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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Anti-austerity demonstrations in Greece turn violent

Clashes have broken out between Greek police and youths throwing fire bombs and stones, after 40,000 protesters joined anti-government demonstrations through central Athens in protest against planned pension-policy changes. Police used tear gas and stun ...


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Strange GREEK Statue That Shows 'Laptop' Could Prove Time Travel, Theorist Claims (PHOTOS)

The GREEK sculpture, which shows an attendant holding an object that resembles a modern-day laptop, is theorized to have informed the Oracle of ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.hngn.com

How an aggressive ad campaign incited GREEK yogurt litigation - and what it means

Just as GREEK yogurt sales were slowing, an aggressive ad campaign and responding litigation have brought the popular breakfast category back into ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.fooddive.com

GREEK Football Teams Stop Play to Sit Down and Honor Lost Refugees

When the whistle blew to start a football match between two GREEK teams, instead of hustling to take control, players on both sides did something that ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.goodnewsnetwork.org

Once upon a time

However, his bold theme and vigorous writing render “Beyond GREEK” of interest to anyone intrigued by the history and literature of the classical world.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.economist.com

ELPE and Energean land GREEK gas search blocks

Greece has awarded concessions to Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and Energean Oil & Gas for onshore gas exploration and exploitation in three fields in ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.ekathimerini.com

GREEK riot police clash with protesters, fire tear gas over pension reforms

Riot police have used tear gas in clashes with protesters during a mass rally in Athens as GREEKS demonstrated against government pension reforms ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.abc.net.au

Protests, EU demands add pressure on Greece's Tsipras

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Tens of thousands joined anti-government protests across Greece Thursday as the country was crippled by a general strike against painful pension reforms demanded by bailout lenders. In Athens, police said some 40,000 people joined ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.wnem.com

Martin Shkreli just faced Congress, and you can guess what happened next

[Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, arrives before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on ]Thomson Reuters Finance Insider is Business Insider's midday summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. _TO SIGN UP, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE AND CLICK "GET UPDATES IN YOUR INBOX," OR CLICK HERE._ Infamous former Turing CEO Martin Shkreli just faced Congress. Shkreli, as expected, invoked the Fifth Amendment and seemed to suppress laughter during his testimony. You can watch the highlights (or lowlights) of his performance here. In an interview after the hearing, Shkreli's lawyer said that his client was nervous, meant no disrespect, and in time would be proven to be a hero.  Shkreli then slammed members of Congress on Twitter. Obviously.  If you're bored of the so-called "Bad Boy of Pharma", there is a lot of stuff going on on Wall Street.  The latest installment of the ugly back-and-forth war of words between the New York Stock Exchange and upstart trading venue IEX arrived Thursday. You can read about that here. Credit Suisse said it will accelerate its cost-cutting programme — read job cuts — after posting its first annual loss since 2008.  On a call after the announcement, CEO Tidjane Thiam said the firm would cut bonuses by 36% in the markets business. He also said the doomsday scenarios for the global economy are not justified. _HERE ARE THE TOP WALL STREET HEADLINES AT MIDDAY:_ A HEDGE FUND HAS LAID OUT WHY IT IS CLOSING — AND IT IS ENOUGH TO SET ALARM BELLS RINGING EVERYWHERE - Orange Capital, the $1 billion event-driven hedge fund led by Daniel Lewis and Russell Hoffman, is closing after 10 years. THERE'S A BIG SIGN THAT WE 'COULD ENTER RECESSION IN THE SECOND HALF OF THIS YEAR' - Deutsche Bank's Joe LaVorgna thinks there's a sign suggesting that the pessimists might be on to something. HILLARY CLINTON STRUGGLED THROUGH AN 'AWKWARD' ANSWER ABOUT HER 6-FIGURE GOLDMAN SACHS SPEAKING FEES - Hillary Clinton struggled Wednesday night through an answer about the large paychecks she received from the investment bank Goldman Sachs for several speeches, arguing they would not corrupt her judgment when it comes to regulating the finance industry. BERNIE: IT'S 'BEYOND COMPREHENSION THAT LLOYD BLANKFEIN WOULD LECTURE OUR CAMPAIGN' - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) fired off a fund-raising solicitation on Thursday based on a recent interview in which Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein discussed Sanders' campaign. YANIS VAROUFAKIS: EUROPE ISN'T WORKING - The former Greek finance minister talks to Business Insider Deutschland. UBS CUTS ITS 2016 S&P 500 TARGET AND SAYS STOCKS COULD FALL 8% IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS - A lot has happened in markets just five weeks into the new year. For one, the S&P 500 has fallen about 6%.   THERANOS IS HIRING A WRITER WHO CAN 'SOLVE PROBLEMS THROUGH THE POWER OF EXCELLENT STORYTELLING' - Theranos is looking for a writer. 


