Greece proposes European fund to address soaring gas prices

Greece proposes European fund to address soaring gas prices

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has proposed a multibillion-euro European fund partly financed by a gas levy on power producers to support households and businesses struggling with soaring energy costs and help Europe replace Russian gas, its energy ministry said on Tuesday. To mitigate the impact of sky-rocketing gas and power prices on European consumers and industries following the war in Ukraine, the European Commission, so far, has proposed several emergency EU measures, including windfall profit levies on energy firms and cuts in electricity use. EU countries are negotiating those proposals and aim to approve them when EU energy ministers meet…
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Greek PM tells Turkish people ‘we are not enemies’

Greek PM tells Turkish people ‘we are not enemies’

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Turkey's leadership of undermining peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region at time of war but assured Turkish people that Greece is not a threat to their country. The two countries - North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies but historic foes - have been at odds for decades over a range of issues including where their continental shelves start and end, energy resources, overflights in the Aegean Sea, the status of demilitarised islands and divided Cyprus. "Turkey's leadership seems to have a strange fixation with my country. ... They threaten that Turkey will…
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Greece extends energy bill subsidies ahead of ‘winter battle’

Greece extends energy bill subsidies ahead of ‘winter battle’

ATHENS, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Greece will pay out a further 1.1 billion euros ($1.09 billion) in power bill subsidies in October to shield households and businesses from the impact of soaring energy prices ahead of winter, Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said on Wednesday. Like other European countries, Greece is grappling with a sharp rise in power bills in recent months, driven by rocketing gas prices that have been exacerbated by Russia's seven-month-old invasion of Ukraine. So far, it has devoted over 9 billion euros to power subsidies and other measures since last September to help households, businesses and farmers…
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Greek jobless rate drops to 12.4% in second quarter

Greek jobless rate drops to 12.4% in second quarter

ATHENS, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Greece's jobless rate fell to 12.4 in the second quarter from 13.8% in the first quarter of the year, data by the country's statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday. About 62.6% of Greece's 591,600 jobless are long-term unemployed, meaning they have been out of work for at least 12 months, the figures showed. Greece's highest unemployment rate was recorded in the first quarter of 2014, when it hit 27.8%. The data showed that women and young people in the 15-19 age group were most affected among the jobless. The jobless rate for women was 16.6%…
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Greek actress and singer Irene Papas dies aged 96

Greek actress and singer Irene Papas dies aged 96

ATHENS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Greek actress and singer Irene Papas, who gained international recognition starring in classic 1960s films such as "Zorba the Greek" and "The Guns of Navarone", has died at the age of 96, Greece's culture ministry said on Wednesday. Papas enjoyed a 50-year film career capped by John Madden's "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" in 2001 alongside Hollywood stars Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz, and Manoel de Oliveira's "A Talking Picture" in 2003, her final performance alongside Catherine Deneuve and John Malkovich. "Zorba the Greek", a smash hit in 1964, in which she starred alongside Anthony Quinn and…
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Greek PM says pensions to rise for first time in more than a decade

Greek PM says pensions to rise for first time in more than a decade

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday the minimum wage would rise again next year and pensions would be increased for the first time since the financial crisis erupted more than a decade ago.  During his annual economic policy speech from the northern city of Thessaloniki, Mitsotakis said about 1.5 million pensioners would benefit from the increase. The conservative premier, who faces parliamentary elections in 2023, also announced a 1.8 billion euros ($1.8 billion) plan to help young people rent or purchase a house. Reuters
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Greece tells state entities to save energy or risk losing funding

Greece tells state entities to save energy or risk losing funding

ATHENS, (Reuters) - Greek state entities will risk losing government funding if they fail to implement a government energy-saving plan, ministers said this week, as the country, like its European peers, struggles with soaring gas and power costs. A spike in gas prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sparked a major energy crisis in Europe, prompting some governments to push through multi billion-euro packages to protect households and utilities. Athens in June announced a plan that would see government buildings cut the use of air conditioning and heating, install windows, and turn off computers after working hours to slash…
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Greece complains to NATO and United Nations over Turkey’s remarks

