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December 2016 - January 2017
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Greek ferries tied up in port at start of 48 hour strike
2nd December 2016 via Apokoronas news

AP — Ferries will remain docked in ports across Greece on Friday 2nd
and Saturday 3rd December as seamen stage a 48-hour strike in protest
at the latest round of cuts to pensions and threat to jobs, leaving many
of the country’s islands cut off from the mainland and from each other.
The union representing Greek seamen, PNO, has warned of an escalation
of action if the  government does not address its concerns regarding
proposed changes to new tax regulations relating to workers in the sector,
setting income tax at 45 percent in addition to an existing 10 percent
special tax.

The seamen’s union has planned another  24-hour strike for Thursday, December 8,
Lenders not officially aware of social measures announced by Tsipras
9th December 2016 ekathimerini

The European Commission was not aware of announcements made by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras on Thursday
regarding a package of social measures benefiting low-income pensioners. The measures were announced by
Tsipras in a televised address to the nation.

It was not known on Friday whether representatives of the country’s lenders in Athens had been informed of the
decision. However, sources in Athens said that the possibility of extra measures for low-income pensioners had
been discussed on a technical level between Greek and European officials a few weeks ago.

Speaking to Kathimerini, a European official said the IMF usually opposed such moves. While Greece remained
within its targets and the extra provisions would be funded through the surplus, the state had still to pay off a series
of expired debts to third parties.

On Thursday, Tsipras announced the release of 617 million euros to low-income pensioners.
Greek parliament approves one billion euro new taxes for 2017
12th December 2016 via Cretepost

DW — Greek parliament passed next year’s budget on Saturday evening, giving Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hope
his country will take bigger strides out of its financial crisis in 2017.

The budget called for of approximately one billion euros of
new taxes on cars, telephone services, television, fuel,
tobacco, coffee and beer.
Public spending on salaries and pensions will be cut by 5.7 billion euros.

The country is also eyeing 2.7 percent economic growth next year, having achieved a higher than predicted
primary surplus in 2016.

The budget was approved by 152 of the 298 present lawmakers after a five day debate. The budget was backed by
the ruling coalition from the left, and opposed by all other parties.

Tsipras announced in a surprising move Thursday there would be a tax break for Greek islands sheltering
thousands of migrants. “Europe owes a debt to (these islanders), the Greek state owes them its support,” said Tsipras.

Greece has been at the forefront of the migrant crisis, with thousands of migrants landing in Greece hoping to seek
asylum in Europe. Tens of thousands are waiting to be processed in Greece in order to continue on into Europe.
Two suicides within days in Apokoronas, Chania
11th December 2016 via &

A tragic end for a 35 year old man from the village of Tzitzifes, Apokoronas. Shortly before 3 p.m. on Thursday
afternoon, he committed suicide. According to information, he shot himself with a shotgun.

On Sunday afternoon a 47 year old man was found hanged in a field in the village of  Kalives near his home. Police
officers are trying to find the exact causes that led the 47 year old man to commit suicide. The hanging has
shocked the local community, while the man's wife is pregnant. No suicide note was found.
Ministry warns against use of wood fires
2nd  January 2017  ekathimerini
The Environment Ministry on Monday issued a warning
against the use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves
amid concerns of a build-up of toxic smog, especially in cities.

The ministry said that prevailing conditions on Monday and
Tuesday of low winds and rising temperatures are conducive
to the accumulation of particulates in the atmosphere that cause
“We warmly urge citizens to respond positively to this
recommendation,” the ministry said, adding that it is monitoring
conditions on a 24-hour basis.
Since the start of the crisis, more and more cash-strapped Greeks are relying on fireplaces and wood stoves for
Major problems on Crete due to snowstorms
30th December 2016 via
According to an official Press Release by the Greek Police,
the following parts of roads are closed in Chania due to

From Chania to Omalos (from the village of Lakki to Omalos)
From Vrisses to Sfakia (from the plateau of Askifou to Sfakia)
From Sembronas to Petra Seli
From Agia Irini to Petra Seli
From Krapi to Imbros

Also, cars need to use non-skid-chains in:
Viannos, Heraklion
Mylopotamos, Rethymno
Oropedio, Lassithi
and all mountainous areas of Chania Prefecture.
Greek Police sends team to Rio to be briefed over envoy’s murder
1st January 2017 ekathimerini

The Greek Police (ELAS) on Monday confirmed that it has sent a team to Brazil to be briefed by authorities there on
the progress of an investigation into the murder of Greek Ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis.

The two homicide investigators and the head of Europol’s Greece desk traveled to Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve
to meet with the officers heading the investigation into the killing of the Greek envoy. They will then draft their
own report, which will be submitted to judicial authorities in Greece.

