Michele's Feed
Jun 28, 2015

Greek tourism draws line in the sand over tax hikes

PAROS, Greece, June 28 (Reuters) – Alexis Kalaitzoglou makes
a swift gesture to describe what he thinks about Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras: the shopkeeper of this busy tourist island pulls
his leg back and swings it forward as if to give Greece’s leader
a good kicking.

Kalaitzoglou is angry because his family’s shop of jams,
honeys and wooden handicrafts – part of a wider tourism industry
that is the only bright spot of Greece’s struggling economy -
may be in for a rough ride.

Jun 26, 2015

Greeks angry but resigned to prospect of more austerity measures

ATHENS (Reuters) – Disbelief gave way to anger and resignation in Greece on Friday as the prospect of a new round of austerity cuts sank in and any long-term deal to end uncertainty over the country’s debts remained elusive.

With the clock ticking to a deadline of June 30 when Greece must repay a 1.6 billion euro loan to the International Monetary Fund, Athens was still haggling with its creditors over a fiscal package it says will foist further hardship on the nation of 11 million.

Jun 24, 2015

Gaps remain in Greek talks with creditors as Tsipras flies in

ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras flew to Brussels to meet Greece’s international creditors on Wednesday to try to bridge gaps on key elements of the proposals made by his left-wing government to shore up state finances in return for vital loans.

Athens had proposed increasing VAT, corporate tax and pension contributions in order to meet budget targets, but Tsipras told aides that creditors had not accepted the revenue-raising measures, a Greek government official said.

Jun 24, 2015

Debt relief key as Greek bailout talks near deadline

ATHENS (Reuters) – A deal between Greece and its international creditors is being held up by a standoff over the central issue of debt relief, Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Wednesday, ahead of meetings in Brussels aimed at clinching an accord.

With time running out before the June 30 deadline when Greece has to repay 1.6 billion euros ($1.79 billion) to the International Monetary Fund or face going into default, Stathakis said he was confident a deal would be reached by the time European Union leaders meet on Thursday.

Jun 23, 2015

Greek government confident despite backlash over debt deal

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s leftwing government expressed confidence on Tuesday that parliament would approve a debt deal with lenders, despite an angry reaction from some of its own lawmakers who accused it of caving in to pressure for more austerity.

Concessions offered by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, including hikes to tax and pension contributions, garnered a cautious welcome from euro zone leaders but triggered a furious reaction from some leftists in the ruling Syriza party.

Jun 21, 2015

Amid fears of Greek controls, Cyprus shows restrictions are bearable

NICOSIA, June 21 (Reuters) – As Cyprus’s financial system
imploded in the spring of 2013, the island’s leaders were given
an ultimatum: sign up to a bailout deal or watch your banking
system collapse.

The brief, painful drama that unfolded on the Mediterranean
island led to the first capital controls in the euro zone to
stem a bank run and stop money fleeing the country.

Jun 17, 2015

Shakespeare’s ‘Othello Tower,’ victim of Cyprus’s division, to reopen after facelift

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus (Reuters) – The 14th-century Cypriot tower that is the fictional setting of Shakespeare’s play “Othello” reopens next month after undergoing renovation following decades of decay on the internationally isolated Turkish side of the ethnically divided island.

The “Othello Tower” was long a tourist magnet. But after Cyprus was partitioned by a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup, hundreds of the island’s heritage sites fell foul of what became a frozen conflict.

Jun 5, 2015

Cyprus ammonia haul suspect detained longer, Hezbollah link probed

LARNACA, Cyprus (Reuters) – A Cypriot court extended the detention of a Lebanese-Canadian man on Friday over the discovery of five tonnes of chemical fertiliser in a case Israel says bears the hallmarks of the Hezbollah guerrilla group.

Authorities detained the 26-year-old man, holder of a Canadian passport, in late May after finding ammonium nitrate, a potential explosive, in the basement of a home in the coastal town of Larnaca where he had been staying.

May 28, 2015

Cyprus talks reap first major progress in more than a decade

NICOSIA, May 28 (Reuters) – Greek and Turkish Cypriot
leaders on Cyprus agreed on Thursday to open further crossing
points linking the two parts and to merge their electricity
networks, a UN envoy said.

It was seen as the most positive sign in more than a decade
that relations are thawing between the ethnically-divided sides.

May 23, 2015

As tensions ease, Cyprus leaders enjoy coffee and cake in capital

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Leaders of rival communities in ethnically-split Cyprus shared coffee and cake on Saturday in a symbolic gesture underscoring a thaw in relations over a conflict spanning decades.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci spent more than an hour strolling through medieval streets of Nicosia, a first in the history of the Cyprus dispute.