Greece complains to NATO and United Nations over Turkey’s remarks

Greece has sent letters to NATO and the United Nations, complaining over what it called "inflammatory" statements by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and asking them to condemn Ankara's behaviour, diplomatic sources said. The two countries - North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies but historic foes - have been at odds for decades over a range of issues including where their continental shelves start and end, overflights in the Aegean Sea, and divided Cyprus. On Monday, the European Union voiced concern over statements by Erdogan accusing Greece, an EU member, of occupying demilitarised islands in the Aegean and saying Turkey was…
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Erdoğan repeats threat against Greece: We can come suddenly one night

Erdoğan repeats threat against Greece: We can come suddenly one night

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday repeated his stark warning to neighbouring Greece regarding alleged airspace violations over the Aegean Sea. It is time for Athens to "pull themselves together," Erdoğan told reporters in Ankara ahead of his departure for a three-day Balkan tour. Tayyip Erdogan had already on Monday accused Greece of occupying demilitarised islands in the Aegean and said Turkey was ready to "do what is necessary" when the time came. The EU voiced concern over what it called "hostile remarks" after Turkish President Historic rivals while also fellow members of NATO, Turkey and Greece have been at odds over issues ranging from…
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Greece to tap tourism revenues to keep subsidising power bills

Greece to tap tourism revenues to keep subsidising power bills

ATHENS, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Greece plans to tap higher than expected revenues from tourism this year, the country's biggest cash-earner, to keep subsiding power bills, the government spokesman said on Monday. Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said that tourism receipts this year are seen beating the sector's record performance in 2019, topping 18.2 billion euros ($18.1 billion). Those revenues are seen helping Greece finance part of the subsidies it has offered to households and businesses since last year to relieve the burden from rising energy costs after Russia curbed gas supplies to Europe. A significant part of Greek households use…
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Magnitude 5.8 earthquake strikes Crete, Greece region – EMSC

Magnitude 5.8 earthquake strikes Crete, Greece region – EMSC

Sept 3 (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck Greece on Saturday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said. The quake's epicentre was Crete and was 2 km (1.2 miles) below the earth's surface, the EMSC said. The earthquake was also registered in Malta. (Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)
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Greek parliament sets up inquiry commission to probe phone tapping scandal

Greek parliament sets up inquiry commission to probe phone tapping scandal

Greek lawmakers on Monday voted in favour of setting up an inquiry commission to probe the phone tapping of an opposition leader that led Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to sack the head of the country's intelligence service (EYP). The scandal over the wiretapping of Nikos Androulakis, leader of socialist party PASOK, Greece's third-largest political party, has turned up the heat on the conservative premier who brought EYP under his control after taking office three years ago. Mitsotakis has said the phone tapping of Androulakis for reasons of national security was legal but "politically unacceptable." PASOK's request for an inquiry commission passed…
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Photo Story: Athens hit by storm

Photo Story: Athens hit by storm

People seek a way to cross a flooded street during a storm in Athens, Greece, 24 August 2022. Various parts of Greece this week experienced stormy weather and hailstorms are expected in the central and northern areas, Thrace, and the northeastern Aegean Sea. Hailstorms are expected in the central and northern areas, Thrace, and the northeastern Aegean Sea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdwoEEhZuhM&t=44s Photo: EPA-EFE/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU
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UPDATE – Greece’s exit from enhanced EU scrutiny ends 12 years of pain – PM

UPDATE – Greece’s exit from enhanced EU scrutiny ends 12 years of pain – PM

ATHENS, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Greece's exit on Saturday from the European Union's so-called enhanced surveillance framework for its economy ends 12 years of pain and allows the country greater freedom in policy making, its prime minister said. Greece's economic performance and policies have been closely monitored under the framework since 2018 to ensure it implemented reforms promised under three international bailouts - totalling more than 260 billion euros ($261 billion) - from the European Union and the IMF between 2010 and 2015. EU officials had confirmed Saturday's exit earlier this month, saying Athens had delivered on the bulk of its commitments. …
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Dozens missing after Greece rescues 29 migrants from capsized boat

