Category Archives: ΤΑΞΙΔΙ

Greek government's VP chairs meeting with banks' leadership

The delays in reaching an agreement on Greece's programme are due entirely to disagreements between the lenders, government Vice-President Yiannis Dragasakis said on Monday, at a meeting with representatives of Greece's banks. "The tug-of-war cannot continue indefinitely. All sides must assume their responsibility," he said.The government remains steadfastly committed to reaching an overall agreement with the institutions, while its recent contacts in Washington during the IMF Spring Meeting confirmed a shared will for a successful conclusion to the negotiations, he added.Dragasakis noted that banks have to become part of the solution to the country's problem and a support for efforts to reconfigure the economy and achieve equitable and sustainable growth. In order to achieve this, they must regain their ability to finance the economy as quickly as possible, in a way that takes into account the lessons of the past, he added.Factors that will facilitate the flow of liquidity include the completion of the second review, the European Central Bank's quantitative easing programme, the ability to tap international financial markets, NSRF-funded projects and activation of other special financing instruments in collaboration with the European Investment Bank, Dragasakis said.He also pointed to encouraging signs from the real economy, such as in tourism and other industrial sectors, which indicated that important investments currently on hold could be encouraged by a corresponding policy by banks.Second chance to over-indebted businesses and householdsDragasakis reaffirmed the government's support for reducing the mountain of non-performing loans and giving a second chance to over-indebted businesses and households, while noting that this must avoid rewarding those that had allowed their businesses to founder while becoming personally rich.He also stressed the need to increase the use of electronic financial transactions in order to improve tax collection, urging banks to consider ways of lowering the cost of using POS terminals and electronic transactions for the businesses that still found them prohibitive.Dragasakis additionally asked banks to assist in efforts to attract foreign direct investment, noting that this must start by restoring the country's image abroad. This, he added, required opening a 'front' at home against the "deliberate distortion of the facts, a selfish misrepresentation of reality, irresponsible danger-mongering and deliberate speculative talk." Exiting the crisis would require close cooperation between the government, banks and economic players, he noted, pointing out that bank bailouts in Greece were supported by massive contributions from society and state borrowing.To this end he proposed the creation of a permanent forum for dialogue and cooperation between financial institutions, businesses in the real economy and the government and also a permanent channel for dialogue and communication between banks and the government to ensure there is ample warning and effective handling of the social repercussions of measures of settling overdue debt, especially for large businesses.The meeting was held with the head and board members of the Hellenic Bank Association, as well as the heads of the country's six biggest banks (Piraeus Bank, National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Attica Bank and HSBC). Attending on the government side, in addition to Dragasakis, were Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Stavros Kontonis, Alternate Economy and Development Minister Alexis Charitsis, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Dimitris Liakos and senior ministry officials.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Athens journalists union condemns attack against Kathimerini newspaper's offices

Journalists and their unions do not give in to blackmails and intimidation attempts pursued by “dark circles”, the Athens Union of Journalists (ESIEA) said in a press release on Monday, following an attack against the Thessaloniki offices of daily “Kathimerini” earlier in the day.A group of about 10 masked individuals barged into the newspaper’s offices shortly after noon and they threw paint and flyers. Before police arrived to the scene, they left. “The board of ESIEA expresses its support to the colleagues an all the employees of the newspaper and notes that such actions, wherever they come from, will not weaken the morale of journalists for  [providing] objective information but the state must do its duty,” the union said. Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Crete’s new creativity emerges to the world of International Jazz Music

