|Copyright © 2004-2017 All rights reserved. Carol Palioudaki Living in Crete www.livingincrete.net
|Living in Crete
Crete & Greece
January to June 2014
|Domestic power rates will rise from July 1
21 June 2014 ekathimerini
The abolition of a series of subsidies on electricity rates, as the bailout agreement between Athens and its creditors
dictates, will mean that as of July 1 homes consuming up to 800 kilowatt/hours per four-month period will see their
power bill increase.
However, small commercial enterprises such as shops will enjoy a decline, according to the chairman and chief executive
of Public Power Corporation, Arthuros Zervos.
Disgruntled cabbies warn of possible action over taxes
18 June 2014 ekathimerini
The union representing the Greek capital’s taxi owners has called for the resignation of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
and the government, warning that it is mulling action as the tourism season kicks into high gear unless their tax burden
Cabbies are protesting the imposition of a 26 percent tax on the earnings of freelance professionals – from the first euro
– as well as having to pay 55 percent of the tax on estimated revenues for 2014 with this year’s tax return.
“We, the simple folk, the people with no distinctions or titles, who for five years have been giving our blood and life so
that the numbers add up for the creditors and their representatives, we will be the ones to raise the banner of revolt
first,” said the announcement on Wednesday by the Attica Taxi Owners Association.
Famous Greek Casanova known as 'Bruno' murdered on Rhodes
17 June 2014 ekathimerini
A 64-year-old resident of the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes who gained some notoriety after featuring in a 2010
documentary detailing the heyday of the Greek "kamaki," Casanovas who make a business of romancing tourists
vacationing in Greece, was found dead in his home on Friday by firefighters, local media reported on Tuesday.
Ilias Fanouris, who went by the name Bruno when chatting up foreign visitors to his native island in the 1970s and 80s,
was in his home late on Friday when unknown assailants set fire to the property. Firefighters found a badly charred body
in the wreckage, which has since been identified as the notorious Casanova.
Police are investigating claims that Fanouris was involved with a group of individuals who worked as prostitutes in the
Aghios Fanourios district of the island. Neighbors also told investigators that they had heard him arguing loudly with
someone over Skype on several occasions.
In "Colossi of Love," by Nikos Mistriotis, 'Bruno' claimed to have seduced hundreds of wom-en.
Court rules seizure of debtors' deposits without notification constitutional
16 June 2014 ekathimerini
The Council of State, Greece's highest administrative court, on Monday ruled that the state and insurance funds are
within their rights to seize the contents of bank accounts belonging to individuals who owe them money without
Monday's ruling by a panel of seven judges, which paves the way for en masse seizure of deposits, salaries, pensions,
rent payments, etc, reverses an earlier judgement by a panel of five in March ruling that seizures are unconstitutional if
account holders do not receive prior notification.
The final decision issued Monday states that the notification of debtors defeats the purpose of the measure as it would
give them time to empty their accounts or transfer their deposits to a third party. It added that debtors are notified when
they are in arrears and also know that steps can be taken to retrieve the money from the very next day that a payment
Tremor of 4.9 Richter reported in southeastern Aegean
13 June 2014 ekathimerini
An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale was recorded in the early hours of Friday off the coast of Kasos, an
island in the southeastern Aegean.
According to the Athens-based Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory, the tremor hit at 3.34 a.m. and its
epicenter was located some 17 miles off the northeastern coast of the island.
No damages or injuries were reported.
More Greeks to benefit from social dividend
4 June 2014 ekathimerini
The income criteria for the distribution of the so-called social dividend – i.e. the share of the primary budget surplus to
be handed out to households in need – are expanding to an additional 300,000 families.
A meeting conducted on Tuesday under Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras decided to raise the maximum
annual income criterion from 6,000 euros to 7,050 euros for unmarried people and from 8,000 euros to 9,400 euros for
couples, growing further depending on the number of children. The amount comprising the one-off benefit handed out
starts from 500 euros and increases according to the number of household members.
Finance Ministry officials say that the applications that have been rejected, as well as those to be submitted by June 30,
will be examined and that in the coming days another 115,000 households will have the social dividend credited to their
bank accounts, taking the total number of recipients to 320,000.
Man dies on Crete after handling infected mouse
1 June 2014 ekakthimerini
A 20-year-old man died on Crete on Saturday after coming into contact with an infected mouse.
Doctors at Hania Hospital, where he was taken on Friday, said that the man had contracted leptospirosis, which is
transmitted by rats and other wild animals and can cause internal bleeding.
The man was taken to the hospital on Friday after he complained of stomach pains. He was treated in an intensive care
unit but died soon afterwards.
The man, who was a goalkeeper at a local amateur club, reportedly touched the mouse with his bare hands.
Speed Cameras on Crete National Roads
1 June 2014 Sfakia-Crete.com via cretalive
The official launch of cameras placed along the North Coast highway (BOAK) has taken place, to take snapshots of traffic
violators on the road.
Approximately 40 cameras will take pictures in order to send fines to the homes of drivers who have exceeded the speed
limit or make other obvious violations.
The photographic cameras are scattered around the northern coastal road, and corresponding cameras will be placed
along the south axis of the island. The "headquarters" of the Hellenic Police will be in Rethymno's Episkopi, where the
processing of the photographs will take place and the personal data will be guarded as per the legislation.
Leftwing Syriza party triumphs in European elections in Greece
26 May 2014 Guardian & Ekathimerini
The election marked a turning point for Greece on Sunday with voters delivering a resounding victory for the radical left
Syriza party while sending at least three neo-nazi Golden Dawn members to Brussels.