Dozens missing after Greece rescues 29 migrants from capsized boat

ATHENS, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Dozens of migrants are reported missing from a sunken boat after Greece's coastguard rescued 29 in the Aegean Sea on Wednesday. The rescued migrants said their boat had set out from Antalya, Turkey, heading towards Italy with 60 to 80 people aboard, according to a coastguard spokesperson. It had capsized and sunk off the island of Karpathos in the southern Aegean, spokesperson Nikos Kokkalas told state television. The search and rescue operation had begun in the early morning hours amid strong winds, he added. The rescued migrants were Afghans, Iranians and Iraqis, another coastguard official…
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Greek PM tells nation was unaware of phone tapping of opposition party leader

Greek PM tells nation was unaware of phone tapping of opposition party leader

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated on Monday that he was unaware that Socialist Party (PASOK) leader Nikos Androulakis' phone had been tapped in 2021, seeking to distance himself in a speech to the nation from a growing political scandal. The case, which broke last week, has sparked uproar, with opposition parties demanding a thorough investigation and labelling the revelations Mitsotakis' personal Watergate. The prime minister, whose party faces a battle for re-election next year, apologised to Androulakis on Saturday, saying he had no knowledge of the intelligence service tap and would not have approved it. On Monday Mitsotakis added…
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Greek PM apologises to opposition party leader over surveillance – paper

Greek PM apologises to opposition party leader over surveillance – paper

ATHENS (Reuters) -Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis apologised to the leader of the country's opposition Socialist party for not knowing that he had been wiretapped by Greece's intelligence service in 2021, adding he would never have allowed it. The case has shocked Greeks and sparked political uproar. The head of the intelligence service EYP, Panagiotis Kontoleon, resigned on Friday following allegations made by Socialist leader Nikos Androulakis and a journalist that they had been wiretapped. In a preview of Sunday's To Vima newspaper, Mitsotakis was quoted as saying: "I wasn't aware, I would have never allowed it. I owe Mr.…
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Greece says tourism rebound will help ease cost of energy crisis

Greece says tourism rebound will help ease cost of energy crisis

Greece is having a better-than-expected summer tourism season and this year's revenues will help alleviate the impact of soaring energy prices on society, government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said this week. Tourism accounts for a fifth of the Greek economy and one in five jobs. Government and industry officials had forecast this year's revenues from the vital sector could reach 80% to 90% of the record-high level seen in 2019. Some officials are now hopeful this year could beat that record. "As we go through the first days of August, we can see that tourism traffic in our country is registering…
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Greek intelligence service admits spying on journalist

Greek intelligence service admits spying on journalist

The head of Greek intelligence told a parliamentary committee his agency had spied on a journalist, two sources present said, in a disclosure that coincides with growing pressure on the government to shed light on the use of surveillance malware. The committee's closed-door hearing last week was called after the leader of the socialist opposition PASOK party lodged a complaint with top court prosecutors over an attempted bugging of his mobile phone with surveillance software. PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis made his complaint amid growing concern among European Union officials about spyware merchants and the use of surveillance software. At the…
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Greek unemployment eases to 12.5% in May

Greek unemployment eases to 12.5% in May

ATHENS, July 28 (Reuters) - Greece's jobless dropped to 12.5% in May from an upwardly revised 12.6% in the previous month, data from statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday. Seasonally adjusted data showed 596,056 people were officially unemployed, with those under the age of 24 years the hardest hit.
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Wildfire burns coastal homes in Greek island Lesbos, beach resort evacuated

Wildfire burns coastal homes in Greek island Lesbos, beach resort evacuated

ATHENS (Reuters) -A wildfire that started in mountainous forests on the Greek island of Lesbos near Turkey on Saturday burned properties at the beach resort of Vatera as more aircraft joined firefighting efforts. Authorities earlier ordered the evacuation of the Aegean sea resort as the wildfire approached dangerously close, fanned by strong winds. Thick billowing smoke could be seen in the area. One fleeing resident told state TV ERT that her home was on fire.  "We are battling to save homes," Taxiarchis Verros, mayor of western Lesbos, told the broadcaster. Vatera, an 8 km (five miles) long sandy beach in…
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Southern Europe continues roasting as forest fires blaze

