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NEWS Archive
More news from Living in Crete on:
News Archive
Crete & Greece
September to December 2011


Christmas and New Year shopping hours
Christmas shopping hours in Crete begin December 18th. In the run up to Christmas and New Year, shops
will be open longer hours throughout the week.
List of Christmas and New Year opening hours


18 hotels closed in central Athens this year
20 December 2011 ekathimerini
A combination of a drop in bookings, increased expenses due to taxation and the ongoing decline of the
quality of life in downtown Athens has led to the closure of 18 hotels in the area in 2011, according to
data revealed by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) on Monday.
Meanwhile, at a joint press conference with Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, HCH president Giorgos Tsakiris
warned that unless the rising crime rate in central Athens is brought under control, more hotels will be
forced to close down in 2012 as well.


Elderly woman murdered in Crete
20 December 2011 ekathimerini
An elderly woman was found dead in her home on Friday morning in the village of Poros, in Iraklio Crete,
while another, in northern Greece was mugged by a group of youths who attempted to rob her of her
pension.

The 85-year-old Cretan woman is believed to have been stabbed and beaten to death in her home by
either one or more assailants, who also attempted to set fire to the house, which investigating officers
believe was meant to destroy evidence of their crime, the cause of which remains unknown.

Authorities have taken the unnamed woman's grandson in for questioning in connection with the brutal
murder, as he lived with her and was the one to report the crime to the police.


Retail turnover down by 30 pct
19 December 2011 ekathimerini

The turnover of retail trade in Greece in 2011 has dropped by 30 percent compared to last year, the
chairman of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) said on Monday.
Turnover has dropped from 13 billion euros in 2010 to nine billion this year, Vassilis Korkidis said on
Monday, rehashing past warnings that a growing number of businesses are forced to pull down their
shutters.
Asked about whether there is a hike in consumption ahead of the Christmas season, Korkidis was
downbeat.
“People are window-shopping, not buying,” he said.
Tens of thousands of small businesses, which make up a big chunk of the Greek economy, have closed
since the country's government secured a 110 billion euro bailout package from foreign lenders in
exchange for painful belt-tightening measures.
A survey conducted by ESEE earlier this month found that Greek tradesmen are extremely worried about
the viability of their businesses given their debts and the state of the market.
ESEE has warned the finance ministry that the taxation imposed on corporations is disproportionate to
their tax-paying capacity, according to at least seven out of 10 tradesmen in Greece.


Tourist arrivals in west Crete set to rise
Dec 17 Nea TV

Tourist arrivals in west Crete are set to rise by 10% in 2012 due to the increased number of flights to
Chania by low cost airlines, specifically Ryanair and easyJet.

Ryanair will be operate nine direct flights between Chania and nine European airports (Frankfurt,
Brussels, Osla, Milan, Pisa, Glasgow, Leeds, East Midlands, Wroclaw) with 15 flights per week carrying 7 -
8,000 passengers per month.
More info on the new Chania flights


Juvenile delinquency on the rise
Dec 17 ekathimerini
Nearly 4,000 boys and girls were arrested by police in the first three-quarters of the year as Greece's
financial woes and rampant unemployment have sparked a sharp rise in juvenile delinquency, Kathimerini
has learned.
Most young offenders during that period, statistics show, came from the lower-income bracket and the
country's immigrant population, with the exception of drug-related offenses, in which case the increase
involved all social strata.
“The trend demonstrates the impact of the economic crisis on the life of youngsters, either as a sense of
deadlock or as a desperate attempt to make money,” Nestor Kourakis, professor of criminology and penal
ethics at the Department of Law at the University of Athens, told Kathimerini.
Kourakis warned that statistics suggest violent offenses are on the rise.
Between January and September, 3,920 under-18s were arrested, according to the police. Most were
charged with burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and drug possession. A smaller number of minors were held
for beatings, copyright violations and participation in organized crime. Twelve were charged with murder.
According to data from the Athens Juvenile Court, more than half of the 4,579 youths detained were
foreign nationals. The majority of offenders were male.


Venizelos urges Greeks to bring deposits home
16 December 2011 Athens News
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is urging Greeks with overseas bank deposits to bring their money
back to Greece.
"I have called for a patriotic campaign for bank deposits to be repatriated. The Greek banking system is
totally guaranteed under the agreements we have made," Venizelos told parliament.
Deposit withdrawals in Greece since the crisis started in late 2009 have added pressure on banks,
already strained weaker mortgage payments and plans to write-off debt in an international bond-swap
deal.
Venizelos defended continued austerity measures, set to extend the recession into a fourth year in 2012.
"We are doing what is absolutely necessary, because otherwise we will be excluded from borrowing and
the eurozone," he said, standing in for Lucas Papademos for the weekly Prime Minister's questions
session.


Greek PM warns economy to shrink by more than 5.5% in 2011
14 December 2011 AFP
Greece will chalk up its worst-ever recession this year, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned on
Wednesday, with the contraction in the eurozone member to be greater than the 5.5 percent forecast.
"2011 will be the worst recession here ever" with gross domestic product (GDP) contracting by "over 5.5
percent" as the government has officially forecast, Papademos said at a dinner organised by the American-
Greek Chamber of Commerce.
Greece's economy shrank by 4.5 percent in 2010, but the austerity measures demanded by its
international creditors for Greece to get a handle on its massive deficit and debt have sent the economy
into an even deeper recession.
"We have a hard way to go," said Papademos in his first public comments on the issue after being
nominated to head a coalition government on November 11.
He said the priorities of his government would be "reform of the public administration," a "radical overhaul
of the tax collection mechanism", fighting tax cheats and speeding up privatisation.





















Pensioner dies in Crete fire
12 December Athens News
A 74-year-old women has died in a fire on the island of Crete, believed to have been caused by a wood-
burning stove.
The woman, who has not yet been named by authorities, was discovered while firemen fought to contain
a blaze at her Agios Nicholaos home.
The fire service says it is still investigating the cause of the blaze, believed to have started from the stove.
Fatal stove fires are on the rise, as pensioners seek to save on electricity bills this winter.


One in two cannot afford heating oil
11 December 2011 Athens news
Heating oil is now considered a luxury item, as its price ranges from 93 to 97 cents per litre. The figures
provided by the Federation of Petrol Station Owners (Popek) are characteristic of the consequenses that
the prolonged recession has in the real economy.