Brazilian authorities on Sunday said they have arrested Amiridis’s Brazilian wife, Francoise, aged 40, and a 29-
year-old police officer who is said to have been the woman’s lover and is suspected of murdering the envoy on her
behalf. They also said that both suspects have confessed to the crime after initially denying any involvement.
Athens responds to Ankara's claims over sea border
21st December 2016 ekathimerini
Greece has written to the United Nations to complain about and challenge a letter from Turkey’s Permanent
Mission that questions Greek sovereign rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In the Greek missive, sent by the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Aikaterini Boura,
Athens accuses Ankara of trying to impede Greece from agreeing a maritime delimitation with other states. The
official challenged the Turkish claim that the Greek islands in the maritime area in question are not entitled to
their own continental shelf and exclusive economic zones. This runs counter to the international law of the sea,
Greece argues.

The letter argues that Turkish challenges to the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean
are unfounded and an attempt to interfere with Greece’s right to move ahead with agreements with other countries.
Boura’s letter was sent on December 8 but only made public now.
Crete in the Snow
8th January 2017

Many areas of Crete, including towns
and beaches, were covered with snow
on Sunday 8th January 2017 as
temperatures dropped and a cold front swept
cross Greece.

See more photos on the blog at
Chania Harbour
Minoan Lines exit the Adriatic Sea service after 35 years
January 2017
Minoan Lines, the Crete-based ferry company, has entered 2017 without the two largest vessels in its operation
after their charters from parent Grimaldi Group were allowed to expire at the start of January.Napoli-based
Emanuele Grimaldi-led ferry owner redelivered two ships serving the Greece-Italy route to its sister company
Grimaldi Euromed and Minoan announced the change, which leaves it without a vessel in the cross-Adriatic and
with more focus on Greek market where it is operating the Piraeus-Iraklio routes with the Knossos Palace and
Festos Palace.
At the same time, Grimaldi Group has revealed that it has enhanced its Greece-Italy link service by including
Venice after January across the Ancona-Igoumenitsa-Patras line, until now carried out daily by Cruise Europa and
Cruise Olympia.In an official announcement to the Athens Stock Exchange, Minoan Lines noted that it will stop
covering the Patras-Ancona route after 35 years as charter of Cruise Europa (photo) and Cruise Olympia have
ended, essentially being deprived of an estimated 104 million euros from its Adriatic income, which will now be
running under Euromed’s umbrella.
Foreign plates carry risk of high fines
January 2017  ekathimerini
There has been a significant increase in the number of vehicles with foreign plates in Greece, as their owners are
able to avoid paying this country’s high road tax and fines.

In response to a parliamentary question, Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou said that the temporary
circulation of vehicles in Greece with foreign plates is legal provided certain conditions are fulfilled, such as being
in Greece for no more than six months of the year and that their owner’s main residence is outside Greece.

If owners of cars with plates from other European Union states do not meet these requirements, they face fines of
between 2,500 and 10,000 euros, while in the case of vehicles with plates from third countries, the owners may be
charged with smuggling and face a fine three times the cost of vehicle registration and tax payments in Greece.
Their vehicles will also be confiscated.
Greek finance ministry takes first steps towards a cashless economy
January 2017
A Greek government plan to push citizens into online banking to cut down on VAT avoidance is reportedly
causing concerns among Greek taxpayers.

Many are waiting in bank lines across the country to apply for e-banking accounts, debit cards and other kinds of
cashless money in order to get their entitlement to the tax-free threshold.

The government says the measures are to try and recoup an estimated €6.5 billion in lost revenue caused by
people paying for services cash-in-hand — thereby avoiding VAT.

Greek lawmakers have approved the plans but the measures have not yet come into force.

The draft law tabled last month says a person with an annual income up to €10,000 will have to spend 10 percent
of their annual revenues through electronic transactions, where VAT is unavoidable.

This means that a citizen with an annual income of €5,000 will have to spend at least €500 via cards or e-banking.
For annual incomes up to €30,000 this minimum spend rises to 15 percent and jumps to 20 percent for incomes
over €30,000.

In its latest directive the finance ministry has included utility, transport and supermarket bills in the list of
expenditure that qualifies for building up the tax free threshold but excluded rents and the purchase of motor
Police on Crete detain two over murder of businessman
January 2017  ekathimerini
Police in the Cretan port of Irakleio on Monday detained two
suspects in connection with the murder of a 39-year-old
businessman whose body was found in a ditch near the village
of Rogdia five days after his disappearance.

According to sources, the badly bruised body of the businessman
was found on Thursday January 5 next to his car by a ditch.
The exact cause of death remained unclear.

Police are seeking another two people in connection with the killing.
Refugee camp evacuated due to adverse weather conditions
01 December 2016 To Vima

The heavy snowfall of the past few days has made living conditions
in the camp unbearable.
About 240 refugees, including 80 children, were evacuated from the
hospitality center at Petra, near Olympos in Pieria on Wednesday
evening, due to the adverse weather conditions.

According to municipal councilor Nikos Papaziogas, most of the
refugees have been transferred to another center in the area of Volvi
near  Thessaloniki. About 65 were temporarily taken to a hotel at
Paralia near Katerini, before also being transferred to Volvi.
Petra camp Greece 2016