Southern Europe continues roasting as forest fires blaze

 Much of Southern Europe remained in the grasp of sweltering heat on Friday, as forest fires continued to blaze in a number of spots. For large parts of Greece, for example, meteorologists are expecting a long heatwave that will last until the beginning of August. The mercury in Athens had already climbed to 30 degrees Celsius early on Friday morning. At the weekend and in the days thereafter, temperatures are expected to reach around 40 degrees, according to the Office of Meteorology. The civil defence force warned that the danger of fire was extremely high. Even at night, temperatures in…
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Greece opposes EU plan to cut gas use, plans power cuts in emergency

Greece opposes EU plan to cut gas use, plans power cuts in emergency

ATHENS, July 21 (Reuters) - Greece opposes an EU plan for countries to cut their gas use by 15% by March, a government spokesman said on Thursday, after the country unveiled a contingency plan which sees rotating power outages as a last resort if Russian gas supplies are disrupted. The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a voluntary target for all EU countries to cut gas use by 15% from August to March, compared with their average consumption in the same period during 2016-2021.  "The Greek government does not agree in principle with the EU proposal for a 15% reduction in gas usage",…
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Wildfire rages near Athens; homes damaged, hospital evacuated

Wildfire rages near Athens; homes damaged, hospital evacuated

ATHENS, July 20 (Reuters) - Hundreds of firefighters on Wednesday battled a wildfirethat raged for a second day in mountains near Athens, burning homes and cars and forcing the evacuation of at least nine settlements and a hospital. Gale-force windsand thick smoke in the Penteli region hindered fire-fighting efforts from the air and on the ground, authorities said. Strong winds were forecast to persist until Wednesday afternoon. The wildfire broke out around 1430 GMT on Tuesday, some 27 km (16 miles) north of the capital and was still burning on several fronts. The billowing smoke was visible from the island of Evia some 50 km…
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UPDATE – Crew killed in cargo plane crash in Greece, airline Meridian says

UPDATE – Crew killed in cargo plane crash in Greece, airline Meridian says

KYIV (Reuters) - All the crew were killed when an Antonov An-12 cargo plane crashed in northern Greece late on Saturday, an official at Ukraine's Meridian cargo airline said on Sunday. "Of course they didn't survive this," the official told Reuters by telephone, declining to comment further. (Reporting by Max Hunder; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by David Goodman) EARLIER - Cargo plane with Serbian defence material crashes in northern Greece ATHENS (Reuters) -A Ukrainian cargo plane carrying munitions from Serbia to Bangladesh crashed near the city of Kavala in northern Greece late on Saturday, Serbian authorities said on Sunday.…
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TUI forecasts record tourist demand for Greece this year

TUI forecasts record tourist demand for Greece this year

ATHENS, July 10 (Reuters) - Holiday group TUI expects the highest level of demand for Greece on record this year, its director of Communications Aage Duenhaupt told Athens news agency on Sunday. Tourism accounts for about 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product and has a crucial role in helping the economy to emerge from a decade-long debt crisis followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. "Greece is again this summer one of the most popular holiday destinations. We expect the highest level of demand ever," Duenhaupt said. "In total the group is expected to bring around 3 million holidaymakers to Greece. A higher number…
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Greek PM rules out snap election

Greek PM rules out snap election

ATHENS, July 7 (Reuters) - Greece's prime minister ruled out an early election on Thursday, quashing speculation at home that a snap poll could be held this fall before his popularity takes a hit from the energy crisis. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was elected in 2019, said his priority was stability to complete reforms. His conservative government wants to take advantage of its four-year term's final stretch to recover the ground lost in tackling crises such as the COVID pandemic and to continue economic reforms. "I'm not looking at opinion polls for a clearing to call elections," Mitsotakis told Skai radio.…
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Greece reports first toddler death of severe acute hepatitis

Greece reports first toddler death of severe acute hepatitis

ATHENS, (Reuters) - Greece reported its first baby death from severe acute hepatitis on Wednesday, the country's national health agency EODY said. The 13-month-old baby had been hospitalised with a high fever and was later diagnosed with liver failure and cerebral edema due to severe acute hepatitis, the agency said. An outbreak of severe hepatitis in young children was first reported in April in Britain and has since hit dozens of other countries. In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that thirty-three countries had reported 920 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis in children, a jump of 270 from…
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Greece says gas link with Bulgaria completed, can start operation this month