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Greek of the Week – Lifetime of sisterhood

Q: What does the motto of your sorority, “culture is pride, pride is success,” mean to you? In what ways does your sorority and its members uphold and demonstrate this statement? A: That to me means embracing culture. It means to remember where you ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT unkantelope.com

Greece awards three on-shore natural gas drilling licenses 

Athens, February 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency By Marina Spyropoulou Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis signed on Thursday the awarding of three on shore natural gas exploration licences in western Greece to two companies who won an international tender, according to a ministry statement. The preferred bidders are Hellenic Petroleum, the country’s largest oil refiner, […]


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.balkaneu.com

Tsipras: We need to press for a political settlement of the Syrian conflict

London, February 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency By Spiros Sideris The Greek Prime Minister made an intervention in the Conference Supporting Syria & the Region, stating inter alia: “Greece has experienced firsthand the humanitarian consequences of the refugee crisis. Nevertheless, unlike others, we insist on facing the challenge in a humane manner”. “Since July, we […]


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Tsipras – Merkel meet with refugee crisis and economy dominating the agenda

London, February 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency By Spiros Sideris The refugee crisis and the economy dominated the meeting Alexis Tsipras with Chancellor Merkel on the sidelines of a donors’ conference for Syria, which is taking place in London. The Greek PM told the Chancellor that disagreements between institutions should not cause delays to the […]


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.balkaneu.com

When 'the Wild One' sang in Greek

He could rock. He could roll. He could captivate audiences all around Australia, with his highly popular TV shows. Now, it turns out that Johnny O'Keefe could sing in Greek, too - or, at least, put a decent effort into it. This was proven in a mystery ...


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Even Greeks can get more medicines than Brits, Pfizer boss claims

… ,” he said. A pharmacy in Crete, Greece. Nordkamp says even a cash … of which are available in Greece. Greeks may be able to get … rational decisions. Many countries, like Greece without proper governance and systems …


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Bunkering Set to be Affected as Greek Port Workers Launch Third Set of 48 Hour Strike Action

Bunkering at Greek ports looks set to be affected once again as workers were set to begin a third set 48 hour strike action at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, Greek news reports. It is reported that the first 24 hours of stoppage will see Greek port workers ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT shipandbunker.com

Volunteers Helping Refugees In Greece Fear Government Clampdown

ATHENS, Greece -- On the morning of Jan. 11, the Greek Coast Guard arrested five volunteers on a boat off the Greek island of Lesbos on charges of human trafficking for facilitating the “illegal entry” of migrants and refugees into Greece. The ...


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Greece protesters hurl Molotov cocktails at police over pension reforms

Clashes between anarchist protesters and police outside Greek Parliament and in other parts of Athens city centre during today's protest against pensions reforms, soon escalated.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.dailymail.co.uk

Germany pledges further help to strengthen Greek borders

The German government has confirmed that it intends to send officers and two patrol boats to protect the Greek border. Germany's interior minister called on other EU nations also to pitch in.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.dw.com

Violence Erupts in Greece Against Pension Reform

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Tens of thousands joined anti-government protests in Athens on Thursday as Greece was crippled by a general strike against a bailout-related overhaul of the country's ailing pension system. Police said some 40,000 people joined the ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.usnews.com

Schaeuble: “Should Greece exit the crisis, Greeks would have to erect a statue for me”

I must definitely have this historic statement in my blog even though I reported about Wolfgang Schaeuble’s Grexit-speech in Hamburg a bit earlier today. At the same “I love Grexit” CDU party event in Hamburg yesterday, the German Finance Minister said also: “Should Greece come out of the crisis, the […]


