|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"
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
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
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
“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
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
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. ekathimerini
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
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. More
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
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.
Civil servants’ union calls walkout for Sept. 18-19
30 August 2013 ekathimerini
The civil servants’ union, ADEDY, on Friday called a two-day strike for September 18 and 19 to
protest the government’s plans for cutbacks and forced transfers in the public sector as part of
the country’s commitment to its foreign creditors.
Athens has promised its creditors that it will put 12,500 civil servants in a so-called mobility
scheme, where staff are put on a reduced wage ahead of their transfer or dismissal, by the end
of next month and another 12,500 by the end of the year.
Journalist faces trial for reporting near Nato base at Souda
29 August 2013 enet english
A journalist is expected to stand trial after police detained him after he recorded a report near the
Nato military base at Souda Bay on Crete on Wednesday.
Marios Dionellis, a reporter with Skai TV on Crete, had gone to a hill, near Mouzouras village,
frequently used by journalists as a backdrop when reporting about the base.
In a live broadcast for an afternoon news programme at 3.10pm, Dionellis reported on the
reactions of local authorities, business people and residents to reports that Souda could be used
in any military intervention in Syria. (His report can be viewed here, 14 minutes into the
Shortly before 4 pm, as the reporter and his cameraman were drove down from the hill, they were
stopped by a Greek airforce van.
A short time later, police arrived, who brought them to Chania police station, where they were
kept until 8pm, when a prosecutor ordered their release.
The pair where charged under a 1936 law for "breaching fortification positions" and now face trial.
Eleven charged with illegal camping on Crete
23 August 2013 ekathimerini
Police on Crete detained 11 people for free camping along the banks of the island’s Lake Preveli
All 11 were charged with camping illegally while four of them face the additional charge of
ADEDY decides on strike, rallies end of Aug.
22 August 2013 ANA-MPA
Civil sector umbrella labour union ADEDY will hold a strike and rally on August 29 as part of actions
to protest layoffs and shutdowns of public services, while state hospitals hold a work stoppage
on Friday for the same reasons.
In an announcement on Thursday, ADEDY noted that "it will not remain inactive before the 'death'
of civil services the mass layoffs."
On Monday, its board will convene with federation representatives to decide on the escalation of
their mobilisations that are initially scheduled to peak on Saturday 7 September with a
demonstration at the Thessaloniki International Fair.
Finally, on August 30, the ADEDY board will convene to decide on further mobilisations for
Crete police divert traffic from site of rock fall that injured motorist
ekathimerini.com , Wednesday August 21 2013
Police on Crete on Wednesday diverted traffic between the port of Hania and Kissamo after a rock
that fell onto a car from a hillside near the Topolia tunnel left a 34-year-old female motorist with
critical injuries on Sunday.
The rock, weighing about 5 kilos, rolled down a mountain and hit the car’s sun roof.
The diversion is to stay in place until authorities finish installing a rock fence along the road.
Gov't to lift ban on home foreclosures, FinMin insists
18 August 2013 ekathimerini
Greece will lift restrictions on home foreclosures to allow banks to recover bad loans, the finance
minister said on Saturday, adding fuel to a row that may test the cohesion of its fragile coalition
Cash-strapped banks are currently barred from auctioning most first homes owned by delinquent
borrowers, under a temporary measure introduced in 2010 to protect austerity-hit households.
The freeze on forced auctions, which has already been extended three times and is set to expire
on December 31, should not be extended any further, technocrat finance minister Yannis
"If auctions aren't liberalised, then banks will collapse,» he was quoted as saying by weekly
The European Union and the International Monetary Fund, which have spent about 38 billion
euros ($50.67 billion) between them to rescue Greek banks, are pressuring Athens to take
measures to clean up lenders' balance sheets.
But several lawmakers from the country's two-party ruling coalition oppose foreclosures, fearing a
backlash from home-owners amid record joblessness and plunging wages.
Kefalonia Fire Under Partial Control
18 August 2013 Greek Reporter
A big fire that broke out in the afternoon of Aug. 17 in the region of Kouroupata on Kefalonia, the
largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece, was said to be contained by firefighters. It was
burning near villages but it didn’t threaten houses.
