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Migrant boat which sank off Crete set sail from Egypt: survivors
5th June 2016  Reuters
Migrants who survived a shipwreck on Friday off the island of Crete in the southern Mediterranean have told
authorities their boat set sail from Egypt and carried about 350 people, the Greek coastguard said on Saturday.

On Friday, Greek authorities said 340 people were rescued and nine bodies were recovered about 75 nautical
miles off southern Crete, in territory which falls under Egypt's search and rescue jurisdiction.

State broadcaster ERT carried unsourced accounts the vessel was carrying anything between 500 and 700 people.
Crete commemorates the heroes of 1941
As Kazantzakis once said, "it is a great responsibility to be a Cretan"
3rd June 2016
the community as a whole pays homage to the bravery and suffering
of the past in the commemorations held throughout the Island this

They range from the imposing military memorials that mark the locations
where battles occurred or where soldiers, sailors and airmen fought and
fell defending the Island. And they are reflected in the many village
memorials to the thousands who were brutally murdered by the occupiers.

I began my pilgrimage by travelling south across the centre of Crete to the little south coast village of Sfakia. It was
along this winding road and its surrounding mountain tracks, that thousands of Allied soldiers trudged, avoiding
the ever-present air attacks, on their way to seek embarkation to Egypt.
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Two tourists die in separate incidents in Crete
18th June 2016  ekathimerini
Two tourists lost their lives in two separate incidents on the island of Crete, local authorities said Friday.One, a
63-year-old French national, died on Thursday after the car he was driving fell into the sea at the small port of

On the same day, a Russian man was found dead in Agia Roumeli in the region of Sfakia. Authorities are waiting
for the results of an autopsy to ascertain the cause of death.
Greece could lift capital controls by end of year, says bank association head
19th June 2016  Reuters
Greece could lift most or all capital controls imposed at the height of the eurozone crisis by the end of the year, the
head of the country's banking association said on Saturday.

The controls, which restricted the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks to 420 euros a week, were
imposed last June to halt a flight of deposits that threatened to wreck the banking system as Greece was embroiled
in acrimonious bailout talks with its international lenders.

“Personally, I believe that the biggest part of the restrictions, if not all of them, can be lifted this autumn and
towards the end of the year,” Louka Katseli, who also chairs National Bank, Greece's second biggest lender,  told
Greek state TV.

Katseli said one of the conditions for this to happen had already been met after Greece succesfully concluded a first
review of its bailout reforms this month, helping to restore investor confidence in the country.

The next immediate step would be for the ECB to give Greek banks access to cheap funding by accepting Greek
bonds as collateral, she said.

Katseli said that two remaining conditions for fully removing capital controls - an effective management of a loan of
non-performing loans and a return of deposits to Greek banks - were not easy to achieve.

“A return in deposits is the most difficult part, meaning it will take time, because people are still wary,” Katseli said.
Strong winds fan Crete forest fire
14th June 2016  ekathimerini
Firemen on the island of Crete battled a blaze near the ruins of the
prehistoric palace of Knossos, close to the port city of Heraklion, on

It took a total of 24 firefighters and 11 fire engines to bring the fire,
which was fanned by strong winds, under partial control. The fire
service said the flames did not threaten residential areas or the
archaeological site.

Also on Monday, a fire broke out on forestland in the area of Akres, near Megara, west of Athens. A total of 70
firefighters and 25 fire engines were dispatched to douse the fire while six water-dropping planes and three
helicopters aided the rescue effort from the air.

Firefighters managed to keep the blaze away from nearby residential areas.
Bus blaze on the National Road
6th July 2016 via apokornaslife
A fire broke out on a bus  on the move  on the National Road  between Heraklion and Aghios Nikolaos, near
Heraklion  Airport at 2:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday. The fire started in the engine compartment  but was
contained after the driver used a fire extinguisher. Several passengers smashed the bus windows to get out. Fire
services arrived on the scene soon afterwards making the vehicle safe.

All passengers got off the bus on their own,  with eight of the passengers on board – all hotel employees – taken to
Venizelion  Heraklion   hospital  with  smoke inhalation.