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.keeptalkinggreece.com

One of the world's most dangerous al Qaeda-linked groups is having an alarming resurgence

[al shabaab]AP In September of 2012, Somali and African Union troops moved against Kismayo, the last major city in the country still under the control of al Shabaab, Somalia's al Qaeda franchise. As the offensive approached, Shabaab beat a tactical retreat into the country's hinterlands, ending a period in which the jihadist group controlled substantial territory and represented the country's most powerful political and social force. It's been nearly three-and-a-half years since the African Union force hastened the end of al Shabaab 's state-building project. But the group made a canny strategic decision, contracting into defensible territory, consolidating its safe haven, and evolving into a deadly and resilient insurgency. Shabaab lost much of its land, but helped ensure its ability to kill on a massive scale for years to come. Shabaab's success calls into question whether the ISIS threat will be contained even if the group loses its strongholds in Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria. Like ISIS, al Shabaab was a significant territorial power squaring off against a multinational military force purpose-built to dismantle it. And like ISIS, Al Shabaab has an external attack infrastructure, proven battlefield capabilities, and trans-national influence and reach. Over the past month, al Shabaab has demonstrated its endurance, even despite territorial losses, infighting, and the death of key leadership. Three incidents show just how threatening the group still is. Together, they represent an ominous precedent for the future of organizations like ISIS. [KDF]APOn January 15th, al Shabaab overran a Kenyan military base in el-Ade, in southwestern Somalia, killing as many as 60 soldiers. The Kenyan military pulled out of el-Ade 11 days later, effectively ceding the territory to the jihadists. The attack exposed alarming weaknesses within the African Union military mission, which has succeeded in removing al Shabaab from Mogadishu and restoring the country's internationally recognized government. Shabaab delivered an apparent battlefield defeat to a western-backed conventional military, entering the Kenyan Defense Forces base through a frontal assault and then killing scores of soldiers during the ensuring firefight. The aftermath of the assault is equally significant. Kenya ceded territory that could be considered vital to the country's national security. El-Ade isn't far from the Kenyan border, and the country has been the site of deadly al Shabaab atrocities in recent years, including the September 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, in which 67 people were killed; and the April 2015 massacre of 147 students at Garissa University, in eastern Kenya. That Kenya pulled out of a place like el-Ade calls into question the state of the African Union mission — and suggests that al Shabaab is still formidable on the battlefield. [Shabaab grapic]APJust a few days later, on January 22nd, Shabaab gunmen stormed a beachside restaurant in Mogadishu, killing as many as 20 people. Unlike the el-Ade attack, the Lido Beach assault was focused on a soft civilian target, and one with particular resonance for citizens of the Somali capital: the beach is one of the city's few remaining leisure spots. Al Shabaab is also infamously hostile to most forms of beach recreation, bombing beachside restaurants and banning soccer when it ruled over the city. Mogadishu has been a frequent target of al Shabaab attacks. But it's also seen its economy expand since Shabaab lost control of the city in 2011, thanks in part to the 2012 return of the Somali government and Somali diaspora investment.  The Lido Beach attack showed that al Shabaab can kill still dozens of people in the city's equivalent of Central Park. [Somlia hole plane]APFinally, on Tuesday, an apparent bomb blew a hole in the side of a Somali passenger jet traveling between Mogadishu and Djibouti, killing one passenger and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in the Somali capital. On Wednesday, Reuters reported that investigators believe al Shabaab is responsible for the blast. Sneaking a bomb aboard a commercial airliner is a difficult feat just about anywhere in the world — and the Mogadishu airport zone is a heavily guarded area. The airport is considered one of the few places in the city that foreign dignitaries can safely visit. It also encompasses offices and residential areas that are physically walled off from the surrounding city, a veritable "green zone" whose tenants include Bancroft, a US-owned security contractor. Al Shabaab didn't just bomb a commercial plane. It might also have managed to smuggle an explosive device inside the most heavily guarded location in the entire country. If Shabaab was responsible for the suspected bomb attack, it would mark the first instance of the group detonating a bomb onboard a passenger plane. Like the other two attacks, it would be a gruesome sign of the group's resilience — and of its increasing danger years after the height of its territorial power. _ Reuters contributed to this report._ NOW WATCH: An AT&T spokesperson and former refugee is now helping Syrian refugees in Greece


