Mission to woo Russian visitors to Greece
16 April 2014 ekathimerini

The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) has set its target for this year’s tourist
arrivals from abroad at 18.5-19 million and revenues at 13 billion euros, as bookings from foreign
markets continue to show a strong rise.

However the crisis in relations between Russia and the European Union due to current events in
Ukraine, along with the devaluation of the ruble, are of great concern to Greece.

In a bid to minimize the impact on Greek tourism, SETE has sent a delegation of its officials to
Moscow, where on Wednesday they met with representatives from 25 Russian tour operators to
inform them on the new visa-issuing system that Greek authorities have adopted.

SETE’s aim is to see Russian tourists increase from 1.3 million last year to 1.5 million in 2014

ELSTAT: Collapse in wages, pensions and welfare
16 April 2014 To Vima
The Greek statistics authority ELSTAT published the results of a study regarding the regular cuts
in wages and pensions in the public sectors, along with the restriction of welfare.

According to the data employee compensation was reduced to 22% of total expenses (5.595
billion euros) in the final quarter of 2013, from 23.1% (6.439 billion euros) and 23.5% (6.96 billion
euros) in the final quarters of 2012 and 2011 respectively.

At the same time, the cost of welfare services dropped to 39.6% of total expenses  (10.087 billion
euros), comparedto 42.7% (11.901 billion euros) and 41.6% (12.318 billion euros) in the final
quarters of 2012 and 2011.
The ELSTAT study also showed that income taxes amounted to 23.1% of the general government’
s revenue and that the public debt at the end of 2013 was 318.7 billion euros, with 99.1% of
loans being long-term.

Dutchman rescued in Soúgia
11 April, 2014 sfakia-crete.com

A rescue mission was completed shortly after 8:30 this morning to rescue a 50 years old tourist in
Soúgia with initially unknown medical problems.

According to the information, a 50 year old Dutchman was leading his partner and a German
couple from Agia Roumeli to Sougia on the E4 path.

The Dutch tourist at dawn fell down in a rough spot near the beach of Sedóni, resulting in a
shoulder dislocation.

His friends alerted the authorities and in the early hours started a rescue operation involving the
Coast Guard and a rescue ambulance.

A private fishing boat approached the point where the 50 year old was, and took him to Soúgia,
from where he was carried in the ambulance for evacuation to the Health Center of Kantanos.

The state of health of the 50 year old is good.

Greek unions to hold General Strike on April 9  (AP)
Greece's largest public sector union will join a nationwide general strike April 9 to protest
austerity measures. The move means that the walkout will affect all private and public sector
services. The ADEDY union said  it was joining the strike call issued by the GSEE union.

Cargo ships collide off Lesvos; no injuries, damage reported
6 April 2014 ekathimerini         

Two foreign-flagged cargo vessels collided off the coast of the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos
on Saturday.
There were no reports of injuries or damage.
Details were not made available regarding the ships’ identities or the size of their crews after
they collided 19 nautical miles off the island’s northwestern coast, though the coast guard said
that neither of the captains requested assistance.
The captains are also said to have assured that the accident did not result in any crew injuries or
any pollutants leaking into the sea.

Tremor rattles Greek island Hydra, felt in Crete
4 April 2014 ekathimerini

A moderate tremor rattled the island of Hydra in Greece's Saronic Gulf on Friday night.
The earthquake struck at 11.08 p.m. and was felt in Crete and Athens. Hydra is 85 kilometers
southwest of the capital's main port, Piraeus.
The Athens-based Geodynamic Institute initially put its force at 5.4 on the Richter scale, but
revised the figure upward to 5.6 to put back at 5.4 later. Its epicenter is said to have been
located 28 kilometers off the southeastern coast of the island.
There were no initial reports of damages or injuries.

Coast Guard locates ship with 408 Syrian refugees north of Crete
1st April 2014 To Vima

he Coast Guard is conducting a rescue operation off the north western coast of Crete, after
locating a 32-meter ship that is carrying about 400 Syrian refugees. According to web portal
CretaLive the weather conditions, while ideal, are not affecting the operation.
The ship was discovered after it made a request for help, after which point the Unified Command
Center of the Ministry of Shipping ordered two nearby cargo ships and a US Navy ship to
attend. The Coast Guard also dispatched a ship from Piraeus, a Greek Navy frigate and a
As the refugee-carrying vessel does not appear to be leaking, it is thought that it made the
distress call due to a mechanical failure. The three ships remain nearby the migrant-carrying
vessel, which does not appear to be facing any immediate danger.
So far about 13 of the 408 refugees have been transferred to one of the cargo freighters.
Amongst the refugees are an estimated 100 women and children. As soon as the refugees are
rescued, they will then be taken to the nearest port in Crete.

Tourism hotspots in pilot Sunday store opening scheme
28 March 2014 ekathimerini
The liberalization of Sunday opening rules for stores will start on a pilot basis in tourism
destinations such as the islands of the Cyclades and Dodecanese, Halkidiki and Crete, as well as
cruise ships ports of call such as Piraeus and Thessaloniki. Eastern Attica could also be included.

The lack of clarity in the regulation the Development Ministry has included in the multi-bill to be
voted on in Parliament tomorrow evening leaves a loophole whereby areas such as the historical
center of Athens or parts of Attica with major tourism investments such as Elliniko could be
characterized as “touristic.”

The ministry’s regulation dictates that the minister can issue a decision up until June, following
consultations with local professionals, which will determine at least three regions where the pilot
application of full Sunday opening (for all stores, on all Sundays of the year) will apply for 12
months. This means there will be no limit to the size of stores (compared with the existing limit of
250 square meters) and no decision by the regional authority will be required. A monitoring entity
will be appointed for the recording of comparative conclusions.

Austerity bill angers Greece's neighbourhood stores
28 March 2014 AP

Associations representing bakers, pharmacies, booksellers and milk producers have expressed
angry opposition to a new austerity bill in Greece, a proposed overhaul of trading rules they fear
will wipe out independent stores.

The government is due to submit the draft legislation to parliament Friday to scrap dozens of
commercial regulations it says are overly protective of independent stores and stifle competition.
The measures, to be voted Sunday, would liberalize retail sectors, and include plans to grant
supermarkets permission to set up in-store pharmacies, allow a longer shelf-life for milk and scrap
price limits on books set by Greek publishers.