How else can one explain the fact that heating oil consumption has been reduced by 50 percent in the
last two months, compared to the same period in 2010, while there are areas where the situation is truly
horrific.

For instance in Nevrokopi, Drama, northern Greece, only 10 out of 650 consumers buy heating oil, while in
Attica the decrease has reached 25 percent. Several citizens, especially in cities of the Greek periphery,
have reverted to chopping or buying wood in order to heat up their stoves.

The situation is expected to get worse next year, as heating oil prices will rise to 1,50 euro per litre, due
to the equalisation of the Special Consumer Tax between heating and diesel oil. It is also worth noting
that the 2012 budget envisages 269 million euros in additional tax revenues from October 15 to
December 31 2012.


Pharmacies closed 24hrs strike Wednesday December 14
11 December 2011 AMNA
Pharmacies will be closed throughout Greece on Wednesday, December 14, in a 24-hour nationwide
warning strike called by the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association, which has also warned of an
escalation of mobilisations with nationwide suspension of credit to all social security funds as of January
1, 2012 or earlier.

The pharmacists are protesting the "downgrading of pharmaceutical care and economic asphyxiation" the
pharmacies are suffering.

The Federation said the pharmacies are unable to function due to the discontinuation of credit by
suppliers and the social security funds' failure to pay the money owed to the pharmacies.


E-cigarettes next in line for ban
8 December 2011 ekthaimerini
As electronic cigarettes are embraced by smokers trying to kick the habit or to abide by a ban on smoking
in public places, the Health Ministry is reportedly planning to forbid the trade and use of the electrical
device, noting that it contains nicotine and remains a health risk.
The ministry’s general secretary, Antonis Dimopoulos, said on Thursday that the e-cigarette continues to
be sold in pharmacies even though it lacks the approval of the National Organization for Medicines (EOF).
In the meantime, the Health and Finance ministries have been coming under pressure to increase the
price of cigarettes by 20 percent or further hike the tax on tobacco products as a disincentive to smokers
but also as a way of boosting much-needed revenue.


Prostitution racket busted
5 December 2011 Athens News

POLICE have reported cracking an organised prostitution racket operating over the past 10 years and
arresting 15 suspects for forcing young women and girls from the Balkans and eastern Europe into
prostitution. The leaders of the gang were identified as a man aged 51 and a woman aged 61, who are
estimated to have earned 1,000 euros a day from the gang’s activities. A third man, aged 61, is being
sought as the third ringleader.


Counterfeiters eye festive season
5 December 2011 Athens News

THREE PEOPLE have been arrested in Piraeus, accused of possessing 80,000 in counterfeit euro notes
that authorities believe were destined for the busy Christmas shopping season. Two men, aged 18 and
34, and a 50-year-old woman, were arrested following raids on apartments in Keratsini and Korydallos.
Most of the counterfeit money was in fake 50 euro notes. The source of the notes was unclear, but police
also seized computer equipment in the raids.



Hungry schoolboy faints in Crete
2 December 2011 Athens news

A 13-year-old boy has fainted in school after his struggling family had not eaten for two days.

The incident occurred in the Cretan city of Iraklio, and is the latest in a string of reports by parents' and
teachers' groups that schoolchildren of unemployed parents are failing to eat properly.

Parents' groups and municipal agencies have promised to help the 13-year-old boy, who lives with his
unemployed mother.



Teacher 47, detained in Rethymno after allegedly molesting 25 boys
2 December 2011 ekathimerini
Police in the Cretan port of Rethymno on Friday arrested a 47-year-old school teacher alleged to have
sexually molested several young boys.

The police traced the teacher, a father-of-two, after receiving a tipoff regarding his alleged transgressions
and following several days of monitoring his movements.

According to police sources, who said the suspect was caught in his home attempting to seduce two
adolescents, is believed to have sexually molested at least 25 boys aged between 13 and 14. According
to the same sources, the teacher -- who also worked as a basketball coach -- approached his would-be
victims at a local gymnasium during or after training.

A search on the suspect’s home turned up videos featuring pornographic material featuring minors and
himself, according to police.

The 47-year-old, who was to face a prosecutor Friday, is the second teacher to be arrested in as many
days on charges of sexual abuse of a minor. On Thursday, another teacher was arrested in the Athens
neighborhood of Halandri after allegedly offering schoolchildren cash in exchange for sexual favors.


Deputy PM says elections may be delayed
1st December 2011 ekathimerini

Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos has admitted that snap elections may not be held in Greece on
February 19, as previously planned.

Speaking to Skai TV on Thursday, Pangalos said that the interim government may not have secured its
targets, including the completion of a haircut agreement with private bondholders, by that time.

New Democracy had set snap election as one of conditions for taking part in the short-term administration.

Pangalos also suggested that former prime minister George Papandreou could continue as PASOK leader,
taking the party into the next elections before a contest is held to elected a new Socialist chief.

Papandreou is under pressure from some elements of his part to stand aside this month and allow other
candidates to fight it out for the party leadership.

Pangalos also confirmed that he had told the French media that Greeks who wanted the country to return
to the drachma were either “Communists, fascists or idiots.”



General strike to protest austerity measures
1st December 2011 ekathimerini

Public services are to be paralyzed again on Thursday as thousands of workers walk off the job to protest
an ongoing austerity drive in the seventh general strike this year.

As usual, tax offices, courts and schools will shut down, hospitals will operate on emergency staff and
customs officials will walk off the job.

The national rail network will suspend operations all day as will the Proastiakos suburban railway service.
Ferries too will remain moored in port as seamen join the 24-hour walkout.

Flights are unlikely to be heavily disrupted.

The metro will not shut down at all but trains will not run to Athens International Airport. They will stop at
Doukissis Plakentias station.

The media held a 24-hour strike on Wednesday and will take part in work stoppage on Thursday to show
their support for the protest action.

Protesters are calling for austerity measures that have been voted through Parliament under the previous
Socialist government -- including tax hikes, wage cuts and public sector layoffs -- to be revoked.



Pedalling paramedics head to Irakleio
29 Nov 2011 Athens News

The Cretan city of Irakleio is boosting its cycling programme, to include bikes for volunteer paramedics.

Mayor Yiannis Kourakis announced said the service will be run by volunteers from the Red Cross in
response to the city's traffic problems, after the red mountain bikes were secured by private donation.

Irakleio is already piloting a free bike-hire scheme, similar to programmes adopted by dozens of city
councils in Italy. Most of those schemes use electronic cards to monitor bicycle traffic offer free use of
municipal bikes for a limited time.