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Negotiators to hold contacts in Brussels

Nicosia, February 4, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency CNA The negotiators of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami depart on Thursday for Brussels in the context of the UN-backed talks for a settlement to the Cyprus problem. Sources told CBA that Mavrogiannis and Nami will hold contacts concerning […]


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.balkaneu.com

Greece on World Cancer Day 2016: the sick man of Europe

Athens, February 4, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency By Marina Spyropoulou World Cancer Day marked on February 4 every year is presented by governments and NGOs worldwide as an opportunity to draw attention to what can be done to address the world’s most deadly disease, save millions of avoidable deaths and reduce the major cost […]


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.balkaneu.com

Greece: Police fire tear gas as 50,000 march over pensions

Police fired tear gas during a mass rally in Athens on 4 February, as Greeks rallied against government pension reforms needed to meet demands of international creditors. Demanding an end to austerity, about 50,000 Greeks marched on parliament in central ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.ibtimes.co.uk

Biggest general strike in years defies Syriza's pension cuts in Greece

The huge general strike rally in Athens today, Thursday, was probably the biggest since 2011 and the summer of mass occupations of public squares. The centre of Athens was so full of people that any attempt at separate rallies became meaningless.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT socialistworker.co.uk

Familiar scenes in Greece: General Strike, Molotov Cocktails...

… again. Earlier today, services across Greece ground to a halt Thursday … as the government negotiates with Greece's international debt inspectors … other Greek cities. Proving just how messed up things in Greece are …


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Fiery pension protests in Greece

A fireman tries to extinguish a burning car set ablaze by masked protesters during clashes following protests in a 24-hour general strike by worker's unions against planned pension reforms in central Athens, Greece, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis


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Hooded Men Break Protest Rally and Clash with Police

A large group of hooded men broke up the protest rally at Syntagma Square by hurling Molotov cocktails at police, with the latter responding with tear gas. More than 50,000 people participated in the general strike demonstration rally in Athens against the harsh economic measures the Greek government is planning to implement. At around 2:00


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT greece.greekreporter.com

Artisanal cheese making & Greek yogurt workshop

Making cheese and yogurt is a great way to use local ingredients, save money, and be creative in the kitchen. Participants will learn to make and store homemade mozzarella, ricotta, cherve/fromage blanc, and Greek yogurt. Registration fee is $5 and ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT chipleybugle.com

Violence mars nationwide strike in Greece

Public transport in Greece on Thursday ground to a halt, ministries and schools were closed and hundreds of thousands took the streets in the largest strike in years. There were no reports of injury or damage but footage from central Athens showed some ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.turkishweekly.net

Greek organizations record spike in rush interest

Forty more students rushed fraternities and sororities than did last year, according to Greta Greising ’16, Greek Council president. Last year about 214 students registered during rush week, Greising said. This year, 254 students registered. Greek life ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT kenyoncollegian.com

First general strike of 2016 in Greece starts against pension reform

Athens, Feb 4 (EFE) .- Greece sees on Thursday the start of the first general strike of the year called for by unions against pension reform, which the government of Alexis Tsipras is negotiating with creditors. This is the third strike since the leftist ...


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Migrants: serious bottlenecks on Greece’s northern border

*Thousands stranded northbound at border *Trains suspended due to taxi protest FYROM authorities allow some migrants through The news The migrant flow has bottlenecked once more northwards on the main route leading from Greece to the Former Yugoslav ...


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Deputy FM Amanatidis meets with the President of the Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF

Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis was visited today, Thursday, 4 February 2016, by the President of the Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF, Sofia Tzitzikou.Mr. Amanatidis was briefed by Ms. Tzitzikou on issues concerning the activities of UNICEF, both in Greece and abroad, expressing his satisfaction at the work being carried out by UNICEF and his availability for supporting the Committee’s actions.


