Archive for June, 2010

We have moved to another site…

June 29, 2010

We have moved to a new web home !!!

www.keeptalkinggreece.com

 

Dear blog-friends and Greece’s fans,

we have decided to move to a new web home.

Our new address is www.keeptalkinggreece.com

Our new home is bigger and better organized.

Yet we’re still trying to store our old blog stuff  to correct categories, shelves, cupboards and wardrobes, we ‘re still trying to find ourselves in the many rooms and new technologies.

The first test showed that we are not doing that bad…

So, please, take a look in our freshly painted home and enjoy a pleasant day. Even if sometimes news are no good, we will keep talking about Greece in our good old style.

I wonder if I add a new chat- widget and we can celebrate a Grand Opening online… We’ll see.

Thank you for being here and going there (www.keeptalkinggreece.com)

 

 

We reconstruct a bit….

June 25, 2010

As we ‘cook’ a bit on the blog… there will be not new posts until Monday

June 28, 2010

Thank you –

Anti-terror Police probe deadly bombing in Athens – How the bomb reached the Ministry

June 25, 2010

Greek anti-terror police probe deadly bombing

By Αssociated Press  A letter bomb that killed a close aide to Greece’s law enforcement minister had originally been sent to the minister’s political office before being taken to the heavily guarded ministry building where it exploded, police said Friday. 

Authorities had been probing how the bomb got into the public order ministry building, which is equipped with explosives detectors to check parcels. 

Thursday night’s brazen bombing was the latest step in an escalating campaign of attacks in Greece, where radical domestic groups often carry out bombings and shootings but rarely cause injuries. The bomb detonated on the seventh floor of the building just outside central Athens, killing 50-year-old police officer Giorgos Vassilakis, a close aide to minister Michalis Chryssohoidis. Chryssohoidis was unhurt.  The device had been hidden in an envelope originally sent by mail last Friday to Chryssohoidis’ political office, police said. The letter bomb arrived Monday at the office, where it remained until being taken along with the minister’s regular mail to the ministry on Thursday. The device exploded when Vassilakis, a father of two, opened the envelope.

 The name of the sender was listed as Christos Karavellas — a former executive of Siemens AG’s Greek branch who is a suspect in a corruption case against the company and who was frequently in newspaper headlines at the height of the corruption scandal last year. 

 Police are examining the remains of the bomb, and believe gunpowder was used in the device. 

 The blast caused extensive damage to the ministry’s seventh floor, just 25 meters (yards) from the office of Chryssohoidis, who was inside at the time. 

 There was no claim of responsibility by Friday, but suspicion fell on militant groups opposed to government economic and social policies. Greece has passed a set of stringent austerity measures and narrowly avoided defaulting on its debt by receiving the first installment of euro110 billion ($134.9 billion) in rescue loans from other EU countries and the International Monetary Fund. 

 The tactic used was a clear departure from the usual method of planting bombs late at night when they are less likely to cause injuries, making it difficult for experts to narrow down which group could be responsible. 

 “It’s unclear which organization is responsible. This is the first time something like this has happened,” a public order ministry official said, speaking on condition his name not be used in order to discuss details of the investigation. 

 Although there were many people on the seventh floor at the time of the explosion, Vassilakis had been in his office alone when he opened the package. The door was closed and absorbed much of the blast, preventing others from being wounded, the ministry official said. 

 Chryssohoidis has waged a campaign for years to eradicate domestic terrorism in Greece, and is considered instrumental in dismantling the country’s most notorious group, November 17, in 2002 during his previous tenure as public order minister. 

 Bombings and shootings by radical domestic groups in Greece increased significantly after the fatal police shooting of an Athens teenager in December 2008, which sparked the country’s worst riots in decades. Over the past nine months, police have arrested more than a dozen people accused of belonging to two small militant groups that claimed responsibility for a string of bombings, including a rocket attack against the U.S. Embassy in 2007. 

 In March, a 15-year-old Afghan boy was killed when he opened a bag containing a bomb that had been planted outside a management institute in an Athens neighborhood. The boy’s 10-year-old sister suffered serious facial injuries that damaged her sight. 

