Senior Correspondent, Greece
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Jun 26, 2012

Greece to choose new finance minister to tackle debt

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek coalition leaders aim to agree on a new finance minister on Tuesday after their first choice deepened the chaos surrounding the country’s debt crisis by resigning over ill health a few days after being named.

Vassilis Rapanos quit on Monday less than a week after the conservative-led government took office with the huge task of trying to persuade foreign lenders to soften the terms of an international bailout that has enraged Greeks.

Jun 26, 2012

Greece to choose new finmin to tackle debt

ATHENS, June 26 (Reuters) – Greek coalition leaders aim to
agree on a new finance minister on Tuesday after their first
choice deepened the chaos surrounding the country’s debt crisis
by resigning over ill health a few days after being named.

Vassilis Rapanos quit on Monday less than a week after the
conservative-led government took office with the huge task of
trying to persuade foreign lenders to soften the terms of an
international bailout that has enraged Greeks.

Jun 24, 2012

Greek PM to miss EU summit, “troika” postpones trip

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s new prime minister and incoming finance minister, who have been ill, will miss this week’s EU summit when Athens will propose easing the terms of its bailout and international lenders have had to postpone a first meeting with the team.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras underwent eye surgery on Saturday and Vassilis Rapanos is in hospital after suffering from nausea, intense abdominal pains and dizziness on Friday before he could be sworn in as finance minister.

Jun 21, 2012

Greek banker once jailed by junta takes on new fight

ATHENS, June 21 (Reuters) – As a young student, banker
Vassilis Rapanos was jailed in one of Greece’s most infamous
prisons for fighting a military dictatorship.

Four decades later he is facing what may be an even bigger
battle as Greece’s new finance minister, charged with
negotiating with foreign powers exasperated by the near-bankrupt
country’s repeated failure to keep reform pledges.

Jun 17, 2012

Greek far-right defies predictions with vote success

ATHENS (Reuters) – The leader of Greece’s ultra-right Golden Dawn party savored unexpected success in Sunday’s election by taunting journalists and defiantly appearing on camera alongside a party official who went on the run for assaulting a leftist rival.

Hundreds of cheering supporters thronged the party’s headquarters in Athens and officials threw ballot papers as confetti from windows after the group defied predictions to once again emerge as among the winners of the night.

Jun 14, 2012

Surprise success dims for Greek far-right party

DISTOMO, Greece, June 14 (Reuters) – Like most others in
this tiny village that lost 218 lives in a Nazi massacre in
1944, Mina Kotsiou looked on horrified as the extreme-right
Golden Dawn party emerged as a surprise winner in Greece’s
inconclusive election last month.

Days before a second vote, she is confident that the rest of
Greece has caught on to what the central Greek village has known
for 68 years – that any group fond of Nazi salutes, Aryan
supremacist ideology and Adolf Hitler must only be feared.

Jun 8, 2012

Insight: In Greece, a painful return to country roots

KONITSA, Greece (Reuters) – Thirteen years after abandoning rural Greece for a career in graphic design, Spiridoula Lakka finds herself in the last place she expected to end up – watering a patch of lettuce and herbs in her sleepy village.

As Greece sank into its worst economic crisis since World War Two, Lakka had already given up her dream of becoming a web designer. Even waitressing seemed impossible. She faced a simple choice: be stranded without money in Athens, or return to the geriatric village where she grew up plotting to escape.

Jun 8, 2012

In Greece, a painful return to country roots

KONITSA, Greece, June 8 (Reuters) – Thirteen years after
abandoning rural Greece for a career in graphic design,
Spiridoula Lakka finds herself in the last place she expected to
end up – watering a patch of lettuce and herbs in her sleepy
village.

As Greece sank into its worst economic crisis since World
War Two, Lakka had already given up her dream of becoming a web
designer. Even waitressing seemed impossible. She faced a simple
choice: be stranded without money in Athens, or return to the
geriatric village where she grew up plotting to escape.

May 12, 2012

Greek Socialist fails to form government, vote beckons

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos on Saturday becomes the last political leader to throw in the towel after failing to cobble together a government, leaving the country’s president with one final chance to avoid new elections.

Greece’s political landscape is in disarray after voters humiliated the only parties backing a rescue plan tied to spending cuts, leaving no bloc with enough seats to form a government to secure the next tranche of financial aid.

May 12, 2012

Olympics-Olympia torch lighting starts London countdown

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece, May 10 (Reuters) – The countdown to
the London Olympics began with the kindling of the Games torch
by the sun’s rays in ancient Olympia on Thursday, sparking a
relay that will culminate with the lighting of the Olympic
stadium’s cauldron at the opening ceremony on July 27.

On a warm and sunny day at the site of the ancient Olympics,
actress Ino Menegaki, playing the high priestess, appealed to
sun God Apollo and needed only a few seconds to ignite the torch
at the ruins of the Temple of Hera with the help of a parabolic
mirror, 78 days before the Games get under way.