In a historic day for the left, the anti-austerity Syriza won the ballot by a margin of nearly four points over the
conservative New Democracy party led by prime minister Antonis Samaras. Addressing supporters as the results rolled in,
Alexis Tsipras, Syriza's leader, called for general elections to be held immediately, saying the outcome robbed the
government of any "political or moral legitimacy" to continue enforcing policies that were overwhelming rejected.
Later PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos labelled “unconstitutional” a request by SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras for early
Venizelos held a news conference shortly after Tsipras met with President Karolos Papoulias, where he suggested that
the government lacked the legitimacy to continue. Tsipras called for national elections “as soon as possible.”
The PASOK leader said that in his suggestion that the European election results indicated a “disharmony” between the
public will and the allocation of seats in Greek Parliament was based on an old version of the country’s constitution.
Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou insisted that the result of the EU ballot could not be interpreted as a vote
against the coalition. “If this were the case then government’s would not have four-year terms in any country,” he said.
Golden Dawn demands the release of its detained MPs
25 May 2014 To Vima
The detained general secretary of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn Nikos Michaloliakos has claimed to be the “huge victor” in
the Sunday elections and argued that his party is the third political power in Greece.
According to Michaloliakos, the overall message of the European elections is for Golden Dawn’s detained MPs to be
released. The detained MPs face felony charges of joining and directing a criminal organization.
Michaloliakos added that “aside from its anti-people politics, Samaras’ New Democracy has paid for the lies and
despicable conspiracy against us” and argued that SYRIZA “failed to express the rage of the Greek people”.
Earthquake in northern Aegean measured at 6.4 Richter, felt in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria
24 May 2014 ekathimerini
An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck off the coast of northern Greece on Saturday and was felt as far as neighboring
Turkey and Bulgaria but there were no reports of casualties or serious destruction, police and fire brigade officials said.
The US Geological Survey said the quake occurred some 77 km (48 miles) south-southwest of Alexandroupolis, between
the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace, at a depth of 10 km (six miles). It downwardly revised its first reading of 7.2.
A duty officer at the Lemnos police precinct said a female British tourist was slightly injured at the airport when part of
the ceiling fell, but was treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization. He said no other damage or injuries had
Citizen Advice Centers (KEP) to expand services from May 27
21 May 2014 ekathimerini
Citizen Service Centers (KEP) will offer a range of new services from May 27, the Administrative Reform Ministry said on
Among these services is helping Public Power Corporation (PPC) customers who meet certain income criteria to apply to
pay a reduced rate for the electricity they use.
Up to now, homeowners could only do this at PPC offices.
73rd Anniversary of the Battle of Crete - May 2014
This year the Battle of Crete Commemorations take place mid week between
Monday 19 May and Friday 23 May 2014.
Note that no services will take place over the weekend due to the local and European elections.
Full programme of events - click here
Sunday 18th May - International Museums Day
Free entrance to archaeological sites and museums across Crete and Greece
Greek museums and sites will once again take part in the worldwide celebration of International Museum Day and open
free of charge on Sunday 18 May 2014.
Greek Government “Freezes” Controversial Draft Coastal Development Bill
14 May 2014 news.gtp.gr
A controversial draft bill on coastal development prepared by the Finance Ministry has been temporarily “frozen” by the
Greek Government following reactions of environmental organizations, citizens and even MPs.
The draft bill, among other provisions, lifts all restrictions on the maximum area designated for constructions for business
purposes (beach bars, umbrellas, sun beds) and abolishes the unrestricted right of free access to beaches by the public.
Upon announcing the “freeze” of the draft bill, State Minister Dimitris Stamatis said the government wants public
consultation on the draft bill to be “thorough” and added that the government would take a final position after the
European Parliament elections (25 May) after examining results and conclusions. The public consultation on the draft bill
ended on 13 May.
Crete: Amateur paraglider found dead in remote ravine
7 May 2014 To Vima
Police reported that they discovered the body of an amateur paraglider who was on vacation in Crete in a remote ravine
near Lenta, Iraklio.
The deceased had been paragliding on Sunday when he was reported missing by his wife, prompting the local
authorities to launch a rescue operation.
The Fire Brigade’s Special Disaster Response Unit (EMAK) located the man’s body in the remote ravine, which is between
Loutra and Trypiti. The police are investigating the cause of his death.
Environmental group urges MPs to block 'criminal' coastal development bill
5 May 2014 ekathimerini
Reactions against a controversial bill that lifts restrictions on construction along Greece's coastline continued Monday, as
environmental protection group WWF Greece urged lawmakers to shoot down the “ecologically criminal proposal.”
“It is a brutal and outrageously shortsighted, revenue-oriented wipeout of environmental law,” the NGO said in an open
letter to Greek MPs urging them to stop the draft law before it is submitted to Parliament.
The bill, which was submitted by the Finance Ministry, lifts all current restrictions on the maximum area designated for
beach concessions such as bars, umbrellas and sun loungers while abolishing the right to unhindered public access to
The proposed measures also facilitate permanent constructions on beaches for commercial purposes, while making it
possible for businesses to pay fines to legalize unlicensed constructions.
Public consultation on the bill, launched during the Easter break, has been extended to May 13. Local elections are
scheduled to be held in Greece on May 18 and 25.
Greece quietly launches new public broadcaster NERIT
5 May 2014 AFP via ekathimerini
"Something new began at 6:00 pm,» a voiceover intoned. «NERIT entered Greek homes, with pluralism and reliability,
humanity and respect for culture and history."
