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Latest News in Crete & Greece
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LATEST NEWS
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Farmers gearing up for road blockades over tax plans
19th
January 2017  ekathimerini
Members of unions representing farmers in central Greece met on Wednesday to discuss
plans for a fresh round of road blockades in protest at the government’s taxation plans
for their sector.

The aim of the meetings, sources said, was for farmers to prepare road blockades such
as those set up this time last year at key road junctions.

Last year’s protracted action created huge transport disruption, cost companies millions
of euros and strained ties with neighboring Bulgaria. According to sources, Bulgarian
authorities have appealed to Athens to avert any fresh upheaval. Meanwhile Bulgarian
truck drivers are threatening to block the transport of Greek goods into Bulgaria if the
action goes ahead
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Beach Clean up - Sailors of  the “George H.W. Bush” volunteer at Stavros Beach
9th February 2017  Chania Post
Stavros Beach, Chania, Greece, February 9, 2017. Volunteers from USS George H.W.
Bush (CVN-77) volunteered for a beach clean-up at the scenic beach in Stavros, Chania.

This was a great opportunity to give back to the local community by helping preserve the
scenic environment and giving a helping hand to the great work being done by the local
authorities.

Stavros is a seaside village located northeast of Chania, at the northernmost edge of
Cape Akrotiri.

The mountain rising opposite the harbor of Stavros,is famous, because of the Academy
Award winning film “Zorba the Greek”, where Anthony Quinn danced the famous Sirtaki
Dance in 1964.
Fraport Greece to take over 14 Greek Airports on March 15th.
10th February 2017  GTP Travel Pages via Chania Post
German-Greek consortium Fraport Greece will officially take over the management of 14
regional airports in Greece on March 15, an official of the company told Reuters news agency
on Wednesday.

The consortium of German transport company Fraport and Slentel (a unit of Greek energy
Copelouzos Group) inked a 40-year contract in December 2015 with the Greek state to
manage the airports at 14 regions across Greece that include three mainland gateways
(Thessaloniki, Aktion, and Kavala) and 11 airports on Greek islands (Chania on Crete,
Kefalonia, Kos, Mykonos, Lesvos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos and Zakynthos)..
Τhe 14 regional airports were expected to come under Fraport’s management this month.
However, the takeover date was changed due to incomplete implementation of technical
requirements.

“Greece and Fraport Greece have agreed that the implementation of the concession
agreement is planned for March 15”, a Fraport official told Reuters, speaking on condition of
anonymity.

The deal, considered a landmark privatization agreement, consists of an upfront payment of
1.234 billion euros and an annual payment of 22.9 million euros in lease payments for as long
as the concession runs.
Minister invites Greeks to register their daily gripes
9th February 2017  ekathimerini
State Minister Alekos Flambouraris, who recently courted controversy by claiming that
there are no longer Greeks who search through trash for food, has called on citizens to
report the daily problems they encounter when dealing with the state or public
organizations.

Citizens who have a gripe to share can do so by logging on to www.kathimerinotita.gov.gr
and filling in a form.

“Solving problems will be our main concern,” said Flambouraris, who claimed that the
project’s goal is to “improve the quality of life.”
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Torrential rain causes road chaos in Western crete
11th February 2017   Flashnews via Apokoronas News
Torrential rain fell on  western Crete all through Friday night  and continued on Saturday
morning. Many properties were flooded, roads were waterlogged and landslides were reported
on the national road.

More than 30 emergency calls were made to the emergency services and strong winds are
making the problems worse, with increased risk of falling trees.

The amount of rain water was so much that  in several provincial roads the road surface was
severely damaged.
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Supermarkets suffer biggest sales decline in recent years
14th February 2017   ekathimerini
Greek supermarkets endured their biggest annual turnover drop of recent years in 2016, according to market researchers IRI, while the first signs
for this year are far from encouraging.

Turnover at Greek supermarkets shrank 6.5 percent year-on-year in 2016, while sales volume declined by 8.9 percent. At the same time prices
posted annual growth of 2.4 percent, owing to the impact of last summer’s value-added tax increase, along with fewer special offers by retailers.

The decline in turnover is partly attributed to the problems that Marinopoulos, the country’s biggest supermarket chain, has been facing. However,
IRI officials stress to Kathimerini that even without the impact of Marinopoulos’s problems on the market, the turnover reduction would have been
certain anyway, amounting to at least 3 percentage points compared to 2015.