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Anti-austerity protests are paralyzing Greece

[Greece Riot Police Protest Fire Bomb]REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis ATHENS — Scuffles broke out and the police used teargas during a mass rally in Athens on Thursday as Greeks railed against government pension reforms needed to meet demands of international creditors. Demanding an end to austerity, about 50,000 Greeks marched on Parliament in central Athens. Breaking away from the main block of demonstrators, black-clad youths hurled stones and petrol bombs at police officers, who responded with rounds of teargas and stun grenades, Reuters witnesses said. The angry backlash is piling pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, first elected just over a year ago. With just a three-seat majority in Parliament, he is stuck between either pushing the reforms through to appease international creditors, or attracting the wrath of thousands of Greeks. "They should be strung up here, in Syntagma Square," pensioner Nikos Ghinis said as he walked along with thousands of others in central Athens. "I'm getting 740 euros ($826.21) a month for 40 years of work ... I'm (demonstrating) here for my children and grandchildren," he told Reuters. Dozens of domestic flights were grounded, ferries remained docked in ports, and most public transport was paralyzed as part of the strike organized by Greece's main labor unions, the private-sector union GSEE, and the public-sector union Adedy. It was the second nationwide walkout since Tsipras took power in January 2015 on a pledge to end years of austerity, only to cave in under the threat of expulsion from the eurozone and sign up to new belt-tightening reforms under an EU-IMF bailout package worth up to 86 billion euros. [AP_829498738639]REUTERS/Alkis KonstantinidisThe 24-hour strike coincides with a major review of Greece's performance on terms of its bailout. The heads of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund mission assessing Greece's progress arrived in Athens earlier this week to discuss the pension plan, tax reforms, and bad loans weighing on Greek banks. The government wants to conclude the review swiftly to start talks on debt relief and convince Greeks that their sacrifices are paying off despite the jobless rate rising to 25%. Greece must cut pension spending by 1% of gross domestic product, or 1.8 billion euros, this year. To protect retired people whose pensions have been slashed 11 times already since 2010, the government plans to increase social-security contributions by employees and employers. [AP_747325560549]REUTERS/Alkis KonstantinidisBut unions say the new plan will increase unemployment as the costs for hard-pressed businesses will go up and will force workers, mainly the self-employed, into tax evasion as it links social-security contributions to declared income. "We will reach a stage where we won't be able to make ends meet unless we steal from the state, hide income," demonstrator George Stathopoulos, 70, said. [AP_719991501634]REUTERS/Alkis KonstantinidisUnder the terms of pension reform, their social-security contributions will increase almost threefold in coming years. Though the measures, which include the gradual phasing-out of a pension benefit by 2019, are broadly in line with bailout demands, sources close to the lenders said they may not be enough to address a deeper-than-expected fiscal gap. (Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.) NOW WATCH: Watch this heartbreaking eyewitness account of the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece


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Violent demonstrations over Greek pension reform

Sporadic clashes broke out in central Athens Thursday as tens of thousands marched to the Greek Parliament during a general strike called to protest planned pension reforms that are part of the country's third international bailout. Share on Facebook


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Gas, Grenades and Molotov Bombs Fired During Clashes in Greece

Clashes erupted between demonstrators and police in central Athens Thursday as some 40,000 people marched during a nationwide walkout against pension reforms.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.wsj.com

Frontex Boss Praises Greece for Rescuing Hundreds of Thousands of Refugees

In an interview on Der Spiegel International, head of the EU border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri puts Europe’s refugee/migrant crisis in perspective when he says “we should have no illusions” about the problem that is currently tearing apart the ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT greece.greekreporter.com

Raw: Violent Protests Over Greek Pension Reform. Las Vegas Blog

Raw: Violent Protests Over Greek Pension ReformSporadic clashes broke out in central Athens Thurs. as tens of thousands marched to the Greek Parliament during a general strike called to protest planned pension reforms in that are part of the country’s ...