Many units of the Fire Brigade are still operating in the region in order to put the fire under control.
On another island, Thasos, firefighters there pushed back a conflagration with the help of the
Greek Army and other units. Fire Brigade units were still on the island in order to deal with
potential revivals of the fire.
Student's death touches nerve in austerity-hit Greece
16 August 2013 Reuters
A 19-year-old Greek student who died after an argument with a bus ticket inspector has come to
symbolize the plight of a population ground down by worsening poverty and unemployment.
Thanassis Kanaoutis suffered a fatal head injury when he fell or jumped from a moving bus as it
passed through a middle-class neighborhood of Athens late on Tuesday.
Prosecutors have not yet established how Kanaoutis died.
Witnesses said they saw him brawl with the ticket inspector. The bus company said he pulled the
emergency brake to jump out, but the family's lawyer said Kanaoutis might have been pushed
during the altercation.
The incident quickly touched a nerve in Greece, where the government is using increasingly tough
methods to collect revenue under pressure from its international lenders to fix its finances.
The main opposition party and several media commentators were quick to blame the
government's austerity policies for his death.
"Kanaoutis died because he didn't have a ticket worth 1.20 euros" said the main opposition
Syriza party in a statement. "This highlights in the most tragic way the desperate situation into
which bailout policies have plunged large parts of Greek society," Syriza added.
It demanded free public transport for the unemployed, low-income pensioners and students.
Skeletons found on Gavdos
9 August 2013 Sfaki-Crete.com / Flashnews
Police were asked to solve the mystery of the bones of three skeletons that were found on the
border island of Gavdos. They rushed to the island along with the Coroner Mr. Stamatis Belivanis.
Reportedly, the skeletons were identified by visitors of Gavdos, who informed the authorities.
This morning they went by a Coastal Police boat to Gavdos. However, according to the same
information, the bones were dating back to long ago. Residents of Gavdos refer to the period of
the German occupation, while others talk about even earlier, something that will engage the
Civil aviation unions call off strike
6 August 2013 ekathimerini
The Federation of Civil Aviation Authority Unions (OSYPA) has called off a series of 24-hour rolling
strikes originally scheduled on August 9, 10 and 11.
The move came after union representatives met with Transport Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis on
According to OSYPA officials the stike had been planned in protest at the government’s decision to
place 300 civil aviation workers in the public sector mobility scheme.
Greece cuts VAT on meals to encourage tourism
1 August 2013 Euronews
Greece may be trapped in recession and on a drip feed of international aid, but eating out just
The VAT sales tax on restaurant meals, take-aways and catered food has been cut from 23
percent to 13 percent. The move by the government was intended to boost tourism, a crucial
industry for the economy. The Finance Ministry expects the move to bring down prices by an
average eight percent.
Economist Panagiotis Petrakis told euronews this was a rare opportunity that should not be
squandered: “It is crucial to the success of this measure that restaurant owners genuinely reduce
their prices, as this is the first time in the last three years that we have a substantial tax
reduction in Greece.”
But some restaurateurs protested they had already cut as much as they can afford and they
doubted the usefulness of this.
“Reduced VAT” signs in both Greek and in English have popped in many eateries.
VAT will only stay down if customers benefit: “If the prices are not reduced, the government has
said it will revise its policy and put VAT back up to 23 percent at the end of this year,” said
correspondent Stamatis Giannisis
High temperatures, winds stoke fires in various parts of Greece
30 July 2013 ekathimerini
High temperatures, which reached 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of Greece on Tuesday, and
string winds stokes a number of fires around the country.
In Aghious Theodorous on the Attica-Corinth border, a fire burned brush near the residential part
of the coastal town.
In Kynouria in the eastern part of the Arcadia province, water-dumping craft were trying to put
out a blaze in a stretch of forestland, while in Florina in northern Greece, firefighters were able to
bring under control a blaze than began on Monday evening in Aghios Germanos in the municipality
The firefighting service, meanwhile, was reported to have brought a large blaze that has been
burning on the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes since Saturday under control.
Postal service to close smaller branches
25 July 2013 ekathimerini
Hellenic Post, the state-owned national postal service, announced on Thursday plans to shut
down around 80 small branches around the country and to transfer staff to bigger departments.
