if the topic is interesting. Otherwise, I’ll re-sit the exams,” he said. FREE FOR ALL All the subjects tested on a written basis, either at school level or on national scale, are equivalent and play an equal role in the establishment of the general average of the leaving certificate (apolytirio) . However, as regards admission to university education, only the subjects tested on a written basis on national scale are taken into account. The results of the exams are posted on boards at the student’s schools, usually by the end of July, and are an annual scene of frenzy and worry as they gather around looking to see what score is next to their name. The highest scoring students get first crack at the most desired majors, such as law and medicine, and those seeking to be, for example, teachers, have to see how they fared compared to competitors and how many slots are open for that subject, making the head-to-head rivalry even more worrying. The major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party said it’s too much for the students to compete and it wants open admissions for all students to attend universities – which are free – even if they can barely spell their names. Some students bypass the state schools, opting to go to universities in other countries, such as the United Kingdom or the United States, where the competition to get in – and stay in – is far more difficult, but which produces degrees that are more valuable – except in Greece. In violation of European Union law, Greece does not recognize degrees from private universities for state positions, which means graduates of American Ivy League colleges can’t find jobs as clerks if they want. The anxiety over scoring marks good enough to get first choice for schools and subjects is nerve-wracking for many students and teachers say they notice that many of their classes empty out after Easter and before the exams so that the students can prepare, and they take as many absences as they are allowed. The success of candidates and their admission to a higher education department results from the combination of their marks in the test, the order or precedence in which they declared preferences, and the number of places available in each department. For admission to certain faculties and departments whose subject requires specialized knowledge or skills, special admission exams are necessary in one or more special courses, such as architecture, photography, music studies, translation and interpretation, foreign languages and literature, or preparatory tests (health, sports, psycho-technical) as for military schools and the police academy, or sports tests for those wanting to go into physical education and sports.    


Iran v Nigeria: World Cup 2014 live!

Live updates from this Group F game in CuritibaSend your e-mails to Jacob.Steinberg@theguardian.comOr you can tweet @JacobSteinbergAndy Hunter on Iran's chaotic World Cup buildup

8.36pm BST

36 min: Emenike's aimless cross is headed away. There was no one in the middle. Nigeria need more focus.

8.35pm BST

34 min: Iran have their first corner. Teymourian's persistence forcing an error out of Musa. Dejagah swings it into the six-yard box where Ghoochannejhad's header is brilliantly kept out by Enyeama. What a save! Not only did he push it away, but he pushed it away from goal, ensuring that no Iran player could follow up on the rebound.

8.32pm BST

31 min: A free-kick to Nigeria on the left, around 40 yards from goal. Musa trots along to take it and everyone's waiting for a cross to the far post. Yet he spots that Haghighi has left a massive gap at his near post and tries to catch out the Iran goalkeeper with an audacious effort. The execution is impressive but Haghighi reacts well to fly across his goal and push it behind. The corner comes to nothing. "Way to go, Jacob you found the one way to offend an American soccer fan," says Jim Prouix. "I would wager that a percentage down in the single digits of our little community ever drink Coors Light. Unlike the two pints of lager and a packet of crisps English fan, American soccer fans drink real, American craft (micro-brew) beer of every imaginable color, flavor and stripe. Insult me. Insult my football team. Insult MLS. But dont you dare insult my American IPA."

We're talking your Buds, your Bud lights, your Millers, right?

8.30pm BST

30 min: There's not much going on. Which means that the only way is up! Stay positive.

8.29pm BST

29 min: Oboabona's race is run. He can't continue because of that ankle injury. On comes Joseph Yobo, who's making his 98th appearance for Nigeria.

8.28pm BST

28 min: I suppose I should point out that I am an expert on all things American. Well, all things west coast. I don't want you to think I know nothing about the land of hope and glory.

8.27pm BST

26 min: Iran are defending quite deeply now. Nigeria are struggling to pick their way through. They need to be patient, not force the issue. Their decision-making in the final third has been found wanting on too many occasions. "I note that while Oliver Pattenden insists that at least one person has referred to it as "FIFA" per day (and I assume, as a good Guardian reader, he is an honest person), he has not said it's a different philistine each time," says James Hupp. "Perhaps he has one coworker who knows it annoys him. (Come to think of it, this could be true whatever the number.) In any event, I've never heard someone use that term for anything other than the EA video game or international governing body, and I'm, well.... :)"

8.25pm BST

24 min: Oboabona returns. He's going to give it a go. "As an Iranian-American, I don't know what I've found more disappointing - the insinuation that I'm a buffoon who apparently must refer to the World Cup as "the FIFA" while guzzling Coors Light or David Boyle's comment implying that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still the president of Iran," says Mehrun Etebari. "Update your knowledge of other countries, people! Perhaps I'm pedantic, but imagine a world in which everyone associates you with Margaret Thatcher, Jacob."

