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LATEST NEWS in Crete & Greece
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Crete’s Heraklion (Kastelli) Airport Works to Kick Off in 2018
3rd December 2018 GTP Travel Pages
Works on the highly anticipated Kastelli airport project on Crete are set to begin in
spring after the finalization of the 480-million-euro deal and its parliamentary
The Ariadne Airport Group – a consortium of Greek construction firm GEK Terna
and India’s GMR Airports Limited (GAL) – has been named contractor for the
construction and operation of the Kastelli airport in Heraklion, which is expected to
handle more than seven million passengers per year for a concession period of 35
The project involves the design, construction, financing, operation and
maintenance of the airport slated for opening in 2022-23. Construction and
renovation works are estimated at lasting five years.
New highway code to abolish discount on fines
1st Decenber 2017 ekathimerini
The new Highway Code being designed by the Transport Ministry will abolish a 50
percent discount currently enjoyed by motorists for paying their fines within 10
days after receiving them.
This is the latest addition to the draft bill, which also foresees a system for
calculating many fines according to the financial abilities of each violator, as well
as reducing fixed penalties by as much as 40 percent.
Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis told the technical team of the country’s
creditors that the ministry would also be creating a comprehensive database of all
vehicles and their owners, which will also contain data provided by the Citizens’
|Unions call GENERAL STRIKE for 14th December 2017
Greece’s biggest labor unions have called a new general strike next month against
bailout-linked austerity policies, as the government launches new talks with its
international rescue creditors.
The ADEDY civil servants’ union called the December 14 strike, in which private
sector unions will participate, to protest against pension and salary cuts, and to
demand pay rises and public sector hiring.
Successive Greek governments have slashed spending and salaries, while hiking
taxes and curtailing civil service hiring, to secure the bailouts that have kept the
country afloat since 2010., Updates here
Inspectors target illegal olive oil production and trafficking
30 November 2017 ekathimerini
The Independent Authority for Public Revenue is launching targeted inspections at
olive oil production units in central and southern Greece after data pointed to
income hiding and tax evasion in this sector.
Checks will focus on the areas where these phenomena are most common, such
as Crete, the Peloponnese (Messinia, Argolida and Laconia) and Fthiotida in
It has been noted that a large number of olive producers submit their produce to
private presses instead of local cooperatives, without the necessary documents,
then selling their oil illegally so as to conceal revenues and evade the taxes due.
Inspections will begin immediately and last until March
Stolen Antiquities Return to Crete from Austria
24 November 2017 news.gtp.gr via cretepost.eu
A total of 26 Greek ancient artifacts, which were illegally taken out of Greece
during the German occupation, were recently returned to the country.
The repatriated objects include eleven artifacts of the Minoan period: eight
ceramic vases, a vase fragment, a stone vase and a table lamp; five ceramic
vases and two lamps of the Classical – Hellenistic period; four fragments of
ceramic figurines; a ceramic pebble used for voting (or psephos in Greek); a
ceramic loom weight; a bone dress pin and a stone object with holes.
According to an announcement, the objects were illegally removed in 1941 by
German General Julius Ringel from the Stratigraphic Museum and the Ariadne Villa
in Knossos. They were donated to the University of Graz prior to 1945.
Greeks cutting down on food due to overtaxation
25 November 2017 ekathimerini
Overtaxation has forced Greeks to cut down on grocery spending, as IRI Hellas
researchers have found that supermarket sales in the January-September 2017
period were 6.7 percent below the level recorded two years earlier and 7.4 percent
below the 2014 level.
Consumers have become bargain hunters out of necessity, not only because of
the proliferation of special offers at supermarket but also due to the hikes in
value-added tax and the special consumption taxes on most everyday products, on
top of the direct tax obligations that households have to meet.
Two men arrested in Heraklion on drug dealing charges
8th November 2017 cretepost.eu
Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a 34-year-old Albanian man and a 56-
year-old Greek man in Heraklion on suspicion of dealing in drugs.
A raid on the suspects’ residences revealed 3 kilos of heroin, 84 grammes of
cocaine, 450 narcotic pills and instruments for crushing and mixing drugs.
The suspects were sent to the Heraklion prosecutor.
Foreigners eyeing 5-star hotel auctions
30th December 2017 ekathimerini
Nine out of every 10 foreign investors considering putting their money into the Greek
nonperforming loans market are mostly interested in positioning themselves in the hotel sector.
However, the stock of tourism properties offered by the Greek banks mainly concerns hotels
outside the luxury category, according to market sources.
The biggest five-star units with big debt problems, which are the main attraction for potential
investors, are mostly off the market, as they are hampered by complex legal issues, banking
Of the 9,800 indebted hotels in Greece, according to the latest statistics collected by
PricewaterhouseCoopers and NAI Hellas, only 420 are in the five-star category while 1,340 are
four-star units. Half of those are located on Crete and in the southern Aegean, though it is just
a handful that will have to be sold via any type of procedure.
In contrast, hundreds of smaller and low-category (two- or three-star) hotels are on the market
or set to be auctioned, but they hold less appeal for investors and definitely fetch lower prices,
as they also require expenditure on renovation and market repositioning. With investors
seeking annual capital returns of around 9 percent, according to NAI Hellas, transactions are
few and far between.
Greece’s New ‘Stayover Tax’ to Be Charged to Hotel Guests
29th December 2017 news.gtp.gr
The new stayover tax, which will be imposed on Greek hotels as of January 1, 2018, will be
charged to guests and will not be subject to VAT, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.
The announcement came after the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers (POX) requested details
and clarifications surrounding the new tax.
According to the ministry, following an amendment of Article 53 of Law 4389/2016, the new tax
will be charged “in every case” to the traveler/guest/user of the room or apartment through a
special receipt, which will not be subject to VAT.
The ministry said the amendment is expected soon and will apply retroactively from January 1.
The stayover tax will be calculated based on the number of overnight stays and the category
of the hotel, ranging from 50 cents to four euros per room.
Man held for strangling father to death on Christmas Day
29th December 2017 ekathimerini
Police on Crete on Friday remanded in custody a 34-year-old man who on Christmas Day
strangled his 61-year-old father to death in his home in the area of Fortezza in the city of
According to the 34-year-old’s lawyer, the attack was an “accident” that followed a heated
dispute between the two men.
The 34-year-old bore scratches on his body, according to his lawyer, who said both men had
“It was a tragic accident, neither father nor son had anything against each other,” the lawyer
was quoted as saying by social media.