The company's chief executive, Costis Melachrinos, said that no employees will be fired but would
instead be transferred to busier branches, and added that the services provided by the defunct
branches will be assigned to agents.
He said that the move is expected to result in savings of 2.5 million euros.
Melachrinos also added that additional staff at central locations could mean some post offices
operating for longer hours.
Crete Stabbing: 18 Britons Held After Killing
24 July 2013 Sky News
Dozens of Britons were involved in a brawl that resulted in a teenage British tourist being
stabbed to death on the Greek island of Crete, police have said.
According to a police statement the fight broke out among a group who were holidaying in the
popular party resort of Malia.
The Briton suspected of the stabbing has been arrested, along with 17 others thought to have
been involved in the fighting.
Police have said they are still searching for 12 other Brits.
The 19-year-old victim was found outside a closed bar on a pedestrian street at 3am local time in
the town, which is renowned for its nightlife.
He had been stabbed in the chest.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesman said: "We can confirm the death of a
British national in Malia, Greece on July 23.
Crete: Third drowning in 24 hours
19 July 2013 Prismanews & Living in Crete
Three successive deaths from drowning, on the beaches of Crete have been recorded during the
last 24 hours. After the drowning of a 45-year German man in Kavros beach, Georgioupoli
yesterday and an 85 year old man at Chrissi Akti beach, Chania, another drowning incident took
place in Sisi where a 60 year old woman was pulled unconcious from the sea.
Strong northerly winds have brought rough seas to much of the northern coast of Crete and red
warning flags are currently flying on many exposed northerly beaches.
A muted protest rally ends in central Athens
16 July 2013 ekathimerini
A rally organized by Greece's two biggest umbrella unions, GSEE and ADEDY, on Tuesday brought
together several thousands people protesting the government's plan to streamline the country's
bloated public sector in what was a rather muted turnout in a country that has become notorious
for often violent reactions to austerity measures imposed by international creditors.
Protesters began leaving Syntagma Square just before 2 p.m.
GSEE and ADEDY are also staging a general strike that has affected public transport and air
travel, as well as other public services, with the aim of convincing the government to withdraw its
multi-bill of reforms, which is due to be voted on by MPs on Wednesday.
The legislation contains the provision for 15,000 civil servants to be sacked by the end of next
year and 25,000 to be placed in a mobility scheme, which could lead to thousands losing their
jobs, by the end of this year.
Firefighters battle blazes in western Attica, Crete
14 July 2013 ekathimerini
Two fires kept the country’s firefighting force busy on Monday on the back of high temperatures
and gusty winds.
Ten fire trucks and dozens of firefighters battled flames in the forest of Psatha, in Megara,
western Attica, as well as in the Aghia Irini Gorge in the area of Kastelli, in Hania, Crete.
Mandatory HIV tests blasted by British journal
13 July 2013 ekathimerini
Respected medical journal The Lancet published an editorial on Saturday criticizing the Greek
government for reintroducing a regulation that gives authorities the right to force people that may
be carrying infectious diseases to undergo tests and treatment.
“Regulations that stigmatize vulnerable and already marginalized groups are counterproductive
since they are likely to deter people at risk of HIV from seeking testing and services,” said the
British publication, adding that “the measures... seem more about political posturing rather than
constructively engaging with public health.” The Lancet warned that: “Rather than tackling HIV
ethically and effectively, Greece is storing up health problems for itself in the near future.”
Earlier in the week, Human Rights Watch had also slammed Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis for
bringing back the regulation, which is seen as targeting migrants, sex workers and drug addicts.
Georgiadis pledged on Friday that the government would re-examine the rule but said it would be
enforced until a new regulation is drawn up.
Greek deputy PM faces angry protesters in Crete
11 July 2013 world bulletin via Greek current
Tension increased Friday in Greece's Crete island when protesters, deprecating economic policies
of government, threw water bottles at Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
Shouting anti-governmental slogans with black flags, the protestors gathered in front of the
community health center during visit of Venizelos inside. They protested the reshaping of state
institutions and organizations within the scope of reforms, which were applied by the government
in order to get foreign financial assistance.
One protestor was detained after the incidents.
There was an increase in attacks on politicians in Greece, who were held responsible for the
country's painful crisis.