Interestingly, the downfall of Marinopoulos appears to have benefited several chains, according to market experts, including some minor ones that
have formed a nationwide group named ELOMAS.

IRI also highlighted the benefits Lidl Hellas has reaped, posting a 10.4 percent increase in sales from 2015 to 2016.
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Study: Poverty levels rise 40% in Greece over 7 years of crisis
3rd March 2017   via Apokoronas News
Tornos News — Poverty in Greece has increased by  40% from 2008 to 2015, according to data
released by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW). Cyprus with a 28.2% rise comes
after Greece, followed by Ireland with a 28% increase.

The study did not limit its criteria to the lowest income index, but included factors such as the
inability to acquire material goods, as well as a decrease in education opportunities,
underemployment and worse healthcare provisions. The high poverty level is attributed to a
prolonged recession, high unemployment, as well as tough austerity measures and the
conditions and terms imposed on Greece by its creditors.
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National road rockfall causes accident at Kalami
28th February 2017   Apokoronas News
Another rockfall closed the eastbound section of  the National Road at Kalami for a couple of
hours while the rocks were cleared.
On Tuesday morning a further unexpected rockfall caused an accident at around 9:00 am, when
a car hit rocks just fallen on the road surface, causing considerable damage to the vehicle.
Fortunately the woman driving the car escaped with light injuries, but was taken to the hospital
as a precaution as she appeared to be suffering from shock.
With several rockfalls at the same point in the past it is just seer luck that there has not been a
serious accident so far, either at that point in Kalami or elsewhere in the National Road where
rocks still lie uncleared on the side of the road or worse, precariously hanging on the
embankment waiting for the next rainfall or slight earth tremor to come down on an unlucky road
user.
In the absence of any immediate preventative action the authorities are advising drivers to
proceed with caution on the eastbound lane of the national road, until the affected road section
is made safe.
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Crete to receive first group of refugees in April
4th March 2017   AMNA

Τhe first group of refugees will be transferred to Crete at the beginning of April where they will
live in rented apartments, the meeting of the island’s regional government representatives
announced on Thursday.

According to the authorities, about 125 apartments will house up to six people each and bodies
in Heraklion and Chania will be set up to manage the relocation.
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Tension at the farmers’ protest rally
8th March 2017 ERT
There has been tension and several arrests during the farmers’ protest rally outside the Ministry
of Agricultural Development in Athens.

The farmers, seeking to drive the police forces away threw objects against the riot police who
responded with chemicals.

“The dialogue they claim to seek is one thing and bullying is another. Such behavior does not
represent the movement of the farmers and breeders; it only slanders and undermines it” stated
the Minister of Agricultural Development Mr. Evangelos Apostolou.
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Greek-German airline collaboration
March 2017   ERT

Greek airline company “Sky Express” and German airline company “Germania” signed a code
share agreement, which will link the destinations of Sky Express with those of Germania. This is
expected to boost tourism in the areas serviced by the Greek company.

From the summer of 2017 onward, Germania will add new flights from Bremen and Nuremberg to
Athens, so that its passengers may then travel with Sky Express to Greek islands and more
specifically, to
Crete (Heraklion and Sitia), Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Milos, Syros,
Skiathos, Zakynthos, Chios, Karpathos, Kythira, Ikaria and Astypalea.
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Passenger traffic in Greek airports grew 7.2 pct in Jan-Feb 2017
March 2017  ERT
Passenger traffic in Greek airports increased 7.2 percent in the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, data from the Civil
Aviation Authority showed on Friday.

The number of passengers in Jan-Feb. totaled 3.75 million, versus 3.49 million in the first two months of 2016.

The total number of flights handled in Greek airports reached 38,298, of which 23,310 were domestic and 14,988 were international, showing a
marginal drop of 0.9 percent (-3.6 pct in domestic and +3.5%in international flights), compared with 38,665 flights in the similar period last year.

Specifically for February, passenger traffic (domestic and international) rose 5.4 percent with passengers totaling 1,830,215. The largest traffic was
recorded in the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania and Rhodes.

Athens’ International Airport handled 1,122,420 passengers, Thessaloniki ?Macedonia? Airport had 357,502 passengers, Heraklion 74,902,
Chania 65,434 and Rhodes 5,910.