Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Greece Kicks Off $3.6 Billion Program for Solar, Wind Projects

Bloomberg
30 Απριλίου 2018, 4:40 μ.μ. EEST
First auction on July 2 for 600 megawatts of wind and solar
Country seeks 18 percent renewable power consumption by 2020

Greece is preparing to auction 2.6 gigawatts of solar and wind projects to attract investment and beef up the Mediterranean country’s clean-energy credentials.

“From now on renewable energy production and prices will be determined by competitive tender process,” said Energy Minister George Stathakis. The “move should encourage investments in renewable energy of 2.5 billion to 3 billion euros, especially in wind.”

The government published the final rules for its first competitive tenders, which outline the timeline and size of the projects that will awarded. The first tender will be held July 2 and will hand out permits to build 300 megawatts of wind power and 300 megawatts of solar photovoltaics. The shift to auctions from feed-in-tariffs follows a move most renewable markets have made.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Turkey says Greece flouts international law by not extraditing coup suspects

APRIL 17, 2018 / 9:41 PM / UPDATED 11 HOURS AGO
Reuters Staff

1 MIN READ

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey accused Greece on Tuesday of violating international law by not extraditing eight Turkish soldiers Ankara believes were supporters of a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Turkey and Greece are at odds over various issues. Ankara is fuming over a Greek refusal to return the soldiers, who fled to Greece shortly after the coup bid in July 2016 and asked for political asylum. The two NATO allies were most recently at loggerheads over a flag hoisting in the Aegean Sea.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag called on Greece to abandon what he said were provocative moves in order to avoid “unwanted events” in the Aegean.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Hundreds of refugees, migrants cross into northern Greece

By Associated Press April 17 at 5:37 AM

The Washington Post

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greek authorities say hundreds of refugees and other migrants have crossed the land border with Turkey in the past two days, with illegal crossings in the area increasing significantly following Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria.

Police said Tuesday they detained 370 people the previous day who had crossed the Evros River, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey, and another 140 people on Sunday.

The land route from Turkey into northeastern Greece has become increasingly popular as conditions deteriorate on Greek islands, long the preferred route, where strict controls are now imposed on movement and camps are overcrowded.

Authorities have noted a surge in arrivals across the Evros, with 1,658 people detained in March compared to 586 in February and 262 in March 2017.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Turkey warns Greece after flag is hoisted on disputed islet

By Associated Press April 16 at 8:01 AM
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s prime minister has warned Greece to refrain from “provocations” after a Greek flag was hoisted on a disputed, uninhabited islet in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters Monday that the Turkish coast guards removed the flag from the island off the coast of the Aegean resort of Didim.

Yildirim said the incident was similar to one in 1996 when the two NATO allies went to war over the uninhabited Imia islets — Kardak in Turkish — which both Turkey and Greece claim.

Yildirim says “our advice to Greece would be to stay away from provocations and agitations ... We are determined to give the necessary response to such fait accomplis.”

In Athens, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzannakopoulos said the government had no knowledge of the incident and described the remarks made by Yildirim as “provocative and reprehensible.”

“I think Mr. Yildirim should be more careful,” Tzannakopoulos said. “We call on Turkey to return to a path of respect for international law ... They should take an initiative to de-escalate the tension.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Greece’s Island of Despair

Text by ILIANA MAGRAMARCH 29, 2018

The New York Times

His brown eyes sunken and flat, Jahangir Baroch had spent another sleepless night in the metal container on the Greek island of Lesbos where he has lived for more than a year.

“There was no electricity in the container last night,” Mr. Baroch, 26, said desperately, at a center for refugees, away from the holding camp in Moria, where he is housed. “It was like a fridge.”

“I want to go to Athens,” said Mr. Baroch, who came from Baluchistan, an embattled province in Pakistan. “If you don’t want me, I want to go to another country.”

“Why am I here?” he asked, somberly.

Others are asking the same question two years after the European Union struck a deal with Turkey aimed at cutting off the route across the Aegean Sea for asylum seekers, many propelled by wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Since then, thousands have remained stranded on Lesbos, unwilling to go back to the countries they left, unable to move forward, toward the opportunity they had hoped to find in Europe. Though the numbers are fewer, they keep coming.

The lucky ones, whose asylum applications are accepted, are eventually shipped to the Greek mainland. Those whose applications are rejected (they can apply twice) are sent back to Turkey as part of the deal with the European Union.

Uber to suspend service in Greece after new legislation

APRIL 5, 2018 / 11:10 AM / 8 DAYS AGO
Reuters Staff

3 MIN READ

ATHENS (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber said on Thursday it would suspend its licensed service in Greece after the approval of local legislation which imposes stricter regulation on the sector.