No other injuries were reported.
Water shortages in Apokoronas may force water use restrictions
5th July 2016 via
This year’s rainfall was 30% to 50% less than the average of the last five years in Western
Crete, Heraklion plains and the Lasithi mountain range. In parts of Sitia the recorded
rainfall was 60 -70 % less than the 5 year average.

Many municipalities across the island are considering emergency measures to ensure a
steady water supply through the peak summer season.

Even Apokoronas which is endowed with plentiful water sources is facing water shortage
problems compounded by the increased demand during the tourist season.

Villages like Drapanos, Kares Kokkino Chorio Samonas that lie higher up on the foothills  are already experiencing
problems with water pressure. Apokoronas water services are trying to find ways of meeting the extra summer
demand.  Among the immediate measures taken  is an improved inspection and  repair of leaks in the water

In Vamos where there is no OADYK agricultural water,  municipal network water is used for watering fields.  Local
news site reports that the council is considering turning off the municipal water supply for
agricultural use or at least rationing its use in the Vamos area.

If the water reserves continue to drop at the current rate the municipality may be forced to consider hosepipe bans
and introduction of regulations for the use of water
Jetoil gas company owner found dead, suicide suspected
4rd July 2016 ekathimerini
The cofounder and owner of bankrupt gas company Jetoil was found dead in his home in the northern Athenian
suburb of Dionysos on Sunday afternoon.

Kyriakos Mamidakis, 84, was found by his son-in-law at around 2 p.m. The presence of a gun near his body
suggests he may have taken his own life.

Jetoil recently filed for bankruptcy and protection from its creditors after amassing debts in excess of 314 million

The company, owned by the Mamidakis Group, attributed its debts to the economic contraction, the slowdown in
international economic activity, which has affected demand in the fuel market, and the reluctance of local banks to
finance its activities, mainly through guarantees for oil imports.

Of Jetoil’s debts, some 184 million euros are owed to banks, 87 million to suppliers, 2.5 million to the Greek state,
650,000 euros to the social security funds and 920,000 euros to its employees, among others.

The company was founded in the late 1960s by brothers Kyriakos, Giorgos and Nikos Mamidakis.
Rethymnon fire under control – Agios Georgios bathers evacuated safely
1st August 2016 /
he wilfdfire burning since yesterday  afternoon south of Rethymnon
was put under control after 27 fire crews battled the flames all night.

The fire destroyed 30000 stremma of grazing land and farmland
burning olive trees and vine. The agricultural water network also
suffered extensive damage .

Several people who were trapped in Agios Georgios beach  by the fire were safely  evacuated by sea to Agia Galini.

There is currently a High fire risk warning for the whole of Crete
Taxi driver stabbed by tourists on Crete
28th July 2016
Three Serbian tourists were detained for allegedly beating and stabbing a taxi driver after refusing to pay for a ride
in the area of Hersonissos, in Heraklion in the early hours of Thursday.

According to initial reports, the three men, who were under the influence of alcohol, quarreled with the taxi driver
before they hit him and one of them stabbed him.

The victim was being treated at a local health facility, while the three suspects were detained.
Another drowning on Kavros beach
27th July 2016
Chania Post reports another death by drowning in Apokoronas.
The tragedy happened in Kavros, Georgioupolis on Wednesday afternoon.  It is
reported that  a 55 year old  man,  believed to be a  tourist  from the Czech
Republic,  died when he went swimming just  an hour after checking in to his

The emergency services were alerted by other bathers at around
7pm and an ambulance took the unfortunate man to Chania hospital where he was certified dead.

The coastguard  has referred the case to the coroner who will determine the exact cause of death.
Health Ministry draft bill seeks to restrict e-cigarettes
20th July 2016  ekathimerini
In a bid to outlaw the use of electronic cigarettes in public enclosed spaces, the Health Ministry tabled a draft bill
in Parliament on Friday that equates  “vapers” to tobacco smokers.

According to the ministry, e-cigarettes are a potential gateway to nicotine addiction as “vaping” is seen to simulate
tobacco smoking.