EOPYY dangerously low on funds, needs intervention
10 July 2013 ekathimerini
The country’s main healthcare provider, EOPYY, is “out of control,” Health Minister Adonis
Georgiadis said on Wednesday as the organization’s new director revealed that its revenues
were 100 million euros a month below target.
Monthly contributions to EOPYY are around 250 million euros, compared to a target of 360 million,
Dimitris Kontos told Parliament’s social affairs committee.
Despite the critical shortfall, Georgiadis insisted that the government “will not let EOPYY collapse,”
claiming that “any changes would be carried out with the organization in operation."
Meanwhile a report by Greece’s public administration watchdog, Leandros Rakintzis, has found
that EOPYY’s finances are in complete disarray. The report highlighted numerous cases of
academics, politicians and doctors exploiting the system to secure treatment at private clinics
130 migrants saved from sinking boat south of Crete
9 July 2013 enetenglish
The 130 migrants rescued from a boat that sank south of Crete and being taken to the town of
Ierapetra, where local officials have prepared a secondary school to host them temporarily
Coastguard authorities said in a statement the boat began taking on water about 55.5km
southeast of Koufonisi, a small island south of Crete, in the Libyan Sea.
The vessel, which put out a distress call shortly after 6am on Tuesday, has now sunk.
A passing cargo vessel, en route to Malta, had begun collecting the passengers of the stricken
35m sailboat, the coastguard said.
There was no immediate information on the nationalities of the people on board.
SDOE spots tourism tax dodgers
27 June 2013 ekathimerini
One in every two enterprises inspected across Greece by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) over
the June 21-24 long weekend was found to be withholding tax payments. Checks were conducted
at tourism resorts around the country and violations were identified in 381 enterprises.
Inspectors performed 841 checks on the islands and almost half of all the businesses were found
to be failing to issue receipts, not paying VAT to the state or being in violation of other tax
regulations, with the violation rate amounting to 45.3 percent.
The highest rate of violations was identified at Pilio in central Greece, with eight out of every 10
entrepreneurs (83 percent) breaking the tax code. In Corfu the rate stood at 77.7 percent, on
Paros at 61.9 percent, on Santorini and Evia at 60 percent, in the Peloponnese at 46 percent, on
Myconos, Skiathos and Skopelos at 42 percent, on Rhodes at 36 percent, on Lesvos at 34
percent, in Halkidiki at 32 percent, at Parga at 30 percent and on Crete at 27 percent.
No foul play suspected in death of female tourist on Crete
2 july 2013 ekathimerini
A coroner was on Tuesday examining the remains of a 23-year-old woman who was found dead
in her hotel room in the resort of Aghia Pelagia in Iraklio, Crete, earlier in the day.
The unnamed woman, who was reported to be Russian, is believed to have died of natural
causes after foul play was ruled out.
Crackdown on Athens cabbies sees 27 arrested for rigged meters
21 June 2013 ekathimerini
Twenty-seven taxi drivers will be facing prosecutors after being found to have illegally altered
their meters so that they could charge higher fares, or who had disabled their receipt-issuing
Most of the arrests, part of a police crackdown on unscrupulous cabbies on Friday, were made at
popular spots for picking up fares, such as metro and train stations, and concerned drivers who
had rigged their meters.
Greece wants 'redistribution' of irregular immigration burden
20 June 2013 ekathimerini
Greece has asked its European Union peers to support its efforts to stem the tide of irregular
Speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, Public Order Minister Nikos
Dendias urged for a revision of Dublin II regulations under which the debt-wracked country has to
accommodate all foreign migrants entering the bloc via its borders; transit to other EU countries is
“Greece is responsible for handling a very large percentage of the migration flows to the EU,”
Dendias said. “This is not fair,” he said.
Reports said the conservative official called for a policy of “redistribution” regarding the handling
of clandestine migrants and asylum seekers by the member states.
Greece is a gateway for mostly Asian and African migrants trying to enter the EU through its
porous sea and land borders.
Crete hit by another series of small tremors
19 June 2013 ekathimerini
Minor tremors continued to rattle Crete on Wednesday, as another 4.3 magnitude earthquake
struck the southern Greek island at 1.27 a.m.