My middle name is Margaret for a reason.

8.24pm BST

23 min: Oboabona hasn't come back on yet.

8.22pm BST

22 min: If I walk into the bar and shout "SPRING BREAK" and pull my shirt over my head, everyone will think I'm a laugh riot, won't they?

8.22pm BST

21 min: Nigeria are momentarily down to 10 men. Oboabona has gone off on a stretcher. "Firstly, you misspelled favorite," honks Gary Blunk. "No Coors Light is not that. Try some Arrogant Bastard Ale."

8.21pm BST

20 min: Another stoppage in play. Nigeria's centre-back, Oboabona, is down after an awkward landing. He might have twisted his ankle. It could be Joseph Yobo time. Unless Stephen Keshi decides to go for broke and brings on Shola Ameobi.

8.19pm BST

18 min: A lull. Iran are making it a bit more difficult for Nigeria now. They've sorted out their shape. The game has grown quite scrappy in the last few minutes. "Give the lad a season at Liverpool to put himself in the shop window and he barely lifts a finger," says Alistair Reece. "Put him in a Nigeria shirt and he plays like a man possessed. What gives Victor?" Maybe he was overawed by playing alongside Iago Aspas. Speaking of whom, why isn't he in the Spain squad?

8.17pm BST

17 min: Actually I'm quite excited about the USA game later, as I'm going to watch it in an American bar in London. As such, can someone advise me about suitable behaviour? You all drink Coors Light, right? That's your favourite?

8.15pm BST

15 min: I'm enjoying Nigeria. That is all.

8.14pm BST

14 min: A lot of Americans are emailing me. Is something happening later on? They seem giddy about something.

8.13pm BST

13 min: Iran are struggling to contain Moses. He drives to the left byline but just runs the ball out of play before crossing. Moses could do with a good World Cup after a fitful season on loan at Liverpool. He's an interesting talent, but his future is almost certainly not at Chelsea.

8.12pm BST

12 min: Onazi is back on. "I've never heard the tournament (or the sport) called 'FIFA' in the States before this World Cup, and I do think it's purely people who are tuning in for the first time, or who maybe pay attention to football once every four years," says Oliver Pattenden. "But I've still had at least one person a day so far do it. This morning, for example, a coworker emailed me: 'Any online links where FIFA will be streamed? :)'. The smiley face in the email lets you know it's from an authentic American."

8.11pm BST

9 min: Nigeria go so close again! Iran weren't able to clear properly after that first attack and Onazi's low slitherer from the edge of the area went inches wide! He seemed to injure himself as he was shooting, but he should be okay to continue after some treatment. "Spare a thought for the broadcast commentators on this one, those team sheets are going to require some top-level stuff from the play-by-play guys," says Daniel Stauss. Spare a thought for me.

8.10pm BST

8 min: Nigeria are utterly dominant. Iran can't cope with their cut and thrust up front. Emenike bursts past Moses on the left, effortlessly beating the hapless Hosseini, before sliding a low ball into the six-yard box. Somehow Musa can't convert under pressure at the far post. Iran are living dangerously. They should be behind. And...

8.08pm BST

7 min, the sequel: The ball is in the Iran net but the whistle had long gone for a foul on Haghighi by Mikel, challenging the goalkeeper as they went up for a corner. The ball dropped to Musa, who stabbed it into the roof of the net, but I think Iran's players had already stopped. That said, Haghighi was lucky. Mikel didn't do a lot.

8.07pm BST

7 min: What an atmosphere, by the way. Everyone's determined to have a fabulous time. I've never seen a Mexican Wave so early.

8.06pm BST

6 min: John Obi Mikel is quarter-backing with extreme efficiency, trying to hit long diagonal balls over the top for the dangerous Emenike. He's the player David Beckham wanted to be. "Im American," announces Becky Kraft. "Ive even left work to watch World Cup games with other Americans. I have never, ever heard someone call it FIFA. That being said, one of my co-workers wasnt sure if (a) the World Cup is a regular thing, (b) if we, like, dominate that business, and (c) if that magic spray is really magic."

8.05pm BST

5 min: But here come Iran, Dejagah in space on the left. Not for long, though. He loses possession to Musa, who speeds off up the right. Nigeria won't want to tire themselves out too early.