The bill, which adheres to European Union directives regarding the production, marketing and sale of tobacco
products, also targets traditional smokers, stipulating the inclusion of warnings on cigarette packets and tobacco
pouches with graphic color images depicting the damage done to body organs by nicotine consumption.

The ministry has also compiled a list of the kinds of health warnings to be used on packets, including: “Smoking
causes nine out of 10 lung cancers,” “Smoking can kill your unborn child” and “Stop smoking, keep on living for
your loved ones.”

Last week, an association representing Greece’s e-smokers denounced the government for preparing the bill
without first having consulted with researchers, scientists, former smokers and e-cigarette users.

Vapers insist that by lumping them together with regular smokers, the new legislation denies them the “choice of
avoiding tobacco smoke.”
Heraklion coast guard alarmed by numbers of drownings in Crete
31st August 2016 /
The  worrying increase in the numbers of deaths by drowning in Crete which have so far in the summer season
reached 27  was one of the issues the chief coast guard officer in Heraklion raised with the  shipping minister
during their meeting.  The increase was greater in the prefectures of Chania, Lasithi and Rethymnon while in
Heraklion the numbers showed a small decline from last year.

The minister, Mr Dritsas responded by saying that there are plans to minimise the number of accidental deaths in
the sea in the whole of Greece. The programme includes better education for the young  and practical swimming
lessons. As this is a long term plan, Mr Dritsas suggested that local businesses make a contribution in supplying
better information to customers and by meeting some of the costs of extending the life saver’s services on popular
Man rescued from sea cave in Apokoronas
18th August 2016 / ERT
A successful rescue effort saved the life of a 55 year old man, believed
to be a Russian citizen,  on Monday evening in Apokoronas. The man
was trapped and lightly injured  in a sea cave near  Drapanos when the
emergency services were alerted. A team of rescuers from Vrises located
the man who was then taken by ambulance to Chania General where he
received treatment.
3 year old girl rescued from locked car in the centre of Chania
11th August 2016
Passers by in Minoos Street in the centre  of Chania on Wednesday called the police to report a young child locked
in a rented car in full sun. A police locksmith opened the door of the car and the child was safely removed from the
car. The young parents of the 3 year old, visiting the island from France,  were arrested when the returned to the
car 30 minutes later and led before the public prosecutor to answer charges of endangering the life of their

The couple claimed that the car central locking system  malfunctioned and that the locks came on before the got
the child out of the car and that being unable to unlock it they went to get help.

The prosecutor accepted their defence and they were released with a caution.
Making Greece a movie destination
3rd September 2016 ekathimerini
The Greek Tourism Ministry has revealed an ambition plan to
transform popular tourist destinations in Greece into film sets for
international movie producers.

Some 40 million tourists annually select their holiday destination
on the basis of where a particular movie was made, according to data
from the Tourism Ministry.

IOBE research suggests that films produced in Greece have had a
positive impact on the economy, citing the case of “Captain Corelli’s
Mandolin,” filmed on Cephalonia in 2001, which boosted the island’s hotel reservations by 14 percent. To this end,
the ministry has created a working group to figure out ways to facilitate foreign producers who want to film in
Greece. The aim is to hammer out the legal framework that would provide incentives to attract foreign production

The working group is also examining ways to make it compulsory for foreign productions to make use of Greek
Thousands of refugee children to receive education in Greece
30th August 2016
Thousands of refugee children in Greece will join the public education system from September, said today the local
The Greek Ministry of Education outlined a plan, supported by the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and
other international organizations, so that children attend school at shelters for immigrants or nearby public schools.
Refugee children will learn their native languages, English and basic Greek so that they can integrate into the host
According to Nikos Filis, minister of Education, Research and Religion, for this reason, 800 teachers of primary and
high school levels will be hired, and kindergartens within the camps will be built.
According to a recent research carried out by the non-governmental organization Save the Children, minors have
missed classes for a year and half.

UNICEF estimates, some 22,000 out of the 54,000 immigrants trapped in Greece are minors.