Longer military service under consideration
29 Nov 2011 Athens News

Deputy Defence Minister Costas Spiliopoulos on Tuesday left open the likelihood of a decision for a
lengthier mandatory military service by conscripts. Currently, the length of national service is nine months.

Speaking to a private radio station, he stressed that the reductions in the duration of the compulsory
military service has caused significant problems for the armed forces, adding that the likelihood of
increasing the military service should be considered by all political powers.

Greece is the only country in the European Union which still has a system of compulsory military service.
Other EU countries such as Austria, Denmark and Cyprus have conscription but allow alternative services,
in place of military service to be performed as part of national service.


Three arrested for suspected use of forged cash
27 November 2011 ekathimerini

Two men and one woman were arrested in the Athens districts of Korydallos and Keratsini on Monday on
suspicion of using forged money.

Some 51,000 euros in fake cash was found at their properties.

The three suspects, all Greeks, are not thought to have printed the money themselves.


Electricity hikes on the way
24 November 2011 ekathimerini

Environment and Energy Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou is expected to announce higher prices for
electricity in response to demands by the Public Power Corporation (PPC). The new prices, which are
expected to be known within the next few days, will also take into account recommendations made by the
Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The rise in prices is not expected to reach the 19 percent figure originally demanded by PPC, though
sources say that it might be in the double digits. The gradual readjustment of electricity bills is one of
Greece’s commitments according to the memorandum signed with the country's international creditors and
is set to be finalized by June 2013.

The new prices will be seen in electricity bills as of January 1, 2012.


2012 Draft Budget

Revenue to exceed spending in 2012, deficit to contract, and no new measures on the cards
19 November 2011 ekathimerini

Submitting the draft budget for 2012 in Parliament on Friday, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said
that state revenue would exceed spending next year, adding that the deficit was expected to contract to
5.4 percent of gross domestic product from 9 percent this year.

He added that no further austerity measures had been included in the blueprint for next year. “The
budget for 2012 will not be accompanied by legislation foreseeing new tax hikes and other revenue-
raising measures,” he said. “As long as we implement measures that have already been voted through
Parliament we will not need to take any new ones.”

Following a cabinet meeting where the draft budget was given the seal of approval by ministers of the
new coalition government, Venizelos said it also needed the backing of Greece’s Parliament and noted
that a vote would be held on December 7.

"For the first time in the last decades, the Greek parliament is called upon to discuss and ratify the budget
under conditions of acute crisis and pressure,» Venizelos said. But he insisted that the 2012 budget
constituted “a tool to exit the crisis” that would help Greece move from the “a state of pessimism to a
new beginning.”


Six arrested in Crete for baby sale
18 November 2011 Athens News

Police in Crete have arrested six suspects, following the alleged sale of a 25-day old baby to a couple for
the intended sum of €12,000.

The couple was arrested near the town of Agios Nicholaos, along with the child's 40-year-old Bulgarian
mother and three other Bulgarian nationals.

Police said the mother received €6,700 for the alleged sale, and intermediaries received €3,000, while the
remaining sum had not yet been paid.

The baby was taken to a local state hospital for observation.


Police entered Thessaloniki university amid November 17 unrest
18 November 2011 ekathimerini

Riot police officers entered the grounds of Thessaloniki University on Thursday evening, during scuffles
that broke out during a protest rally marking a student uprising in 1973 that led to the fall of Greece’s
junta.

It the first time security forces have been permitted onto a university campus since the early 1980s when
a law was passed banning them from institutions of higher education without the prior permission of a
prosecutor. The law was repealed in August as part of a broader education overhaul.

The officers entered the grounds of the Aristotle University after a group of demonstrators they had been
chasing took refuge in one of the university faculties. Police detained one of the youths for questioning
and swiftly withdrew from the university grounds, witnesses said.

While the police operation had been underway, members of the university senate, and students, had
been watching a concert conducted by the composer Thanos Mikroutsikos in the main university
auditorium.

Meanwhile, police in Athens said they had arrested a total of 13 people and briefly detained another 90
during a demonstration in Athens marking the student uprising.

Police said the arrests were carried out after groups of youths attacked police with stones, chunks of
marble, sticks and homemade firebombs.

One of the suspects arrested has been hospitalized under police guard as, in his attempt to avoid arrest,
he jumped from a large height and sustained serious injuries when he fell, officers said without providing
details.

Police said 14 officers were injured in the Athens unrest.


Generous minimum wage a myth in Greece
15th November 2011 Athens News
From Berlin to Bratislava, indignant Europeans have gasped at stories of the relatively high wages and
generous benefits enjoyed by Greek workers, whose fabled laid-back lifestyles have been blamed for
helping bring the eurozone to its knees.

Athens' international lenders have pushed for cuts to the 750 euro minimum monthly wage to boost
competitiveness, a welcome call for Germans, French and other voters in the currency area who have
bridled at having to bail out Greece.
But for people like 33-year-old magazine editor George Theonas, that wage floor is a myth, as his and
other companies use the crisis to skirt legal pay rules by tearing up collective wage deals and forcing
employees into contract work.

"I can't pay my bills and I can no longer live without my parents' support," said Theonas, 33, whose
employer moved him from permanent to temporary status, making 700 euros a month working 12 hours a
day, seven days a week instead of the four days on his contract.

"I'm not looking for a new job. There is nowhere to go. This is Greece," he said.

Theonas is one of the lucky ones. Others at his company earn as little as 300 euros a month under
trainee schemes that are extended for years, even though they do the work once bestowed only on full-
time employees.

With unemployment now at a euro-era record high of 18.4 percent, workers are forced to stay put, as
their employers say thousands more people are standing in line for their jobs.

"Most of my friends are unemployed. I only hear of people losing their jobs. What choice do I have," said
Theonas  
continued



Time running out for tax evaders, ministry says
14th November 2011 ekathimerini
In Crete, officers of the ministry’s financial crimes unit (SDOE) have opened some 200 bank accounts
belonging to doctors, lawyers and other professionals believed to be guilty of large-scale tax evasion, it
emerged yesterday. According to sources, officers already have evidence incriminating three well-known
lawyers and six established doctors from the island’s northern port of Iraklio. One of the implicated medics
is the director of local maternity clinic who allegedly used public facilities to offer his patients private
treatment. The doctor allegedly made huge profits from this illicit enterprise but did not declare any of his
income. According to SDOE officers, some 970 patients paid a total of 3.26 million euros into two bank
accounts in the medic’s name between 2001 and 2009.