The muted launch of the new broadcaster was in stark contrast to the public outcry that greeted the shutdown of its
predecessor ERT last June as part of draconian budget cuts.
ERT's sudden closure after more than 60 years on the air shocked even austerity-hardened Greeks.
Many of its employees refused to accept the shutdown, defiantly broadcasting online from its headquarters until riot
police forced them out.
The New Greek Radio, Internet and Television (NERIT) launched with a news programme anchored by Andriana
Paraskevopoulou, a familiar face from ERT.
Athens abruptly closed ERT as part of a bid to rein in public debt and gain access to EU-IMF rescue loans vital to keeping
Greece in the eurozone.
But the closure nearly brought down the coalition government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras after one
of its allies defected over the row.
Greece's To Vima newspaper on Sunday slammed the handling of the launch as «tragic» and «slipshod».
University of Crete in global list of top 100
2 May 2014 ekathimerini
The University of Crete ranked 48th in the Times Higher Education (THE) annual list of the top 100 universities founded in
the past 50 years but the Cretan institution was classified significantly lower in a list of the world’s top 400 universities.
The list of the top 100 universities set up in the past 50 years was published on Wednesday along with an introductory
report which praised the University of Crete for excelling in spite of “the massive economic challenges” in Greece.
In the list of the 400 top universities, however, the same Greek university was ranked between 301st and 350th place.
Only the first 200 rankings are specified with the remainder bundled into groups of 50.
Expert laments lack of measures to protect children from poverty
2 May 2014 ekathimerini
Greece has not been doing enough to fight child poverty, Deputy Ombudsman Giorgos Moschos told a parliamentary
committee on Friday.
He told MPs on the equality and human rights committee that a panel of experts at the National Center for Social
Research had come to this conclusion after studying a range of figures.
“The team of experts found that children at risk of poverty had risen from 23 percent in 2008 to 30.4 percent in 2011 and
that the percentage of children experiencing severe material deprivation rose from 18.7 percent to 29.2 percent,” he
said, adding that the proportion of children living in a household where neither parent works tripled to 9.2 percent.
“So far there has been no strong political commitment to fighting child poverty in Greece,” Moschos said.
May Day - Labour Day Thursday May 1st
- Sites and museums across Greece will be closed May 1st.
- Ferries will remain docked May 1st across Greece as seamen strike 24hrs
Third protest in Crete against destruction of Syrian chemical weapons off island
28 April 2014 ekathimerini
Hundreds of people gathered in Sfakia, Crete, on Sunday to protest against the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons
in the Mediterranean.
The demonstration, attended by hundreds of people, was timed to coincide with the Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reportedly starting the process of destroying the weapons.
The toxic substances were be placed on a ship with systems that can carry out the process of hydrolysis that will convert
the chemicals into less dangerous substances. It is expected that some 20 tons of mustard gas and neurotoxic agents
will be destroyed.
The government says it has received assurances from all those involved that the process is safe and will not lead to any
The protest on Sunday was the third against the process.
No fruit and vegetable markets as producers launch strike
28 April 2014 ekathimerini
Producers who sell their agricultural goods at open-air markets around the country launched an open-ended strike on
Monday in protest at proposed changes to legislation governing how the markets are managed.
A protest in central Athens was also due to take place from 10 a.m.
The association representing the producers, POSPLA, said that the government had failed to consult with them properly
before submitting the legislation.
The producers are opposed to a range of provisions, which include municipalities being given the right to decide the
maximum number of stalls at each market and the proposed physical separation of stalls run by producers and traders.
The draft law also proposes that public lotteries should be held to decide where each producer sets up their stall.
Crete Police Seize Fake €50 Banknotes
19 April 2014 Greekreporter.com
Greek traders are warned to beware of fake 50 euro banknotes after police in Crete seized forgeries that experts say
were likely printed in Bulgaria.
Greece’s Financial and Economic Crime Unit claimed that the counterfeit banknotes seized in Crete were manufactured in
Bulgaria and fully resemble forgeries found previously in other parts of the country, Bulgarian National Radio (BNR)
Police are investigating how the counterfeit money made its way from Bulgaria and whether some of it has been in
circulation elsewhere in the country.
Mission to woo Russian visitors to Greece
16 April 2014 ekathimerini
The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) has set its target for this year’s tourist arrivals from abroad at 18.5-
19 million and revenues at 13 billion euros, as bookings from foreign markets continue to show a strong rise.
However the crisis in relations between Russia and the European Union due to current events in Ukraine, along with the
devaluation of the ruble, are of great concern to Greece.
In a bid to minimize the impact on Greek tourism, SETE has sent a delegation of its officials to Moscow, where on
Wednesday they met with representatives from 25 Russian tour operators to inform them on the new visa-issuing
system that Greek authorities have adopted.
SETE’s aim is to see Russian tourists increase from 1.3 million last year to 1.5 million in 2014.
ELSTAT: Collapse in wages, pensions and welfare
16 April 2014 To Vima
The Greek statistics authority ELSTAT published the results of a study regarding the regular cuts in wages and pensions
in the public sectors, along with the restriction of welfare.
According to the data employee compensation was reduced to 22% of total expenses (5.595 billion euros) in the final
quarter of 2013, from 23.1% (6.439 billion euros) and 23.5% (6.96 billion euros) in the final quarters of 2012 and 2011
At the same time, the cost of welfare services dropped to 39.6% of total expenses (10.087 billion euros), comparedto
42.7% (11.901 billion euros) and 41.6% (12.318 billion euros) in the final quarters of 2012 and 2011.