Unions also oppose the plans, and have called for weekend protests and a general strike on April
9, while most pharmacies across the country closed indefinitely in protest this week. [AP]

Greek unions to hold general strike on April 9
27 March 2014 AP
Greece's largest public sector union says it will join a nationwide general strike April 9 to protest
austerity measures. The move means that the walkout will affect all private and public sector
The ADEDY union said Thursday it was joining the strike call issued by the GSEE union a few days
ADEDY said it was also organizing a demonstration outside Parliament on the day lawmakers vote
on a new bill legislating the latest measures agreed to between Greece and its international
lenders. The bill, which has not yet been submitted to Parliament, is expected to be voted on
Sunday night.
Athens agreed on the measures last week. But some of them have raised serious objections from
lawmakers inside the two-party governing coalition. [AP]

PNO unionists blocking ships with unpaid crew members
27 March 2014 tovima.gr
Unionists of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) have been conducting spot checks in
ships for unpaid crew members, as part of their announced strike action. The unionists are
focused on vessels operating in the Argosaronic.
A few days ago, the federation issued an ultimatum to NEL Lines, ANEK, Hellenic Seaways,
Ventouris Sea Lines, ANMEZ and LANE Lines to pay overdue wages to their crew members.
According to the Athens News Agency (APE), some of the companies have already paid a portion
of the wages owed and requested extra time from PNO.
Since PNO has confirmed that it will participate in the 24-hour general strike organized by GSEE
on the 9th of April, the ships will remain docked.

Severely burned toddler dies in Crete
26 March 2014 ekathimerini
Police officers were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 3-year-old boy in
the area of Mesara in Irakleio on the island of Crete on Wednesday.
The boy was allegedly taken to a local health facility by his mother and her partner, both
Bulgarian nationals, with severe burns all over his body and was pronounced dead. Early reports
suggested he had been burned with hot water.
A post mortem was ordered while the two Bulgarians were being questioned by law en-forcement

Greek pharmacists call indefinite strike over measures
25 March 2014 ekathimerini
Pharmacists have decided to launch an open-ended strike from Wednesday in protest at the
government’s liberalization measures.
The pharmacists accused the coalition of making last-minute changes to draft legislation that will
limit the role of pharmacies and threaten the livelihoods of some 12,000 Greek pharmacists.
“Pharmacies will not go like lambs to the slaughter,” said the head of the Greek Pharmacists’
Association, Kyriakos Theodosiadis.
“If people want medicines they should go to [Development Minister Costis] Hatzidakis’s office to
get them. Let the ministers who vote for these provisions secure medicines for people.”
The Health Ministry responded with a statement that said it had secured significant benefits for
pharmacists in Greece’s recent agreement with the troika, including the withdrawal of a demand
that their profit margin be reduced to 15 percent across the board.

Man dies following road rage attack on Crete
25 March 2014 ekathimerini
Two of three people allegedly involved in a road rage incident in Crete that left one man dead on
Sunday have been arrested.
The two brothers are alleged to have beaten the man with shepherds’ crooks after he complained
about their driving at the village of Antiskari in Mesara.
The third man is not believed to have taken part in the beating but is considered to be an
The incident took place in the presence of the victim’s son.
His father suffered serious head injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Chania airport expansion - 'çhanges not enough'
15 March, 20 Sfakia-crete.com via flashnews.gr

On the occasion of the expansion project of Chania airport, the Hotel Association of Chania has
sent a letter to the Commander of Aviation, Mr. Kouki, and to the MP of Chania, the Vice Prefect of
Chania and the Chania Airport Manager, indicating some points that need improvement at the
new Chania airport, which concern the movement of passengers and the feasibility of the project-

Specifically, and in accordance with the notice of the Hotel Association, this gives useful
information about the current operation of the airport and the elements that require change....
Read the full article at

Greeks warned against eating bitter almonds, apricot kernels
14 March 2014 ekathimerini

The Health Ministry on Friday issued a warning regarding the consumption of bitter al-monds and
apricot kernels following reports from the Poison Control Center at the Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s
Hospital of a spike in cyanide poisoning cases in the past six months.
The culprits are believed to be bitter almonds and apricot kernels sold at supermarkets and
health food stores that are advertised as having antioxidant properties.
The ministry warned that consuming more than 10 pieces a day can cause poisoning, alerting
consumers to warning signs such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath.
The Hellenic Food Authority has been informed and is expected to take steps to have the
products removed from shelves.

Pharmacists closed Friday and Monday in ongoing strike against reforms
13  March 2014 ekathimerini
Pharmacies to be closed again on Friday 14th and on Monday 17th March as Greek pharmacists
continue their protests against planned reforms aimed at liberalizing their sector.
The pharmacists walked off the job earlier this week in an initial "warning strike" and have
threatened to intensify their action unless the government rejects a series of reforms demanded
by the troika that would extend the right to sell over-the-counter medicines to supermarkets and
would allow any individual or business to open a pharmacy.
Unionists are to meet again on Monday to decide how to continue with their action.

Two suicides rock Crete over the weekend
March 10
Two businessmen are believed to have committed suicide on the island of Crete over the
weekend, raising concerns about the impact of the crisis as both incidents though unrelated are
believed to have been prompted by financial concerns.
The first occurred on Saturday morning in Irakleio on the northern coast of the southern Aegean
island, where a 61-year-old businessman shot himself in his home.
Just 24 hours later, authorities reported the death of a 56-year-old man in Hersonissos who shot
himself with a hunting rifle, also in his home.
Local media reports did not mention whether they had left notes explaining their decision.

Pharmacies launch two-day strike on Monday, Tuesday
9 March 2014 ekathimerini
Pharmacies across Greece will begin the week with what they are calling a "warning" strike on
Monday and Tuesday, 10 & 11 March, in protest at plans to liberalize their sector.

The Panhellenic Pharmacists' Union is objecting to measures being urged by the country's
creditors to open up the sector to competition by changing the rules governing where pharmacies
can operate and by whom they can be run, as well as freeing their opening hours.

The union has repeatedly expressed fears that the liberalization of pharmacies will make small
businesses owned by individual pharmacists vulnerable to competition from large pharmacy

The union said that the strike on Monday and Tuesday is "just the start" of action against the
measures, which also include a contentious plan to allow supermarkets to sell over-the-counter

Hellenic Seaplanes bets on airborne island hopping as new trend
7  March 2014 Bloomberg
Hellenic Seaplanes S.A., a new airline set to start flying tourists between Greek islands this
summer, forecasts that sea-based commercial carriers could generate 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion)
in annual revenue as European travelers return to a country emerging from recession.

