Latest News from Greece

EU announces 3.7 million euro aid for Cephalonia

A proposal for special European Union funding worth 3.7 million euros for the Ionian island of Cephalonia following a 5.8 Richter scale earthquake and a series of aftershocks in early 2014 was announced on Wednesday.

ND gains one deputy as ousted MP sworn in Lamia mayor

Independent deputy Nikos Stavrogiannis on Wednesday resigned from Parliament in order to be sworn in as mayor of Lamia, central Greece.

Stavrogiannis is a former New Democracy MP who was ousted by the conservative party. His seat was set to return to the conservatives with the appointment of Dimitris Brianis.

New property tax details out

Taxpayers will be able to pay off the newly introduced unified property tax (ENFIA) in six installments, while revisions to the tax rates for 4,000 residential areas around Greece will also be made, the government decided on Tuesday, offering some clarity to one of this summer’s most controversial issues.

Roma signs Greece defender Manolas from Olympiakos for 13 mln

Greece international Kostas Manolas has joined Roma on a €13 million ($17 million) transfer from Olympiakos, as coach Rudi Garcia looks to strengthen his worrisome defense before Serie A starts this weekend.

Roma said Tuesday it had signed the center back to a five-year contract.

Tender for telecoms upgrade near

The Ministry of Administrative Reform and E-Governance is adding the final touches to its latest tender for an upgrade of the public sector’s telecommunications infrastructure.

The project, dubbed “Syzefxis II” and budgeted at 600-650 million euros, is expected to attract bids from both local and foreign players.

Coalition leaders to hold final meeting ahead of Paris talks

A meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Premier Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday evening is expected to result in the government settling on its negotiating strategy for the talks coalition representatives are due to hold with the troika in Paris at the beginning of September.

Defense minister wishes crash pilot a speedy recovery

A Hellenic Air Force fighter crashed on Tuesday during military exercises in the area between Rhodope and Evros on Greece’s northeastern border though the pilot managed to eject from the aircraft before impact.

Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos contacted the pilot, who suffered minor injuries, to wish him a speedy recovery.

Greek coast guard intercepts 129 migrants in eastern Aegean

Coast guard officers on Tuesday intercepted a total of 129 undocumented immigrants off the islands of Chios and Agathonisi in the eastern Aegean in three separate operations.

In the first operation, a coast guard vessel spotted 46 migrants off the northeastern coast of Agathonisi.

A few hours later another 43 would-be migrants were found on a beach in southeastern Chios.

Venizelos to attend ceremony for Turkey's new president

Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos is to represent Greece at the official inauguration ceremony for Turkey’s new president, former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ceremony to install Erdogan as Turkish president is to take place in Ankara on Thursday.

Preachers of hatred

Engaging in public dialogue regarding whether the anti-racism bill is mandatory and sensible is both legitimate and necessary at this current point in time.

Greeks ask for lower tax on empty properties

The association representing property owners in Greece on Tuesday demanded that the government ensure that empty properties, or ones that have been disconnected from the power grid, are taxed at a lower rate.

In a statement, the Panhellenic Federation of Property Owners (POMIDA) said it was directing a “request and warning” to the government regarding the properties in question.

West Balkans PMs Flag Up Adriatic Highway

Ahead of an important German-hosted meeting in Berlin on Thursday, the Prime Ministers of Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Montenegro met on Monday in Cavtat, Croatia, to discuss the planned construction of an Adriatic-Ionian highway.

The highway will connect Central and Western Europe with Greece through the Western Balkans, running down the coast.

The battle against progress

By Angelos Stangos

The rabid reactions to the anti-racism bill are neither random nor unheard-of. They are in the same vein as reactions against the construction of a mosque in Athens and common-law marriage, and before that against the removal of religion from identity cards and long before that to women’s right to vote.