Greece says gas link with Bulgaria completed, can start operation this month

ATHENS, July 6 (Reuters) - A long-delayed gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria aimed at helping Sofia cut its reliance on Russian gas has been completed and can start commercial operations this month, Greece's energy minister said on Wednesday. The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which has hit several administrative hurdles in recent years, is important for the energy security of Bulgaria, which has been cut off Russian gas for refusing to pay in roubles following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. The 220 million euro ($226 million) pipeline will carry gas from the northern Greek city of Komotini to Stara Zagora in Bulgaria and be…
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Wildfire rages north of Athens, one town evacuated

Wildfire rages north of Athens, one town evacuated

ATHENS, July 4 (Reuters) - A large wildfire raged out of control north of Athens on Monday, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of a nearby coastal town as a precaution. Strong winds fanned the flames in the area of Schimatari, about 50 km (30 miles) outside the capital amid soaring temperatures. Officials urged residents to leave the town of Dilesi and halted a local train service as more than 100 firefighters, backed by four aircraft and two helicopters, battled the blaze. Emergency crews were also trying to put out a fire in the area of Achaia, in the southern…
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Certain jellyfish in relative decline in Greek waters

Certain jellyfish in relative decline in Greek waters

The number of dangerous purple jellyfish are now in relative decline as there have not been any recent reports of dense congregations, researchers at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE) have said. Tentacles of purple jellyfish that can reach up to 2 meters, carry a very painful sting and have proliferated in several parts of the Aegean and Ionian seas this year. “This [decline] is evident from the fact that, according to the reports we receive from port authorities as well as citizens, we do not have cases of large concentrations of purple jellyfish – i.e. no swarms have…
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Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece tugged to Piraeus port

Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece tugged to Piraeus port

ATHENS, July 2 (Reuters) - An Iranian-flagged tanker seized by Greece in April, part of whose cargo was confiscated by the United States, was being towed to the port of Piraeus on Saturday, Greek coast guard officials said, after Greek authorities approved its release. For over two months the Iranian-flagged Lana has been anchored off the Greek island of Evia in a diplomatic impasse which strained Athens' relations with Tehran amid growing tensions between Iran and the United States. "It left Karystos at 06:30 am (0330 GMT) and is expected to reach Piraeus around 10:00 pm," one official said. Greek authorities in…
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Greece to submit request for purchase of 20 Lockheed F-35 fighter jets soon

Greece to submit request for purchase of 20 Lockheed F-35 fighter jets soon

ATHENS, June 30 (Reuters) - Greece is expected to send an official request in the coming days to the United States for the purchase of 20 Lockheed Martin made F-35 fighter jets, defence sources said on Thursday. NATO member Greece spends more than 2% of its gross domestic product on defence spending. It has beefed up its military purchases in recent years as tensions with its neighbor, historic rival and NATO ally, Turkey have resurfaced. "The relevant document has been signed," one of the sources said. Deliveries of the jets will begin in 2027-2028. According to state TV ERT the Letter of…
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Greece to subsidise new fridges, air conditioners to cut energy bill

Greece to subsidise new fridges, air conditioners to cut energy bill

ATHENS, June 20 (Reuters) - Greece will offer households subsidies to help them replace their old fridges and air conditioners and cut down on soaring power bills, the government said on Monday. Like many other EU countries, Greece has been gripped by soaring energy costs, a trend which has been exacerbated following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its cutting of gas flows to several countries in Europe. Since last year, the country has taken several measures at a total cost of about 7 billion euro, including subsidies, to help households pay their electricity and pump fuel bills. Greek households will be able…
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Greek coastguard rescues 108 migrants off Mykonos, four missing

Greek coastguard rescues 108 migrants off Mykonos, four missing

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's coastguard continued to search for four missing migrants off the island of Mykonos on Sunday after rescuing another 108 migrants on a sailboat that sent a distress signal late on Saturday, officials said. A coastguard vessel located the sailboat about 1.8 nautical miles southeast of Delos, a small island near Mykonos. The sailboat was taking in water and was towed safely to a Mykonos port. Mykonos is a popular island in the Aegean sea known for its vibrant nightlife.  The nationality of the 108 rescued migrants, among them 24 women and 21 children, had not yet…
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Greek unemployment eases to 12.5% in April