8.03pm BST

3 min: Nigeria have started well. They're buzzing around in the Iran half with a ferocious intensity. Moses makes a nuisance of himself on the edge of the area, wheeling away from a marker and driving a low shot straight at Haghighi.

8.02pm BST

2 min: There's plenty of action in my inbox concerning Oliver Pattenden's Fifa comment. "No," says Kenneth Grabach. "I live in the States, have done my whole life. I've been following the World Cup since 1994. I've never heard any of them in that time referred to as "the FIFA" or to a match in a tournament as "a FIFA". But then, although I'm a bit older than the North American demographic for football (or soccer, there's a bit of weirdness going on over whether it's properly football or soccer. I thought the answer to that question was, "Yes") I am in touch with many younger men who avidly follow a Premier League club, an MLS club, and the USA Men's Team."

8.01pm BST

The huddles are done and we are off! Iran, kicking from right to left in the first half, get the game underway. We wait 45 seconds for the first foul, committed by Dejagah on Ambrose. Less of that, please.

8.00pm BST

Both sides are doing huddles. Does that mean they'll cancel each other out? Is that how this works? We're in serious danger of seeing the first draw of this World Cup now. "Thankfully, I haven't heard anyone talk about a "FIFA match" but if they are, blame us Americans and our irrational love of acronyms over any fondness for the organization itself," says Carl Swanson. "We're just ready to welcome everyone back in 2022 when, unsavory organizations and all."

7.56pm BST

Iran once sent a monkey into space. What's not to love about them? (Warning: clip contains grown-up language.)

7.54pm BST

Here come the teams. Oh, here they come! Nigeria are in green, Iran are in white and there's plenty of excitement in the stands as they emerge. "The Tehran Tigers v The Lagos Lions," says David Boyle. "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad v Goodluck Jonathan. The Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla v The Nigerian Prince's. What's not to like?"

7.49pm BST

"Living in the States during a World Cup is always fascinating, but this year is even more curious," says Oliver Pattenden. "For whatever reason (presumably the same predilection for sporting acronyms that leads them to instead on calling it the Premier League the 'EPL'), almost every American I know who has shown any remote interest in the World Cup has referenced the tournament as 'FIFA'. E.G. 'Do you know a good place to watch FIFA?' or 'Is there a FIFA game today?'. Is anyone else experiencing this? Is it a coincidence that as the rest of the world rejects FIFA as a bloated, corrupt, outdated, neocolonialist fraud, the Yanks have become somewhat fond of it?"

Does anyone refer to it as Pro Evo or Sensible Soccer?

7.48pm BST

"I like the idea of an MBM taking on the personality of the MBMer based on the quality of the match," says Daniel Stauss. "Personally, I prefer a high intensity match so that fewer emails have the chance to be Glendenninged, because he can be a bit mean-spirited at times. Since I don't use Twitter, I'll never be Parker'd during a US or MLS match.And I know it's cliché, but I'm pretending to work in my soul-eating cube today."

The MBMs that I do tend be witty, handsome, engaging, etc.

7.30pm BST

"Can we do an obo of what people are pretending to do while people are actually following your mbm," says Jeremy Dresner. "I'm pretending to watch game of thrones with mates while keeping my eye on your steinbergian utterances. I secretly want it to be a bad game so I don't feel like I missed out. It will be more steinbergian if there is less going on anyway."

I'm pretending to be a journalist. Don't tell anyone, I don't think they've clocked on, I think I'm getting away with this.

7.28pm BST

Shola Ameobi has scored against Barcelona. You haven't.

7.24pm BST

"The good thing about Nigeria's World Cup exits is that we always have someone to blame, we never have to deal with a general inadequacy," says Ore Popoola. "Last World Cup was Sani Kaita, who decided to be stupid and earned himself a red card in the penultimate match against Greece while we were up 1-0. We ended up losing 2-1, he's not played for us since then. And also Yakubu Aiyegbeni for THAT miss against South-Korea in the final match. I thought I was going crazy. He's not played for us also since then. 2006 World Cup, we didn't qualify, 2002, I only remember Ronaldo's hair style (can we even call it that??). I've been traumatized. 1998, I was probably still in diapers."

But they'll always have that win over Spain in 1998.

7.22pm BST

Sammy Ameobi is pleased.

Hahaha yes Shols...go Nigeria!!!