CRACKS APPEARING IN COALITION
14 November 2011 Athens News
New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras vowed to reject any toughening of austerity measures in
return for a multi-billion euro bailout, signalling the new coalition government may not enjoy the kind of
cross-party support demanded by international lenders. Samaras said he would not vote for any new
austerity measures and added that the policy mix of spending cuts and tax rises agreed with international
lenders should be changed in favour of economic growth. Crucially, Samaras said he would not sign any
letter pledging support for conditions on a 130bn euro bailout as EU Economic and Monetary Affairs
Commissioner Olli Rehn has demanded. His refusal to sign could imperil an 8bn euro loan Greece needs by
mid-December to avoid default.

Cruise sector opening up
14th November 2011 ekathimerini
Greece will soon see the full liberalization of the cruise industry for non-EU-flagged ships, new Deputy
Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, who is responsible for merchant marine affairs, said on Monday.
This grants the sector a great deal of relief as the delay seen in promoting the opening up of the sector in
Greece had led to a number of operators leaving the country out of their schedules for 2012.
Georgiadis also pledged to promote legislation allowing the presence of armed guards aboard Greek-
flagged vessels in order to fend off piracy attacks.
"Our aim is to attribute more quality to Greek shipping so as to make the most of the investment potential
it offers,» the deputy minister said. He has planned meetings with the associations of shipowners and
sailors.


Lucas Papademos named as new Greek prime minister
10 November 2011 BBC

Former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos has been named as Greece's new prime
minister, following days of negotiations.

Mr Papademos, 64, said he was taking over at a "critical point" for Greece.

Leaders of the three main parties making up a new government of national unity had been meeting the
Greek president to try to reach a deal.

Greeks will hope the news provides the stability to get them through their debt crisis, correspondents say.

Mr Papademos will head an interim government being formed to make sure debt-laden Greece gets its
latest bailout payment, and to approve a new 130bn euro ($177bn; £111bn) international rescue
package from eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund. Elections are expected in February.



Election date set for 19 February 2012
7th November 2011 Athens news
The die is cast by Pasok and New Democracy, who have decided that early elections will take place on
February 19.
After Sunday’s meeting of George Papandreou and Antonis Samaras in the presidential mansion,
representatives from the two parties began discussing the details of the coalition deal.
Pasok was represented by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Deputy Finance Minister Filippos
Sachinidis and New Democracy by Christos Staikouras, the deputy shadow finance minister, and Dimitris
Stamatis and Chrisanthos Lazaridis, who are advisors to Samaras.
The two parties agreed on a specific timeframe, leading to the holding of general elections in 103 days'
time.
The next general elections in Greece were scheduled for October 2013.


Restoring the past
7 November 2011 Athens News
Workers celebrate after a Parthenon metope was successfully removed on November 1 for restoration. A
copy will replace it, while the original will be put on display at the Acropolis museum after it is restored.
The project is part of an extensive antiquity conservation and restoration programme on the Acropolis
since 1975. The aim of the programme is to stabilise, conserve and prolong the life of the Parthenon and
other buildings on the Acropolis.


Six arrested in major child porn ring
4 November 2011 Athens News
SIX people were arrested in several cities across the country for their alleged involvement in a major child
porn internet trafficking ring, police announced on October 31. The arrests were made within the
framework of a two-month operation, codenamed “Angels”, conducted by the police’s cyber crime squad.
Among the defendants are a German importer, a father of six, a US army officer, an Austrian shipowner, a
Ukrainian private company employee and three Greek nationals - a mechanical engineer and two
businessmen. The arrests were made in Athens, Salamina, Chania, Patra, Lefkada, Didimoticho and
Mytilini. The child porn material they were trafficking is characterised as “hardcore”, showing small
children, some of them a few months old, being abused and tortured. Most of the confiscated material
was reportedly taped in Latin America. Police have searched 10 houses and confiscated tens of
thousands of child porn files totalling 11,000GB.


Top brass changeover
3 November 2011 Athens News
THE TIMING was certainly bizarre, to say the least, but on November 1 the defence minister replaced the
four top men in the defence forces: the chief of the general staff and the army, navy and airforce top
brass. Panos Beglitis proposed the changes at an extraordinary meeting of the Government Council for
Foreign Affairs and Defence (Kysea), which took place before the November 1 emergency cabinet meeting.
The move fuelled wild speculation, particularly in the foreign press, but replacing the old guard in this
manner is not unusual in Greece.



Greece faces meltdown after bailout vote bombshell
1 November 2011 Reuters
The Greek government faced possible collapse on Tuesday as ruling party lawmakers demanded Prime
Minister George Papandreou resign for throwing the nation's euro membership into jeopardy with
a shock call for a referendum.

Caught unawares by his high-risk gamble, the leaders of France and Germany summoned Papandreou to
crisis talks in Cannes on Wednesday to push for a quick implementation of Greece's new
bailout deal ahead of a summit of the G20 major world economies. Six senior members of the ruling
PASOK socialist party, angered by his decision to call a plebiscite on the 130 billion euro rescue
package agreed only last week, said Papandreou should make way for "a politically legitimate"
administration.

A leading PASOK lawmaker quit the party, narrowing Papandreou's already slim parliamentary majority,
and two others said Greece needed a government of national unity followed by snap elections,
which the opposition also demanded.


Greece gambles on referendum for new debt deal
31st October 2011 Bloomberg Business week
Taking a huge political gamble, Greece's prime minister announced Monday that his debt-strapped country
will hold a referendum on the new European debt deal reached last week -- the first such vote
in 37 years.
Prime Minister George Papandreou appeared to take many lawmakers by surprise by saying that a hard-
bargained agreement that took months for Europe's leaders to hammer out will be put to a public ballot.
He gave no date or other details on the proposed referendum, which would be the first in Greece since
1974, when the monarchy was abolished by a landslide vote months after the collapse of a military
dictatorship.
"This will be the referendum: The citizen will be called upon to say a big 'yes' or a big 'no' to the new loan
arrangement," Papandreou told Socialist members of parliament. "This is a supreme act of democracy and
of patriotism for the people to make their own decision ... We have a duty to promote the role and the
responsibility of the citizen.
The move allows Socialist lawmakers -- who have been vilified by months and months of strikes, sit-ins
and violent protests over rounds of austerity measures -- to pass the responsibility for the country's fate
to the Greek people themselves.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, a constitutional law professor, said the referendum was called after
opposition parties repeatedly failed to side with the government in negotiations between Greece and
other eurozone members.