The Athens Institute of Geodynamics reported the quake’s location at about 80 kilometers off the
south coast of Crete and at a depth of 40 kilometers.
Eight more minor tremors between 3.3 and 3.9 on the Richter scale were felt up until 7.30 a.m.,
according to the institute.
Experts have sought to allay fears over the increased number of earthquakes close to the island
in recent few days, a highly seismic area where tectonic plates converge.
Shock as debt-laden Greece shuts down public broadcaster, ERT
12 June 2013 ABC news
Greece's government has announced the immediate closure of public television and radio
broadcaster ERT, in a shock move that affects nearly 2,700 jobs.
Thousands rushed to the broadcaster's main headquarters in a northern Athens suburb shortly
after the announcement to show their support.
The announcement came after months of work stoppages by ERT employees in opposition to
plans to restructure the broadcaster as demanded by debt-laden Greece's so-called troika of
Nearly 500 people also gathered outside the organisation's Thessaloniki branch in northern
Greece as news editors union Poesy called on private broadcasters to hold an immediate work
stoppage in solidarity.
Fruit farmers seek to hire Greeks
Producers in Ileia plan to advertise 4,000 positions with Manpower Organization
10 June 2013 ekathimerini
Strawberry producers in Ileia, in the Peloponnese, are seeking to recruit Greek fruit pickers,
rather than the migrant laborers they usually employ, in a bid to curb rising unemployment,
Kathimerini has learned.
The 120 or so strawberry producers in northern Ileia are expected to submit applications to the
Amaliada-based office of the state Manpower Organization (OAED) in the coming days for the
recruitment of more than 4,000 fruit pickers and the majority want those jobs to go to Greeks.
In April dozens of migrant workers were injured when their supervisors opened fire on them
following a dispute over unpaid salaries, fueling a debate about conditions on Greek fruit farms.
Hundreds of foreign workers, chiefly undocumented, uninsured migrants, eke out a living working
on fruit farms in the Peloponnese. Virtually all of Greece’s strawberry exports are produced by
farms in Ileia.
Crete police launch investigation after man's body found in well
8th June 2013 ekathimerini
A 60-year-old man was found dead on Friday in a well near his home in the village of Apidi near
Siteia in eastern Crete, police said.
The body of the victim, who was not identified, was pulled out of the well by a crew of the EKAB
Police have opened an investigation into the case.
Reports said the man was suffering from psychological problems.
Fires in Irakleio, Crete, under control
Fires in Vasilies, Voni and Agia Pelagia
7th June 2013 EnetEnglish AMNA
A number of fires that broke out in Irakleio, Crete, on Friday have been put under control,
authorities confirmed on Saturday.
The first fire broke out on Friday evening near a residential area in Vasilies. Six fire brigade
vehicles and 15 firemen were sent to the scene and, with the help of a team of volunteers,
managed to get the fire under control late at night.
Another two fire brigade vehicles, 13 firemen and a municipality water truck rushed to Voni in
Irakleio to prevent a fire from reaching the monastery of Agia Marina on Friday night and got the
blaze under control a few hours later.
A third fire that broke out at 11pm on Friday in Agia Pelagia in Irakleio was contained before
Several acres of agricultural and forest land have been destroyed.
Greek student arrested in Istanbul riots returns home
7 June 2013 ekathimerini
A Greek student who was detained earlier this week in Istanbul amid ongoing anti-government
protests returned to Greece on Friday after being deported by the Turkish authorities.
Giorgos Iatridis, who was in Istanbul under the Erasmus student exchange program, faced a
prosecutor on Thursday but was not charged.
Another 12 foreign students had been taken into custody following a police crackdown on
protesters at Gezi Park.
Mass release of vultures on Crete to set world record
7th June 2013 ekathimerini
There will be an attempt to break a world record on Crete on Saturday, when 10 vultures are due
to be released back into the wild.
The vultures were all found poisoned on Crete and have been treated at the Hellenic Wildlife
Hospital on Aegina.
The birds are due to be released at 11.30 a.m. in the area of Archanes. Organizers have applied
for the event to be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest mass release
of vultures in history.
Early morning tremor shakes Athens
4th June 2013 AMNA
Athenians were rocked awake on Tuesday morning by a tremor that hit a few kilometers east of
the capital and was sharply felt in most parts of the city.
