Copyright © 2004-2017  All rights reserved.  Carol Palioudaki      Living in Crete
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Chania sees in the New Year with music, dancing and a spectacular firework display, in the old
harbour at the old customs house. The council organised the event which included the Council choir
singing Carols as well as Cretan music and dancing.

Christmas Comes to Crete - Friday 10th December 2004
The Mayor of Chania gets into the Christmas spirit as he officially  turns on the Christmas lights in the  
town centre at the Platia Agora (Market Square) on Friday evening, and raki and biscuits were handed
round. Children from local schools gathered to sing Christmas Carols accompanied by a brass band.  
This was followed by a spectacular firework display.  Chania council are organising exhibitions and
children's events in the run-up to Christmas at the teloneio and Neoria, 16th to 18th December.
Another event is the first concert of the recently formed Chania Council Orchestra "Sinfonietta" who will
be playing on Wednesday 22nd December at the Demitris Vlisidis Theatre.

Car 'Dives' into Chania Harbour (Haniotika Nea 23 Nov)

A car fell into Chania harbour late on Monday night.  Fortunately  the driver escaped without injury. The
car was today lifted out by a crane.
Cars are usually allowed to drive through and around the old harbour streets in the winter months, but
this year Chania council have prohibited it. They are still deciding whether or not to lift the new winter

Primary School Teachers Strike (22nd Nov. 2004)

Primary school teachers held a one day strike to protest against the non payment of salaries for
after-school (oloimeron) teachers. The after-school programme is paid for by a grant from the EU until
December 2006. The government however has yet to pay some teachers, some even dating back to
last year.  They are also asking that the 'after school'
teachers be given permanent jobs  by combining the usual school hours and the oloimeron  to provide
a complete education for all children.

Greek Flag Row   (Ekathimerini 22/10/04)

In the Ochi Day (28 Oct) parades it is the custom for the highest achievers to carry the Greek flag for
their schools. Students in some areas have been protesting against foreign classmates carrying the
flag. However the Education Minister has come down firmly on the side of non Greeks as the law says
the best students carry the flag .
Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki , where students are staging protests against an Albanian classmate
carrying the flag , also defended the rights of non Greeks to carry the flag saying ' since the children are
studying at Greek schools they have the same rights as Greek students' and ' we must not be ruled by
rampant nationalism'.

Apokoronos, Chania    (Haniotika Nea 11/10/04)

A meeting was held yesterday by the Greek Apokoronos residents to voice concerns over the building
going on in this area.   90%  of new  buildings in the last year are foreign owned, only 10% Greek
owned. They are calling for more building controls from the government, saying the architectural
heritage and environment are being destroyed. Also citing problems with infrastructure;  haphazard
roads and access, water etc. and asking for support from the local Dimos (council) and local MP's for
solutions to these problems.

Trafficking of women and children in Greece
In August two  people were arrested in Heraklion charged with extortion, women trafficking and
profiteering from prostitution. Police are looking for a third man from Rethymnon. Two Romanian sisters,
aged 27 and 23, have filed charges against the men. They say that they were  locked up in separate
rooms,  forced to take  cocaine and to sell their bodies to visitors under threat of beatings.
The girls managed to escape and go to the police

Unfortunately this is not at isolated incident, it is estimated that in Greece today there are 20,000
women forced into the sex industry. For more details, and of how you can help  see  

Olympic Games Athens 2004 Friday 13th August 2004.
The opening day of the Olympic Games is celebrated with a National Holiday for Greece  

Water - Shortage and Wastage
According to the'Haniotika Nea'  (14/7) there is a shortage of water in the Chania area, due to the
recent high temperatures, the increased number of residents plus tourists, and the excess watering of
Every year the demand for water is increasing, and the natural resources are decreasing. However it is
estimated that 70% of  water from the white mountains is not contained and used by the authorities
and  goes straight into the sea.
In Apokoronou, Dimos Vamos, residents have been without water for 5days.  The water authorities are
blaming the electricity board, saying that the electricity board have lowered the power while fixing
problems in the area, and so the electricity supply  has been too weak to operate  the water pumps.  

Greece European Champions 2004
4th July  Euro2004 Final
Portugal 0 Greece 1

The celebrations all over Greece were amazing. Here in Chania the atmosphere was electric, thousands
gathered outside the agora (market place) to celebrate the win, and party all night.  

Battle of Crete Commemorations in Chania  MAY 2004

Thursday 20th May in Kantanos - Memorial service and wreath laying.

Friday 21st May at Fircas Fortress, by Naval Museum - Flag raising

Saturday 22nd May at Souda Bay War Cemetery, Souda - memorial service and wreath laying.  

15th April 2004 Samaria Gorge Open.

Due to the low rainfall this winter, Samaria gorge has opened early and it's now possible to walk right
through the gorge from today.  

17th March 2004 Earthquake South of Crete
At just after 7am an earthquake measuring 5.7 was recorded in the sea south of the Chania district,
Crete. The quake was apparently felt in Chania and as far north as the Peleponnese. We personally felt
nothing..  being fast asleep at this time!  Others reported being woken by it. No damage was reported.  

7th March 2004 General Elections

The conservative New Democracy party have won the general elections to end 10 years of government
by the socialist PASOK party.
Kostas Karamanlis takes over as the new Prime Minister.

PASOK has governed Greece for 19 out of the past 22 years, and it seems people were ready for a

28th February 2004
Election fever is hitting Greece at the moment in the run up to the 7th March General Elections.  
Greeks are often registered in their home town, which means they have to vote there, not necessarily
where they live. This causes a mass exodus of people travelling across Greece over election weekend.  
Although nowadays they are allowed to register in the town where they live, many people choose not
to as they have a good excuse for a long weekend break back 'home'.
Schools are used as polling stations and they will be closed on Friday 5th and Monday 8th March. This is
because teachers also  have to travel back to their home  towns to vote.

February 23rd 2004  'Clean Monday'
Yesterday marked the end of carnival time 'Apokrias'  and today is the official start of Lent,  know as
Clean Monday. Fasting starts today and traditionally no oil, meat, eggs or dairy products  are allowed
to be eaten for  the 40 days leading up to Easter . The menu for the next 40 days is octopus, calamari,  
beans and pulses, vegetables, salads, and ... black coffee.

"Clean Monday" is a bank holiday and everyone heads out to the mountains or beach to enjoy a picnic
and fly a kite .. I have no idea why they fly kites just this one day a year.. can anyone tell me how this
tradition started?

The weather today -  a beautiful 19oC and sunny  - hard to believe that just last weekend it was - 1oC
and we were digging our car out of the snow in the drive!  

February 13th 2004

The whole of Crete was hit by heavy snow today which caused chaos on the island. It was the heaviest
since 1938. Schools were closed, as were shops, offices and banks. Main roads were
impassible for nearly 24hours and hundreds of people were stranded or cut off.

News Archive
Crete & Greece
January to December 2004