Senior Correspondent, Greece
Deepa's Feed
May 9, 2012

Sun god reigns over torch-lighting rehearsal

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (Reuters) – Priestesses in pleated robes swayed under a scorching sun at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics on Wednesday in the final rehearsal to light the flame that will burn at the London Games.

Far from the political drama embroiling debt-stricken Greece, locals and foreign tourists gathered at the ruins of the Doric temple to goddess Hera to watch as Greek actress Ino Menegaki solemnly stooped to light the torch with a concave mirror.

May 9, 2012

Olympics-Sun god reigns over torch-lighting rehearsal

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece, May 9 (Reuters) – Priestesses in
pleated robes swayed under a scorching sun at the birthplace of
the ancient Olympics on Wednesday in the final rehearsal to
light the flame that will burn at the London Games.

Far from the political drama embroiling debt-stricken
Greece, locals and foreign tourists gathered at the ruins of the
Doric temple to goddess Hera to watch as Greek actress Ino
Menegaki solemnly stooped to light the torch with a concave
mirror.

May 8, 2012

Leftist sets tough conditions for Greek government

By Karolina Tagaris and Deepa Babington

(Reuters) – Radical Leftist Alexis Tsipras began efforts to form a Greek government on Tuesday by renouncing the terms of an international bailout and threatening to nationalize banks in a statement likely to reduce his chances of success.

Left Coalition leader Tsipras, 37, received a mandate from the president after an election in which Greeks showed their hatred of harsh austerity measures by abandoning mainstream parties who negotiated an EU/IMF bailout that is keeping the country from bankruptcy.

May 6, 2012

Greek far-right leader savors electoral success

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s extreme-right Golden Dawn party savored unprecedented success in Sunday’s general election by promising to rid Greece of illegal immigrants, branding journalists “liars” and warning all “traitors” to run scared.

Little more than an obscure fringe group barely a year ago, the party is set to blow past estimates and enter parliament for the first time with as much as 8 percent of the vote.

May 6, 2012

Greeks maul pro-bailout parties: exit polls

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek voters enraged by economic hardship deserted governing parties in droves in an election on Sunday, according to exit polls that threw doubt on the country’s future in the euro zone.

Polls by six different pollsters indicated the only two parties supporting an EU/IMF bailout that is keeping Greece from bankruptcy would likely fall short of enough support to form a stable coalition government.

May 4, 2012

Greek leftist taps into anti-politician anger

ATHENS, May 4, (Reuters) – In barely two years, Fotis
Kouvelis has gone from obscure leftist rebel to the man who
could hold the key to Greece’s next government, after winning
over many voters with his low-key, avuncular style.

With a pro-euro and anti-austerity message, the
63-year-old’s Democratic Left party has tapped into voter anger
over the terms of an international bailout to emerge as one of
four parties battling for third place when Greeks vote in a
general election on Sunday.

May 3, 2012

Soft-spoken Greek leftist rides wave of discontent

EGIO, Greece (Reuters) – Few took notice when Greek lawyer Fotis Kouvelis gathered supporters at an Athens hotel to set up his own leftist party two years ago.

Today, the grey-haired leftist is much harder to ignore.

With a pro-euro and anti-austerity message, Kouvelis’s small Democratic Left party has quickly snapped up disgruntled Socialist voters to become one of four groups battling for third place when Greece votes in a general election on Sunday.

Apr 26, 2012

Atop the Acropolis, voter fury trips up Communists

ATHENS (Reuters) – It was meant to be a picture-perfect election campaign stop: Greece’s communist leader striding across the ancient Acropolis to rally marble workers painstakingly restoring a symbol of Greece’s past splendor.

Instead, Aleka Papariga’s pre-election visit this week became memorable for all the wrong reasons: blue-collar workers heckled to ask why she failed to block spending cuts; others drowned her out by yelling she was part of the same self-serving political system her party claims to fight.

Mar 4, 2012

Greek town withers as boom turns to bust

KOMOTINI, Greece (Reuters) – Decades ago, Antonis Seitanidis’ family fled Asia Minor to settle in the northern Greek town of Komotini in search of a better life.

Today, he is urging his grandchildren to abandon the town – a place that once gave him hope but is now ravaged by factory closures, a lack of jobs and rising anger.

Mar 3, 2012

In Greece, redundancy tips factory worker over the edge

KOMOTINI, Greece (Reuters) – After more than 30 years as a factory worker, Dimitris Manikas was dreaming of retirement and plans to get married for the third time when a redundancy notice blew his hopes away.

Laid off from his job at a trash can factory in this northern Greek town, the 52-year-old father of two called off his wedding — even though he had bought the wedding bands. Without any income, he feared his house would be next to go.