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Art exhibits, a Greek fest and other Things to Do on the North Suncoast

Lovers and street gangs: West Side Story continues with Thursday matinee, Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday brunch performances through Feb. 14 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Dinner and show, $49.50, plus tax and tip.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT tbtpics.tampabay.com

"Democracy of Greece at Stake," Economist Tells Sputnik‏

… social problem. The democracy of Greece is at stake."  Prime … a very dangerous situation in Greece,” Tsamurgelis told Sputnik.  The European … .  Thousands of Greek workers are gathering outside the Greek parliament in Athens …


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Large protest against Greek pension reform ends in violence

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Tens of thousands joined anti-government protests in Athens Thursday as Greece was crippled by a general strike against a bailout-related overhaul of the country's ailing pension system. Police said some 40,000 people joined the ...


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Meet the ’Ndrangheta – and why it's time to bust some myths about the Calabrian mafia

from www.shutterstock.com The global war against mafias has a new number one enemy: the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta. At the centre of drug busts and manhunts throughout Europe and around the world, this mafia group from the deepest south of Italy seems to be everywhere. The ’Ndrangheta dominates the drug trade and shares business with El Chapo, all the while maintaining a constant presence in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and the United States. Although it was only recently categorised as a mafia in Italian law in 2010, the ’Ndrangheta has been around for as long as its well-known sister group, the Sicilian Cosa Nostra. The name first entered the public consciousness during the 1980s and 90s, when the ’Ndrangheta carried out a series of kidnappings across Italy, in what was one of the bloodiest chapters of Calabrian history. In August 2007, it stepped onto the global stage, when an internal feud led to the public murder of six Italians in Duisburg, Germany. By the end of the 2000s, the ’Ndrangheta was notorious around the world for operating a major trans-Atlantic cocaine ring. The group’s singular name has Greek origins: the word “andranghateia” refers to a “society of men of honour”, and “andrangathō” means “to do military actions”. Like any other mafia, the ’Ndrangheta is highly secretive and operates within strict honour codes, which are deeply embedded in the societal values of Calabria. It has built a reputation on the violence of its feuds, the reliability of its business affiliates, its political influence and its global presence. The ’Ndrangheta can move and settle in areas beyond the Calabrian region, and has a flexible, family-based, web-like structure, made up of various clans – much like Al-Qaeda. In this society, local roots count for as much as global reach. A SECRET IDENTITY Much of what we know about the ’Ndrangheta came to light in 2010, when Operation Crimine resulted in the arrest of 305 of its members. In the subsequent court trial, anti-mafia prosecutors proved that clans in the province of the Calabrian capital, Reggio Calabria, were coordinating with chambers of control in Canada, Australia and the north of Italy. The family clans, known as ’ndrine, formed strategical alliances with each other, through blood or marriage ties, across villages in the area. Each ’ndrina then shared business with affiliates and family members, outside of the region or internationally, while simultaneously responding to local coordination structures (such as the “crimine” – the figure who is in charge of resolving issues and hostilities across the clans). Communication was mostly conducted in code over the phone but also online when necessary. The revelation of these coordinating structures – which are primarily in place to help the ’Ndrangheta to boost business and share risks – has led many to think of ’Ndrangheta as a stable, monolithic criminal association, with a strong resemblance to the Sicilian Cosa Nostra. A DIFFERENT PICTURE But details learned from other anti-mafia operations portray quite a different reality. In fact, the ‘ndrangheta is as fragmented as the region of Calabria itself. Scholars have talked about “Le Calabrie” (plural), to highlight how different parts of the region are politically, financially, industrially and socially diverse, and sometimes also geographically secluded. Just as there are various “Calabrie”, so there are various “’Ndranghete”: similar to the ’Ndrangheta we learnt about through Operation Crimine, yet with important differences. While the clans are all territorial units, based on blood and family ties, they do not act together under a shared strategic plan. Just one side of Calabria. a_sorense/flickr, CC BY-NC Rather, they are often involved in different types of illegal activities: some local (the infiltration and extortion of the construction sector), and others global (the importation of cocaine from Latin America). All ’Ndrangheta clans have unique structures, which are either more or less centralised depending on which operations they undertake, their strength and their reach. A POWERFUL BRAND In this sense, the name “’Ndrangheta” is more like a brand. It refers to both criminal organisations – like the one we heard about from Operation Crimine – but also to a set of behaviours, which are adopted by disparate criminal groups. In a process of “‘ndranghetisation”, any group which exploits Calabria’s shared cultural values and relationships through the use of prevarication, arrogance, intimidation, violence, and subjection, while engaging in illegal activities for profit, can lay claim to the name. For example, clans originating from villages in the hinterland near Reggio Calabria established themselves in Australia. From there, they can interact with ’Ndrangheta clans containing relatives in Canada, via Calabria, while also maintaining profitable relationships with local criminal groups, such as outlawed motorcycle gangs. The fact is, the misconception of the ’Ndrangheta as a single organisation is likely to work to the advantage of such groups. By adopting these behaviours, they can invoke the ’Ndrangheta’s formidable international reputation to exploit weak political systems, invest in new ventures and grow. The versatility and prevalence of the ’Ndrangheta could also lead to innocent Calabrian migrants being incorrectly labelled as criminals. If authorities around the world are to put a stop to these activities, we must first understand the diverse and complex nature of the ’Ndrangheta. [The Conversation] _Anna Sergi does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above._