With nearly 6,000 islands and fewer than 50 airports, Greece is a “natural” for seaplanes and
could become “the center of a seaplane industry” in Europe, Nicolas Charalambous, president and
chief executive officer of Hellenic Seaplanes, said in an interview in Athens

The Greek government has agreed to speed up licensing to allow flights to start before the
summer, Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis said Feb. 18, citing the industry’s potential role in
boosting tourism.

Charalambous’s company wants to “act as a feeder” to carriers such as International
Consolidated Airlines Group SA’s British Airways and Aegean Airlines SA, he said. Code-sharing
could allow passengers to “buy a ticket from anywhere in the world to a Greek airport, and then
onward to water aerodromes on islands we serve.”

Gavdos residents to boycott Euro-polls to protest weapons destruction
4 March 2014 ekathimerini

The residents of Gavdos, a tiny island south of Crete with a population of just 152, issued a
statement yesterday saying that they would not vote in the European Parliament elections on
May 25 to protest efforts by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to
destroy Syrian chemical weapons in the Mediterranean.
In a message published online, the islanders said they hoped to contribute to a campaign aimed
at preventing the weapons from being destroyed near Crete.
“If there is an accident, these dangerous substances will sink into our sea and destroy every
living organism, us included,” said the Gavdos residents.
The toxic substances will be placed on a ship with systems that can carry out the process of
hydrolysis that will convert the chemicals into less dangerous substances.

Doctors call for withdrawal of 5-euro patient fee
4 March 2014 ekathimerini
The Federation of Greek Doctors' Unions (OENGE) on Tuesday urged the Health Ministry to
withdraw a directive calling for patients to pay a 5-euro fee for admission to polyclinics in the
country’s new Primary National Healthcare Network (PEDY).
"Citizens have already paid for the health system via their social security contributions and their
taxes, and they should not be obliged to pay for the same thing a third time," OENGE said in a
statement, adding that citizens should refuse to pay the admission fee.
The Health Ministry's decision has drawn criticism from the junior partner in Greece's two party
coalition, PASOK, as well as from the opposition.

Greek Television Station Banned From Airing Investigative Report
15 February 2014 AP

A Greek judge on Thursday banned a leading private TV station from airing an investigative report
into a deadly migrant boat accident, claiming it could compromise the secrecy of the ongoing
official investigation.

Judge Antigoni Stamoleka warned Mega TV of "severe legal sanctions" if it broadcasts the report
— or even continues to screen advertising spots for it — before her investigation is concluded.

Mega TV said the order was an unacceptable act of censorship, and insisted it would complete
and air the report as planned during next week's episode of the popular "Protagonists" show.

"It would be a sad state of affairs if journalists had to secure judges' permission to investigate a
story," said reporter Stavros Theodorakis, who presents "Protagonists."

The Jan. 20 sinking of a boat trying to smuggle immigrants into Greece from the nearby Turkish
coast left six dead and another six presumed drowned near Farmakonissi islet in the eastern
Aegean Sea.

Seaplanes on the horizon in Crete
12 February, 2014 Flashnews via

Seaplanes are getting ready for their business, after posting the "Green Light" in the Circular of
the General Secretariat of Ports and Maritime Investment Policy, with the prescribed procedures
and conditions laid down for the licensing and transfer of licenses for seaplanes.

In Crete, the procedures in Rethymno, which came first to the 'game', have already begun, where
as we were informed by Mr. Minos Alefantinos, President of the Municipal Port Fund of Rethymno,
the file is ready for licensing in the next 10 days to be submitted to the Ministry.

In Heraklion, Mr. Giannis Brás told to Flashnews.gr, that while the dossier is getting ready, they
will examine some other procedural and technical issues and soon everything will be in the
process of filing the dossier to the Ministry for authorization.

"The Port Authority of Chania and the Port Committee have decided to proceed in the
development and operation of seaplanes in the Port of Souda and before the end of March the file
will be completed and submitted to the Ministry of Infrastructure for the licensing of seaplanes in
Souda", as Mr. Kostas Brokalakis told to us, while he assured us that they make every effort to
quickly complete the process.

As is apparent, in contrast to the above three Cretan Ports that are completing procedures to file
an authorization to the Ministry, Agios Nicholaos has not started yet.

Aegean reports first rise in domestic air traffic in four years
6 February 2014 ekathimerini
Aegean Airlines reported on Wednesday an increase in domestic traffic last month for the first
time in four years.

Along with its subsidiary Olympic Air, Aegean posted a remarkable 18 percent increase year-on-
year from its Athens hub, and a 41 percent rise from its hub in Thessaloniki.

This is attributed to Aegean’s new pricing policy since November that has led to impressive
growth in traffic to island destinations.

Total traffic for Aegean and Olympic’s domestic and international flights rose 12 percent last
month to 522,000 passenge

Efforts to render Cephalonia operational ahead of tourist season
5 February 2014 ekathimerini
Fifty-five percent of the 250 buildings checked for damage in the town of Lixouri following two
strong earthquakes on the island of Cephalonia need repair work, according to Stratos
Simopoulos, secretary general at the Ministry of Public Works.

Speaking on Skai television on Wednesday Simopoulos noted that the priority was to make the
island "operational" through repair work at the island's ports and road infrastructure.

Hundreds of people have been left homeless on the Ionian island following tremors measuring 5.8
and 5.7 on the Richter scale.

The island was expected to be declared “earthquake-hit” in the coming days, a prerequisite for
further financial support and repairs, which includes state funding to cover rent for families who
were forced to leaver their homes.

"Efforts are being made to solve problems before the tourist season begins,” said Simopoulos.

Greece paying a heavy price for corruption
3 February 2014 ekathimerini
Corruption costs Greece some 554 million euros every year, according to the first European
Commission report on the phenomenon that was published on Monday.

A remarkable 99 percent of Greek respondents said corruption constitutes a widespread problem
in the country, placing Greece top in the European Union chart (of perceived corruption) while the
European Union average is at 76 percent. Over three in every five Greeks (63 percent) believes
corruption affects their everyday lives against an EU average of 26 percent.

The report identifies five main fields where corruption is rife in Greece: They are the health sector,
the funding of political parties, the justice system, which delays the processing of corruption
cases, state contracts and the fragmentary handling of the phenomenon in Greece.

The report did find, however, that some important steps against corruption have been taken in
the last two years.