The ELSTAT study also showed that income taxes amounted to 23.1% of the general government’s revenue and that the
public debt at the end of 2013 was 318.7 billion euros, with 99.1% of loans being long-term.
Dutchman rescued in Soúgia
11 April, 2014 sfakia-crete.com
A rescue mission was completed shortly after 8:30 this morning to rescue a 50 years old tourist in Soúgia with initially
unknown medical problems.
According to the information, a 50 year old Dutchman was leading his partner and a German couple from Agia Roumeli to
Sougia on the E4 path.
The Dutch tourist at dawn fell down in a rough spot near the beach of Sedóni, resulting in a shoulder dislocation.
His friends alerted the authorities and in the early hours started a rescue operation involving the Coast Guard and a
A private fishing boat approached the point where the 50 year old was, and took him to Soúgia, from where he was
carried in the ambulance for evacuation to the Health Center of Kantanos.
The state of health of the 50 year old is good.
Greek unions to hold General Strike on April 9 (AP)
Greece's largest public sector union will join a nationwide general strike April 9 to protest austerity measures. The move
means that the walkout will affect all private and public sector services. The ADEDY union said it was joining the strike
call issued by the GSEE union.
Cargo ships collide off Lesvos; no injuries, damage reported
6 April 2014 ekathimerini
Two foreign-flagged cargo vessels collided off the coast of the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos on Saturday.
There were no reports of injuries or damage.
Details were not made available regarding the ships’ identities or the size of their crews after they collided 19 nautical
miles off the island’s northwestern coast, though the coast guard said that neither of the captains requested assistance.
The captains are also said to have assured that the accident did not result in any crew injuries or any pollutants leaking
into the sea.
Tremor rattles Greek island Hydra, felt in Crete
4 April 2014 ekathimerini
A moderate tremor rattled the island of Hydra in Greece's Saronic Gulf on Friday night.
The earthquake struck at 11.08 p.m. and was felt in Crete and Athens. Hydra is 85 kilometers southwest of the capital's
main port, Piraeus.
The Athens-based Geodynamic Institute initially put its force at 5.4 on the Richter scale, but revised the figure upward to
5.6 to put back at 5.4 later. Its epicenter is said to have been located 28 kilometers off the southeastern coast of the
There were no initial reports of damages or injuries.
Coast Guard locates ship with 408 Syrian refugees north of Crete
1st April 2014 To Vima
The Coast Guard is conducting a rescue operation off the north western coast of Crete, after locating a 32-meter ship
that is carrying about 400 Syrian refugees. According to web portal CretaLive the weather conditions, while ideal, are not
affecting the operation.
The ship was discovered after it made a request for help, after which point the Unified Command Center of the Ministry of
Shipping ordered two nearby cargo ships and a US Navy ship to
attend. The Coast Guard also dispatched a ship from Piraeus, a Greek Navy frigate and a helicopter.
As the refugee-carrying vessel does not appear to be leaking, it is thought that it made the distress call due to a
mechanical failure. The three ships remain nearby the migrant-carrying
vessel, which does not appear to be facing any immediate danger.
So far about 13 of the 408 refugees have been transferred to one of the cargo freighters. Amongst the refugees are an
estimated 100 women and children. As soon as the refugees are rescued, they will then be taken to the nearest port in
Tourism hotspots in pilot Sunday store opening scheme
28 March 2014 ekathimerini
The liberalization of Sunday opening rules for stores will start on a pilot basis in tourism destinations such as the islands
of the Cyclades and Dodecanese, Halkidiki and Crete, as well as cruise ships ports of call such as Piraeus and
Thessaloniki. Eastern Attica could also be included.
The lack of clarity in the regulation the Development Ministry has included in the multi-bill to be voted on in Parliament
tomorrow evening leaves a loophole whereby areas such as the historical center of Athens or parts of Attica with major
tourism investments such as Elliniko could be characterized as “touristic.”
The ministry’s regulation dictates that the minister can issue a decision up until June, following consultations with local
professionals, which will determine at least three regions where the pilot application of full Sunday opening (for all
stores, on all Sundays of the year) will apply for 12 months. This means there will be no limit to the size of stores
(compared with the existing limit of 250 square meters) and no decision by the regional authority will be required. A
monitoring entity will be appointed for the recording of comparative conclusions.
Austerity bill angers Greece's neighbourhood stores
28 March 2014 AP
Associations representing bakers, pharmacies, booksellers and milk producers have expressed angry opposition to a
new austerity bill in Greece, a proposed overhaul of trading rules they fear will wipe out independent stores.
The government is due to submit the draft legislation to parliament Friday to scrap dozens of commercial regulations it
says are overly protective of independent stores and stifle competition.
The measures, to be voted Sunday, would liberalize retail sectors, and include plans to grant supermarkets permission to
set up in-store pharmacies, allow a longer shelf-life for milk and scrap price limits on books set by Greek publishers.
Unions also oppose the plans, and have called for weekend protests and a general strike on April 9, while most
pharmacies across the country closed indefinitely in protest this week. [AP]
Greek unions to hold general strike on April 9
27 March 2014 AP
Greece's largest public sector union says it will join a nationwide general strike April 9 to protest austerity measures. The
move means that the walkout will affect all private and public sector services.
The ADEDY union said Thursday it was joining the strike call issued by the GSEE union a few days ago.
ADEDY said it was also organizing a demonstration outside Parliament on the day lawmakers vote on a new bill
legislating the latest measures agreed to between Greece and its international lenders. The bill, which has not yet been
submitted to Parliament, is expected to be voted on Sunday night.
