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Farmers boost road protests
25th January 2018
Farmers in central Macedonia and other parts of northern Greece drove their tractors onto key
junctions of the road network on Thursday, following the example of others in central Greece
who launched their anti-austerity protests earlier this week.

Unionists representing the farmers have threatened to reinforce their presence on Greek
roads every day, ratcheting up their action until the government satisfies their demands.

Among other things, farmers are calling for lower production costs, tax-free oil, better rates for
electricity and water, the abolition of value-added tax on agricultural supplies and vehicles, and
their exemption from the ENFIA property tax.

NB In Chania, Crete farmers will protest outside the municipal market on Friday, 26 January,
and may take their action to the national road next week.
Greek hospitals struggling over equipment shortages
21 January 2018
Eight years of austerity has had a major impact on the efficacy of public hospitals, leaving
several lacking key equipment or barely coping with old machines that frequently malfunction,
Kathimerini understands.

According to recent research carried out by the union of Greek public hospital workers
(POEDIN), at least 16 state hospitals do not have a CT scanner and another 25 have old
machines that often break down..

Many of the machines are close to the end of their shelf life,” POEDIN chief Michalis Giannakos
told Kathimerini. “There have been no investments in new equipment for eight years,” he said,
adding that any new machines were donations or purchased with European subsidies.
High-speed ferry 'Festos Palace' collides with pier in Iraklio; no injuries
19 January 2018
The high-speed Ro-Pax ferry 'Festos Palace' collided slightly with the pier as it was setting sail
from the port of Iraklio on Thursday, bound for Piraeus.

There were no injuries but the port authority stopped the ferry's departure so that it could
undergo inspection.

The ferry was carrying 280 passengers, 50 cars, 74 trucks, five motorcycles and two buses at
the time.
Marina with capacity of 1,000 vessels and a hotel approved in Heraklion, Crete
22nd February 2018 Tomos News

The City of Heraklion in Crete approved the "Creation and Layout of the Marina of Port and
Nautical Sports Facilities of Heraklion" project in front of the Pangration Stadium, so that the
Municipality can take all the necessary actions for the maturity of the project.
Heraklion's Marina will cover a surface of approximately 390,000 sq.m. with land areas close to
192,500 sq.m. and a port facility of 196,500 sq.m. Buildings shall cover a total area of 29,000
sq.m. including recreation and culture sections, administration buildings, a hotel unit and
shops.Green areas will cover 13,500 sq.m. the same as theme parks, while free spaces,
including transport infrastructure, shall reach up to 145,000 sq.m.
For the road connection of the port a new pedestrian bridge of 180m is also planned.The
capacity of the Marina reaches 1,000 vessels of various types and the parking places for the
visitors will exceed 1,500.
FinMin: Greeks to see €3.5 billion tax reduction in near future
24th February 2018 Tomos News
Greek taxpayers will see a tax reduction of 3.5 billion euros in the near future, Finance Minister
Euclid Tsakalotos said in Iraklio, Crete, on Friday, ANA reports.

Overtaxation is one of the most critical problem of Greece’s tourist industry.

Speaking at an Iraklio Chamber event, Tsakalotos said the drop in taxes would come from
revenues after the reduction of tax evasion, as well as a new model of fiscal management.

(We'll believe this one when we see it).
Body of missing fisherman found off Corfu coast
8 th February 2018

The body of a fisherman who went missing on Thursday was found in the sea near the
yachting club in Faliraki, Corfu on Friday.

According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) sources, the body of the 46-year old
fisherman was spotted following a lengthy search conducted by the island's rescue team
members and coast guard officers launched on Thursday night.

Source: ANA
One million confiscations planned for this year
22nd February 2018
Despite reactions, the state is planning to confiscate salaries, pensions, bank accounts and
property assets from 1 million taxpayers during 2018, according to the business plan of the
Independent Authority for Public Revenue, which was published on Thursday.

This also provides for the simplification of procedures for opening and emptying state debtors’
safe deposit boxes.

Some 200,000 inspections are planned for 2018, with major enterprises, wealthy taxpayers,
bars and restaurants, as well as home-sharing landlords set to be probed first.