7.17pm BST

Iran: Haghighi; Montazeri, Hosseini, Sadeghi, Pooladi; Hajsafi, Nekounam, Teymourian, Dejagah; Ghoochannejhad, Heydari. Subs: Ahmadi, Shojaei, Haghighi, Reza Jahanbakhsh, Ansarifard, Haddadifa, Mahini, Alenemeh, Rahmani, Beikzadeh, Beitashour, Davari/

Nigeria: Enyeama; Ambrose, Oboabona, Omerou, Oshaniwa; Mikel, Onazi, Azeez, Moses; Musa, Emenike. Subs: Yobo, Uzoenyi, Gabriel, Egwuekwe, Odemwingie, Odunlami, Ejide, Babatunde, Nwofor, Uchebo, Agbim, Ameobi

6.30pm BST

Iran v Nigeria. Nigeria v Iran. Iran v Nigeria. Nigeria v Iran. Iran versus Nigeria. Nigeria versus Iran. Iran against Nigeria. Nigeria against Iran. Iran take on Nigeria. Nigeria take on Iran. Nigeria v Iran. NIGERIA V IRAN. STEPHEN KESHI VERSUS CARLOS QUEIROZ. No, whatever way you try to spin this one, it's a hard sell.

Or at least it would be in normal circumstances. That's been the beauty of this World Cup. It's not been a normal World Cup and while this looks like one of the more unappealing fixtures on paper, a chance for you to reintroduce yourself to polite society, maybe have a shower, get dressed, shave, have something to eat that doesn't require a complementary dip, let's not be hasty and judge a book by its cover. We haven't had a bad game yet even Switzerland and Ecuador provided us with a last-minute winner so there's no reason to dismiss Iran and Nigeria, just because. I trust them. And if all else fails, we could be about to witness Carl Cort's Kieran Gibbs' Shola Ameobi's World Cup debut. At last.

Continue reading...


Heroin suspects, also on Lagarde list, to be deposed

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Reserved traders send bourse index, turnover to lower levels

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The post Grilled Steak – the Greek Way appeared first on The National Herald.


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Greece Ranks Third Among Popular European Cruise Destinations

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Nearly 9,000 apply for refugee status in Greece

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The post Greece Needs Cheap, Free Diaspora Flights appeared first on The National Herald.


Kostas Mitroglou and Greece Could Really Use a Win

Kostas Mitroglou and Greece Could Really Use a WinThe New RepublicIt has been ten years since Greece pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history by winning the 2004 European Championship, in only her second appearance in the competition. Her World Cup experience at that time was limited to the 1994 ...


Germany v Portugal: World Cup 2014 live!

World Group G updates live from SalvadorQuiz: test out your Germany v Portugal knowledgeSend your thoughts to barry.glendenning@theguardian.comOr you can tweet @bglendenningDavid James: German team ethic can defy Ronaldo

5.05pm BST

4 min: Cristiano Ronaldo plays a lovely pass into space on the edge of the German penalty area for Hugo Almeida to run on to. The Portugal striker scuttles along the edge of the area before unleashing a shot. It's on target, but seriously lacking in venom. Manuel Neuer gathers comfortably.

5.04pm BST

3 min: Kroos wins the ball for Germany in midfield and Germany advance. The ball's worked to Mario Goetze on the left-hand side of the penalty area and he takes on and beats Joao Pereira. The Portugal right-back manages to scramble back and retrieve possession.

5.02pm BST

2 min: An excellent run forward by Boateng, who sends in a cross from deep towards Muller. Pepe heads clear and out for a throw-in. Germany win a corner, from which nothing comes.

5.01pm BST

1 min: Thomas Muller seems to be playing as the main forward in the German line-up. For Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo has started on the left, where he'll be attempting to strut his stuff under the watchful eye of Jerome Boateng.

5.00pm BST

And we're off: Germany get the ball rolling in the 1pm sunshine, with the temperature a sweltering 30 degrees celsius. Rather them than me. Prediction time: I'm going for the first draw of the tournament: 1-1.

4.58pm BST

National anthems: The teams are lined up either side of the match officials and Germany's dirge is played first. Next up it's that of Potugal. Raul Meireles, looking resplendent with mohawk and bushy woodsman's beard, looks like a tramp that's just clambered out of a skip.

4.56pm BST

Not long now: The teams are in the tunnel and the camera cuts to Per Mertesacker, another one of football's top blokes, who is staring straight ahead looking pensive. Both teams players are wearing their usual colours. Germany's are in white shirts, shorts and socks, while Portugal are in red shirts, red shorts and red socks. The sizeable Portuguese community in my neck of the woods in Brixton and Stockwell will be sweating bullets at this point. Sweating bullets and lorrying back gallons Sagres and Super Bock.