Reaching out to needy
28 October 2011 Athens News

HUNGER is increasingly becoming a problem among poor Greek households, with more and more families
unable to make ends meet, the Greek branch of the humanitarian aid organisation Doctors of the World
warned in an October 26 press conference. “The number of Greeks seeking medical attention from us has
shot up from 6-7 percent last year to 30 percent this year, out of a total of 30,000 people seen in the
past year,” an organisation representative said. “They are elderly people, those on small pensions, young
unemployed and people with chronic diseases - often with a hospital prescription in hand - because they
are unable to pay for their share of medication. What shocked us most, however, is that many now ask us
for food.” The organisation announced that it would launch a campaign to collect food items in time for
Christmas.


Fighting spirit
27 October 2011 Athens News
Nikos Kaklamanakis - windsurfing gold medallist at the 1996 Summer Olympics - journeyed this week
across the Aegean Sea on his board, covering 320 nautical miles in just two days. The 43-year-old started
from the Cycladic island of Andros and passed by the islands of Mykonos, Delos, Koufonissia, Donoussa
and Amorgos before reaching his final destination of Karpathos in the Dodecanese


ND to vote against 'loss of Greek sovereignty'
25 October 2011 ekathimerini
If a European deal regarding the eurozone crisis has to be ratified by a Greek Parliamentary qualified
majority on the condition that Greece has to give up part of its national sovereignty, New Democracy will
vote against the deal, ND’s parliamentary spokesman, Costas Markopoulos, said on Tuesday speaking on
Skai.

According to Markopoulos, the PASOK government is facing political blackmail, is not part of the ongoing
negotiations in Brussels and is simply acting as an observer. He also noted that Greece’s main opposition
party has not received substantial briefing with regards to current developments.

Markopoulos also noted that his party’s demand for elections is based on its mistrust of the government,
as opposed to New Democracy's desire to govern.


Unionists block ferries in Piraeus
25 October 2011 Ekathimerini
Tension mounted in the port of Piraeus on Tuesday as members of Greece’s Panhellenic Seamen’s Union
blocked the departure of a number of ferries.
Three ferries scheduled to depart for the Saronic Sea remained at dock, along with boats “Nissos Chios”
and “Nissos Myconos.”
Earlier in the day «Nissos Chios» passengers had confronted the unionists whose aim was to block ships
which do not implement collective contract agreements and owe wages to staff.
A public prosecutor was subsequently informed of the incident.


Business owners request compensation for damages during protests
24 October 2011 Athens News –AMNA
Material damages caused to private businesses and banks during violent incidents in recent
demonstrations in downtown Athens total roughly 400,000 euros, according to an Athens Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (EBEA), in a letter addressed to Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday.

EBEA president Constantine Mihalos requested that compensation be paid by the state, pursuant to a
relevant law, underlining that at least 62 private businesses, including nine bank branches, were
damaged, while looting was also reported. (


Tourism revenues up 10% in Jan-Aug
24 October 2011 Athens News
Tourism foreign exchange revenues were up 10 percent in the first eight months of the year, compared
with the corresponding period in 2010, totalling 7.718 billion euros, while tourist arrivals grew 9.9 percent
over the same period, the Bank of Greece said in a report issued on Monday.

The country saw a 6.5 percent rise in tourism receipts in August compared to the same month a year ago,
helped by a jump in the number of German visitors, the central bank said in its monthly balance of
payments data for the sector.

It said the number of travellers visiting the country rose 6.2 percent in August to 3.353 million.

The central bank’s report noted that the tourism sector was taking a leading role in the economy, helped
by a strong recovery in tourist arrivals in the country.

A total of 10.33 million visitors arrived in Greek airports in the January-September period this year, up
9.67 percent compared with the same period in 2010, a very significant figure for air travel in the country.

Tourism industry officials expect foreign visitors numbers to reach 16.5 million this year, with tourism
revenues rising more than 12 percent for the year.
easyJet launches new Crete service from Luton22 October 2011 Breaking Travel NewseasyJet will operate
a new route to Heraklion in Crete for the first time from Luton Airport with the inaugural flight, which will
operate once a week, set to take off from Luton Airport on 21 April 2012. Crete is the second new route
to be announced from Luton Airport recently. Just last month the airline confirmed it will begin operating a
new route to Corfu twice a week from 31 March 2012. Prices start from £37.99 and bookings are
now being taken.


easyJet launches Greece service
22 Oct 2011 Breaking Travel News
easyJet will operate a new route to Heraklion in Crete for the first time from Luton Airport with the
inaugural flight, which will operate once a week, set to take off from Luton Airport on 21 April 2012.

easyJet now carries more than five million passengers through Luton Airport each year and has 16 aircraft
based there. It has grown to operate 35 routes including Istanbul, Palma De Mallorca, Cyprus, Barcelona
and Munich.

Crete is the second new route to be announced from Luton Airport recently. Just last month the airline
confirmed it will begin operating a new route to Corfu twice a week from 31 March 2012. Prices start from
£37.99 and bookings are now being taken.


Greece on Strike
October 2011
Seamen (PNO) rolling 48hr strikes extended (updated 21/10) -  No ferries in Greece from 06.00hrs
Mon 17 Oct to 06.00hr Tuesday 25 October  

General Strike Wednesday 19 October & Thursday 20 October 2011
ADEDY public sector & GSEE private sector 48hr Strike 19 & 20 Oct.
Taxis also on strike 48hrs, archaeological sites and museums, banks, teachers, hospitals all on strike.

Greek Air traffic Controllers will strike 12hrs - Midnight Tuesday until 12 noon Wednesday 19 Oct.
Update 18/9/11 at 22.00hrs
The 48 hr air traffic strike has been reduced to a 12 hour strike.


Greek unions – Strikes and more building take-overs
14 October 2011 Associated Press

Protesting Greek unions vowed Friday to bring the government to a standstill next week, as uncollected
trash piled up around Athens, traffic was snarled and more professions signed up for a 48-hour general
strike against the country's relentless austerity measures.

Defying government warnings, the civil servants' union called on its members to occupy government
buildings next week to "prevent the new crime against the country's working people."