The aim is to impose taxes and fines totaling 3.2 billion euros by year-end.
heraklion marina
Hellenic Air Force jet crashes into the Aegean killing pilot
13th April 2018 Apokoronas News

A Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000-5 jet crashed into the Aegean Sea Thursday near the coast
of Skyros Island killing the pilot, a 34 year old man Georgios Baltadoros, father of  two children.

The plane crashed after intercepting Turkish jets in the Aegean but the Greek Defense
Ministry said that the  crash  was not connected to the interception as there was no dogfight.

“According to the information the military authorities have, [the pilot] was returning after
interception of two Turkish jets. There was no dogfight,” Greek Deputy Defense Minister Fotis
Kouvelis said, adding that by the time the Greek plane arrived to engage, the Turkish jets had
left the Greek airspace.

The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday expressed condolences for the loss of
the pilot on behalf of the Turkish president and himself  to his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras
Sputnik press agency reports.i
24 hour strike to dock ferries on Wednesday 18 April 2018

Ferryboats across the country will stay  at port on Wednesday, April 18, after the union of
Greek dockworkers (PNO) voted for a 24-hour strike for all ship categories.

The strike will start at 6 a.m. on 18 April  and end at 6 a.m. the following day.

The action was reportedly prompted by a Shipping Ministry decision allowing cargo ships to
sail with the minimum number of crew required for safety  thereby threatening hundreds of jobs.

PNO vowed an escalation unless the measure is withdraw
Saharan dust covers Crete
23rd March 2018 Apokoronas News

Crete was covered in the heaviest cloud of dust of the last 10 years, with concentrations
of PM10 particulates reaching 500 mg/m3.

A total of 25  people were admitted to hospitals  with respiratory problems  across Crete,  
(17 in Heraklion and 4 in each Rethymnon and Chania).

The dust has receded with changing winds but the concentration of particulates remains

Wind direction is expected to turn  southerly again on Monday, but not of the intensity
experienced on Thursday when winds reached 60 mph,  and with it the probability of more

Authorities once again, advise vulnerable groups to avoid outdoor activities.
Greece launches tender for Crete power link project
12th April 2018 ekathimerini

Greece’s power grid operator has launched an international open tender for a project linking
the island of Crete to the mainland grid via undersea cables, the Energy Ministry said on

The project linking Crete to the Peloponnese peninsula is part of a 2-billion-euro, 10-year
investment plan to connect some of Greece’s islands to the mainland.

The tender, via an e-auction, will be awarded to “the most economically advantageous offer,
based solely on the lowest price,” the ministry said.

The Crete link is expected to be completed by 2020 and is budgeted to cost 324 million euros,
the ministry said. Crete will also be connected to Athens in a later phase.
Crete is facing water shortages after the driest winter in more than almost thirty
28th April 2018  via apokoronasnews,gr  / Neos Kosmos
Crete is facing its driest year in more than almost thirty years. According to the local water
management authorities, only 3.8 billion cubic meters of rainwater have fallen on the Island
since September 2017, far below the normal amounts. For more than four decades, the
average annual rainfall has been 7.6 billion cubic meters. This year’s numbers are equivalent
to the 1989-1990 draught season, when the island saw 4.1 billion cubic meters of rainfall.

The island’s authorities have been trying to find ways to tackle the problem and avoid any
subsequent problems ensuing in the high-tourist season.

In that regard, the Department of Water of the Decentralized Administration of Crete, has laid
out a series of proposed preventive measures, such as accelerating water storage works,
monitoring networks, locating leaks, searching for alternative water supplies, reducing waste,
informing users control of groundwater and surface water levels and the reduction of
cultivations that require a lot of water.

“With proper management there will be no particular problems,” said the head of the authority,
Marinos Kritsotakis, speaking to the Athens News Agency.withdraw
Revenues from plastic bag charge put at 2.5 mln euros
28th April 2018

Market experts say that revenues from the sale of plastic bags at shops and supermarkets
have reached around 2.5 million euros since the initiative was launched on January 1.

“According to market executives, revenues in the first three months of this environmental levy
will be around 2.5 million euros,” said Lefteris Kioses, managing director at the Research
Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA),
adding that data point to an 80 percent drop
in the volume of plastic bags that supermarkets get through.