Greek unemployment eases to 12.5% in April

ATHENS, June 15 (Reuters) - Greece's jobless rate fell to 12.5% in April from an upwardly revised 12.6% in the previous month, data from statistics service ELSTAT showed on Wednesday. Seasonally adjusted data showed 587,595 people were officially unemployed, with those under the age of 24 years the hardest hit. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)
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Greek PM says EU must integrate Western Balkans by 2033 -Politico

Greek PM says EU must integrate Western Balkans by 2033 -Politico

ATHENS, (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the European Union should offer the integration of all six nations of the Western Balkans into the EU by 2033 in what he called a "bold but necessary step". Russia's invasion of Ukraine has lent a new sense of urgency to the need to tie Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Kosovo closer to the 27-member EU, in part to counter growing Russian and Chinese influence in the region. The link could entail full membership or an alternative community. In an article published in Politico ahead of a summit in…
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Greece, Saudi Arabia eye fibre optic data cable to link Europe with Asia

Greece, Saudi Arabia eye fibre optic data cable to link Europe with Asia

Greece and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday on the main terms to set up a joint venture to lay a fibre optic data cable that will link Europe with Asia, Greek sources said. The "East to Med data Corridor", an undersea and land data cable, will be developed by MENA HUB, owned by Saudi Arabia's STC and Greek telecoms and satellite applications company TTSA. Greece's power utility Public Power Company (PPC) and Cyprus' telecoms operator CYTA, will also hold a stake in the project, pending final corporate approvals, a Greek diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The final closing…
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Greece plans to reduce state energy consumption by 30% by 2030

Greece plans to reduce state energy consumption by 30% by 2030

ATHENS, June 9 (Reuters) - Greece on Thursday urged state entities to reduce use of air conditioning, install window shields and shut computers after working hours, to help cut electricity consumption and set an example for the rest of the country. Greece has been subsidising households since September to help consumers cope with ballooning power bills amid soaring gas prices, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. The government has spent about 7 billion euros in subsidies so far. The country now plans to slash state energy consumption by 10% in the short term and by at least 30% by 2030 to save…
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Wildfire rages near Athens, threatens homes

Wildfire rages near Athens, threatens homes

ATHENS (Reuters) - A wildfire raged on the outskirts of Athens on Saturday, threatening homes and power lines, a fire brigade official said. Fanned by strong winds, the fire quickly spread across the slopes of Mount Hymettus which overlooks the Greek capital, sending thick clouds of smoke over the southern suburbs. Civil protection authorities started precautionary evacuations in some parts of the Voula and Glyfada regions about 20 kilometres from Athens centre. "The winds are very intense, we have damage in a few houses and some cars, no injuries," said the fire brigade official who declined to be named. More…
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EU to send more than 200 firefighters to Greece for the summer season

EU to send more than 200 firefighters to Greece for the summer season

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Norway will be stationed in Greece to provide immediate support in the event of major wildfires during the summer, the European Commission said. A spate of wildfires scorched about 300,000 acres of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece last summer, amid the country's worst heatwave in 30 years. Following sharp criticism of its response to the fires, the Greek government set up a new civil protection ministry and promised to boost firefighting capacities as part of its battle to tackle global warming. "In August 2021,…
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UPDATED: Germany to send IRIS-T air defence system to Ukraine -Scholz

UPDATED: Germany to send IRIS-T air defence system to Ukraine -Scholz

BERLIN, June 1 (Reuters) - Germany will supply Ukraine with the IRIS-T medium-range surface-to-air defence system, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, following pleas from Kyiv as well as German opposition parties to step up heavy weapons deliveries to the country. "We have been delivering continuously since the beginning of the war," Scholz said on Wednesday, pointing to more than 15 million rounds of ammunition, 100,000 hand grenades and over 5,000 anti-tank mines sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24. "Most recently, the government has decided that we will deliver the most modern air defence system that Germany has in…
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Greece lifts COVID curbs for travellers ahead of key summer season