4.53pm BST

Fabio Cannavaro speaks: He says he thinks Lionel Messi is a better player than Cristiano Ronaldo. And the reason? "His attitude. Because when you kick him he accepts it."

4.51pm BST

An interesting German line-up: Four centre-halves in defence, a full-back in midfield, three False 9's and no strikers. Michael Cox and Jonathan Wilson will be picking over the bones of this one for decades.

4.50pm BST

ITV are covering this match in the UK. Patrick Vieira, Lee Dixon and Fabio Cannavara, who appears to be the world's nicest man, are the pundits joining Adrian Chiles.

4.46pm BST

@bglendenning The piercing eyes of Özil vs the straining neck of Ronaldo - it must be time for #GERvsPOR !

4.41pm BST

Mercifully, there are no guns on display in this picture from our man in the Salvador press box, Paul Wilson.

Even higher up than last time...#salvador

4.39pm BST

Good lord ...

Crazy dude points a gun towards the media covering anti-World Cup protest in Rio on Sunday. Photo: Estadão

4.38pm BST

Portugal tactics: Here's what Coxy had to say about Portugal:

4.30pm BST

Germany tactics: In his tactical preview of the World Cup for The Guardian, this is what Michael Cox had to say about Germany.

4.24pm BST

Those line-ups again, this time with added substitutes.

Germany: 1-Manuel Neuer, 20-Jerome Boateng, 5-Mats Hummels, 17-Per Mertesacker, 4-Benedikt Hoewedes; 6-Sami Khedira, 16-Philipp Lahm; 18-Toni Kroos, 8-Mesut Ozil, 19-Mario Goetze; 13-Thomas Muller

4.21pm BST

Today's referee: This World Cup is Milorad Mazics first major international tournament, although the Serbian official has previously officiated at high-profile youth tournaments. During the 2014 World Cup preliminary competition he oversaw four qualifiers as well as Romania-Greece in the play-offs. At club level his resume includes the first leg of the Europa League semi-final between Fenerbahce and Benfica in 2013. "Im so proud because Im the first referee to represent Serbia after a long period of absence from the World Cup," he said. " I want to give everything for my country.

That's the spirit.

4.16pm BST

Germany: 1-Manuel Neuer, 20-Jerome Boateng, 5-Mats Hummels, 17-Per Mertesacker, 4-Benedikt Hoewedes; 6-Sami Khedira, 16-Philipp Lahm; 18-Toni Kroos, 8-Mesut Ozil, 19-Mario Goetze; 13-Thomas Muller

Portugal: 12-Rui Patricio; 21-Joao Pereira, 3-Pepe, 2-Bruno Alves, 5-Fabio Coentrao; 4-Miguel Veloso, 8-Joao Moutinho, 16-Raul Meireles; 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 9-Hugo Almeida, 17-Nani

4.11pm BST

3.57pm BST

Today's match: Germany and Portugal meet for the fourth time in five tournaments this afternoon, with Germany having won the three previous encounters at Euro 2012, Euro 2008 and World Cup 2006. As many people's idea of potential tournament winners, it's no surprise that they start as favourites to win this match too.

3.42pm BST

Portuguese national anthem: Here's Felix Buxton from Basement Jaxx on Portugal's anthem.

3.33pm BST

Good afternoon everybody. Welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of today's Group G encounter between Germany and Portugal, which kicks off in Salvador at 5pm/BST. Between now and then, I'll be posting all sorts of multi-media treats, posting lots of preview material and keeping you informed with all the team news as soon as it arrives. But first a quick safety presentation video and then we can get on with the fun.

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Quiz: What Greek Mythology Creature Are you?

  Answer the quiz below and find out what is your inner Greek Mythology creature!  


Reductions in Public Transport Fares

Greek Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Michalis Chrisochoidis announced a reduction in public transportation fares from 1.40 to 1.20 euros. The duration of travel time will be reduced to 70 minutes from 90 minutes that is now. The changes will take effect September 1st. The new fares are for all means of mass transportation and there will be a new monthly card that will cost 30 euros instead of 45. There will be no monthly card for buses and tram only that used to cost 20 euros. The monthly cost s for those entitled to reduced fares like students and senior citizens will be 15 euros. Chrisochoidis announced that rolling bars will be placed in buses and all passengers will enter from the driver’s side of the bus. H also announced that controls will be intensified in order to stop passengers from boarding without a ticket. OASA will launch a new mobile application, which will allow passengers to buy tickets via their mobile phone. Tickets will be also available at five thousand spots, including kiosks and mini markets. OASA will also redesign the companies id in order to regain public trust. OSY, STASY and OASA will use the brand name Athens Transportation with a new logo. Head of OASA Grigoris Dimitriadis highlighted that urban public transportation will become the first option for citizens. According to data released by OASA, each year 636 million boardings take place and every day 1 million passengers use OASA services. Finally, the first trimester of 2014 there was a 6.3 million euros inrease in revenues from single tickets and monthly cards, compared to the same months in 2013. “ Its not just luck; it is a sign citizens are coming back to public transportation.”  