Uber, which operates a licensed service in the Greek capital, has faced opposition from local taxi drivers who accuse it of taking their business.

“New local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ride-sharing services,” Uber said in a blog post. “We have to assess if and how we can operate within this new framework and so will be suspending uberX in Athens from next Tuesday until we can find an appropriate solution.”

Uber operates two services in Athens: UberX, which uses professional licensed drivers, and UberTAXI, which uses taxi drivers.

Trash-Talking Toward Conflict?


The New York Times

By Nikos Konstandaras

Mr. Konstandaras is a columnist at the newspaper Kathimerini and a contributing opinion writer.

April 8, 2018
ATHENS — In a rapidly intensifying war of words, government officials of the nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey have been exchanging insults and threats in the past few weeks, recalling conflicts from a shared and bloody history. Relations have rarely been rosy, but the speed with which they have worsened, and the level of vitriol, have raised fears that the two heavily armed neighbors may be trash-talking their way to new conflict.

Adding to those concerns is the awareness that the two most credible mediators between the two sides — the United States and the European Union — appear to have little leverage with Turkey.

Greece and Turkey have played decisive roles in each other’s history, and this determines their relations today. The Greeks rebelled against almost four centuries of Ottoman rule in 1821 and, after years of war (and foreign intervention), won their freedom with the declaration of the Greek state in 1830. Turks commemorate Sept. 9, the date on which Turkish troops entered Izmir in 1922 after routing a Greek invasion force, ending millenniums of Greek presence in Asia Minor and leading to the declaration of a modern, secular Turkey.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Greeks vent fury over soldiers being 'held hostage' in Turkey

Defence minister says arrests have aggravated already strained ties between two countries

The Guardian

Protesters have taken to the streets of northern Greece demanding the release of two Greek soldiers detained by Turkey, amid rising tensions between the two countries.

Greece’s defence minister, Panos Kammenos, described the pair as “hostages” and ordered border patrols to be stepped up along the heavily defended land frontier the two nations share.

Sgt Dimitris Kouklatzis, 27, and Lt Angelos Mitretodis, 25, were seized 11 days ago after allegedly being found in a “forbidden military zone” deep in Turkish territory. The soldiers say they inadvertently strayed across the frontier in bad weather.

Last week a court in the Turkish border town of Edirne, where the two are being held in a high-security prison, rejected a plea for their release pending further investigation.

Friday, March 2, 2018

2 Greek soldiers on patrol accidentally stray into Turkey

By Associated Press March 2 at 4:35 AM

The Washington Post

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greece says two of its soldiers on patrol on the Greek-Turkish border accidentally strayed into Turkey and have been taken to the city of Edirne by Turkish authorities.

The Greek army said Friday the two-man patrol strayed into Turkish territory on Thursday because of bad weather, and that Greek and Turkish authorities were in contact with each other and were undertaking procedures for the two to be returned to Greece.

Most of the Greek-Turkish border is marked by a river, and a fence runs along much of the land section. Some parts, however, aren’t clearly marked, and the area where the soldiers strayed was reportedly in woodland.

Although NATO allies, relations between Greece and Turkey are often strained.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Greece, Turkey Try to Calm Tensions After Aegean Sea Crash

The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked to calm tensions after Greek coast guard vessel is damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in Aegean Sea.
Feb. 13, 2018, at 4:58 p.m.

US News

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-02-13/erdogan-warns-greece-cyprus-over-gas-search-aegean-islets

By DEREK GATOPOULOS and SUZAN FRASER, Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked late Tuesday to calm escalating tensions after a Greek coast guard vessel was damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in the Aegean Sea, the site of a boundary dispute.

A government official in Athens said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim spoke by telephone about the circumstances of the boat crash. The official asked not to be named pending an official announcement.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Tankers Keep Greece Top


https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/tankers-keep-greece-top#gs.ZTl5u5g

BY MAREX 2018-02-03 16:42:44

Greece has topped the world fleet values ranking by VesselsValue, with an owned fleet worth just under $100 billion, followed closely by Japan and China, worth $89 and $84 billion respectively. The top 10 global fleets are worth an estimated $516 billion.

Greek owners remain the dominant force in global shipping. The value of the Greek fleet is concentrated in the tanker ($36 billion), bulker ($35.75 billion), and LNG ($13.5 billion) vessel types. Hellenic control of these markets stands at about 19 percent of the total worth of the fleets.

The strong commitment of Greek owners to the global shipping markets looks unlikely to change as others, such as Germany, are liquidating assets, says VesselsValue. However, the trend in Chinese ownership is rising, as state owned companies are consolidating and placing new orders,  a reminder that there are always new challengers for the top spot. Greek owners, with their sharp focus on commercial results, should continue to lead the pack for the foreseeable future.