Athens agreed on the measures last week. But some of them have raised serious objections from lawmakers inside the
two-party governing coalition. [AP]
PNO unionists blocking ships with unpaid crew members
27 March 2014 tovima.gr
Unionists of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) have been conducting spot checks in ships for unpaid crew
members, as part of their announced strike action. The unionists are focused on vessels operating in the Argosaronic.
A few days ago, the federation issued an ultimatum to NEL Lines, ANEK, Hellenic Seaways, Ventouris Sea Lines, ANMEZ
and LANE Lines to pay overdue wages to their crew members. According to the Athens News Agency (APE), some of the
companies have already paid a portion of the wages owed and requested extra time from PNO.
Since PNO has confirmed that it will participate in the 24-hour general strike organized by GSEE on the 9th of April, the
ships will remain docked.
Severely burned toddler dies in Crete
26 March 2014 ekathimerini
Police officers were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 3-year-old boy in the area of Mesara in
Irakleio on the island of Crete on Wednesday.
The boy was allegedly taken to a local health facility by his mother and her partner, both Bulgarian nationals, with severe
burns all over his body and was pronounced dead. Early reports suggested he had been burned with hot water.
A post mortem was ordered while the two Bulgarians were being questioned by law en-forcement agents.
Greek pharmacists call indefinite strike over measures
25 March 2014 ekathimerini
Pharmacists have decided to launch an open-ended strike from Wednesday in protest at the government’s liberalization
The pharmacists accused the coalition of making last-minute changes to draft legislation that will limit the role of
pharmacies and threaten the livelihoods of some 12,000 Greek pharmacists.
“Pharmacies will not go like lambs to the slaughter,” said the head of the Greek Pharmacists’ Association, Kyriakos
“If people want medicines they should go to [Development Minister Costis] Hatzidakis’s office to get them. Let the
ministers who vote for these provisions secure medicines for people.”
The Health Ministry responded with a statement that said it had secured significant benefits for pharmacists in Greece’s
recent agreement with the troika, including the withdrawal of a demand that their profit margin be reduced to 15 percent
across the board.
Man dies following road rage attack on Crete
25 March 2014 ekathimerini
Two of three people allegedly involved in a road rage incident in Crete that left one man dead on Sunday have been
The two brothers are alleged to have beaten the man with shepherds’ crooks after he complained about their driving at
the village of Antiskari in Mesara.
The third man is not believed to have taken part in the beating but is considered to be an accomplice.
The incident took place in the presence of the victim’s son.
His father suffered serious head injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Chania airport expansion - 'çhanges not enough'
15 March, 20 Sfakia-crete.com via flashnews.gr
On the occasion of the expansion project of Chania airport, the Hotel Association of Chania has sent a letter to the
Commander of Aviation, Mr. Kouki, and to the MP of Chania, the Vice Prefect of Chania and the Chania Airport Manager,
indicating some points that need improvement at the new Chania airport, which concern the movement of passengers
and the feasibility of the project-functionality.
Specifically, and in accordance with the notice of the Hotel Association, this gives useful information about the current
operation of the airport and the elements that require change....
Read the full article at www.sfakia-crete-forum.com/read.php?3,630
Greeks warned against eating bitter almonds, apricot kernels
14 March 2014 ekathimerini
The Health Ministry on Friday issued a warning regarding the consumption of bitter al-monds and apricot kernels
following reports from the Poison Control Center at the Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s Hospital of a spike in cyanide poisoning
cases in the past six months.
The culprits are believed to be bitter almonds and apricot kernels sold at supermarkets and health food stores that are
advertised as having antioxidant properties.
The ministry warned that consuming more than 10 pieces a day can cause poisoning, alerting consumers to warning
signs such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath.
The Hellenic Food Authority has been informed and is expected to take steps to have the products removed from shelves.
Pharmacists closed Friday and Monday in ongoing strike against reforms
13 March 2014 ekathimerini
Pharmacies to be closed again on Friday 14th and on Monday 17th March as Greek pharmacists continue their protests
against planned reforms aimed at liberalizing their sector.
The pharmacists walked off the job earlier this week in an initial "warning strike" and have threatened to intensify their
action unless the government rejects a series of reforms demanded by the troika that would extend the right to sell over-
the-counter medicines to supermarkets and would allow any individual or business to open a pharmacy.
Unionists are to meet again on Monday to decide how to continue with their action.
Two suicides rock Crete over the weekend
Two businessmen are believed to have committed suicide on the island of Crete over the weekend, raising concerns
about the impact of the crisis as both incidents though unrelated are believed to have been prompted by financial
The first occurred on Saturday morning in Irakleio on the northern coast of the southern Aegean island, where a 61-year-
old businessman shot himself in his home.
Just 24 hours later, authorities reported the death of a 56-year-old man in Hersonissos who shot himself with a hunting
rifle, also in his home.
Local media reports did not mention whether they had left notes explaining their decision.
Pharmacies launch two-day strike on Monday, Tuesday
9 March 2014 ekathimerini
Pharmacies across Greece will begin the week with what they are calling a "warning" strike on Monday and Tuesday, 10
& 11 March, in protest at plans to liberalize their sector.
The Panhellenic Pharmacists' Union is objecting to measures being urged by the country's creditors to open up the sector
to competition by changing the rules governing where pharmacies can operate and by whom they can be run, as well as
freeing their opening hours.
The union has repeatedly expressed fears that the liberalization of pharmacies will make small businesses owned by
individual pharmacists vulnerable to competition from large pharmacy chains.
The union said that the strike on Monday and Tuesday is "just the start" of action against the measures, which also
include a contentious plan to allow supermarkets to sell over-the-counter medicines.