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General strike hits Greece

Public and private sectors protest pension reforms.


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Historic Agreement Between NUGAS and Greek Community of Melbourne

Bill Papastergiadis says “Today marks a watershed moment for the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM). The agreement to allow members of NUGAS to become automatic members of the GCM is reflective of the ‘open door’ policy of the GCM. This agreement ...


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Lesbos -- Where Has Our Humanity Gone?

[2016-02-03-1454508739-3938687-_DSC0938Edit.jpg]_Photo Credit: Margarita Mavromichalis_ I came back from Lesbos yesterday with a heavier heart than usual. We keep hearing about the lives that get lost while trying to make the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece on rubber boats. Lives lost due to the harsh weather conditions at sea, the fake life jackets that are given to the refugees and the overloaded boats. Traffickers have no mercy. Bodies are recovered on what seems like a daily basis from the open sea by the coast guards or the fishermen; others are washed to shore, young and old alike. I decided to visit the cemeteries where some of these people have been buried, because it is one thing to hear about the lives lost and it is another thing to see the graves with actual tomb stones engraved: Ahmad -- 9 months old; unknown baby -- 1 year old; Majed -- 5 years old; unknown girl -- 5 years old; Ajmal -- 23 years old; Ahmid -- 30 years old... The list goes on and on. These are the new Alan Kurdi. All had chosen to live and had the right to live, like we all do. They had chosen life over death but little did they know that life had not chosen them. Where has our humanity gone? It is in times of trouble that we see the true face of those surrounding us revealed, and what I see could not be uglier. The whole world is standing by watching and doing nothing other than avoiding any kind of responsibility and pointing fingers to Greece for not doing a good enough job in stopping the flow. It is said that Greek authorities were told to push the boats back... a paraphrase to this would be to drown them. Whether this is true or not, the actions of the governments confirm just that, they don't need to say it in so many words. The western world has a lot of soul searching to do. They should acknowledge their huge responsibility in this crisis, show more solidarity to Greece and step up. Every day that goes by is another day of mourning for humanity. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Koutras’ response to journalists’ questions regarding statements ...

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Konstantinos Koutras’ response to journalists’ questions regarding statements from the Austrian Minister of the Interior, according to which the external borders of the European Union should be moved towards Western Europe if Greece does not improve control of its borders with Turkey:“We would advise the Austrian Minister of the Interior to weight her words more when referring to the refugee issue and to the supposed responsibility Greece has for it. Austrian Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner should think with a more European spirit and vision, and not based on the domestic political balance in Vienna. She could thus contribute...


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Deputy FM Mardas meets with the Bulgarian Ambassador to Greece, Emilia IvanovaKraleva (Athens, ...

Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Mardas met at the Foreign Ministry today with the Bulgarian Ambassador to Athens, Emilia IvanovaKraleva.During the meeting, which took place in an excellent atmosphere, the collocutors focused on issues of common interest, based on the priority of further expanding bilateral cooperation in various sectors. Special reference was made to the need to upgrade the existing cross-border infrastructure of the two countries, as well as to effective cooperation, including within the framework of the EU, on cross-border water issues.


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Photo highlights of the day: carnival season and clashes in Athens

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world, including carnival costumes and a general strike in Greece Continue reading...


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