 The boy was the first person to be killed in a bomb attack in Athens since 1999, when a blast outside a hotel killed a conference worker. Another two people were killed in separate shootings claimed by terrorist groups since 2000.

 http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hCXS-Y4Ld3o_vfpNLO8MS4bSVeswD9GIFK804

Greece For Sale – from Guardian.com.uk

June 25, 2010

Greece puts its islands up for sale to save economy

Desperate attempt to repay debts also driven by inability to find funds to develop infrastructure on islands

Elena Moya

Mykonos
Greece is raising cash by selling off an area of state-owned land on Mykonos for luxury tourism.
Photograph: Getty Images

There’s little that shouts “seriously rich” as much as a little island in the sun to call your own. For Sir Richard Branson it is Neckar in the Caribbean, the billionaire Barclay brothers prefer Brecqhou in the Channel Islands, while Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy on Skorpios, his Greek hideway.

Now Greece is making it easier for the rich and famous to fulfill their dreams by preparing to sell, or offering long-term leases on, some of its 6,000 sunkissed islands in a desperate attempt to repay its mountainous debts.

The Guardian has learned that an area in Mykonos, one of Greece’s top tourist destinations, is one of the sites for sale. The area is one-third owned by the government, which is looking for a buyer willing to inject capital and develop a luxury tourism complex, according to a source close to the negotiations.

Potential investorsalso looking at property on the island of Rhodes, are mostly Russian and Chinese. Investors in both countries are looking for a little bit of the Mediterranean as holiday destinations for their increasingly affluent populations. Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea football club, is among those understood to be interested, although a spokesman denied he was about to invest.

Greece has embarked on the desperate measures after being pushed into a €110bn (£90bn) bailout by the EU and the IMF last month, following a decade of overspending and after jittery investors raised borrowing costs to unbearable levels.

The sale of an island – or convincing a member of the international jet-set to take on a long-term lease – would help to boost its coffers. The Private Islands website lists 1,235-acre Nafsika, in the Ionian sea, on sale for €15m. But others are on for less than €2m – less than a townhouse in Mayfair or Chelsea. Some of the country’s numerous islands are tiny which could barely fit a single sunbed.

Only 227 Greek islands are populated and the decision to press ahead with potential sales has also been driven by the inability of the state to develop basic infrastructure, or police most of its islands. The hope is that the sale or long-term lease of some islands will attract investment that will generate jobs and taxable income.

“I am sad – selling off your islands or areas that belong to the people of Greece should be used as the last resort,” said Makis Perdikaris, director of Greek Island Properties. “But the first thing is to develop the economy and attract foreign domestic investment to create the necessary infrastructure. The point is to get money.” In its battle to raise funds, the country is also planning to sell its rail and water companies. Chinese investors are understood to be interested in the Greek train system, as they already control some of the ports. In a deal announced earlier this month, the Greek government also agreed to export olive oil to China.

After the socialist government of prime minister Geórgios Papandreou responded to the IMF bailout with draconian budget cuts, rioters took to the streets, costing three lives in May.

In the midst of the crisis, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, delayed her support as she faced local elections and popular opposition to any public-funded help to Greece.

As strikes almost paralysed the country and hedge funds bet against the economy, German politicians called for Greece to start selling islands, historic buildings and artworks. It now appears that the Greek government has heeded their demands.

The City, where investors are increasingly shunning Greek investments, welcomed any island sales. “It’s a shame if it has come to this but it does at least demonstrate that Greece is prepared to take all actions necessary to try and meet its obligations,” said Gary Jenkins, a credit analyst at Evolution Securities.

Property prices have fallen between 10% and 20% since the May riots in Athens, as bad publicity has drawn visitors away, Perdikaris said.

“We have experienced a very slow booking season. Most tour operators offer hugely discounted rates,” he said. Britons account for more than 60% of his company’s property sales.

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/24/greece-islands-sale-save-economy

Update: Explosion at Ministry for Civil Protection – 1 Dead

June 24, 2010

The  blast right in the heart of country security occured at 20:20 some 15 – 20 meters away from the Minister’s for Civil Protection office, when his adjutant unfold the gift envelope.

Giwrgos Vasilakis, 52, deputy Police officer was responsible for the correspondence of the minister. Michalis Chisohoidis. The explosion was so powerful that the body of the unfortunate man was partitioned according to the testimony of the paramedic ambulance, while the inner wall of the room, which is located about 15-20 meters from the office of M. Chrysohoides collapsed.

At the time of the explosion the Minister was in his office.

It is the first time that a bomb has been “delivered” to the target.

The Minister for Civil Protection said, according to information in a telephone communication with the prime minister that “the package was for me.”

It is still unclear how the bomb device exploded. It is still unclear how the bpmb-package was able to pass through the explosive detection machines of the Ministry. There are two detection machines which reportedly functioned normally. The first machine tets the package when it arrives and the second before reaching the minister’s office.

