Greek workers unhappiest in the EU with working conditions

Most employees in Greece view working conditions as bad, feel they have worsened in the last five years, are unhappy with their workload and are the most dissatisied with their work-life balance in the European Union, a Eurobarometer survey has found.

Eight out of ten people (82%) in Greece describe their working conditions as “bad”, the highest rate in the European Union, where the average of 43%, according a survey, which was released on Thursday.

Samaras Met Dimon for Greek Bonds on Way to a 400% Return

Shut out of international bond markets for four years, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wasn’t going to take any chances with his country’s return.

He began months ago lining up investors for the April 10 debt sale, which proved irresistible to the likes of BlackRock Inc. and Invesco Ltd. The keystone for his pitch was a September meeting with investors at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s headquarters in Manhattan hosted by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the event was private.

Greek statistics are back: Primary deficit presented as surplus, with Eurostat's seal of approval

The question is: Why has Eurostat condoned the return of Greek statistics? This is a moot question since, let me remind you dear reader, Eurostat has always given its seal of approval to all sorts of ‘Greek statistics’ in the past. Simply put, there is nothing new there. Then the question becomes: Why on earth did Berlin, the ECB and the troika did not kick and scream at the sight of the resurgent Greek statistics? Of course, this is a naive question. Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels are only interested in one thing these says, regarding Greece: To declare victory against the Greek crisis prior to the May European Parliament Elections. Eurostat was just doing as it was told.”

Mykonos
Photo by George Stasinos

Mykonos

Photo by George Stasinos

Syriza regional election candidate resigns over Turkish ultra-nationalist contacts

In another pre-electoral embarrassment for Syriza, one of its candidates in the the running for a seat on the regional council of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace has resigned after photographs emerged of him standing alongside the leader of a Turkish ultra-nationalist party.

The photograph shows Ahmet Kurt with Devlet Bahçeli, who heads the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose “unofficial militant arm” is the notorious Grey Wolves.

His withdrawal from the local election comes two days after Syriza controversially removed the name of Sabiha Suleiman, a Roma activist from Thrace, from its list of candidates for the European Parliament elections next month, replacing her with a more “suitable” candidate from the Turkish component of the region’s Muslim community.

Manolis Glezos (91) to run for European Parliament for Syriza

Syriza has announced that veteran leftist Manolis Glezos, who turns 92 in September, will be among its 42 candidates in next month’s elections to the European Parliament.

The decision to run Glezos, who has been an MP since 2012, was announced by party leader Alexis Tsipras, who is on the campaign trail in Crete.

Glezos, who in May 1941 tore down the Nazi swastika from the Acropolis  weeks after the country was occupied by the Germans, is understood to be seeking a place in the European Parliament in order to raise Greece’s claims on Germany for reparations from the second world war as well as the repayment of the forced occupation loan.

The Petrified Forest of Lescos on UNESCO's world heritage list

The Petrified Forest of Lesvos, one of the most beautiful monuments of gobal geological heritage is from now on among the properties inscribed on UNESCO’s world heritage list of cultural and natural landmarks.

The nomination file of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos focused on the landmark’s uniqueness and importance on a worldwide scale due to the forest’s wildlife. In fact, the forest’s wildlife consists of a transitional zone between Asia and Europe that is of great importance.

The Petrified Forest  extends over the northwestern portion of Lesvos, in a region covered almost exclusively by volcanic stone. The protected area encompasses 150,000 square meters. It was created during the intense volcanic activity that occurred throughout the greater northeastern Aegean region 20 million years ago.

Link to UNESCO World Heritage site here:
http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5858/

Greece: The murky moat of fortress Europe

Europe has a reputation as a bastion of progressive values. A continent that left behind the scars of a great war and several smaller ones; that did away with colonialism and has become a beacon for tolerance and acceptance. Not all agree, of course. A closer look at the European Union’s migration policy casts dark shadows over a continent that prides itself on being the birthplace of the Enlightenment.

Let’s start somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean: In Greek waters off Turkey, an alleged trafficker was shot dead - accidentally, authorities say - during an altercation with the coastguard. He had just deposited several migrants on a nearby beach. The following day, the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of putting an end to the “push back” regime of making migrants go back from where they came, before their identities and their intentions are established. A sense of due process prevailed. European lawmakers were making a statement: Yes, we value our security but we will not reject someone knocking on our door before first knowing the identity of the person.

Iphigenia, the weather and one Greek business - The story of a family business in crisis hit Greece

"Iphigenia was to Troy as many Greek businesses are to the eurozone. The only difference is that Iphigenia bravely stepped up and took her place at the sacrificial altar, while Greek businesses are being violently dragged there, kicking and screaming. This is the story of one such business.

During the 1950s, in the aftermath of the Greek Civil War, a young boy, Alexandros, aged perhaps 10 or 11, would walk the streets of Piraeus, battling to hold the reins of a flighty horse. The unwilling horse would be pulling a cart carrying blocks of ice, sold on a daily basis to households in order to store food and other perishables. This young boy, with his small and skinny frame, was unable to lug the blocks on his shoulders, as did his adult counterparts, so he would carry the blocks on his forearms, which would eventually go numb and turn blue. Today, Alexandros is in his seventies and, as a constant reminder of those difficult childhood years, the pain in his arms robs him of any peaceful sleep at night.”

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