Greek Farmers Setting up Roadblocks
31 January 2014 Greek Reporter.com
Greek farmers are prepared to escalate their struggles starting Monday February 3.
Representatives of the farmers met with the Greek Minister of Rural Development and Food,
Athanasios Tsaftaris to discuss a series of matters and demands (taxation, production cost).

Tomorrow they will decide on setting up roadblocks everywhere, starting from Monday. The
farmers are pointing to the high taxation, the increase in the VAT rate and in the production cost,
as well as the low producer prices as the main reasons for their struggle.

Farmers in Chania, Crete have announced that they will blockade the tax office on Monday and
Tuesday, 3 & 4 Feb.

Kefalonia hit by many aftershocks
30 January 2014 ekathimerini
Aftershocks continued on Thursday on the Ionian island of Cephalonia, following Sunday’s 5.9-
Richter earthquake, but seismologists were reassuring, saying that the tremors were dwindling
and that a larger, more destructive quake was unlikely.

A total of 362 aftershocks had rattled the island by late last night, Thanassis Ganas, head of
research at the Institute of Geodynamics, told Kathimerini. He said the original quake jolted
adjacent fault lines, causing a large number of aftershocks but that there was no indication of a
larger looming tremor.

Checks by state engineers have suggested that around half of some 1,000 buildings damaged by
the quake are temporarily unsafe for use

Greece to show latest oil and gas seismic data to investors in Feb
29 January 2014 Reuters
Greece will soon invite international investors to look for oil and natural gas in its western and
southern waters, following the completion of seismic tests that have proved interesting, it said on

The offshore tests in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete were carried out by Norwegian firm
Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) . The data has been transferred to the government and will be
made available to interested companies in February, the energy ministry said in a statement.

"A preliminary assessment of the data shows interesting geological structures bearing significant
similarities to areas in neighboring countries which already produce hydrocarbons (Albania,
Italy)," it said.

Greece imports almost all its oil and natural gas, spending about 5 percent a year of its GDP on
the purchases. It pays about 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) a year alone on oil to produce electricity
for dozens of islands that are not connected to the national power grid.

When it hired Oslo-based PGS in 2012, Greece said it was planning to call a bidding round for
offshore oil and gas exploration in mid-2014. The licences would cover a maritime zone with a
width of between 100 and 400 km.

Coast guard chief apologizes in Parliament for Farmakonisi tragedy
29 January 2014 ekathimerini
Government and opposition politicians clashed in Parliament on Wednesday during a heated
debate that accompanied a briefing by coast guard officers on the circumstances surrounding an
incident in the Aegean last week that resulted in 12 immigrants being lost at sea.

The session culminated in the head of the coast guard, Vice Admiral Dimitris Bandias, apologizing
to the families of the migrants who drowned off the coast of Farmakonisi. “We apologize to the
families of the victims but to all Greeks too for the situation that we put them in,” he said. “We did
what we could.”

Officers who had been on the coast guard vessel which towed the migrants’ boat told a
parliamentary committee that the boat capsized when the passengers moved to one side.

Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told the House that coast guard officers have orders
to “guard the country’s sea borders and save the lives of those at risk at sea,” not to conduct
“violent pushbacks and behave inhumanely.”

In a related development, the Ombudsman called for an investigation into claims that coast guard
officers abused the migrants. The circumstances of the incident are being probed by prosecutors
following protests by human rights groups.

Farmers launch new round of nationwide protests
21 January 2014 ANA-MPA
Greek farmers on Tuesday launched a new round of protests, following a decision during a
meeting on Sunday in Larissa, central Greece, with the participation of farmers from several parts
of the country.

Farmers will move their tractors to the centre of their villages, while further protests – escalating
even to the blocking of highways at the end of month-- will depend on the participation rates.

Farmers have also decided to hold gatherings outside tax offices across the country and rally in
Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on February 1, during the Agrotica Trade Fair.

The farmers protest against taxation and demand the settlement of ‘bad loans’.

Police implicate five in illegal adoption racket case
21 January 2014 ekathimerini
Police are building a case against five people in connection with an illegal adoption racket
following the attempted sale of a 1-month-old Bulgarian infant to a Greek couple in the Cretan
port of Rethymno, Kathimerini understands.

According to police, the couple, a 58-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman, traveled to Athens
last week and paid 30,000 euros to buy the baby from its natural mother. A lawyer and a nurse,
both Greek, are believed to be members of the racket.

Coast guard looking for 12 passengers of capsized migrant boat
20 January 2014 ekathimerini
Greek coast guard officials were on Monday night still searching for 12 immigrants – nine women
and three children – who fell into the sea off the eastern Aegean island of Farmakonisi after their
vessel capsized.

According to authorities, the immigrant vessel was spotted 1.5 nautical miles from Farmakonisi by
a patrol boat that tried to tow it to the Dodecanese islet. The boat allegedly capsized after two
immigrants jumped into the sea for unknown reasons.

Coast guard officers were able to rescue 16 people who were later taken to the island of Leros.
The migrants are believed to be from Somalia and Syria.

Blogger convicted for page mocking Orthodox priest
16 January 2014 ekathimerini
A 27-year-old fish farm employee, who set up a satirical Facebook page mocking a deceased
Orthodox monk whose sayings have gained prominence in recent years, was given Thursday a 10-
month suspended sentence for
blasphemy by an Athens court.

Filippos Loizos, 27, and his lawyer expressed surprise and disappointment at the verdict. “It was
clear that from the start the court was not willing to take my argument on board,” said the
blogger, who insisted that he set up the page to satirize the sudden interest in the life of Elder

Loizos used the name Elder Pastitsios and edited photos of Paisios so a pastitsio – a Greek dish
consisting of pasta, bechamel and ground beef – appeared in place of his face.

“The judges were very aggressive and it seemed they did not want to understand what the page
was about,” added the blogger.

Loizos was arrested in 2012 after Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas, who is now in custody on
suspicion of being part of a criminal gang, raised the issue regarding the Facebook page in

Amendment scrapping 25-euro hospital fee tabled in Parliament - fee to be passed on to
tobacco products
10 January 2014 ekathimerini
The government on Friday tabled an amendment abolishing a controversial 25-euro fee for public
hospitals. Under the same amendment the fee is instead passed on to tobacco product prices
which will go up by 5 cents.

The bill was included in a bill by the Agriculture Ministry.