Giannis Makris, Chairman of Police Officer’s Union said in ALTER  TV channel interview that ‘there must have been information from inside”.

There are unconfirmed reports that a currier of a known company had delivered the package. Similar reports talk about a similar explosive device that killed a 15 years old Afghan boy, two months ago in Athens.

So far no organisation has claimed responsibility.

Powerful Explosion in Civil Protection Ministry kills Minister’s kills ‘close associate’

June 24, 2010

 Greek Civil Protection Minister Mihalis Chrisohoidis says a bomb attack inside his ministry has killed one of his close associates.

Officials said the bomb, disguised as a gift, exploded on the seventh floor of the ministry, near Chrisohoidis’ office, on Thursday night. The minister was inside the building at the time but he was not harmed.

Chrisohoides said Thursday that the “cowardly murderers will be brought to justice.” He says he “lost a valuable and beloved associate.”

There are a lot of questions about

-how the bomb packed in a box as a gift passed the security ckecks

– which terrorist organisation sent it and why

I will keep you updated on the issue

Averof: How an armored cruiser becomes a ship model!

June 24, 2010

 How an armored cruiser becomes a ship model….

The idea for this post came from my pal Giannis!

Watching the pictures of the creation process reminded me of my brother, who used to spend endless hours on  ship modeling

See the whole process of creating a ship model from a picture in

http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=120046&page=1

Averof  ship model created by  peterf

Excellent work, Peter !

 

Historical Orphanage to return to Ecumenical Patriachate

June 23, 2010

 

 Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan highlighted the further boosting of Greek-Turkish relations in talks he held with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Istanbul on Wednesday, on the sidelines of a SouthEast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit.

    Erdogan mentioned the importance of the implementation of the agreements signed during his visit to Athens last May and the utilisation of the economic possibilites and opportunities appearing.

    Papandreou said after the meeting that discussed among other things were the latest developments on the Gaza blockade and that he had the opportunity of presenting Erdogan with the decisions taken by the Socialist International (SI) unanimously two days ago and in which both the Israelis and Palestinians are represented.

 Erdogan also assured Papandreou that Turkey will implement the recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights and will return to the Ecumenical Patriarchate the historic building of the Prigipos orphanage.

    The Turkish prime minister had already announced last August that Turkey will implement unequivocally the court’s decision and reiterated this position on Wednesday during his meeting with Papandreou in Istanbul.

from Athen News Agency

 ***** I will try to publish more on the issue tomorrow…

Stranded Tourists at Piraeus Port

June 23, 2010

Elderly sitting on their luggage, mothers with their children, foreign tourists on vacation, drivers delivering wares… Hundreds of travelers are stranded on the docks of Piraeus port as striking port workers prevented passengers to board ship and ferries.

Dozens of port workers of PAME – Communists Trade Union – have prevented passengers to board on ships and ferries heading from biggest port of Greece to islands in the Aegean and Argosaronikos.

PAME members protest over planned reforms to pensions and labor laws, as well the lifting of cabotage, allowing cruisers to dock to Piraeus, even if they do not hire a certain percentage of Greek seamen.  Protesters  will  be blocking  the departure of ferries until Wednesday  midnight. The strike has been declared ‘illegal’ by the court.

The port strike affects the vital for Greece tourist industry, which is facing already a decrease in bookings amid a huge financial crisis and recession.

Only yesterday Greece announced it will to pay extra room & board to stranded tourists. Today the first check …arrived…

Otto goes, Fernando comes…

June 23, 2010

 

According to MEGA TV it is a matter of time for Otto Rehhagel to announce his withdrawal as coach of Greek National Soccer Team.

The name of Portuguese Fernando Santos is heard as his successor.

UPDATE:

The 71-year-old’s assistant, Yiannis Topalidis, claims the German has brought to an end his nine-year reign as manager of Greece following their 2-0 defeat to Argentina on Tuesday night.

The loss to Diego Maradona’s men denied Greece the opportunity to make the last 16 for the first time in their history with Rehhagel having guided them to only their second-ever World Cup in South Africa.

“I have said what I had to say,” Topalidis said. “I have said goodbye to the players and so has the coach.”

Rehhagel achieved legendary status when he famously guided Greece to Euro 2004 glory in Portugal

from CBS SPORTS

http://www.worldcup.cbssports.com/page/NewsDetail/0,,13041~2077376,00.html


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