Sunday, May 27, 2012

Live Music Every Friday Night in Milatos


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Olympic Flame in Agios Nikolaos

My friend Jan reading the prayer for the athletes at the Olympic games in London, when the flame came to Agios Nikolaos on its way around Greece before heading for Britain. I think she did very well. The dancers too were excellent!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Meeting of the Environment Committee of the Region of Crete

The story of CRETE TV on yesterday's meeting of the Environment Committee of the Region of Crete about the proposed hydro-electric dam planned for Azilakodasos (The Oak forest) between Vrahassi and Krasi. As you can see the locals are not at all happy, and why should they be. Their land is about to be snatched from them, the total beauty of the place with be ruined, not to mention the destruction of the natural habitat of the Griffon Vulture and other wild birds and animals.

Night Out in Sissi

Tonight David and I went out with friends to dine in Sissi. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and we had lovely food at the Fisherman's Hook (Agistri) on the harbour. Unfortunately there were not many people out, maybe it was due to the weather, or maybe it is still early in the season, but Sissi was not buzzing. It could also have been because people had stayed in to watch the football. Whatever!

I did get to talk with a very interesting Greek gentleman about the fight to stop the construction of wind turbines, and a hydro-electric dam in the hills between Vrahassi and Krasi. He was very optimistic that this could be accomplished. This is good news, and I only hope that all goes well with the struggle to keep this land as natural as possible.

The rain today brought cooler temperatures but I think it is typical for May. June will come blazing in before we know it, and hopefully bring more tourists to help the businesses remain solvent. So, tomorrow I will start to prepare for summer and get the garden furniture out ready for painting. As for tonight, it is just past midnight and time for bediebies.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Love Jane x

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Prime Minister for Greece

The new prime minister is Panayiotis Pikramenos, chief judge of the Council of State.

And there will be another general election on June 17th.

Local News - Yesterday, a 77 year old woman was robbed of 46,000 euro which she had just taken out of the National Bank in Agios Nikolaos.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What if Greece Exits Euro?

Viewpoints: What if Greece exits euro?

Protestors in Athens If Greece left the euro, inflation and unemployment would probably rise
Greek politicians are struggling to form a new government.
There are powerful factions that do not want the austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international lenders.
But unless Greece can satisfy the demands of the European Union and the IMF, then they will cut off Greece's last remaining lines of credit.
Without that, Greece will not be able to pay its bills and could drop out of the euro altogether.
Below are the views of several experts on what would happen if Greece were to leave the euro.

Carsten Brzeski, senior economist, ING Belgium

Chaos. Greek banks would go bust. Greek companies would go bust. Unemployment would go up. The new drachma loses lots of value.
Food and energy prices go through the roof. It would be an explosive cocktail.
The turmoil would weigh on growth. The outlook for the eurozone would worsen.

Michael Arghyrou, senior economics lecturer, Cardiff Business School

The drachma would be devalued by at least 50%, causing inflation.
Interest rates will have to double and all mortgages, business loans and other borrowing will become much more expensive.
There will be no credit for Greek banks or the Greek state.
That could mean a shortage of basic commodities, like oil or medicine or even foodstuffs.
A lot of Greek firms rely on foreign suppliers, who may cut off Greek customers. Greek companies could be driven out of business.
Greece will lose its only reference point of stability, which was its euro status.
The country would end up in a volatile period. There would be institutional weakness.
The worst case scenario would be a social and economic breakdown, perhaps even leading to a totalitarian regime.

Sony Kapoor, managing director of the Re-Define think tank

I think that either the Greeks or European policy makers talking about an exit in a casual blase way are being highly, highly irresponsible.
Total cost versus the total benefit remains overwhelmingly negative, both for the eurozone and Greece.
In one shot, a Greek exit could undo a large part of good work in Ireland and Portugal.
If you are a Portuguese saver with money in the bank, even if there is a small likelihood of losing that money, it would make perfect sense to move euro deposits while you can to a safer haven, like the Netherlands and Germany.
There would be a significant deposit flight in peripheral countries.
It would immediately weigh on investment in the real economy, because corporations would be very reluctant to invest anything at all.