More Than 300 Athenian Sculptures Available in a Website

More than 300 Greek sculptures decorating several public spaces in Athens will be listed at The website was created by citizens’ group “Atenistas”. Their goal is to create a map of all the public sites where sculptures are located so that residents and visitors will have an electronic guide to provide them information about all sculptures they come across. The website operated a few days ago and is divided into three main categories: the sculptures’ list , the locations’ map and the information about the project and Atenistas group. Within the past six months, 324 sculptures have been registered and uploaded in the website. Each sculpture has a photo, information about their sculptor, their construction material and date and the person or subject they depict. Their exact location can be also traced in the map. Registered sculptures are dated from early 19th century till today, including busts, engravings and marble columns. They refer to important figures, everyday heroes and ideas. Their classification is based on material, the region, and the district of their location. The sculpture registration was made by 25 volunteers co-ordinated by Elena Grammmenou. “An easily accessible and complete information source about all outdoor Athenian sculptures should be available on-line. Anyone interested in urban sculptures can find information about a specific sculpture and see how it is linked with Athens,” says Elena Grammenou. Atenistas’ goal is to enrich their website with new registrations, including more Athens’ districts. During the website’s presentation, the founder of Atenistas group Tasos Chalikiopoulos underlined that their goal is to register more city elements in the future and make them accessible to the public and to future generations.  


12 Multinational Groups Keep Investing in Greece Despite the Crisis

The analysis of the financial results of 12 subsidiary companies of international groups that operate within Greece for 2013 show that multinational companies have shown greater resistance to the economic crisis than Greek companies. At the same time, many of these companies are ready to go into new investments. The financial data of 12 multinational companies for 2013 and the relevant table that was published in Greek media show that more than half of these companies have managed to increase their sales and profits, while several were successful in maintaining a satisfactory level of business. Among these are the tobacco companies JTI and BAT, Mythos of the Danish brewery group Carlsberg, the automotive manufacturer Toyota, and the subsidiary of the French company Bic, which in 2013 managed to increase its sales by 10% and its profits by 79.5%. However, there are also some subsidiaries of multinational companies whose sales and profits shrunk or, worse, turned out negative. In general, however, multinational companies showed high resistance to the economic crisis, and many of them are getting ready to make new investments in order to strengthen their presence in Greece. At the same time, three multinational companies are preparing for large investments. AB Vassilopoulos, of the Belgian group Delhaize, is planning to invest 75 million euros in 2014 in order to create 32 new stores, while Bic Violex of the French group Bic, will allocate 32 million euros to upgrade its production lines for shaving products. Finally, Athenian Brewery (Heineken), has already started an investment program of 19 million euros for the purchase of new equipment and the creation of new products that meet the needs of modern consumers.  


While Greeks Suffer, Big Tax Breaks, New Fleet For Wealthy Shipowners

As many Greeks have seen their style of living decimated by harsh austerity measures the last four years, privileged Greek shipowners are continuing to enjoy big tax breaks and benefits, and have dodged paying 140 billion euros, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported.

The post While Greeks Suffer, Big Tax Breaks, New Fleet For Wealthy Shipowners appeared first on The National Herald.


Former Ericsson Executive Cites Greek Bribes

A key witness has reportedly said the Swedish mobile telecoms company Ericsson bribed Greek officials to gain a 561-million euro contract in 1999.

The post Former Ericsson Executive Cites Greek Bribes appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek yogurt producers in the US could turn acid whey into new revenue

Greek yogurt manufacturers in the US could cut their acid whey output by a collective one million tonnes a year by converting it into value-added dairy products, according to Arla Foods Ingredients. Arla has developed a processing solution based on a ...


Greek Brand Brings Ancient Greek Clothing Back into Fashion

Founded one year ago in Samothrace, Greece, Greek fashion company “Arsinoe de Thrace,” stands out by combining ancient Greek clothing with contemporary design. The founders of “Arsinoe de Thrace” are three Greek women determined to leave their own ...