The price hike is expected to generate some 40 million euros in revenues, in line with government

Nearly half of incomes below poverty line
7 January 2014 ekathimerini
Over 44 percent of the Greek population had an income below the poverty line in 2013 according
to estimates by the Public Policy Analysis Group of the Athens University of Economics and
Business (AUEB).

The poverty threshold is measured as 60 percent of the price-adjusted average income in 2009,
or up to 665 euros per person per month and up to 1,397 for a couple supporting two underage

The AUEB researchers also found that last year 14 percent of Greeks earned below the adequate
living standards, compared with 2 percent of the population four years ago.

The group’s report, published last week, suggested that during the crisis instead of strengthening
support to the unemployed – which is one of the most efficient methods to rekindle demand – the
state was forced to reduce it.

It added that besides the austerity policies of the last few year, the inability of the state to
contain the collapse of social structures is due to the lack of targeted strategies and to the
inefficient use of resources, problems that dogged Greece even before the onset of the crisis.

Gay couples protest against Bishop Seraphim at Epiphany ceremony in Piraeus
6th January 2014 ekathimerini
Epiphany, a public holiday in Greece, was marked by a traditional religious ceremony at Piraeus,
where gay couples protested against the port city’s ultra-conservative bishop, Seraphim.

Accoridng to Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, several gay couples kissed as Seraphim
conducted the blessing of the waters, throwing a crucifix into the sea. They also handed out
leaflets reading: “Love is not a sin”.

Seraphim is known for his homophobic and anti-Semetic statements. He recently opposed plans
to extend legislation allowing unmarried couples to have their partnership legally recognized to
same-sex couples.

He said that any other relationship, barring that between a male and a female, “is a unnatural
aberration not even observed in animals.”

A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in November condemned Greece for excluding
gays from civil partnerships. The court ruled that Greece had not offered “convincing and weighty
reasons” to justify excluding gays.

Health minister comes under fire over hospital charge
3 January 2014 ekathimerini
Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis came under a new barrage of criticism on Friday over the 25-
euro charge for those admitted to public hospitals. The barbs aimed at the conservative politician
also came from coalition partner PASOK and not just opposition parties.

Georgiadis hit back at criticism of the measures, arguing it is a small charge which is vital to
keeping state hospitals running properly. He called on his critics to come up with alternative ways
of raising the money needed. “What we are saying is that someone will be charged once every 10
years they need treatment so that hospitals can be able to buy medicines for the poor,” said

PASOK responded with an unusually strong-worded criticism of Georgiadis, calling on him to find
alternative sources of revenue from the economic plans Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had
unveiled at Zappeio Hall when he was in opposition. SYRIZA and Democratic Left also called for
the 25-euro charge to be scrapped.

One arrested, 15 sought over swindles against elderly victims
2  January 2014 ekathimerini
A 26-year-old woman was arrested on Thursday as police sought at least another 15 suspects in
connection to a string of reports by elderly people from different parts of Greece who said they
had been cheated out of money.

At the center of the investigation are 44 reports made at precincts in the Greek capital, on Crete,
Naxos and in Messinia, among other areas, suggesting that the gang has been at work since
2010 and has swindled over 130,000 euros out of elderly victims.

Members of the gang are believed to have posed as friends of close relatives of the elderly victims
in order to gain their trust and convince them to hand over cash in order to held the alleged

Man aged 26 dies in New Year’s Eve motorcycle crash on Crete
1 January 2014 ekathimerini
A man died on New Year’s Eve after his motorcycle crashed in the Souda district of Hania, Crete.

The name of the victim, who was 26 years old, has not been made public.

The crash is still under investigation.

Smog from fireplaces in Greek cities causes political headache
23 December 2013 ekathimerini via greekcurrent.com
The smog created when unfavorable weather conditions meet an increased use of fireplaces to
warm homes became a political, as well as environmental, issue on Monday, with the government
coming under pressure from its own MPs to reduce the tax on heating oil.

Multiple warnings were issued over the past few days with regard to the high levels of air
pollution in Athens, Thessaloniki and other major Greek cities as a result of households burning
wood to stay warm rather than using expensive heating oil.

In some places, air pollution briefly exceeded 150 mg/m3, which the government last week set as
a the trigger level at which it would offer free electricity to poor households.

The Athens Medical Association warned people to take care about what they burn in their
fireplaces and called on the government to create a more comprehensive policy to deal with the
problems people have in heating their homes.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry warned the elderly and asthma sufferers that smog levels in
Athens and other urban areas were at dangerous levels due to weather conditions and the high
number of people burning wood to stay warm. The Health and Environment ministries had issued
a statement on Saturday night asking households to limit the use of fireplaces to prevent the
buildup of smog.

House prices have fallen 37.6 percent
17 December 2013 ekathimerini
House prices in Greece have plummeted 37.6 percent in real terms since the beginning of the
financial crisis five years ago, according to the Bank of Greece’s Monetary Policy report issued on

The report also mentions that estate agencies have reported an even greater drop in prices.

Notably, the slide has been steeper in Athens and Thessaloniki, with large properties in the most
expensive areas of the country being the hardest hit.

The report comments that the property market continues to be dominated by excessive supply
and a significant decline in demand, which can be attributed to the dramatic increase in
unemployment, the drop in households’ disposable, soaring property taxes and the instability of
the tax framework.

Given the very strict terms under which credit is issued by banks, the lack of cash flow is another
major factor in the shrinking demand for houses, the BoG notes.

Details of politicians' earnings, & wealth, published online
16 December 2013 enetenglish.gr
The so-called origin of wealth forms (pothen esches in Greek) that some 694 politicians were
obliged to submit in 2012 were published on parliament's website on Monday.

Among those obliged to file returns were all sitting MPs, MEPs, party treasurers, as well as their
spouses and children.

The data will remain online until 16 January 2014.  Politicians are obliged to state their incomes,
property holdings, share interests, bank deposits (domestically and abroad) and all other
business activities.  
read more

Grimaldi Launches New Ferry Service Between Italy and Greece
16 December 2013  gtp.gr
talian shipping company Grimaldi Group has launched a new direct service to expand its
coverage in the Adriatic routes between Italy and Greece.

As of 19 December 2013 the new maritime service, dedicated to the transport of rolling freight
and passengers, will be launched between the ports of Ravenna, Igoumenitsa and Patras.

The vessel deployed on the line will be the Euroferry Olympia, a ro-pax ferry with a length of 183
meters and a beam of 28.50 meters, a loading capacity of 200 trailers and 600 passengers,
accommodated in cabins and reclining seats.