The union is already leading a general strike planned on Oct. 19 and 20, timed to coincide with a vote in
parliament to pass new austerity measures. Air traffic controllers announced plans Friday to join the
protest, promising to ground all flights on the two days of the general strike.

The Greek Communist Party said one of its affiliated labor unions is planning to surround parliament on
Oct. 20 to try to prevent
the vote.


Income Tax
14 Oct 2011 ekathimerini
The recently announced tax break to young people under 30 and pensioners has been abolished, the
finance minister announced yesterday. Under the existing proposals – announced under much fanfare
some weeks ago – these two groups were to have a tax-free allowance of 9,000
euros from 2012, as opposed to the 5,000 euros of everyone else. But now, their tax-free allowance
has been brought down to 5,000 euros as well. Thus, under the original wording a pensioner or young
person under 30 with an income of 9,100 euros would have to pay tax on only 100 euros (ie 10 euros).
Now, with the new amendment, he has to pay tax on everything above 5,000 euros (that’s 510 euros).


Flight delays due to workers’ protest
Air-traffic controllers do not rule out continuing with go-slow action
7 October 2011 ekathimerini
Protesting government reforms in their sector, air-traffic controllers declared a go-slow day on
Thursday, causing a backlog of incoming and outgoing traffic, at Athens International Airport, a day
after a 24-hour strike brought air traffic in Greece to a halt.

The air-traffic controllers refused to work any overtime or service unscheduled flights on Thursday,
while they did not make it clear whether their action would continue Friday.

The air traffic staff are likely to join another walkout by civil servants' scheduled for October 19.


Households to pay 30 pct more for power in 2012
4 October 2011 ekathimerini
Electricity bills will rise by an average rate of 18 to 19 percent next year, with households in particular
forced to shoulder a hike of more than 30 percent.
This unprecedented rise is due to the country’s commitment to its international creditors for the upgrade
of electricity charges to levels that reflect the real cost of power production.
Next year will see the second stage of that rate adjustment, with the third set to follow in 2013. Next
year’s rise in rates will affect all consumers, both domestic and commercial, as the tax hike on fuel has
seen the cost of electricity production soar to the extent that any cuts to commercial rates have
evaporated.
The process for this adjustment began on Tuesday with the Public Power Corporation submitting its
updated cost data to the Regulatory Authority for Energy, according to estimates included in the PPC
budget for 2012.


Ferry rams into pier, no injuries
1 October 2011 AMNA
A car/passenger ferry rammed into the pier at Souda port on the island of Crete on Saturday morning,
but all 1,118 passengers were safe and uninjured, port authorities said.
The ferry "Lato", carrying out the Piraeus-Hania route, rammed into the pier as it was manoeuvering to
dock.
The collision caused a 30cm rift on the right side of the ferry approximately one meter above the water
line.
The ferry has been banned from sailing until the rift is repaired and the relevant certification provided.


Two brothers drown in grape must vat
30 September 2011 AMNA
Two elderly brothers, from a prominent wine-making family in Naousa, Imathia prefecture, drowned in a
vat full of grape must, police said.
Agamemnon (83) and Antonis (75) Melitzanis, the third generation of the Melitzanis Vineyards family
label, were preparing the grape must when the tragedy occurred.
According to eyewitnesses, the older brother was stirring the fermenting must when he apparently was
overcome by the fumes and fell into the vat. When his younger brother tried to pull him out, he too was
overcome by the fumes and fell into the vat.
Relatives who heard the brothers crying for help immediately alerted police. Firefighters rushed to the
scene, but found the men dead upon arrival.
The Melitzanis family has been making its own family-label wine since 1918.


Woman arrested, heroin seized on Crete      
30 September 2011 ekathimerini
A woman was arrested and two kilos of heroin were seized early Friday in Irakleio, Crete, police said,
adding that this was one of the largest quantities of the narcotic to be confiscated on the island.

The 32-year-old Albanian woman arrived in Irakleio from the port of Piraeus and police, acting on a tip-
off, set up a surveillance operation to see who the recipients of the drug were.

However, no one approached her to pick up the drug in downtown Irakleio, so police sent ahead with
the arrest of the woman.

A total of 2.031kg of heroin was found in the handbag she was carrying.


Air-traffic controllers to strike Oct. 5
29 September 2011 ekathimerini
Air-traffic controllers have decided to take part in a 24-hour civil servants’ strike on Wednesday,
October 5.

Unless the action is reversed by a court, it will mean that no flights will depart or land in Greece
throughout the day.

The air-traffic controllers will allow planes to fly through Greek air space.


Bill on political corruption cases passed
28 September 2011 AMNA
A bill amending laws on the handling of cases of corruption involving politicians, state officials and cases of
major public interest was passed by MPs on Wednesday.

The bill was passed with the backing of the ruling Pasok, main opposition New Democracy and rightwing
populist Laos parties.

During the preceding discussion, Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou said the bill sought to address
problems arising from the slowness of the political system to apportion blame and accelerate the
processing of such cases, as well as the inability of the justice system to overcome various political
obstacles


Hospital rooms to be 'rented'
27 September 2011 ekathimerini
n a bid to earn revenues for Greece’s public coffers, the Health Ministry said Tuesday that as of next
week, private insurance companies will be able to rent rooms in state hospitals for their customers.

It is the first time that a synergy between public hospitals and private insurance firms will be created in
Greece. Up to 556 beds in hospital rooms in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki will be made available to
the companies.

Ethniki Insurance, Alico, EFG Eurolife, ING, Interamerican, Allianz and Agrotiki Insurance signed the deal
yesterday and another 11 firms have declared an interest in taking part in the scheme.

“No hospital that is short of beds has been included in the program,” Health Minister Andreas Loverdos
said in response to a question about whether the initiative represented a move to privatize the health
service.

“This is simply an effort to bring revenues into the National Health System, nothing more.” He did not
give an estimate of how much the government hopes to raise each year from the scheme.


French tourist drowns in Lefkada storm
21 September 2011 ekathimerini
A 60-year-old Frenchman drowned on Lefkada late on Tuesday when a flash storm hit the Ionian island.

A tornado hit the area of Vlichos, overturning boats that were anchored in the harbor. The unnamed
tourist was on a boat with his wife when the storm struck.