Greece lifts COVID curbs for travellers ahead of key summer season

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece lifted COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday for foreign and domestic flights, its civil aviation authority said, ahead of the summer tourism season that officials hope will see revenues bouncing back from the pandemic slump. To fly in or out of the country, travellers were previously required to show either a vaccination certificate, a certificate saying they orohad recovered from coronavirus or a negative test. From May 1, passengers and crew will need only to wear a face mask, the civil aviation authority said. The summer tourism season typically begins after the Greek Orthodox Easter, which was on…
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Greece, Turkey trade barbs over Aegean airspace incursions

Greece, Turkey trade barbs over Aegean airspace incursions

ATHENS/ANKARA, (Reuters) - Greece accused its neighbour Turkey of undermining NATO unity by violating its airspace with fighter jets, prompting an angry Turkish response that blamed Athens for "provocative" violations of its own airspace. On Wednesday, Greece's foreign ministry said it protested to the Turkish ambassador in Athens over a series of overflights in the Aegean Sea, saying they were unlawful and an "unacceptable provocation" Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he had informed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg of the issue. "I made it clear to the Secretary General that this type of behaviour by a NATO ally... is unacceptable,"…
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Greece to raise minimum wage from May 1 to boost low incomes

Greece to raise minimum wage from May 1 to boost low incomes

Greece will raise the minimum wage from May 1 for a second time this year, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced as rising inflation takes a toll on household incomes. "The global surge in inflation is hitting low incomes. From May 1 the basic wage will rise by 50 euros a month to 713 euros a month," Mitsotakis said in a televised address. The conservative government raised the monthly gross minimum wage by about 2% to 663 euros in January, meaning that with the new increase the minimum wage will go up by 9.7%. Consumer inflation in Greece surged to 8.9%…
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UPDATED: Russian tanker impounded by Greece will be released

UPDATED: Russian tanker impounded by Greece will be released

ATHENS, April 21 (Reuters) - A Russian tanker impounded by Greek authorities off the island of Evia this week will be released, the coast guard said on Thursday. Greek authorities had said on Tuesday the 115,500-deadweight tonnage Russian-flagged Pegas, with 19 Russian crew members on board, was impounded near Karystos, on the southern coast of Evia, as part of EU sanctions. "The coast guard has been ordered by the anti-money laundering authority to release the vessel," a government official said, without providing further details. A coast guard official confirmed it had received the decision made by the anti-money laundering unit, an independent…
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Greece lifts COVID restrictions for summer tourism season

Greece lifts COVID restrictions for summer tourism season

ATHENS, April 13 (Reuters) - Greece said on Wednesday that pandemic restrictions such as mask-wearing indoors and COVID certificates will be lifted throughout the summer tourism period and authorities will consider reinstating them in September. Coronavirus infections in Greece have eased in recent weeks, with authorities recording 15,000 infections and 64 deaths on Tuesday. Out of a population of 11 million, some 72% are fully vaccinated. Greece's vital summer tourism season typically begins after the Orthodox Easter, which this year falls on April 24. Greece is expecting high numbers of visitors this year, with officials predicting revenues reaching 80% of…
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Greece seeks war crimes probe in besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol

Greece seeks war crimes probe in besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol

ATHENS, April 7 (Reuters) - Greece will ask the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes in the Russian-besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, home to a large Greek community, its foreign minister said on Thursday. Mariupol, an industrial port city close to the eastern breakaway Donetsk People's Republic, had a pre-war population of around 400,000, but the city has been devastated by regular bombardment since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Tens of thousands are trapped, according to the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces. "Greece has a specific, special interest in Mariupol because of the existence of 100,000 and more…
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Greek workers strike over soaring prices, low wages

Greek workers strike over soaring prices, low wages

ATHENS, April 6 (Reuters) - Greek workers began a day-long nationwide strike on Wednesday over what they call a "deepening crisis" of rising prices and squeezed incomes, disrupting transport, ferries, schools and public hospitals. The country's two biggest labour unions, representing about 2.5 million public and private sector workers, called the general strike expected to culminate in a protest in central Athens. Greece emerged from a decade of financial crisis in 2018, only for the coronavirus pandemic to bring global travel to a standstill two years later, hurting its vital tourism industry. Now, soaring energy prices, exacerbated by sanctions against…
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Greek supermarkets limit flour, sunflower oil purchases as customers hoard

