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Crete & Greece
January - February 2015
Politicians coming to Crete before the elections
13 January 2015 Chania
Political leaders and representatives from political parties are coming to
Crete before the elections, except the Prime Minister, Mr. Antonis Samaras,
who seems that he will cancel his political speech at Heraklio for next

After the visit of Mr. Panos Kamenos (Independent Greeks) a few days ago,
the leader of “Potami”, Mr. Stavros Theodorakis will make a speech in
Chania on Wednesday 14.

Mr. Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA) will be at Heraklio on Friday 23 (Lido Indoor Sports Hall, 8 p.m.), while on Thursday
15, the leader of PASOK, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, will make a speech at “Atlantis” Hotel (6 p.m.).

Former Prime Minister, Mr. Giorgos Papandreou will be at Heraklio on Wednesday 21, while former General
Secretary of Communist Party, Mrs. Aleka Papariga will visit Crete one day earlier, making a speech also at
Crete hit by storms for the second time in two weeks.
13 January 2015 Apokoronas News

Severe weather conditions have caused more disruption  with
many roads on high ground snowbound for the second
time in two weeks. The roads to Omalos, to Sfakia and parts of
Kandanou are once again blocked by snow, and on lower
ground heavy rain is causing floods. Storm force winds have
uprootedmature trees in many residential areas blocking
roads and causing damage to buildings.

Many villages are still without electricity with the weather conditions making it hard for work teams to restore
supply.  Sfakia, Anopolis and Kalikratis are still without power with the latter being completely cut off, as the
roads to both Rethymnon and Chania are covered  by more than a meter of snow in places. Areas of Omalos are
also left without power beyond Lakkoi.

In Lasithi a house collapsed under the weight of snow. The elderly resident escaped uninjured.

In the centre of Heraklion a 35 meter high poplar tree fell against a block of flats but no one was injured,
A busy night for emergency services in Crete - torrential rains
14 January 2015 Apokoronas News

Parts of Heraklion were under water yesterday as torrential rains
caused brooks and rivers to overflow flooding agricultural land
and residential areas. With water levels exceeding two meters in
many places, fire rescue services used boats to evacuate people.

A total of 15 people were rescued, while 45 others were evacuated
from their homes and cars. About 20 people were rescued by boat
in the area of Malades, 15 people from homes in Tris Vagies three
people from a car and two from a caravan in the area of Karterou.
Rescue operations were also carried out in Thrapsano and Kastelli.

There were over 25 cases of removing fallen trees and large objects from the roads, while a number of landslides
were reported that will need to be dealt with during the day by the municipal authorities.

In Chania prefecture there were  140 calls to the emergency services, with over on 100 of them being for  power
Ministries warn against the use of fireplaces over the weekend
17 January 2015  

The Health and Environment ministries issued a warning on Friday,
urging the Greek citizens to limit the use of fireplaces and
wood-burning  stoves in order to protect public health.

The warning was released following a forecast of the National Weather
Service for Saturday and Sunday, according to which conditions will
favor the build-up of smog.

It should be noted that this warning is addressed mainly to the people
living in urban centers.
New Greek government puts ministerial cars up for sale
31 January 2015  
The new Greek government has decided to sell most ministerial cars in order to save money for the debt-stricken

According to a press report, one of the first official cars to go under the hammer is the car, an expensive BMW, used
by former Deputy PM and leader of PASOK Evangelos Venizelos.

To Vima quotes the Minister of Administrative Reform Giorgos Katrougalos saying that the government «intends to
collect money by selling the ministerial cars».

The report says that ministers do not require official cars, as most of them use private transport means.

Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis, for example, is using taxis or his own motorbike and PM Alexis Tsipras is
using a black Audi with Thessaloniki plates

SYRIZA election win
26 January 2015

"Today the Greek people have written history, hope has written history," Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader
Alexis Tsipras stressed on Sunday (25/01/2015), addressing crowds of people gathered at the Propylaea of the
Athens University in central Athens, after SYRIZA's victory in the Greek elections.