The woman was rescued from the sea unharmed. Two British tourists who had been on board a yacht
managed to swim to safety when the vessel began taking on water


Rain reveals Mycenaean graveyard
17 September 2011 Athens News
A HITHERTO unknown Mycenaean cemetery has been revealed in Soha, in the Peloponnese prefecture
of Arkadia, following heavy rainfall, with the finds dating back to the 14th century BC, archaeologists
said. Five box-shaped multiple tombs were unearthed near Vaskina village, northwest of Leonidio. The
38th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities has carried out a recovery excavation. The most
impressive of the funerary gifts found in the graves were several clay sympotic vases.


Cost of food up three percent
16  September 2011 Athens News
THE COST of food and beverages for the average Greek household rose to 356.24 euros in August
2011, according to figures released by the Greek Consumers’ Centre ELKEKA on September 15. Based
on figures, this represents a three percent increase relative to August 2010, when the same basket of
goods cost 347.43 euros. The highest increases were in fish, which posted hikes reaching six percent,
and in oils and fats, also up six percent.


Jobless hit record 16.3 percent
16 September 2011 Athens NEws
UNEMPLOYMENT in Greece jumped to a record 16.3 percent in the second quarter of the year, compared
to 11.8 percent for the same quarter in 2010 and 15.9 percent for the first quarter of 2011, the Hellenic
Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) said on September 15. ELSTAT said there were 4,156,336 employed
persons in the second quarter of 2011, while the number of unemployed totalled 810,821. The number
of those employed shrank 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, with job shedding affecting all sectors of the
economy, ELSTAT said. Young people were hardest hit, with the jobless rate reaching 32.9 percent in
the 15-29 age group, while male heads of households aged 30 to 65 have also been severely affected.


Chania: Powerful explosion at Koum Kapi
14/09/11 Haniotika Nea
A strong explosion completely destroyed a cafe in Koum - Kapi, Chania in the early hours of Wednesday
morning, waking neighbours in the area.
Fortunately the cafe was closed at the time, as were others in the area, and there were no reported
casualties.  Firemen rushed to the scene, but there was no fire. The cause of the explosion is being
investigated by police and firemen and, according to Flashnet.gr, police sources suspect that a
homemade bomb was planted.



Four men arrested for cocaine dealing on Crete
13 September 2011 Athens News
Police in Hania, Crete have arrested four Albanian nationals, two 19-year-olds, one 21-year-old and
one 34-year-old, that are to be charged with dealing in cocaine. The four were caught carrying
large quantities of the drug during a raid on Monday night based on a tip-off.
At the time of their arrest, the four men were found to be carrying four equal-weight packages of
cocaine, each weighing 200 grammes. They also had eight mobile phones used to conduct drug deals
and were driving two cars that were used to sell the drugs.
All the evidence was confiscated, while in a raid on the homes of the four suspects police also found the
sum of 5,130 euro that are believed to be proceeds from drug sales.



Customs officers’ strike creates traffic jams at border crossings
13 September 2011 ekathimerini
The 48-hour strike called on Monday by customs officers, protesting against the government decision to
include them in the single wage scale for civil servants, has resulted in major traffic jams at the country’
s border crossings, it was announced on Tuesday.
Trucks and other vehicles have formed a two-kilometer-long line at the border crossing of Kipi,
northeast Greece, despite the fact that customs officers allow the trucks with perishable goods and
private cars to cross the borders in turns. (AMNA)


Union vows to block new tax on property
Power company workers threaten to sabotage collection of new levy
13 September 2011 ekathimerini       
 
The government’s decision to impose a new property tax in a last-ditch effort to curb a budget shortfall
and meet the conditions of an international bailout on Monday provoked the anger of unionists who
vowed to sabotage the new measure.
According to the Finance Ministry’s plan, the tax - which is to cost an average of 4 euros per square
meter and is to be imposed this year and in 2012 - would be added to electricity bills to thwart would-
be tax evaders.
Electricity bills are already used by the Greek state to collect municipal taxes and the fees of state
broadcaster ERT.
But the union representing employees at the Public Power Corporation (PPC), known as GENOP, said
yesterday that it would block the tax.
“GENOP will not allow PPC to be used as a tax collection mechanism,” said GENOP’s outspoken
president, Nikos Fotopoulos.
In a statement on its website, GENOP, one of the country’s most powerful unions, said, “PPC is no
cowboy or sheriff to put the gun to the head of the Greek people,” adding that authorities should
target high-income tax evaders.
According to sources, GENOP staff plan to obstruct the issuing of electricity bills and stop PPC staff from
cutting the power of customers who refuse to pay the tax.
Responding to GENOP’s statements, government spokesman Ilias Mossialos spoke out against “Won’t
Pay” movements, noting that Greece’s dire economic situation demanded a patriotic response by
citizens.
The new tax was further condemned by the civil servants’ union, ADEDY, as another unfair burden on
working Greeks who have already been besieged by a wave of new taxes.
The main conservative opposition, New Democracy, also slammed the tax, noting that it demonstrated
the “absolute failure” of the government’s austerity drive.


International public invitation for seismic surveys in western, southern Greece
12 September 2011  Athens News/AMNA     
   
.An international public invitation for  participation in non-exclusive seismic surveys on the continental
shelf of western and southern Greece - the Ionian Sea region and the sea region south of the island of
Crete respectively - was published on Monday as announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou,
within the framework of the 76th Thessaloniki’s International Fair (TIF) on Sunday.
According to a decision signed by the deputy environment, energy and climate change minister, all
interested companies will proceed with seismic surveys in the stated regions, and based on the
timetable, an International Licensing Round of Hydrocarbon Exploration and Exploitation will be
announced in 2012.


Greek tax, customs workers and taxis on strike
12 September 2011 Associated Press   
Greek tax collectors and taxi owners have started two-day strikes to protest austerity measures and
market reforms aimed at keeping the cash-strapped country solvent.
Monday's strikes come amid increasing market alarm over the Greek government's efforts to save the
rapidly contracting economy, and a day after a new blanket property tax was imposed.
The Socialist government claims the new belt-tightening - after 20 months of austerity - was dictated by
revenue shortfalls that are threatening the country's vital international bailout program.
Revenue-collecting tax and customs workers are angry at cuts in their bonus pay, while taxi drivers
object to the abolition of protective licensing restrictions. Taxi owners also held a disruptive strike for
weeks in July, blockading airports and harbours.