The quake, measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale, hit at just before 5 a.m., with no damage or
Its epicenter, according to seismologists, was Pikermi, a town some 24 kilometers east of the
capital, and a few kilometers to the north of the Athens International Airport, which kept
operating without any problems.
Experts said that the tremor did not give rise to concerns as the Pikermi fault line is considered
relatively inactive and low risk.
Local residents in eastern Attica described the tremor as a sharp wave accompanied by a loud
The center of the quake was estimated to be five kilometers from the surface. No major
aftershocks have been reported.
Fires break out across Crete
30 May 2013 Living in Crete & Prismanews
In the early hours of Wednesday morning major fires broke out on fronts across the Chania
region, the worse being in Aptera -Megala Horafia and Vamvokopoulo areas. The fire raged across
the village of Aptera, fanned by strong winds. Much farmland was burnt and many homes
threatened, with the villagers evacuating houses and helping fight the flames. There are no
reports of any injuries and miraculously no homes were burnt.
In Vamvoukopoulo the large fires burned three businesses: an Aluminium warehouse, a business
with agricultural products and a boat supplier.
There were also fires in Platanias and Kerameia in the Chania region.
In Rethymon fires broke out in the regions of Melidoni, Anogia and Gonia, while in Heraklion fires
started in many regions, including Stavies, Lutto, Kalivia and Afrati.
Winds in excess of 70km an hour made it difficult for firefighters to control the spread, but they
managed to get the fires under control by daylight hours. Some of the fires have been blamed on
DEH, the electricity company, with the electricity lines being damaged in the strong winds and
producing sparks. In some other cases arson is suspected.
Reports shows Greeks work longer and are paid less than OECD average
28 May 2013 ekathimerini
People in Greece work 2,032 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1,776 hours,
according to the update of the OECD’s Better Life Index, published on Tuesday.
Greeks also earn less than the average in the 34 countries surveyed, with the average household
net-adjusted disposable income of $20,440 (15,887 euros) a year, slightly less than the OECD
average of $23,047 (17,914 euros) a year.
The OECD also found that there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest in Greece
as the top 20 percent of the population earns six times as much as the bottom 20 percent.
The index compares the well-being of 34 developed and emerging countries based on eleven
categories including housing, income, jobs, education, life satisfaction and work-life balance.
Woman arrested at Crete tax office after threatening staff with meat cleaver
27 May 2013 ekathimerini
A woman has been arrested on Crete after entering a tax office brandishing a meat cleaver and
allegedly threatening staff.
The incident took place at the tax office in the town of Hania. The woman, who had a tax-related
complaint, allegedly brought the meat cleaver down on one of the employees’ desks.
Police were called and she was arrested on the spot.
Hate Speech Bill
16 May 2013 EnetEnglish
An anti-racism bill the government had was due to be tabled in parliament last week has finally
been presented to the house. The prime minister's office had halted the document for
consultation but it was sent to parliament on Wednesday unchanged. It is to be debated on May
21. The bill raises financial and prison penalties for racist offences. In a statement, the prime
minister's office said that normal procedure was followed with the bill.
Parliament allows MP's to go on trial
16 May 2013 EnetEnglish
Parliament has stripped four MPs of immunity from prosecution, including Tourism Minister Olga
Kefaloyanni, allowing them to stand trial. Kefaloyanni and Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panayotaros are
charged with slander, Pasok MP (and former Speaker) Nikitas Kaklamanis is being sued by an
Athens municipality worker for dereliction of duty, and independent MP Odysseas Voudouris is
charged with negligent manslaughter. Stripping MPs of their immunity used to be extremely rare.
It was brought into vogue earlier this year by independent MP Dora Bakoyanni, who requested
the opportunity to face charges of financial misdemeanour and clear her name.
Boy, 11, stabbed on Crete
15 May 2013 ekathimerini
Police on Wednesday were investigating the stabbing of a 11-year-old boy in Iraklio, Crete.
According to early reports the boy was in critical condition after being stabbed several times in the
back, while police had arrested a 20-year old Dutch hotel employee in connection to the attack.