Greeks rally in Athens to protest use of the name Macedonia

The Washington Post

By Elena Becatoros | AP February 4 at 2:02 PM
ATHENS, Greece — Well over 100,000 protesters from across Greece converged Sunday on Athens’ main square to protest a potential Greek compromise in a dispute with neighboring Macedonia over the former Yugoslav republic’s official name.

Hundreds of chartered buses brought protesters in from around the country to the Greek capital, while more people arrived on ferries from the islands. Traffic was blocked throughout the city center and three major subway stops were closed.

Chanting “Hands off Macedonia!” and “Macedonia belongs to Greece!” the protesters converged on Syntagma Square in front of parliament, many waving flags bearing the Star of Vergina, the emblem of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia.

Police officials estimated the attendance at 140,000. Organizers, who claimed 1.5 million were at the rally, used a crane to raise a massive Greek flag over the square.

Greeks rally in Athens over Macedonia name row

FEBRUARY 4, 2018 / 7:22 PM / UPDATED 15 HOURS AGO
Lefteris Papadimas, Vassilis Triandafyllou
4 MIN READ

ATHENS (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Greeks rallied outside parliament in Athens on Sunday to protest against the use of the term Macedonia in any settlement the government pursues with the ex-Yugoslav Republic to end a decades-old name row.

The two countries have agreed to step up negotiations, mediated by the United Nations, this year to settle the dispute, which has frustrated the aspirations of Greece’s small northern neighbor to join NATO and the European Union.

Thoroughfares in central Athens turned into a sea of people waving blue and white Greek flags in what locals said was the largest gathering in decades, easily outdoing rallies against austerity foisted by lenders on the crisis-hit country.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Greek Position on the naming issue of FYROM (and a critique from the other side).

The matter at hand is a controversial one. There are two sides. Most Greeks pick their side. 
Apart from the ownership of the name. 
Is there a real danger for Greece coming from this tiny country? Can a tiny country undermine and win territory from a stronger country?

Well, history says it can. That's how Greece freed most of what is our country today. Arguments of the type "how can you claim that this little country threat your territories?" just ignore the fact that Greece gained territory from the Ottoman Empire, when under any measure, Greece was tiny and the Ottoman Empire was great. 
So the answer to the matter at hand is that the size is one thing, the existence of a threat is quite another.
Are they threatening Greece? Well they say so... 

Does Greece have the right to defend its territory? Yes, Greece has this right, and the means are also a legitimate choice.

I think that the material below will enlighten both sides of the story.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Greece’s Olive Oil Industry Offers a Lesson on Economic Hurdles

The country is a major producer of ‘green gold,’ but sells much of it in bulk
The Wall Street Journal

By Nektaria Stamouli | Photographs by Andrea DiCenzo for The Wall Street Journal
Dec. 18, 2017 5:30 a.m. ET
106 COMMENTS
STREFI, Greece—Workers at Yiannis Skiadas ’ mountainside mill pressed prized Kalamata olives on a recent day to extract the thick, fragrant oil known regionally as “green gold”—most of which would get shipped abroad in bulk and blended into Italian olive oil.

Mr. Skiadas could earn almost three times as much by branding his oil and selling it himself. But that would require investing in every step from cultivation to marketing, and quick cash from Italian customers is appealing after a decade of economic pain in Greece.

“Thank God for the Italians,” he said.

Greek olive oil should be a shining example of the country’s export sector. Instead, it offers a lesson in why Greece remains deeply uncompetitive despite years of pressure to fix its economy.Greece has what should be significant competitive advantages, including a climate that is favorable for agriculture and a 22% drop in labor costs since 2010, around the start of the Greek debt crisis.

But the country has been unable to leverage its low cost base to pull itself out of economic malaise. The value of Greek exports fell last year, despite years of efforts aimed at promoting export-led growth. Just 2.5% of Greek enterprises are involved in export activity, according to a recent survey by Ernst & Young.

Bank lending is scarce in a country mired in debt. And Greece’s notoriously inefficient bureaucracy makes it time-consuming to secure health and safety approvals and export paperwork, according to Greek exporters.

Similar problems affect other Greek agricultural products from peaches to wine. Exports of textiles and household appliances have also slipped in recent years.

The failure of Greece’s olive-oil makers to break into the international market for branded oil is especially painful. Greece is the world’s No. 3 producer of olive oil, according to Eurostat, but just 4% of branded olive oil sold world-wide is Greek, according to a 2015 report by the National Bank of Greece .