Hellenic Seaplanes bets on airborne island hopping as new trend
7 March 2014 Bloomberg
Hellenic Seaplanes S.A., a new airline set to start flying tourists between Greek islands this summer, forecasts that sea-
based commercial carriers could generate 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in annual revenue as European travelers return to
a country emerging from recession.
With nearly 6,000 islands and fewer than 50 airports, Greece is a “natural” for seaplanes and could become “the center
of a seaplane industry” in Europe, Nicolas Charalambous, president and chief executive officer of Hellenic Seaplanes, said
in an interview in Athens
The Greek government has agreed to speed up licensing to allow flights to start before the summer, Environment
Minister Yiannis Maniatis said Feb. 18, citing the industry’s potential role in boosting tourism.
Charalambous’s company wants to “act as a feeder” to carriers such as International Consolidated Airlines Group SA’s
British Airways and Aegean Airlines SA, he said. Code-sharing could allow passengers to “buy a ticket from anywhere in
the world to a Greek airport, and then onward to water aerodromes on islands we serve.”
Gavdos residents to boycott Euro-polls to protest weapons destruction
4 March 2014 ekathimerini
The residents of Gavdos, a tiny island south of Crete with a population of just 152, issued a statement yesterday saying
that they would not vote in the European Parliament elections on May 25 to protest efforts by the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to destroy Syrian chemical weapons in the Mediterranean.
In a message published online, the islanders said they hoped to contribute to a campaign aimed at preventing the
weapons from being destroyed near Crete.
“If there is an accident, these dangerous substances will sink into our sea and destroy every living organism, us
included,” said the Gavdos residents.
The toxic substances will be placed on a ship with systems that can carry out the process of hydrolysis that will convert
the chemicals into less dangerous substances.
Doctors call for withdrawal of 5-euro patient fee
4 March 2014 ekathimerini
The Federation of Greek Doctors' Unions (OENGE) on Tuesday urged the Health Ministry to withdraw a directive calling for
patients to pay a 5-euro fee for admission to polyclinics in the country’s new Primary National Healthcare Network (PEDY).
"Citizens have already paid for the health system via their social security contributions and their taxes, and they should
not be obliged to pay for the same thing a third time," OENGE said in a statement, adding that citizens should refuse to
pay the admission fee.
The Health Ministry's decision has drawn criticism from the junior partner in Greece's two party coalition, PASOK, as well
as from the opposition.
Greek Television Station Banned From Airing Investigative Report
15 February 2014 AP
A Greek judge on Thursday banned a leading private TV station from airing an investigative report into a deadly migrant
boat accident, claiming it could compromise the secrecy of the ongoing official investigation.
Judge Antigoni Stamoleka warned Mega TV of "severe legal sanctions" if it broadcasts the report — or even continues to
screen advertising spots for it — before her investigation is concluded.
Mega TV said the order was an unacceptable act of censorship, and insisted it would complete and air the report as
planned during next week's episode of the popular "Protagonists" show.
"It would be a sad state of affairs if journalists had to secure judges' permission to investigate a story," said reporter
Stavros Theodorakis, who presents "Protagonists."
The Jan. 20 sinking of a boat trying to smuggle immigrants into Greece from the nearby Turkish coast left six dead and
another six presumed drowned near Farmakonissi islet in the eastern Aegean Sea.
Seaplanes on the horizon in Crete
12 February, 2014 Flashnews via www.sfakia-crete-forum.com
Seaplanes are getting ready for their business, after posting the "Green Light" in the Circular of the General Secretariat
of Ports and Maritime Investment Policy, with the prescribed procedures and conditions laid down for the licensing and
transfer of licenses for seaplanes.
In Crete, the procedures in Rethymno, which came first to the 'game', have already begun, where as we were informed
by Mr. Minos Alefantinos, President of the Municipal Port Fund of Rethymno, the file is ready for licensing in the next 10
days to be submitted to the Ministry.
In Heraklion, Mr. Giannis Brás told to Flashnews.gr, that while the dossier is getting ready, they will examine some other
procedural and technical issues and soon everything will be in the process of filing the dossier to the Ministry for
"The Port Authority of Chania and the Port Committee have decided to proceed in the development and operation of
seaplanes in the Port of Souda and before the end of March the file will be completed and submitted to the Ministry of
Infrastructure for the licensing of seaplanes in Souda", as Mr. Kostas Brokalakis told to us, while he assured us that they
make every effort to quickly complete the process.
As is apparent, in contrast to the above three Cretan Ports that are completing procedures to file an authorization to the
Ministry, Agios Nicholaos has not started yet.
Aegean reports first rise in domestic air traffic in four years
6 February 2014 ekathimerini
Aegean Airlines reported on Wednesday an increase in domestic traffic last month for the first time in four years.
Along with its subsidiary Olympic Air, Aegean posted a remarkable 18 percent increase year-on-year from its Athens hub,
and a 41 percent rise from its hub in Thessaloniki.
This is attributed to Aegean’s new pricing policy since November that has led to impressive growth in traffic to island
Total traffic for Aegean and Olympic’s domestic and international flights rose 12 percent last month to 522,000 passenge
Efforts to render Cephalonia operational ahead of tourist season
5 February 2014 ekathimerini
Fifty-five percent of the 250 buildings checked for damage in the town of Lixouri following two strong earthquakes on the
island of Cephalonia need repair work, according to Stratos Simopoulos, secretary general at the Ministry of Public Works.