Greek supermarkets limit flour, sunflower oil purchases as customers hoard

Supermarket chains in Greece said they are restricting how much flour and sunflower oil customers can buy, saying the step was precautionary after seeing demand rise on worries supplies will be hit due to the war in Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a surge in prices and concerns about product shortages across industries in the European Union. Both Russia and Ukraine are key suppliers of sunflower oil and wheat. Following similar measures in Spain and Italy, four Greek supermarket chains - AB, Sklavenitis, Kritikos and My Market - said they had limited online and in some…
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UPDATED: HSBC sells Greek bank branch business

UPDATED: HSBC sells Greek bank branch business

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - HSBC HSBA.L announced on Monday it has agreed to sell its branch operations in Greece to local bank Pancreta Bank, as the lender further sharpens its focus on its biggest market Asia. The deal is part of a multi-year restructuring by HSBC, which included axing its loss-making U.S. retail ba HSBC said the in-principle agreement to sell its Greek retail business by its HSBC Continental Europe unit was expected to complete in the first half of 2023. HSBC, which has operated in Greece since 1981, has assets of around 2 billion euros ($2.19 billion) in the country. The bank…
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Turkey, Greece agree to improve ties amid Ukraine conflict

Turkey, Greece agree to improve ties amid Ukraine conflict

ISTANBUL, March 13 (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis agreed in talks in Istanbul on Sunday to keep communication channels open and improve ties despite disagreements, the Turkish presidency said. The two countries carry a special responsibility in the security architecture in Europe, which has changed with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and their increased cooperation will have regional benefits, the presidency said after the talks. (Reporting by Yesim Dikmen; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Hugh Lawson) Photo - A handout photo made available by the Turkish President Press Office shows, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan…
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Greece moves to curb profiteering as fuel, consumer goods prices rise

Greece moves to curb profiteering as fuel, consumer goods prices rise

ATHENS, March 4 (Reuters) - Greece will fix a cap on gross profit margins on fuel, food and other consumer goods to help curb profiteering, its development ministry said, as Western sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine boosted world prices of commodities. January's annual consumer inflation of 6.2% was the highest in Greece in at least 21 years, spurred by energy costs as prices of oil, gas and wheat, among other commodities, have soared after the sanctions disrupted global supply chains.  Greece plans to legislate gross profit restrictions on goods or services essential for health, food, transport and safety that will kick…
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Greece to send defence supplies to Ukraine

Greece to send defence supplies to Ukraine

ATHENS, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Greece is sending defence supplies to Ukraine in response to a request from the Ukrainian government, the prime minister's office said on Sunday. Two C-130 military transport planes will carry the supplies to Poland in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, it said. It will then be transported across the border to Ukraine. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was briefed on the situation in Ukraine by the country's defence minister and the head of Greece's national defence staff. Athens is also sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine on Sunday. Ten Greek nationals were killed and six…
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Greek December current account deficit widens, tourism revenues up

Greek December current account deficit widens, tourism revenues up

ATHENS, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Greece's current account balance showed a wider deficit in December last year compared to the same month in 2020 while tourism revenues rose, the Bank of Greece said on Monday. Central bank data showed the current account gap reached 1.707 billion euros ($1.94 billion) from a deficit of 0.639 billion euros in December 2020. The Bank of Greece said the widening of the current account deficit was the result of a larger trade gap as imports outpaced exports. At constant prices exports were down 1.5% while imports rose 17.1%. In 2021 as a whole, Greece's current account…
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First fatality reported in Greece after blaze on ferry

First fatality reported in Greece after blaze on ferry

Firefighters battling a blaze on a ferry sailing from Greece to Italy recovered on Sunday the body of a passenger listed as missing, Greek authorities said. It is the first reported fatality after rescuers managed to take at least 281 out of 292 passengers and crew to safety from a blaze which broke out on the Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia early on Friday. The ferry had been on its way to the Italian port of Brindisi from Igoumenitsa in Greece when it was engulfed by flames off the island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea. https://twitter.com/pyrosvestiki/status/1494656383144366083 Many of the passengers were…
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