Kioses said plastic bag use has also fallen 60-65 percent in the retail market as a whole. The
aim of the measure is to drastically reduce the number of plastic bags that end up in the trash
in Greece. The revenue from the bag levy will be transferred to the Hellenic Recycling Agency

Since the 0.04-euro charge for regular plastic bags came into effect, retailers have
increasingly started selling reusable shopping bags.
Human remains found on Crete islet, may date from WWII
20th May 2018  via ekathimerini
Bones that have been identified as human and may date to World War II were discovered on
Sunday by a walking group on the islet of Aghios Theodoros off the coast of Hania in Crete.

The remains were found during a tour organized by two cultural associations to mark the 77th
anniversary of the World War II Battle of Crete in an area where a German fighter was downed
in May 1941 during the Nazi invasion Nazis and parts of the aircraft are still visible.

Objects that are believed to be part of some kind of military equipment were also found in the
vicinity of the bones, which will be examined by experts.

Aghios Theodoros is one of two strategically important and now uninhabited islets in the Bay of
Hania. It is protected as a habitat of the kri-kri, a wild ibex that is native to Crete.
ENFIA Property Tax hikes for 1 mln owners.
13th June 2018  via ekathimerini
The data on the adjusted property rates used for tax purposes (known as “objective values”)
that the Finance Ministry released on Tuesday showed that for 946,671 households and 7,126
enterprises, the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) will grow this year by up to 200 euros, or a little
more in some cases.

Despite the interventions in the ENFIA rates, with the expansion of the brackets and the
increase in the tax-free threshold of the supplementary property tax, the government has not
managed to eliminate the added load on owners, leading to ENFIA hikes in densely populated
areas, on Greece’s islands and at tourism destinations in general.

According to the data on the revision of the rates across all 10,216 zones, 2,122 zones saw a
reduction, 4,302 saw no change and 3,792 (or 37.11 percent of all zones) recorded a rate hike.

Vehicle fleet in Greece among oldest in EU
11th June 2018  via ekathimerini
Greece has one of the oldest vehicle fleets in the European Union in all categories  –
passenger cars, light trucks and busses.

According to data from the  European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) the
average age of vehicles in Greece in 2015 was 13.5 years.

Data from the Hellenic Association of Motor Vehicle Importers-Representatives show that in
2017 the average age of the vehicle fleet increased to 15.4 years.

Concerning light trucks, the average age in Greece was 16.8 years in 2015, while the average
age of trucks and buses was 18.7 years in 2015 – both the oldest in Europe.

This is significantly above the European average (10.7 years in 2015), while older fleets are
only found in countries of the former Eastern Bloc such as Poland, with an average age of
17.2 years and Lithuania with 16.7 years.

This is mainly attributed to the economic crisis, as many owners of old vehicles are unable to
replace them, but also due to the lack of incentives for the purchase of new cars and the
complex taxation system that acts as a disincentive for consumers buying new cars.
Ferry Service to Link Thessaloniki with Cyclades and Crete
8th June 2018  via GTP travel pages
Islands of Cyclades group will be linked with Thessaloniki and Crete via a bi-weekly ferry
service to be launched in the upcoming period, announced Alternate Shipping Minister
Nektarios Santorinios during the 15th Regional Conference held on Syros recently.

The route, to run twice a week for three months and connect Thessaloniki, Skiathos, Syros
and other Cyclades isles with Heraklion on Crete, is subsidized by government funds for
remote island regions.

Syros Island, Photo Source:
Syros Island, Photo Source:

“This ferry connection can create new markets for the Cycladic islands,” said Santorinios,
adding that “every Friday and Sunday, a high-speed ferry will be launched from Piraeus, which
will twice a week link Heraklion with the Cyclades, go to Syros, and from there to Santorini. In
this way, the problem of Syros’ connection with the mainland is largely covered”.
Scheduled refueling operation of Air Force One -  Trump touches down in Crete
11th June 2018  via
Air Force One stopped at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay in the early hours of 10 June for a
scheduled refueling.

Air Force One touched down just after 3 a.m. local time Sunday morning, 10 June for a
refueling evolution and departed at 4:41 a.m. local time.