Speaking on Skai television on Wednesday Simopoulos noted that the priority was to make the island "operational"
through repair work at the island's ports and road infrastructure.
Hundreds of people have been left homeless on the Ionian island following tremors measuring 5.8 and 5.7 on the Richter
The island was expected to be declared “earthquake-hit” in the coming days, a prerequisite for further financial support
and repairs, which includes state funding to cover rent for families who were forced to leaver their homes.
"Efforts are being made to solve problems before the tourist season begins,” said Simopoulos.
Greece paying a heavy price for corruption
3 February 2014 ekathimerini
Corruption costs Greece some 554 million euros every year, according to the first European Commission report on the
phenomenon that was published on Monday.
A remarkable 99 percent of Greek respondents said corruption constitutes a widespread problem in the country, placing
Greece top in the European Union chart (of perceived corruption) while the European Union average is at 76 percent.
Over three in every five Greeks (63 percent) believes corruption affects their everyday lives against an EU average of 26
The report identifies five main fields where corruption is rife in Greece: They are the health sector, the funding of political
parties, the justice system, which delays the processing of corruption cases, state contracts and the fragmentary
handling of the phenomenon in Greece.
The report did find, however, that some important steps against corruption have been taken in the last two years.
Greek Farmers Setting up Roadblocks
31 January 2014 Greek Reporter.com
Greek farmers are prepared to escalate their struggles starting Monday February 3.
Representatives of the farmers met with the Greek Minister of Rural Development and Food, Athanasios Tsaftaris to
discuss a series of matters and demands (taxation, production cost).
Tomorrow they will decide on setting up roadblocks everywhere, starting from Monday. The farmers are pointing to the
high taxation, the increase in the VAT rate and in the production cost, as well as the low producer prices as the main
reasons for their struggle.
Farmers in Chania, Crete have announced that they will blockade the tax office on Monday and Tuesday, 3 & 4 Feb.
Kefalonia hit by many aftershocks
30 January 2014 ekathimerini
Aftershocks continued on Thursday on the Ionian island of Cephalonia, following Sunday’s 5.9-Richter earthquake, but
seismologists were reassuring, saying that the tremors were dwindling and that a larger, more destructive quake was
A total of 362 aftershocks had rattled the island by late last night, Thanassis Ganas, head of research at the Institute of
Geodynamics, told Kathimerini. He said the original quake jolted adjacent fault lines, causing a large number of
aftershocks but that there was no indication of a larger looming tremor.
Checks by state engineers have suggested that around half of some 1,000 buildings damaged by the quake are
temporarily unsafe for use
Greece to show latest oil and gas seismic data to investors in Feb
29 January 2014 Reuters
Greece will soon invite international investors to look for oil and natural gas in its western and southern waters,
following the completion of seismic tests that have proved interesting, it said on Wednesday.
The offshore tests in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete were carried out by Norwegian firm Petroleum Geo-Services
(PGS) . The data has been transferred to the government and will be made available to interested companies in
February, the energy ministry said in a statement.
"A preliminary assessment of the data shows interesting geological structures bearing significant similarities to areas in
neighboring countries which already produce hydrocarbons (Albania, Italy)," it said.
Greece imports almost all its oil and natural gas, spending about 5 percent a year of its GDP on the purchases. It pays
about 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) a year alone on oil to produce electricity for dozens of islands that are not connected
to the national power grid.
When it hired Oslo-based PGS in 2012, Greece said it was planning to call a bidding round for offshore oil and gas
exploration in mid-2014. The licences would cover a maritime zone with a width of between 100 and 400 km.
Coast guard chief apologizes in Parliament for Farmakonisi tragedy
29 January 2014 ekathimerini
Government and opposition politicians clashed in Parliament on Wednesday during a heated debate that accompanied a
briefing by coast guard officers on the circumstances surrounding an incident in the Aegean last week that resulted in 12
immigrants being lost at sea.
The session culminated in the head of the coast guard, Vice Admiral Dimitris Bandias, apologizing to the families of the
migrants who drowned off the coast of Farmakonisi. “We apologize to the families of the victims but to all Greeks too for
the situation that we put them in,” he said. “We did what we could.”
Officers who had been on the coast guard vessel which towed the migrants’ boat told a parliamentary committee that
the boat capsized when the passengers moved to one side.
Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told the House that coast guard officers have orders to “guard the country’
s sea borders and save the lives of those at risk at sea,” not to conduct “violent pushbacks and behave inhumanely.”
In a related development, the Ombudsman called for an investigation into claims that coast guard officers abused the
migrants. The circumstances of the incident are being probed by prosecutors following protests by human rights groups.
Farmers launch new round of nationwide protests
21 January 2014 ANA-MPA
Greek farmers on Tuesday launched a new round of protests, following a decision during a meeting on Sunday in Larissa,
central Greece, with the participation of farmers from several parts of the country.
Farmers will move their tractors to the centre of their villages, while further protests – escalating even to the blocking of
highways at the end of month-- will depend on the participation rates.
Farmers have also decided to hold gatherings outside tax offices across the country and rally in Thessaloniki, northern
Greece, on February 1, during the Agrotica Trade Fair.
The farmers protest against taxation and demand the settlement of ‘bad loans’.
Police implicate five in illegal adoption racket case
21 January 2014 ekathimerini
Police are building a case against five people in connection with an illegal adoption racket following the attempted sale of
a 1-month-old Bulgarian infant to a Greek couple in the Cretan port of Rethymno, Kathimerini understands.