According to local media reports, the boy is of Russian descent and was vacationing on the
southern Greek island with his family. He was found near the hotel he was staying with his
parents after the latter reported him missing.
Initially transferred to a local hospital for treatment, the boy was subsequently airlifted to an
Athens health facility.
Civil servants strike as teachers forced to work
13 May 2013 ekathimerini
Civil servants are to walk off the job on Tuesday in a bid to express solidarity with secondary
school teachers after the government issued a civil mobilization order to force teachers to work
on Friday when they had planned an anti-austerity strike.
The government on Monday issued civil mobilization papers to some 88,000 teachers who face
arrest and possible dismissal if they fail to turn up for work from Wednesday, when the order
comes into effect.
The Education Ministry reportedly made a concession, however, withdrawing a presidential decree
foreseeing thousands of compulsory transfers of teachers – one of the key points of contention of
protesting teachers – for revision.
The union representing secondary school teachers, OLME, had little luck in drumming up strong
support. ADEDY called its solidarity strike for Tuesday after refusing a request from OLME to join
its walkout on Friday, saying it did not want to create upheaval for students sitting university
OLME was also snubbed by the Council of State, which rejected an appeal for the government’s
civil mobilization order to be “frozen.”
Gov't freezes anti-racism bill for 'reassessment'
10 May 2013 ekathimerini
An anti-racism bill aimed at reining in the ultra-right Golden Dawn by banning from politics MPs
found to have been involved in racist violence will be "reassessed" before its submission to
Parliament, Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis said on Friday.
The bill, which also foresees lawmakers using Nazi imagery or salutes in Parliament having their
immunity lifted and losing their right to stand for office, had been scheduled to be put to public
consultation on Friday.
Roupakiotis said that State Minister Dimitris Stamatis and the government's general secretary,
Panayiotis Baltakos, would review the anti-racism bill as "its social parameters must be examined
more thoroughly." On Wednesday, Roupakiotis had said the bill was "basically ready." The
minister added that all political parties, apart from one, were ready to embrace new reforms that
would criminalize the phenomenon of racist violence and xenophobia.
According to sources, the government's back-pedaling on the bill comes amid fears of making
martyrs of Golden Dawn MPs, many of whom have been linked to racist attacks. A head-on clash
with Golden Dawn could end up boosting the ultra-right party by making it appear to be
persecuted, some government officials sources fear.
Unemployment in Greece reaches 27% during February and OVER 64% FOR YOUTH
9 May 2013 protothema
The unemployment rate rose to 27% in February, from 26.7% in January 2013 and 21.9% in
According EL.STAT. figures, the unemployed increased by 245,021 persons compared to February
2012 (+22.8%) and 11.663 compared with January 2013 (+0.9%), amounting to 1,320,189.
First in unemployment is the age group of 15-24, where the ratio has reached 64.2%, followed by
the 25-34 group with 36.2% and the 35-44 group with 23.7%. The highest unemployment rate is
recorded in women, as it has increased to 31% from 25.7% a year ago. In men it rose to 24.1%
Greek public HIV testing clinics halt checks due to budget woes
9 May 2013 ekathimerini
Public HIV testing clinics have stopped checks since last month because of budget problems, the
Athens medical association said on Friday, attacking Deputy Health Minister Fotini Skopouli for
blocking funding to the centers.
The allegations came as data show that the number of HIV/AIDS cases is soaring in Greece, with
infections among injecting drug users more than doubling since 2010.
“Despite the recent AIDS epidemic, Skopouli is wrecking the country’s defense against the
disease,” Giorgos Patoulis, head of the association, said on Friday.
A total of 180,000 euros has been earmarked for the three HIV testing clinics, but none of that
money has so far reached the units, according to reports.
No ferries, public transport to be disrupted as unions mark May Day
Greece’s two largest labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, are hoping for a strong turnout on
Wednesday, May 1st, when a number of professions will go on strike and take part in a rally in
central Athens, to mark May Day.
Public transport will be disrupted on Wednesday but unions have said they will try to ease the
impact on passengers as much as possible. However, there will be no metro to Athens
Ferries will remain docked throughout Wednesday as the seamens’ union, PNO, will be taking part
in the May Day events.
Public hospitals will be operating with skeleton staff as doctors and nurses are also due to go on
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