Air Force One was traveling from Canada where President Trump participated in the G7
Summit and continued on to Singapore for the historic North Korean Summit with Kim Jong-un.”
Tsipras on three-day visit to UK
23rd June 2018  via ekathimerini
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to arrive in London on Monday for a three-day visit when
he is scheduled to meet with his counterpart, Theresa May, and the head of the Labour Party,
Jeremy Corbyn.

The Greek premier is to meet on Monday with Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great
Britain and later with young Greek scientists working in the UK capital, at the Hellenic Center of
London, at 6 p.m.

On Tuesday is his scheduled meeting with May at Downing Street. Later in the day he is to
meet with Corbyn. Finally on Wednesday, Tsipras is to speak at the London Business School.
Data of Greek taxpayers assets abroad are reaching tax authorities
19th June 2018   Apokoronas News via ekathimerini
The first batch of data concerning Greek taxpayers with deposits and financial assets abroad
is in the hands of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue. The details were sent by
fellow European Union states in the context of an automatic exchange of information.

The information is being forwarded to the tax inspection mechanism to establish whether the
assets (properties or bank accounts) identified abroad have been declared.

At the same time, the country’s banks are in the process of submitting to the IAPR their
account data on tax residents in other countries in the context of the automatic data exchange,
which also includes the United States. This process, which is conducted under strict
confidentiality, has been completed for EU member-states and third countries except for the
US, in which case the process is expected to finish on Wednesday.

The IAPR is going to send all of this information to the countries concerned by end-September,
meeting its international obligations within the deadline. Also by end-September, Greek tax
authorities will receive details for all accounts and assets held by Greeks in the Cayman
Islands, Singapore, Switzerland, Monaco, Panama, Hong Kong and Lebanon.
Firefighters contain large blaze at university campus in Irakleio
23rd September 2018  via ekathimerini
A large firefighting effort on Sunday contained a blaze that had broken out on a campus of the
University of Crete near the port of Irakleio at around 8 a.m.

Twenty-eight firefighters manning 25 engines had  been dispatched to the scene while
authorities asked units of the National First Aid Center (EKAB) to stand by as thick black
smoke engulfed the area and the blaze approached the Venizeleio hospital.

The police blocked off road access to the university and evacuated the students who
happened to be at the campus though the fire was not close to student accommodation.

According to the Athens-Macedonia news agency, the building where the fire broke out was
not in use.

The cause of the blaze remained unclear.
Indian-Greek venture to start work on new Crete airport next year.
21st  September 2018  via ekathimerini
A Greek-Indian consortium has been awarded the contract to build a new airport on the island
of Crete, a consortium official said on Friday.

Ariadne Airport Group, a joint venture between India’s GMR Airports and Greek contractor
GEK Terna, was the preferred bidder for the 850 million euro project and will begin
construction at the start of next year.

Greece formally accepted the offer on Thursday after the terms of the contract were finalised
and EU and other authorities gave the necessary approvals.

A Greek court of auditors is expected to clear the project next month before the contract is
signed and put to a Greek parliamentary vote by the end of the year, the Ariadne official said.

“Construction sites logically will start being set up at the beginning of next year,” the official told
Reuters on condition of anonymity..
Fraport to increase charges at ‘upgraded airports’ – Chania included
21 September June 2018  via Apokoronas News

Fraport Greece this week announced that from 1st April 2019 it will increase fees at three
airports whose upgrades will be completed by the end of the year.  This increase affects
Chania, while the other two airports facing increased charges are Kavala and Zakynthos.

The terms of the concession agreement with Fraport foisted on the Greek government by the
lenders entitles the company to increase per passenger fees to €18.5 from the present €13
once upgrades are completed.

The company will have to first consult with the airlines using the airport ahead of the increase,
a process that will begin in November.
High charges for cash withdrawals with foreign-issued cards
12th August  2018  via
eKathimerini — Greek banks are charging holders of debit and credit cards issued abroad 2-3
euros every time they withdraw cash from an ATM.

The new commission fee came into effect at the end of July and was immediately noticed by
both tourists and Greeks who have accounts at banks outside Greece.

The banks notify the cardholder about the new charge with a message that appears when the
person uses a cash machine.

Holders of Greek bank debit cards who use ATMs of a different bank are also charged
between €1.30 and €2.20, depending on issuing bank and withdrawal amount.  Checking an
account balance at different bank’s ATMs also carry a charge of 14 to 18 eurocents..