Draft law seeks to improve rights of non-Greek speaking suspects
13 December 2013 ekathimerini
A draft law submitted to Parliament on Friday by the Justice Ministry aims to improve the rights of
suspects by making it obligatory for them to be provided with interpreters and translations of
documents during the judicial process.

Anyone arrested will have to be given a document detailing their rights, with a translation of the
text being made available to suspects who do not know Greek.

2,000-year-old olive trees being turned to firewood in Crete
12 December 2013 thepressproject.net
Ancient olive trees, some 25 meters in circumference and over 2,000-years-old, are being felled in
Crete for firewood according to reporting in today’s
Kathimerini newspaper (link in Greek).

The report describes how enterprising loggers are illegally cutting down olive trees that were
alive during the time of the ancient Greeks, to the horror of local residents

Demand for firewood has increased dramatically in recent years due to price rises in heating oil,
and olive wood is particularly valued as it is a dense wood providing heat for many hours.
Together with the greater financial incentive, many also accuse authorities of turning a blind eye
to loggers' destruction of Crete’s ancient olive trees with all of their history and symbolism.

Greece seen as most corrupt country in EU, Transparency International finds
4 December 2013 ekathimerini
Greece scored 40 out of 100 points on the perception of corruption scale published by Berlin-
based NGO Transparency International on Tuesday, putting the crisis-hit nation on a par with
China, but showing that it has made some progress from last year when it scored 36 points.

The score of 40 also shows that Greece is seen as the most corrupt nation in the European Union,
far below the best-performing Denmark, which scored 91.

The ranking, which covers 177 countries, is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption
on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

Greece ranks in the 80th spot among the 177 countries, below Bulgaria, Senegal and Tunisia. It is
on a par with China and just one spot up from Swaziland.

Only one in two Greek firms paying employees on time
2 December 2013 ekathimerini
Only one in two Greek companies are paying their employees on time, leaving more than 1 million
employees unpaid for at least one month, according to research carried out by the General
Confederation of Greek Workers’ (GSEE) Labor Institute.

“The phenomenon of unpaid workers started to gather pace in the fall of 2012,” the legal adviser
to the Labor Ministry, G. Melissaris told Sunday’s Kathimerini. “At the start it was one month, then
two, three, even up to a year.”

There have also been reports of companies agreeing contracts with employees in which they
agree to pay them every three months rather then monthly.

“Unpaid workers are trapped because they have not been fired and cannot receive
unemployment benefit but they are not salaried either because they work without pay or for a
small amount of what they are owed,” added Melissaris.

Woman dies during flooding in Peloponnesian town of Argos
2 December 2013 ekathimerini
A 55-year-old woman has died during flooding in the town of Argos in the Peloponnese.

The woman, who is thought to be Serbian, died in the basement flat she was living in when a wall
collapsed amid flash flooding.

Dozens of firefighters were called to Argos after two rivers in the area broke their banks.

Other towns and villages also experienced problems with flooding. The fire service also received
more than 100 calls to pump water out of basements in Corinth and Kiato, west of Athens, due to
the heavy rain.

Health Minister warns striking EOPYY doctors
28 November 2013 ekathimerini
Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis on Thursday warned protesting doctors of EOPYY, Greece's
main healthcare provider, against plans to continue their strike.

The union of EOPYY doctors, who have been striking in protest at cuts and dismissals in the
country's healthcare system, has decided to extend action until next Tuesday, the 3rd of

“I am not prepared to keep in the public sector people who are not necessary,” Georgiadis told
Skai on Thursday. “I would then have to cut from pensions, which I consider immoral,” he said.

“No one can blackmail the state,” said Georgiadis adding that the Health Ministry has already
hammered out a plan B “which doctors will not like.” He did not provide more details.

Project to expand the airport of Chania restarted - 25 November, 2013
25 November 2013  www.sfakia-crete-forum.com
After a delay of two months, due to problems with subcontractors, the contractor company has
started again from noon last Saturday the expansion projects at the airport "G. Daskalogiannis"
in Chania.

Works have been sped up in order to "win back" the lost time, so the first visitors of Spring will
not find the airport as a construction site.

The Airport Manager of Chania, Mr. Stavros Kastrinakis, told that the projects are now developing
in the area where the coaches were stationed, and where will be the eastern extension of the
terminal building.

To overcome the problems, according to reports, the contractor company chartered a special
vessel and transferred it to Chania, with its own machines which now execute the project

Greece has fired or suspended 116 tax inspectors, deputy minister says
18 November 2013 ekathimerini
More than 110 tax inspectors have been suspended or fired as a result of a variety of offenses,
Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Mavraganis told Parliament on Monday.

Responding to a question from an Independent Greeks MP, Mavraganis said that 111 have been
suspended and 5 fired. The timeframe in which this disciplinary action was taken is not clear.

Mavraganis also said that 897 tax office employees had retired. However, he added that 449 new
tax inspectors had been appointed last year and another 52 are in the process of being

Twelve drown off Greek coast after boat capsizes
15 November 2013 ekathimerini
Twelve immigrants, including four children, drowned on Friday after their boat capsized just off the
Greek island of Lefkada in the Ionian Sea, the coastguard said.

Greece is a major gateway for immigrants trying to make their way illegally from Africa and the
Middle East into the European Union.

"The immigrants called police on their mobile to say their boat was in distress," a coastguard
official told Reuters.

"When we arrived we found fifteen people on the shore and picked up eight bodies, including four

The immigrants said there were more people on their six-meter long boat and a diver was looking
for them.

Child removed from Roma camp in Thessaloniki
12 November 2013 ekathimerini
In a case similar to the one involving “Maria”, a Roma child taken last month from the Gypsy
couple looking after her when it was proved they were not her biolog-ical parents, a 4-year-old
has been removed from a Roma camp in Thessaloniki fol-lowing a check on records showed that
the boy’s birth was declared only a few months after his supposed parents registered another
Following the Maria case, Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani asked local prosecutors
to check birth records from the last five years for anything suspicious.
This led to the discovery in Thessaloniki.
The child was removed from the camp after DNA tests showed the couple looking after him were
not his biological parents.
Another six suspicious cases are being investigated.

After 8 years of trying, Cretan couple get a surprise delivery
12 November 2013 ekathimerini
A 33-year-old Cretan woman who gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Monday said she had not
realized that she was pregnant despite her increase in weight.
The woman, who was not named, was rushed to the main hospital in Lasithi on Mon-day after
complaining of stomach pains and subsequently gave birth.
Speaking to a Cretan radio station on Tuesday, she said she and her husband had been trying for
a child for the past eight years.