Megan Greene, director of European economics at Roubini Global Economics

You would see cascading bank defaults in Greece and everybody would take money out of Portuguese and Spanish banks.
A big part could be plugged by the European Central Bank (ECB) through a liquidity operation that would backstop the banks.
The ECB has already done that several times and it would step up to the plate again.
But that would not stem the political contagion or unrest. We have seen four elections in two weeks. In Greece, France, Italy and Germany, electorates have voted against austerity at home.
However, Greece is a small country and the rest of the eurozone has been making provision for this for a long time now.
The eurozone could survive a Greek exit. Depending on the choreography, the exit could be better for everyone involved if managed in a co-ordinated orderly way.
But if it were done by a unilateral default, an exit would be a worse option for Greece.

Jeremy Stretch, head of forex research, CIBC

In the currency market, we are already seeing money fleeing to safe havens.
The alternatives are few and far between for those who want to stand aside from the euro.
The dollar is performing relatively well. The dollar index - the dollar against a basket of other major currencies - is at the highest level in two months.
A new drachma would not be the most widely trading currency in the world and would probably drop in value by 50%.

Jan Randolph, head of sovereign risk, IHS Global Insight

What everyone is missing is a third possibility.
If credit is withdrawn by the EU and IMF, then Greece becomes a cash economy. It means the government can only pay what it collects.
The government starts shutting down, 10-15% of state employees don't get paid and unemployment surges from 20% to 30%.
But Greece can still use the euro.
It would be difficult for the ECB to keep banks afloat. The Greek banking sector would collapse as well.
That would cause more unemployment, as credit for companies would dry up.
What happens next is a political question.
European nations would probably not accept another Western European country descending into chaos and collapse.
The EU and IMF would probably negotiate some kind of aid. But Greece could continue with the euro.

Article from Ekathimerini today.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Music Soiree May 2012 - Year 4

My progress after three and a half years of study. I am looking forward to improving - onwards and upwards, as they say.

I'm just back from our Poetry Club meeting, we are still trying to establish a group, but today we did get a couple of visitors.

And now I'm going to relaxe for an hour before having a sort out in the back garden.

Byeeeeeee! Jane x

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ladies Wot Dine Out!

Rosemarie's birthday was celebrated in style last night. We all enjoyed a good girlie natter while we stuffed with food and the odd glass of wine in Latsida. It was a lovely night out, whose birthday is it next? (Thanks for the picture Lydia).

And today was another wonderful day in the company of friends at Fourni, where we had a little music soiree. (Pictures later)

Poetry club tomorrow in Neapolis - life is on the up! God knows the political news is depressing enough, I think it is best to just sit back and wait for the crash, then just ride with it when it comes. All this newspaper stuff is doing my head in. I need space to create, move over all things to do with the euro and Europe, I feel joyous words clamouring to be expressed!

Bye for now,
Jane x

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fixing Sissi Harbour - Work to Begin Soon

 According to a report in the Vrachasi Blog, work will begin to fix the harbour wall at Sissi in the next few days.

This is a short translation from the blog:

 About cleaning the harbor Sissi inform our readership that became the 3.5.2012 auction, which was attended by two contractors.
There was some objection, so the successful contractor is Mr. Dimitris Atsalakis.
Hopefully in a few days will start to clean and will not go elsewhere tourist boats ...

Jane x

Olympic Flame in Agios Nikolaos

Την Παρασκευή 11/5/12 στις 3.00 μ.μ. στη Λίμνη η υποδοχή της Ολυμπιακής Φλόγας στον Άγιο Νικόλαο 