The reason: Greek olive-oil producers have mostly stuck to making bulk oil, unable or unwilling to invest in making the branded product that can command lofty prices in foreign markets. Only 27% of Greek olive oil is exported as a branded product, compared with 50% from Spain and 80% from Italy.

“Greece hasn’t invested to create a brand name, as have Italy and Spain,” says Christina Sakellaridi, who heads the Greek Exporters Association. “Now it’s difficult to compete with them.”

By sticking with bulk oil rather than branded oil, Greece is forgoing about €250 million ($294 million) in revenue each year, according to the National Bank of Greece report, money the capital-starved country desperately needs.

Many Greek olive farms and mills are family-operated and have fewer than 10 employees, according to olive-growers’ associations. Their small size leaves them with little of the money and management skill needed to upgrade their products and establish a brand name.

For those who do invest, the payoff can be significant. Before the crisis, Georgios Skarpalezos sank money into new machinery for his mill. Now he makes extra virgin olive oil that he sells in, among other places, London’s Harrods department store. He makes as much as €4 a liter, while a middleman, usually an oil-mill owner, might make as little as 10 to 20 euro cents a liter on bulk oil.

“I cannot produce huge quantities, because I have to focus on the quality of the product,” said Mr. Skarpalezos, showing dark glass bottles designed to safeguard the oil.

Olive-oil producers also often need to import products such as Mr. Skarpalezos’ glass bottles and plastic caps.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Turkish president Erdoğan to make landmark visit to Greece

Huge security operation will protect increasingly confrontational premier on rare foray to a European country

The Guardian

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan begins a landmark visit to Greece on Thursday, a rare foray to a European country for the increasingly confrontational leader.

In addition to his retinue of 200 bodyguards, Greek police are also to deploy 2,800 officers to take part in a US presidential-level security operation to guard Erdoğan.

“We are taking every precaution,” the Greek public order minister Nikos Toskas told the Guardian. “The security will be on a level similar to that of Barack Obama’s visit. Every detail has been covered and planned.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

World Wildlife Fund sues over Greece oil spill from tanker

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ATHENS, Greece — Sep 18, 2017, 3:37 PM ET

The World Wildlife Fund filed a lawsuit Monday over extensive pollution to the coastline outside Athens following the sinking of a tanker near Greece's largest port.

The environmental group's Greek branch filed the lawsuit in the port city of Piraeus against "anyone found responsible," a common practice when a party that could be held legally accountable has not been identified formally.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Greece: Oil from tanker's sinking prompts beach warnings

Updated 5:27 pm, Wednesday, September 13, 2017

San Francisco Gate

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities have appealed to swimmers to stay away from some popular beaches on the coast of Athens after oil spilled from a sunken tanker started to reach the area.
Small slicks were reported at beaches in the suburbs of Glyfada and Piraeus Wednesday. Glyfada Mayor Giorgos Papanikolaou says municipal workers have set up floating booms offshore and used chemicals to try to dissolve the oil.
The small Agia Zoni II tanker sank Sunday while anchored off the coast of Salamina island, just off Greece's main port of Piraeus. It was carrying 2,200 tons of fuel oil and 370 tons of marine gas oil.

Merchant Marine Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis says divers have sealed the ship's cargo holds and work is due to start on pumping out the remaining fuel.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Chastised by E.U., a Resentful Greece Embraces China’s Cash and Interests


By JASON HOROWITZ and LIZ ALDERMANAUG. 26, 2017

The New York Times

ATHENS — After years of struggling under austerity imposed by European partners and a chilly shoulder from the United States, Greece has embraced the advances of China, its most ardent and geopolitically ambitious suitor.

While Europe was busy squeezing Greece, the Chinese swooped in with bucket-loads of investments that have begun to pay off, not only economically but also by apparently giving China a political foothold in Greece, and by extension, in Europe.

Last summer, Greece helped stop the European Union from issuing a unified statement against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. This June, Athens prevented the bloc from condemning China’s human rights record. Days later it opposed tougher screening of Chinese investments in Europe.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

American tourist killed in Greece was fatally beaten over a selfie, police say

By Kristine Phillips July 11 at 3:17 PM

The Washington Post

American Bakari Henderson was killed by a group of as many as 15 men because of an argument over a selfie at a bar on a Greek island, police said.

A confrontation began after Henderson, who was vacationing with friends, asked to take a picture with a waitress, and quickly escalated into a fistfight involving other customers and two bar employees, Greek police spokesman Theodore Chronopoulos told The Washington Post. Video surveillance shows that the 22-year-old recent graduate of the University of Arizona was fatally beaten in a span of just 30 seconds, Chronopoulos said.