Ancient Greek Fashion Revived by New Greek Brand

Founded one year ago in Samothrace, Greece, Greek fashion company “Arsinoe de Thrace,” stands out by combining ancient Greek clothing with contemporary design. The founders of “Arsinoe de Thrace” are three Greek women determined to leave their own mark on the global fashion industry by introducing haute couture garments inspired by the ancient Greek style of Arsinoe, the ancient queen of Thrace. The company was founded by Katerina Karayanni with Katerina Saakidou being responsible for the production of the garments, and Katja Heidrich as head designer. Each dress is made of  raw Greek materials, such as pure silk and cashmere from the Greek town of Soufli, known for its silk production. Arsinoe de Thrace’s fashion shows take place in museums since they blend better with the surroundings. “One of our fashion shows was held at the Glyptothek in Munich and now we are preparing to travel to the Louvre in Paris for the next one!” said the company’s founder.


Injured Caretta-Caretta Found in North-Western Greece

An injured caretta-caretta turtle was found on Monday in the straits of Kalama river, northwestern Greece. The injured loggerhead turtle was transferred to the Greek Sea Turtle Protection Society, “ARCHELON” by Igoumenitsa Intercity. It is the second injured sea turtle that has been found in the river in the last five days. It is estimated that the sea turtles get injured by the engines of boats. Loggerheads are considered an endangered species and are protected by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.  The loggerhead sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. The Greek coast is the most popular nesting site along the Mediterranean area. More than 3,000 nests per year are recorded in the islands of Crete, Zakynthos and Nisyros as well as in the coasts of the Peloponnese. 


The taxman cometh

by  Dan Alexe

European citizens are taxed much more than citizens of USA or Japan, so it is no wonder that in 2012, the overall tax ratio, i.e. the sum of taxes and compulsory actual social contributions in the 28 Member States (EU-28) amounted to 39.4 % in the GDP-weighted average, nearly 15 percentage points of GDP over the level recorded for the USA and around 10 percentage points above the level recorded by Japan.

The latest Eurostat report on taxation trends, released today in Brussels, is based on data for the year 2012, so it doesn't take into account the latest developments in countries like Greece, Spain, or Croatia, who at the time was not even an EU member.

The tax burden varies significantly between Member States, ranging in 2012 from less than 30% of GDP in Lithuania (27.2%), Bulgaria and Latvia (both 27.9%), Romania and Slovakia (both 28.3%) and Ireland (28.7%), to more than 40% of GDP in Denmark (48.1%), Belgium (45.4%), France (45.0%), Sweden (44.2%), Finland (44.1%), Italy (44.0%) and Austria (43.1%).

Between 2011 and 2012, increases in tax-to-GDP ratios of more than 1 percentage point were recorded in Hungary (from 37.3% to 39.2%), Italy (from 42.4% to 44.0%), Greece (from 32.4% to 33.7%), France (from 43.7% to 45.0%), Belgium (from 44.2% to 45.4%) and Luxembourg (from 38.2% to 39.3%), while the largest falls in the ratio were registered in Portugal (from 33.2% to 32.4%), the United Kingdom (from 35.8% to 35.4%) and Slovakia (from 28.6 % to 28.3%).

The largest source of tax revenue in the EU28 is labour taxes, representing more than half of total tax receipts in 2012 (51.0%), followed by consumption taxes (28.5%) and taxes on capital (20.8%).

Labour taxes were the largest source of tax revenue in 2012 in twenty four Member States, and in thirteen Member States they accounted for more than half of total tax revenue. The highest shares of taxation from labour were observed in Sweden (58.6%), the Netherlands (57.5%), Austria (57.4%) and Germany (56.6%). Only in Bulgaria (32.9%), Malta (34.6%), Cyprus (37.1%) and the United Kingdom (38.9%) was the share below 40%.

Consumption taxes were the largest source of tax revenue in 2012 in four Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta and Romania. The highest shares of taxation from consumption were recorded in Bulgaria (53.3%), Croatia (49.1%) and Romania (45.1%), and the lowest in Belgium (23.7%), France and Italy (both 24.7%).

As for inflation, a parallel report confirms that it was down to 0.6% (0.5% in the Euro area), down from 0.7% in April and much lower than 1.6% in May last year.


Longer hours for museums and sites boost revenues

In March 2013 Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced a series of policies to upgrade the presence of Greece’s museum and archaeological sites following a meeting with leading officials at the Ministry of Culture. The policies broke new ground here thoug... ...