Friday 11/5/12 at 3 p.m. at the lake, Agios Nikolaos

Monday, May 7, 2012

ND and Pasok dominance dealt 'fatal blow'

by George Gilson
6 May 2012

The Greek electorate dealt a fatal blow to the decades-old hegemony of the two parties, Pasok and New Democracy, that approved the harsh EU-IMF bailout memorandum.
New Democracy placed first as expected, but its 19.18 percent is a far cry for a parliamentary majority, and a steep drop from its 33.5 percent when ND was routed in 2008. Many expected a strong backlash from the centrist, liberal faction of the party, which has criticised leader Antonis Samaras’ strategy.
The results noted are as announced at 9.30 pm, with about a fifth of the votes counted, by the Singular Logic company that is processing the returns.
ND was decimated by its leader’s decision to expel about 20 MPs that voted down the bailout memorandum. The Independent Greeks, an ND splinter party, is garnering 10.5 percent. Party leader Panos Kammenos suggested that MPs may break party lines to form an ant-memorandum coalition, and he alluded to possible leadership challenges in parties.
The astounding success of the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza), which is poised with 16.5 percent, to become the main opposition, is the greatest upset of the election. That guarantees party leader Alexis Tsipras an exploratory mandate, if Samaras fails to form government, to see if he can form a left-wing anti-memorandum government, as he pledged.
The total collapse of Pasok is the most dramatic development in the election, as its 13.6 percent is about 30 percentage points less than its 2009 showing. Only in the 1970s, before the party first came to power, did it record a lower result.
Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos said there was no clear mandate for any single party. He called for a national unity government, comprised of all pro-EU parties, regardless of their position on the harsh fiscal adjustment programme.
Venizelos said that the electorate completely upset the political scene, and he attributed the electoral disaster to the fact that Pasok on its own had to manage the crisis all on its own.
“We embittered the people to protect the future of the nation. History will judge,” Venizelos said after the 9.30pm results. “Let the God of Greece help us!” he proclaimed, declaring that the party must be “reborn”.
Venizelos noted that a Pasok-ND coalition is not feasible, and that a coalition government needs broader participation.
“We are back to where we started in 1974,” Pasok MP Petros Efthimiou told private Mega TV after Venizelos’ statement. 
Parties that are pro-EU but oppose the memorandum include Fotis Kouvelis’ Democratic Left, which is expected to receive about six percent. Panos Kammenos’ anti-memorandum Independent Greeks is not anti-EU per se, but Kammenos says he will not cooperate with the leaders of Pasok and ND, whom he denounces as “traitors”.
The Communist Party (KKE) appeared to gain little support from the crisis, as its 8.5 percent is just a tad higher than the 7.54 percent it received in 2009.
The entry into parliament of the extreme right Golden Dawn party, with a projected seven percent, is one of the most alarming results of the election. That would give the neo-Nazi party about 22 seats in the 300 member legislature.
Three parties appear to be a hair’s breadth from entering parliament. Both right wing Laos and the Ecogreens are projected to receive about 2.9 percent, a sliver shy of the three percent threshold. Dora Bakoyannis’ Democratic Alliance garnered 2.7 percent in the 9:30 pm projections, based on 50 percent of the nationwide count.
Report from the Athens News
7 May 2012

So, it is far from over! 
Jane x

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Odd Poets of Crete

I'm feeling resurrected! I still have the dress, still got the mike, and plenty more poems to share. And now I have company too. I am pleased to announce that The Odd Poets of Crete officially met last week to discuss poets and poetry, and we shall be gearing up for a reading pretty soon. So, if there are any interested poets out there who would like to join us, come to Driros cafebar in Neapolis on Monday morning at 11 a.m. Bring some of your work, or a poem which you particularly like.

Jane x

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kalo Mina - Helping Hand

MAGIC! And it is! Though have you any idea how much time has been spent by all of these musicians to reach this state of excellence? God how I would like to be involved in such a recording! Well, keep practicing Jane!

Kalo Mina Everyone,

I did intend getting out there to pick wild flowers today, but watching this video has made me all the more determined to kick ass with Valentino. Get to those scales Jane, cellos don't play themselves. And anyway, it's a bit chilly outside.

Speaking of outside, looking out of my window I can see a man on a roof fixing a water system for a neighbour. In the street his mates are preparing to barbecue. Hm... maybe I will go out after all, I've a couple of chops in the fridge, and half a bottle of...STOP! See the big picture gal, SCALES.
Okay, it was just a thought. Hope you enjoy the video as much as I do.

Have a lovely Mayday wherever you are.
Love Jane x