Inmate found dead in cell in Hania Prison
9 November 2013 ekathimerini
A 67-year-old man was on Saturday found dead in his cell at Hania Prison on the island of Crete.
The man, who was being held in custody on drug trafficking charges, was discovered by a fellow
inmate who notified prison officials.
The cause of his death has not yet been confirmed.

Cretan Farmers Protest
5 November 2013 Enet English
Tensions flared outside Irakio courthouse on Crete on Monday afternoon when a group of farmers
forced their way into the building, demanding the acquittal of 92 farmers on trial for causing
damage to public property during a sit-in at Iraklio airport in 2009. The protesting farmers, who
had earlier participated in a rally expressing opposition to the taxation of farming land, a measure
included in a government-sponsored draft law for real-estate taxation, kicked down the
courthouse door and entered the courtroom after the judges had withdrawn to deliberate on
their ruling. A police officer and two special guards were injured by flying glass.

Forms for 2014 road tax available from Taxisnet from November 11
4 November 2013 ekathimerini
Motorists will be able to obtain the document they need to pay their road tax for 2014 via the
Taxisnet online system from Monday, November 11, Finance Ministry official said.
The general secretary for revenues, Haris Theoharis, said that motorists will be able to take this
forms to any bank to pay their road tax, as happened last year.
Roads tax for 2014 will remain unchanged from this year, ranging from 22 euros for vehicles with
an engine capacity for under 300 cc to 1,320 for those with engines that are 4 liters or larger.
The only difference is that for 2014, owners of cars whose engines are 1,929 cc or more, will also
have to pay a luxury tax next year.

First Sunday opening ‘a success’
4 November ekathimerini
The government and the Development Ministry in particular appear to have passed the Sunday
opening test, as consumer traffic at stores in Greece last Sunday, at least in the main shopping
areas, turned out to be greater than expected.
A key factor in the success of the first application of the Sunday opening law was the fact that it
was a day that formed part of the fall sales – also a new measure – while the favorable weather
also helped.
“The picture of our cities changed. Consumers embraced both the idea of the 10-day sales
periods and stores opening on a Sunday,” stated Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis on
Monday. “We have therefore done very well to ignore those who expressed a fear of the new.
We are just doing the same as most countries in Europe. Why shouldn’t we in Greece?” the
minister said.
However, it was again evident that retail commerce is a two-speed market in Greece, with those
benefitting being the major chains and enterprises with stores in malls, rather than small and
medium-sized enterprizes.

General Strike Wednesday November 6th
Greece’s civil service union, ADEDY and the private sector union, GSEE, have announced a 24 hour
strike for November 6.

Other than bringing the civil service and parts of the private sector to a standstill, the strike will
also see all passenger and cargo ferries remaining in port as the seamen’s union, PNO, has also
said it will join the action.  

Police looking for Bulgarian couple said to have left 'Maria' at Farsala Roma camp
22 October 2013 ekathimerini
The Roma couple charged with abducting a young girl aged between 5 and 6 who has come to be
known as "Maria" and was taken by authorities from a Roma camp in Farsala, central Greece,
after DNA tests confirmed that the couple are not her real parents, told the investigating
magistrate on Monday that the child had been left in their care by a Bulgarian Roma couple.

The man, identified by authorities as Christos Salis, aged 39, told the magistrate that "Maria" had
been left in his and his wife's care in Farsala by a couple who are Bulgarian nationals. He claimed
that he was not at the camp when the child was left there and had later urged his wife to hand
her over to authorities.

His wife - who has two police identity cards with different names and dates and places of birth,
one naming her Eleftheria Dimopoulou, aged 41, and the other naming her Selini Sali, aged 40 -
backed her husband's statement, saying that she refused to report the incident to authorities as
she had grown attached to the young girl.

Authorities on Tuesday were trying to track down the man that Salis claims left the child in Farsala
via a telephone number he provided to authorities.

First ever Autumn sales start on November 1
21 October 2013 ekathimerini
Greece’s first ever fall sales are set to start on November 1, lasting for nine days including
Sunday, November 3, when all stores will also be open, as dictated by the new law on retail

Retailers may get a desperately needed boost, having suffered severely from the drop in
consumer spending, and will have the chance to sell their fall stocks while promoting winter
merchandise at lower prices.

The latest available data by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on retail turnover, from July
2013, show a 14.4 percent decline from the same month in 2012. The latter half of July hosted the
summer sales period.

The November sales period will be the first intermediary spell to come under the new law, while
the next will come in the first 10 days of May. The first Sunday of each sales period is a working
day for all retailers, including shopping centers, regardless of size.

Family of Albanian national, living in Crete, donates organs
19 October 2013 ekathimerini
The family of a 40-year-old Albanian national dying from a brain tumor agreed to donate his
organs after his medical condition was deemed irreversible by doctors at the Venizeleio Hospital
in Iraklio, Crete, late on Friday.

The man’s kidneys were flown to Athens, his liver was flown to Thessaloniki and his corneas were
transferred to another hospital in Iraklio.

Quake of 6.4 magnitude in west of Crete
12 October 2013 Reuters
An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude was detected in the Mediterranean Sea west of the island of
Crete on Saturday, but there were no reports of casualties or damage, the Greek police and fire
brigade said.

The center of the quake, which struck at 1311 GMT (16.11hrs local time) was 22.5 miles below the
seabed 43 miles west of Chania on Crete, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Greece is often rocked by earthquakes. Most cause no serious damage but a 5.9 magnitude
quake in 1999 killed 143 people.

Hiking Tragedy in Crete
2 October 2013 ekathimerini
A British woman was reported to have died on Tuesday after falling into a ravine while hiking on
the southern Aegean island of Crete.

The 55-year-old Briton was on a hike with her daughter in the oak forest of Rouva in the region of
Iraklio on the northern coast of Crete, when she lost her footing and fell into a ravine.

Rescue crews called to the scene of the accident found her body lying at the bottom of the ravine.
They believe that she died of injuries to her head as a result of the fall, the state-run Athens-
Macedonia News Agency reported.

The 55-year-old woman's name was not made public.

58 year old Briton in  critical condition after falling from Malia hotel balcony
1 October 2013 Cretalive.gr
An intoxicated British tourist, 58, fell from the balcony of the hotel where he was staying in Malia.