According to police, the couple, a 58-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman, traveled to Athens last week and paid
30,000 euros to buy the baby from its natural mother. A lawyer and a nurse, both Greek, are believed to be members of
Coast guard looking for 12 passengers of capsized migrant boat
20 January 2014 ekathimerini
Greek coast guard officials were on Monday night still searching for 12 immigrants – nine women and three children –
who fell into the sea off the eastern Aegean island of Farmakonisi after their vessel capsized.
According to authorities, the immigrant vessel was spotted 1.5 nautical miles from Farmakonisi by a patrol boat that tried
to tow it to the Dodecanese islet. The boat allegedly capsized after two immigrants jumped into the sea for unknown
Coast guard officers were able to rescue 16 people who were later taken to the island of Leros. The migrants are
believed to be from Somalia and Syria.
Blogger convicted for page mocking Orthodox priest
16 January 2014 ekathimerini
A 27-year-old fish farm employee, who set up a satirical Facebook page mocking a deceased Orthodox monk whose
sayings have gained prominence in recent years, was given Thursday a 10-month suspended sentence for blasphemy by
an Athens court.
Filippos Loizos, 27, and his lawyer expressed surprise and disappointment at the verdict. “It was clear that from the start
the court was not willing to take my argument on board,” said the blogger, who insisted that he set up the page to
satirize the sudden interest in the life of Elder Paisios.
Loizos used the name Elder Pastitsios and edited photos of Paisios so a pastitsio – a Greek dish consisting of pasta,
bechamel and ground beef – appeared in place of his face.
“The judges were very aggressive and it seemed they did not want to understand what the page was about,” added the
Loizos was arrested in 2012 after Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas, who is now in custody on suspicion of being part of
a criminal gang, raised the issue regarding the Facebook page in Parliament.
Amendment scrapping 25-euro hospital fee tabled in Parliament - fee to be passed on to tobacco products
10 January 2014 ekathimerini
The government on Friday tabled an amendment abolishing a controversial 25-euro fee for public hospitals. Under the
same amendment the fee is instead passed on to tobacco product prices which will go up by 5 cents.
The bill was included in a bill by the Agriculture Ministry.
The price hike is expected to generate some 40 million euros in revenues, in line with government targets.
Nearly half of incomes below poverty line
7 January 2014 ekathimerini
Over 44 percent of the Greek population had an income below the poverty line in 2013 according to estimates by the
Public Policy Analysis Group of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB).
The poverty threshold is measured as 60 percent of the price-adjusted average income in 2009, or up to 665 euros per
person per month and up to 1,397 for a couple supporting two underage children.
The AUEB researchers also found that last year 14 percent of Greeks earned below the adequate living standards,
compared with 2 percent of the population four years ago.
The group’s report, published last week, suggested that during the crisis instead of strengthening support to the
unemployed – which is one of the most efficient methods to rekindle demand – the state was forced to reduce it.
It added that besides the austerity policies of the last few year, the inability of the state to contain the collapse of social
structures is due to the lack of targeted strategies and to the inefficient use of resources, problems that dogged Greece
even before the onset of the crisis.
Gay couples protest against Bishop Seraphim at Epiphany ceremony in Piraeus
6th January 2014 ekathimerini
Epiphany, a public holiday in Greece, was marked by a traditional religious ceremony at Piraeus, where gay couples
protested against the port city’s ultra-conservative bishop, Seraphim.
Accoridng to Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, several gay couples kissed as Seraphim conducted the blessing of the
waters, throwing a crucifix into the sea. They also handed out leaflets reading: “Love is not a sin”.
Seraphim is known for his homophobic and anti-Semetic statements. He recently opposed plans to extend legislation
allowing unmarried couples to have their partnership legally recognized to same-sex couples.
He said that any other relationship, barring that between a male and a female, “is a unnatural aberration not even
observed in animals.”
A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in November condemned Greece for excluding gays from civil
partnerships. The court ruled that Greece had not offered “convincing and weighty reasons” to justify excluding gays.
Health minister comes under fire over hospital charge
3 January 2014 ekathimerini
Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis came under a new barrage of criticism on Friday over the 25-euro charge for those
admitted to public hospitals. The barbs aimed at the conservative politician also came from coalition partner PASOK and
not just opposition parties.
Georgiadis hit back at criticism of the measures, arguing it is a small charge which is vital to keeping state hospitals
running properly. He called on his critics to come up with alternative ways of raising the money needed. “What we are
saying is that someone will be charged once every 10 years they need treatment so that hospitals can be able to buy
medicines for the poor,” said Georgiadis.
PASOK responded with an unusually strong-worded criticism of Georgiadis, calling on him to find alternative sources of
revenue from the economic plans Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had unveiled at Zappeio Hall when he was in
opposition. SYRIZA and Democratic Left also called for the 25-euro charge to be scrapped.
One arrested, 15 sought over swindles against elderly victims
2 January 2014 ekathimerini
A 26-year-old woman was arrested on Thursday as police sought at least another 15 suspects in connection to a string
of reports by elderly people from different parts of Greece who said they had been cheated out of money.
At the center of the investigation are 44 reports made at precincts in the Greek capital, on Crete, Naxos and in Messinia,
among other areas, suggesting that the gang has been at work since 2010 and has swindled over 130,000 euros out of
Members of the gang are believed to have posed as friends of close relatives of the elderly victims in order to gain their
trust and convince them to hand over cash in order to held the alleged relatives.
Man aged 26 dies in New Year’s Eve motorcycle crash on Crete
1 January 2014 ekathimerini
A man died on New Year’s Eve after his motorcycle crashed in the Souda district of Hania, Crete.
The name of the victim, who was 26 years old, has not been made public.
The crash is still under investigation.