Polish tourist, 55, fatally injured in central Greeces

A 55-year-old Polish tourist was fatally injured at the Kalypso Gorge in Karitsa, Larissa, central Greece on Monday. The victim was part of a party of 8 tourists vacationing in the area. On Monday the group set off on a trek and when they arrived at the g... ...


Venizelos Wants Presidential Unity

Greece's political parties should not try to block the appointment of a President next year to force early polls, PASOK leader and Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said.

The post Venizelos Wants Presidential Unity appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Heritage Day at Citifield

FLUSHING, NY -  The New York Mets hosted the annual Greek Heritage Day at Citifield on beautiful Saturday afternoon on June 14. The stadium was filled with Greek-Americans from throughout the New York Metropolitan Area and the highlight of the afternoon was a delightful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by children of the choir […]

The post Greek Heritage Day at Citifield appeared first on The National Herald.


Hardouvelis Braces For Eurozone Debut

Greece’s new Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis gets a test on July 19 when he will try to convince the Eurozone the government is on target to meet fiscal reforms.

The post Hardouvelis Braces For Eurozone Debut appeared first on The National Herald.


The History of Greek Immigrants in Toronto

The exhibition celebrated 150 years of Greeks in Toronto within the framework of the Greek Heritage Week and attracted more than 150 people. The Greek community could learn more about its history in the city through photographs documenting the community ...


Greece should be protecting coding lessons in schools, not cutting them

2013's Hour of Code showed Greek students' enthusiasm for programming, so why isn't the government supporting it?

Coding is becoming acknowledged as a critical literacy for the 21st century. In Greece, despite a four-year long, devastating financial crisis and a much-criticised government, Greece ranked sixth worldwide in the number of students completing 2013's Hour of Code challenge.

Students in Greece have enjoyed the option of a coding class in their senior year of high school for the past 15 years, which is examined nationally in the technology orientation of the University Placement Exams.

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Greek Citizens Amongst Most Taxed in EU Desrpite Greece’s Low Revenuew

According to a European Commission report published on Monday, Greek citizens are amongst the most overtaxed EU citizens, ranking eighth among the 28 EU countries. Greece ranked 5th regarding real estate taxes and 8th in fuel taxes. However public revenues ...


Ancient Greek Fashion Design by ‘Arsinoe de Thrace’

A new Greek fashion company called “Arsinoe de Thrace”, founded one year ago in Samothrace in Greece, stands out by combining Greek antic clothing with contemporary design. The founders of “Arsinoe de Thrace” are three Greek women who want to ...


Greece demands Germany’s explanations over spying

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Greek Foreign Ministry said that there are specific rules and ethics between friends, and that Athens expects an instant answer from Germany for its spying activities. "We are certain that there will be an immediate ...


High Taxation on Fuel and Property-Low Public Revenues

According to a European Commission report published on Monday, Greek citizens are amongst the most overtaxed EU citizens, ranking eighth among the 28 EU countries. Greece ranked 5th regarding real estate taxes and 8th in fuel taxes. However public revenues remain low. Despite high taxation, tax revenues in Greece are comparatively low compared to other EU members. According to figures, Greece’s revenues as a percentage of GDP stand at 33.7%, while in the EU, the percentage stands at 39.4% and in the eurozone at 40.4%. The European Commission estimates that this paradox is due to the extensive tax evasion noticed in Greece in combination with the abrupt decline of the Greek economy, as a result of harsh austerity measures.  A European Commission official stated that despite the reforms that have begun to pay off, Greece remains at extremely low levels as far as tax collection is concerned. Meanwhile, economists in Brussels warn that any tax relief must be focused on vulnerable social groups. Greece is holding the 5th place in real estate taxes, which in 2012 reached 1.4% of GDP, compared to 0.4% in 2010. This places Greece higher than the other two southern European countries, Spain (8th place) and Portugal (12th place), which were also strongly hit by the crisis and were forced to implement painful fiscal consolidation policies.  


Compromise Over College Staff Firings

A rift in Greece's coalition government over how many fired college staff should be rehired was settled when it was agreed that 600 should be brought back.

The post Compromise Over College Staff Firings appeared first on The National Herald.


Bulgaria Looks To Cyprus For Gas

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister said Cyprus could supply his country and other central European nations with natural gas to lessen dependence on Russian deliveries.

The post Bulgaria Looks To Cyprus For Gas appeared first on The National Herald.


Sailing in a tax-free sea

Citing international studies, Der Spiegel article states that Greek shipowners have paid no tax o...