HERAKLION, Crete – Greece and Crete might be famous for its traditional music and dances but it shouldn’t be limited to it. Beside the folkloric aspect of the greek image emerges a generation open to the world, trying to find its own way through the labyrinths of worldwide markets.Since August 2016 the creative effort of two active musicians and music tutors in Heraklion (Crete) has attract the interest of many famous jazz artists. Genius jamtracks is the first and only polyrhythm play along application. It has been very well-received by musicians and universities around the world. Jean Michel Pilc, Sami Amiris, George Kontrafouris and Aimee Nolte present this new application for the study of jazz music: genius jamtracks.Even if play alongs are since many years used especially for the study of jazz music, in the 21th century’s educational methologies the goal of student’s autonomy is gaining more and more ground. This couldn’t be easier with the “invasion” of new technologies in education.  Smartphones, Ipads are a sine qua non condition in every day homework.Relying on these facts and the opportunities that the web is offering Dimitris Neonakis and Antonis Tsikandilakis invested on an innovative idea of a polyrhythmic play along “wishing  to further develop the application in order to make it fully customisable by the user, rendering Genius Jamtracks the most valuable tool in the study of harmony, rhythm and polyrhythms of jazz music.”Its innovation relies on the specificity of Polyrhythm. As the creators say “we are fully aware of the fact that even though polyrhythms are widely considered a vital part of the jazz vocabulary and a core element of contemporary jazz improvisation and composition, there is limited literature and zero advanced software tools available for their study. The necessity for such a tool is what led to the development of Genius Jamtracks.”While media emphasize on the greek crisis and Greece is trying to promote only its touristic image, we can’t ignore these kind of efforts. Supporting innovative ideas could be part of the solution.For more information www.geniusjamtracks.comPhoto Source:TNHRead more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Sailboat full of migrants intercepted off western Greece

A sailboat laden with what Greek authorities described as "refugees and migrants" was located overnight off the resort town of Parga, in the Ionian Sea in western Greece.The same report states that many women and children are on board. Initial reports point to an attempt by migrant smugglers to ferry the irregular migrants to Italy. The coast guard has arrested four men it claims are the traffickers in the operation.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Greek banks aspire to begin online asset auctions within June

Greece's four systemic banks have evolved into some of the biggest property owners in Greece, obtaining ownership of assets worth over 40 billion euros in the past few years.The majority are properties that came under the banks’ full ownership mainly from being the collateral used by borrowers – households and enterprises – who failed to repay their debts. There also are properties used to house bank branches that were shut down, assets belonging to banks’ subsidiaries of banks, etc.According to bank officials, the acquisition of these properties has met all the legal requirements and they do not include assets stemming from nonperforming loans created during the years of crisis, originating, instead, from previous years.Banks are examining various ways to sell them off – including the use of an online platform for investors – so as to be rid of the heavy maintenance costs, to capitalize on the assets and to obtain liquidity that can then be channeled into the economy through loans. Certain lenders are at an advanced stage in the creation of such a platform, aiming to launch the first auctions some time in June.It is estimated that if banks manage to attract foreign investors this could revitalize the Greek property market, which has contracted dramatically in recent years due to the prolonged recession. From 250,000 transactions in 2007, the market dropped to just 20,000 in 2014.Banks have already engaged in certain transactions, selling some small or large properties (such as hotels) to foreign investors. However, more extensive activity,requires other procedures, which would also be simple and transparent. Electronic auctions appear as the best way forward, as they are open, do not require the seller’s physical presence and have low costs, while also keeping out the “vultures” that take advantage of the lack of transparency in conventional auctions.The online platforms will include all the main details of each asset, while potential buyers will be allowed to visit the properties on offer and submit their offers online on certain dates.Bank officials tell Kathimerini that one such platform in the US has sold over 200,000 properties worth $34 million to investors from more than 100 countries in the last decade.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Olympiakos football champions of Greece for 7th time in a row

Olympiakos have won their 7th league in a row to reach a total of 44 championships in their history. The reds dispensed of weak Ioannina 5-0 at home clinching the title with one match in hand. Marin (21’), Da Costa (24’), Seba (29’), De la Bella (71’) and Dominguez (80’ pen.) scored the goals.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Maryland Film Festival first look at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway

BALTIMORE, MD – Over 200 donors, celebrities, and dignitaries joined the Maryland Film Festival to celebrate the opening of the Parkway and the future of film in Baltimore. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway received its first invitation-only audience on the evening of April 20th as donors and supporters descended on the theater for its A First Look preview opening and donor appreciation event.The red-carpet occasion, celebrating 100-plus years of movie history, shined a spotlight on the rare 1915 Italian Renaissance and Beaux-Arts-style movie palace, which has just undergone an $18.2 million renewal bringing it into the 21st century.Located in Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District, the rescued SNF Parkway will serve as home for the Maryland Film Festival (MdFF), owner and operator of the theater. Festival founding director Jed Dietz said the facility will be a year-round cultural anchor for Baltimore’s growing film community, connecting film, filmmakers and audiences. The Parkway will provide Baltimore with curated, bold programming not currently available in the region, and host film classes for students from the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and public and private schools throughout the greater Baltimore area.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

France’s overseas territories kick off critical presidential vote

PARIS (AP) — Polling stations opened Saturday in France’s far-flung overseas territories — one day earlier than on the mainland — for the country’s unpredictable presidential election as the 11 candidates in the race observed a ban on campaigning.France’s 10 percent unemployment and the country’s lackluster economy top voters’ concerns as first-round ballots are cast this weekend in the most nail-biting French election in generations.Opinion polls showed a tight race among the four top contenders vying to get the May presidential 7 runoff that will decide who becomes the next head of state. But the polls also showed that the future of France was largely in the hands of the one-in-three voters who were still undecided.A deadly attack on police on Paris’ famed Champs-Elysees Avenue clouded the last days of campaigning. Security is a prominent issue after a wave of extremist attacks on French soil, including Thursday night’s attack by a gunman who killed a Paris police officer before being shot dead by security forces. The gunman had a note in his pocket praising the Islamic State group.Political campaigning is banned beginning Saturday across France and online and several candidates canceled appearances Friday hours after the attack.Polling centers opened in the Atlantic Ocean territories of Saint Pierre and Miquelon as well as French Guiana in South America, the Caribbean’s Guadeloupe and elsewhere. Voters abroad could also cast ballots in French embassies.Polls suggested that far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist and former economy minister, were in the lead.However, conservative Francois Fillon, a former prime minister whose campaign was initially derailed by corruption allegations that his wife was paid as his non-working parliamentary aide, appeared to be closing the gap, as was far-leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Greek Tourism Minister and US Ambassador discuss policies to attract American tourists and investment

Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura met with U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, to discuss the increase of tourist arrivals from the U.S. in the past two years, as a result of the ministry’s work to boosting the country’s presence in the U.S. tourism market.The minister presented the policies and planning being implemented for the further development of tourist relations aimed at attracting an ever-increasing number of visitors.Kountoura and Pyatt also discussed the latest developments in increasing the number of direct flights between the two countries, after the establishment of a direct, daily route linking Athens and New York throughout the year, as well as the investment opportunities offered in Greece in the tourism sector.The ambassador informed Kountoura about the interest of American groups and businesses in investing in Greece and Greek tourism.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)

Greek opposition leader Mitsotakis: Tsipras offering “stale Chavez” policies

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of major opposition party New Democracy (ND), stressed that the current leftist government of SYRIZA and its leader, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras were not only implementing new memoranda but generating more. In an interview to newspaper “Ta Nea”, Mr. Mitsotakis expressed his confidence that Greece could exit the economic crisis by implementing policies of low taxes, cutting public spending and by applying generous payment terms for non performing loans.The President of ND went on to say that the bureaucratic state had to be combated, underlining the need for privatisations that would generate more jobs and release the competitive nature of Greek entrepreneurs. “Our plan is ambitious, well-thought out and realistic”, he said. Mr. Mitsotakis also pointed out the errors on the part of Greece’s creditors by tolerating the hyper taxation adopted by the Tsipras government, while they were turning a blind eye to the taking over of the public sector by government incumbents.Read more here.RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations , Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism reportLet's block ads! (Why?)