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Education Minister Filis: No plans to separate Church and State
20 October 2016 protothema,gr
Speaking to Skai TV, Education and Religious Affairs Minister Nikos Filis said the
Greek government had no plans to hold a referendum on the separation of Church
and State. He continued by stressing that even though he shared the opinion of
70% of citizens who, according to surveys, were in favour of the separation of State
and Church, he noted that it was not included on the party’s agenda, citing what
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras had stated in his speech on the institutional reform
during summer. Filis avoided commenting on the recent statements made by the head of the Greek Orthodox
Church, Ieronymos, who had said that the Church would not surrender orthodoxy and the country, simply
expressing his respect to the Church institution.
Man, 22, gets two life terms for brutal murder of 71-year-old
13th October 2016 ekathimerini
A court in Iraklio on Crete on Thursday handed two life sentences to a 22-year-old Bulgarian national after finding
him guilty of the brutal murder of a 71-year-old man in the village of Moires in August last year.

Police found the 71-year-old butchered in his bed and subsequently arrested the 22-year-old and a youth who
were charged with breaking into the elderly man’s home in order to rob him.

The 71-year-old was found to have been stabbed 57 times.

It remained unclear whether the 22-year-old had an additional motive apart from robbery for the vicious attack.
Student falls from second floor of Chania Marine academy
19th October 2016 ekathimerini via

An 18-year-old student at the Merchant Marine Academy of Crete was in critical condition on Tuesday after
plunging from the building’s second floor.
It was not clear why or how the incident occurred, and a probe has been launched.
The student from Athens was attending engineering courses at the academy in the area of Souda.
Crete University research gives hope to ALS, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis sufferers
8th October 2016
Ground-breaking research carried out by the University of Crete medical School Pharmacology Professor Achilleas
Gravanis in Greece gives hope to sufferers of neurodegenerative diseases.
he research focuses on a new types of synthetic substances called microneurotrophins used to protect tissue from
decline by mimicking the protective and regenerative properties of the natural  larger molecule neurotrophins in
the brain cells.

Naturally occurring neurotrophins play a key role in the development and protection of brain matter from birth
until the depths of old age but are sometimes prevented from crossing  the blood-brain barrier that protects the
brain from toxins in the environment leading to neurodegenerative disorders.

Unlike the naturally occurring  cells which are blocked by the brains natural defenses  the much smaller synthetic
alternatives are able to cross the blood brain barrier.

This breakthrough research could help  ALS, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis sufferers .

The research is taking place at the University of Crete School of Medicine, the Foundation for Research and
Technology Hellas (FORTH) in Heraklion where Gravanis is working as a researcher at the Molecular Biology and
Biotechnology Institute and the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens
Greek police net international migrant-smuggling gang in Heraklion
31st October 2016 ekathimerini

The Greek Police on Monday said it has dismantled an international
criminal organization that helped smuggle undocumented migrants
from Turkey into Central and Northern Europe via Iraklio’s Nikos
Kazantzakis Airport on the island of Crete.
After a lengthy investigation, authorities arrested 11 suspects, two of
whom are Greek nationals reported to have been working at the airport
and facilitating the illegal transfers.
According to the investigation, the gang – which is believed to have
been active since 2014 – would charge migrants between 2,500 and 4,000 euros each to bring them from Turkey to
Athens, then ferry them by boat to Crete before arranging for them to board flights to other European countries with
forged travel documents.
The nationalities of the other people arrested are Syrian, Iraqi and Lebanese.
Charge for plastic bags to be introduced next month
30th October 2016 ekathimerini
In a bid to reduce waste the country produces, a 0.05- to 0.1-euro charge for disposable plastic bags will be
introduced at supermarkets next month, the Environment Ministry has announced.

The measure comes in response to a circular approved by European Parliament in May, 2015, whereby European
Union member-states are required to reduce the annual disposal of plastic bags to 90 per person by the end of 2019
and 40 by 2025, or to ensure that a levy is introduced for plastic bags by the end of 2018.

The EU average currently stands at 198 per year per resident, while there are large discrepancies between

Denmark and Finland have already reduced their figures to just four per person annually, compared to more than
400 bags per person in countries like Portugal, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
In Greece, 242 bags are used per person on an annual basis, while in Cyprus the figure is 125.

The measure has already been introduced as a pilot program on several Greek islands, including Syros and
Refugees face ‘appalling conditions’ in Greece says aid group
21 October 2016  Associated Press
The international aid group Doctors Without Borders says refugees at camps in Greece are still living in mostly
"appalling conditions" with poor access to health care and a lack of provisions to identify the most vulnerable.

In the report issued Thursday, the agency commonly known by its French name, Medecins sans Frontiers, argued
that the European Union and Greece had "collectively failed to establish humane and dignified reception

More than 60,000 refugees and migrants — many escaping wars in Syria and Iraq — have been stranded in Greece
following European border closures this year. Most still live in tents at about 50 refugee camps.

Around 14,000 of them are confined to islands in the eastern Aegean Sea where they are being processed for
potential deportation back to nearby Turkey.
Heraklion Airport
Fire damages F-16 on Crete
2nd Novemeber 2016 ekathimerini

A fire broke out Wednesday aboard one of several Greek F-16s
that had been about to take off from the military base at Souda
on Crete to chase away Turkish aircraft that had flown into
Greek air space over the Aegean. No injuries were reported.

The fire was extinguished before it could destroy the aircraft and
the pilot was transferred to a military hospital for preventive reasons.
An investigation was ordered to determine the cause of the blaze..
Greek ferries tied up in port at start of 48 hour strike
2nd December 2016 via Apokoronas news

AP — Ferries will remain docked in ports across Greece on Friday 2nd
and Saturday 3rd December as seamen stage a 48-hour strike in protest
at the latest round of cuts to pensions and threat to jobs, leaving many
of the country’s islands cut off from the mainland and from each other.
The union representing Greek seamen, PNO, has warned of an escalation
of action if the  government does not address its concerns regarding
proposed changes to new tax regulations relating to workers in the sector,
setting income tax at 45 percent in addition to an existing 10 percent
special tax.

The seamen’s union has planned another  24-hour strike for Thursday, December 8,
Refugee camp evacuated due to adverse weather conditions
01 December 2016 To Vima

The heavy snowfall of the past few days has made living conditions
in the camp unbearable.
About 240 refugees, including 80 children, were evacuated from the
hospitality center at Petra, near Olympos in Pieria on Wednesday
evening, due to the adverse weather conditions.

According to municipal councilor Nikos Papaziogas, most of the
refugees have been transferred to another center in the area of Volvi
near  Thessaloniki. About 65 were temporarily taken to a hotel at
Paralia near Katerini, before also being transferred to Volvi.
Greek banks propose tax on cash withdrawal
30th November 2016

Greek banks have proposed a tax on cash withdrawals so that Greeks make more electronic transactions as a
measure to curb tax evasion.

The proposal is sent to the ministry of finance for further review, the basic idea being that it would become
expensive to use cash. The ministry is advising people to make more electronic transactions and is planning a
program that would give people incentives to use credit or debit cards in order to battle rampant tax evasion.

It is worth noting that Greek banks charge traders between 1 and 3% of the amount of the transaction every time
an electronic payment is made and in addition, most banks charge for the supply and maintenance of electronic
POS terminals.

Interbank electronic transactions also cost between 3 and 6 euro  regardless of amount, so that if these proposals
are adopted,  the consumer is going to lose out whether he uses cash  or not.
Petra camp Greece 2016