"The sovereign Greek people today gave a clear, strong, indisputable mandate. Greece is starting on a new page.
Greece is leaving behind it the austerity of destruction, leaving behind it the fear and autocracy. It is leaving
behind it five years of humiliation and pain. And Greece is moving forward with optimism, hope, dignity and a firm
step toward a Europe that is changing. And SYRIZA, you and SYRIZA, our people are a characteristic example of this
changing Europe. Our people who took this step and Greece, which took a step in history, a step forward, a step to
meet the other peoples of Europe.
"Today we have a celebration, a fete. From tomorrow we begin hard work. The people's verdict ends in an
indisputable way the vicious circle of austerity in our country. The verdict of the Greek people, your verdict,
cancels today in an indisputable way the memorandums of austerity and destruction. The verdict of the Greek
people now makes the troika a thing of the past for our joint European framework."
Read more:

The day before elections
24 January 2015

Since the day that the Prime Minister called for elections, all political party leaders including the newly elected
ones gave their own fight to win the trust of the people and to convince them of their reliability.
One day prior to the ballot boxes, the voices of politicians have silenced, in hope for a victorious result which will
place them on the country’s steering wheel.
The feeling of anxiety prevails and everyone anticipates the counting.
Although from the beginning a SYRIZA victory has been predicted, the hope never died out for the party of New
Everyone appears optimistic, however, the question raised is if SYRIZA will manage to obtain a single – party
majority or if a coalition government will be established.
Will we have a result tomorrow or will we resort to a second round.
The ballot boxes will give the answers to all soon enough.
Germany's finance minister says no Greek euro exit modeled
23 January 2015   
Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, has denied reports
that the country has modeled a potential Greek exit — the so-called
“Grexit” — from the 19-country eurozone.

Speaking at a panel Friday at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss
resort of Davos, Schaeuble said “we don't model any exit.”

The potential of a Greek exit from the eurozone has resurfaced ahead of a
general election Sunday where opinion polls point to a victory for Greece's left-wing SYRIZA party. SYRIZA has
talked of massive debt forgiveness and riding roughshod over the bailout deals.

While praising Greece's efforts to get its economy in order, Schaeuble cautioned that Greece won't benefit from the
European Central Bank's new stimulus program if any new government decides to ditch the reforms required for
bailout cash. [AP]
Snow on the way as temperatures set to fall
07 February 2015   
Weather conditions are set to deteriorate this week with the National
Meteorological Service (EMY) forecasting strong winds, snowfall and
storms, across much of the country.

Temperatures are set to plunge by up to 10 degrees Celsius early in
the week with the cold snap expected to continue at least through Tuesday.

Conditions are to ease from Wednesday though parts of central and northern
Greece will remain icy. With strong winds likely to affect ferry departures from the country’s main ports, as was the
case at the end of last week, those planning to travel by sea are advised to check ahead of time with tour operators.
Greece says has no cash problem, to present plan next week
07 February 2015 ekathimerini
Greece said on Saturday it had no short-term cash problem and that it will hand its European Union partners a
comprehensive plan next week for managing the transition to a new debt deal.

The EU has warned time is running out to avoid a financing crisis in Greece.

The new left-wing government in Athens has rejected the austerity that was forced upon the country by an
EU/International Monetary Fund bailout and instead says it wants a "bridge agreement" until it has negotiated a
new deal.
Read more

It’s all change again for Greece’s tax system
05 February 2015

The government is preparing a taxation overhaul that will provide for one set of brackets for all taxable incomes
regardless of source. It is also planning to implement a large property tax (LPT) that will concern not only real estate
but also big bank deposits, works of art and other investment tools, with a tax-free threshold of 300,000 euros.

The plan foresees an increase in the income tax-free threshold to 16,000 euros per annum for households with two
dependent children and 19,000 for families with three children. For single taxpayers the threshold will stand at
12,000 euros and increase depending on the number of children.

The single set of income tax brackets will have more brackets than the existing legislation so as to be fairer on
people with lower incomes, while the top brackets will have a higher tax rate than today.
There is also a plan for a consumption tax on luxury goods, such as spending on very powerful or expensive
vehicles, yachts, aircraft, helicopters, swimming pools etc.

All tax exemptions, incentives and special tax statuses will be revised. There are currently 700 tax exemptions that
cost the annual budget about 3.6 billion euros. Special consumption taxes will also go back to the drawing board.