Finance minister announces a fresh property tax
11 September 2011 ekathimerini
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos heralded fresh austerity measures over the weekend, chiefly a
new property tax, a day after Prime Minister George Papandreou insisted that his government would do
everything necessary to plug a gaping budget deficit and secure the next installment of emergency
funding on which the country’s solvency depends.

The new property tax, the latest in a series of tax increases, will range from 50 cents to 10 euros per
square meter according to the value of the property and will apply for two years, Venizelos said, noting
that the tax would be added to electricity bills to thwart would-be tax evaders. There will be
concessions for the disabled, the unemployed and large families.
The minister also heralded cutbacks in public spending but Papandreou doused speculation about mass
redundancies among civil servants.
In another, largely symbolic move, a month’s salary is to be cut from all elected officials, ranging from
the president to the country’s mayors.
Papandreou conceded that the additional measures were tough but likened them to crucial supplies
during war. “These measures are the supplies we need to fight,” he said.



Thousands turn out for anti-austerity protests
11 September 2011 ekathimerini
Some 25,000 demonstrators converged in Thessaloniki on Saturday night to protest the government’s
ongoing austerity drive.

More than seven separate demonstrations were held in different parts of the northern port but a
record number of police officers - over 7,000 - prevented any of the groups from approaching the
heavily guarded venue where Prime Minister George Papandreou was giving his annual speech on the
state of the economy.

The most violent protests were those involving taxi drivers who are furious at government plans to
liberalize their sector.

A group of around 3,000 protesters attempted to storm a police barrier and were pushed back by
officers firing tear gas. Television coverage showed some of the cabbies hacking pieces of stone from
sidewalks and hurling them at officers.

University students, protesting an overhaul of state higher education, were also out in force, as were
members of the so-called Indignant anti-austerity movement and suspected anarchists.

A total of 94 people were detained during the unrest, according to police, but only eight were to face a
prosecutor, one on criminal charges.


Crete man admits to fatal stabbing
8 September 2011 ekathimerini
A 24-year-old man facing a murder charge in connection to the death on Monday of 21-year-old Yiannis
Rousakis confessed to stabbing the young man during a fierce pitched battle between
rival soccer club fans on the island of Crete, police said on Wednesday.
Authorities are seeking a 22-year-old who is also facing murder charges for Rousakis’s death.
Meanwhile, the parents of three of minors involved in the violent brawl were also charged with
dereliction and released pending  a hearing.


Workers launch new wave of strikes
7 September 2011 ekathimerini
Taxi drivers, tax collectors, doctors and garbage collectors all signaled a new round of strike action on
Wednesday in response to government pledges for the swifter enforcement of austerity
measures.
Taxi drivers called a 24-hour strike, to begin at 5 a.m. on Thursday, and hinted at more action on
Saturday, after the government refused to amend legislation opening up their sector to competition.
According to the bill, which is to be submitted in Parliament next month, anyone will be able to apply for
a taxi drivers’ license - as long as they do not have a criminal record, speak good Greek and pay an
application charge, to be set somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 euros. Assuming that the
legislation is voted through Parliament, the first new licenses will be issued by the end of the year.
Cabbies - who vehemently object to the reforms, complaining that there are already too many taxis on
Greek roads - caused havoc to the crucial tourism sector last month by not only striking for two-and-a-
half weeks but also blocking ports, airports and roads.
The taxi drivers’ sector is not the only one up in arms over austerity. Tax collectors called a 48-hour
strike for next Monday and Tuesday, protesting plans by the government to suspend civil servants with
reduced pay for 12 months.
Doctors, protesting planned cutbacks, are to start a two-day walkout on Thursday.
Municipal garbage collectors are to start rolling 48-hour work stoppages on Sunday, calling for the
reinstatement of colleagues whose short-term contracts have expired. And state school teachers are
also to start rolling strikes from September 22.


Air traffic controllers' union announce 'go-slow' strike
7 September 2011 AMNA
Air traffic controllers on Wednesday announced that they are determined to end overtime work and
proceed with "strict implementation" of air traffic regulations, thus conducting the equivalent of a “go-
slow” strike in protest to a new wage scale and changes in the management of revenues coming from
special collected rates -- a portion of which return to air traffic controllers.

Problems (delays) are expected to be created in flights inside Greek airspace.


Pharmacies to extend hours
7 September 2011 ekathimerini
Liberalization of the pharmacy sector is picking up momentum, according to a statement made on
Wednesday by Health Minister Andreas Loverdos.
According to ministry data, some 800 applications have already been submitted for new licenses, while
there are some areas where interest is smaller than demand, such as Thessaloniki, where only 41
applications were sent in for 44 new pharmacy locations.
Loverdos also announced that as of November 1, 30 percent of the country’s pharmacies will be open
on Monday and Wednesday afternoons as well as on Saturdays on rotation, in a concession to calls
from the sector not to increase all pharmacies’ opening hours.
Meanwhile, the outspoken minister lashed out at doctors, saying that “their clientelist ties and their
refusal to serve in the periphery is a burden on the National Health System (ESY).” He added that
“every new hiring allowed by the present economic situation will involve nursing staff,” and not doctors.


Possession of drugs for personal use to be decriminalized
7 September 2011 Athens News
Criminal charges will only be brought against individuals caught growing or manufacturing drugs or
using them in public, according to a draft law presented by the Justice Ministry on Wednesday, which
says that the possession of a small quantity of drugs for personal use will be decriminalized.
The law, however, also foresees harsher sentences for drug traffickers that could amount to as much
as a life sentence.


T
axi drivers brace for action
1 September 2011 ekathimerini
The head of the SATA taxi owners’ union, Thymios Lyberopoulos, on Wednesday accused Transport
Minister Yiannis Ragousis of a “scandalous misinterpretation” of a ruling by the Council of State this
week on the liberalization of closed professions. Lyberopoulos suggested that Ragousis had
“channelled information” via the media to defend his plans for a total deregulation of the taxi sector.

The unionist made the comments after meeting with opposition New Democracy officials. He said
cabbies would wait to see the final wording of the government’s bill before deciding whether to
strike, as they did earlier this summer.



Fires in Sparta and Arcadia
1 September 2011 AMNA
Firefighters fought two blazes throughout the night in Sparta and Arcadia, and managed to contain
them by Thursday morning.
A fire at Kefala, near Sparta, was reported as having been fully contained on Thursday morning, while a
second fire at Lykochia, Arcadia prefecture on Mt. Mainalos was partly contained.
Strong firefighting forces remained at both spots to completely extinguish the blazes.


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