The tragic incident happened last night, while his wife slept, and reportedly after they had both
drank a large quantity of alcohol.

The man is in a critical condition in a Crete hospital.

Golden Dawn MPs knew about killing, calls show
1 October 2013 ekathimerini
Incriminating evidence against Golden Dawn mounted Monday, as six of its deputies prepared to
face a magistrate on criminal charges from Tuesday, with extracts of a leaked prosecutor’s report
offering insights into GD’s modus operandi and illicit activities while transcripts of wiretapped
phone conversations between members of the extreme right-wing party appeared to implicate
the grouping in the murder of a leftist rapper last month.

The prosecutor’s report indicates that the party’s charter – which operates according to a strict
structure and hierarchical command resembling the Nazi Fuehrerprinzip – was enforced in the
murder of 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas last month. Wiretapped phone calls between Golden Dawn
officials suggest that the leadership of the party was briefed about the killing.  
Read more

EOPYY limits doctors’ choices of medicines
1 October 2013 ekathimerini
In the next step in the government’s efforts to limit waste and corruption with regard to
prescription medicines, doctors using the electronic prescription scheme will face a limited choice
of drugs that they can recommend for certain ailments.

As of Tuesday, doctors were issued with “protocols” that inform them about which medicines they
can prescribe for diabetes, dyslipidemia, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and neurological
disorders to patients who will be claiming the money for these drugs from the country’s main
healthcare provider, EOPYY.

The medicines prescribed for these illnesses account for about 50 percent of EOPYY’s total outlay
on drugs each year. Last month, it emerged that EOPYY would likely miss its overall spending
target of 470 million euros for 2013 and that it owed some 500 million euros to pharmacists and

Golden Dawn head, MPs arrested in unprecedented Greek crackdown
28 September 2013 ekathimerini
In an unprecedented crackdown over the weekend, police arrested the leader of the ultra-right
Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, as well as several lawmakers and party officials following an
investigation by a Supreme Court prosecutor into criminal activities linked to the party, including
the murder earlier this month of leftist hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas by a supporter of Golden
Dawn. The lawmakers faced a magistrate later in the day.

The arrests – the first such crackdown since the fall of Greece’s military junta in 1974 – followed
rumors over the weekend of mass resignations by deputies of the ultra-right party and
speculation about the likely need to hold by-elections. There was speculation about the intense
political upheaval such a development could trigger, though senior government officials ruled out
the possibility of snap general elections.

General Strike Tues 23 September and Wed 24 September
ADEDY public sector workers and GSEE private sector workers in Greece have announced a new
48 hour strike for Tuesday and Wednesday 23 and 24 September 2013. There are as yet no
details on whether Air Traffic Controllers will join this strike; note they did not take part in the
48hr strike last week. Should air traffic controllers decide to join the strike it is likely that they will
strike for just a few hours on one or both days. Any updated announcements will be published

Golden Dawn Pavlos Fyssas Stabbing: Greece 'Has Hit Red Line'
18 September 2013 ibtimes
Greek journalists and politicians have reacted strongly to the fatal stabbing of an anti-fascist hip-
hop singer, allegedly by a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

Pavlos Fyssas, nicknamed Killah P, died after being stabbed outside a café in the Keratsini area
west of Athens. Police arrested a 45-year-old member of Golden Dawn and raided its
headquarters in the Greek capital.

Some reports indicate that the suspect told his wife to throw away his Golden Dawn party card
when he realised that police were looking for him. Authorities found the evidence in a garbage
bag outside the 45-year-old's residence in Nikaia, south-eastern Attica.

Public order minister Nikos Dendias said the killing and recent violence involving the party "shows
in the clearest possible way the intentions of the neo-Nazi creation".

"I am shaken by the event," Dendias said.

Following the death of Fyssas, Nikos Xydakis argued in Greek newspaper Ekathimerini that the
country has hit its "Red Line" as far as Golden Dawn is concerned.

"September 18, 2013, must be seen as a wake-up call for Greek democracy, the country's
institutions and its citizens," he wrote. "The murder of 34-year-old musician Pavlos Fyssas in
Keratsini by extremists is the culmination of a wave of violent activities over the past few days
which began with attacks on Greek Communist Party members in Perama, carried out by alleged
supporters of Golden Dawn."

Last week, 50 men wearing black T-shirts and bearing the Golden Dawn logo, attacked and beat
up communist members in Perama, south-west of Athens, who were putting up posters ahead of
a planned youth festival.

Stinky stowaway taken off airplane
12 September 2013 ekathimerini
A skunk that somehow found its way into the Olympic Air cargo area at Iraklio’s international
airport on Crete Wednesday prompted an intervention by airport staff while rescue workers and
the fire service were also summoned to the airport.

The skunk was eventually captured and handed over to the Iraklio Natural History Museum, local
reports said without determining whether the animal was alive when it was caught.

School's out from September 16 as rolling strike begins
EnetEnglish, ANA-MPA
Secondary school teachers have decided to start rolling, five-day strike from Monday 16
September, in protest at the government's so-called mobility scheme that will see thousands of
teachers sacked or transferred to other jobs in the public service.

The decision the new school year will begin as scheduled on Wednesday 11 September.

In a statement issued on Monday night, the Federation of Secondary Schoolteachers (Olme)
asked the government how schools can be expected to operate with 16,000 fewer teachers and
with classrooms with 27 to 30 pupils.

Lawyers to hold strike September 17-18
4 September 2013 ekathimerini
Greek lawyers were expected to stage a 48-year-hour strike on September 17-18 in protest to a
series of reforms put together by the coalition government.

The lawyers are reacting to a proposal that would see the abolition of a set minimum fee in their
sector, leading them to agree on their fees with clients on a case by case basis.

Supermarkets oppose initiative to sell expired goods
2September 2013 ekathimerini
The country's major supermarkets have said they will not sell expired foodstuffs at reduced
prices, as recommended by a government initiative aimed at providing products with a long shelf
life to consumers on low incomes.

Supermarket representatives reportedly said that the initiative, which was announced last month
by the Development Ministry's general secretary for consumers, Giorgos Stergiou, and came into
force on Monday, is not in keeping with their policies.

Responding to criticism by consumer groups last month, Stergiou said last month that the
directive had been misinterpreted by media reports and does not represent a public health
hazard. The official assured consumers that the new directive does not concern expired food
products, but those with a long shelf life that have passed their «sell-by» date.

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