Yorgos's Feed
Jun 26, 2014
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Athens’ Ghost Airport

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Athens, Greece

By Yorgos Karahalis

It’s been over a decade since Athens’ Hellenikon airport closed down after around 60 years of duty as the only airport serving the Greek capital.

 

In 2001, just three years before Athens hosted the Olympic Games, Hellenikon was abandoned in favour of the glitzy new Eleftherios Venizelos airport, constructed to the east of the city. 

Feb 3, 2014
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The ghost buildings of Athens

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Athens, Greece

By Yorgos Karahalis

Both as a photographer and a resident of this city, I have always wanted to explore the ghost buildings that stand semi-ruined on a central avenue of Athens, squeezed between the police headquarters and the Supreme Court, just a couple miles from the Greek parliament.

These blocks of flats, built back in the 1930s to house Greek refugees from Asia Minor, have not been taken care of for decades. They have been totally left to their fate.

Dec 16, 2013
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Circle of life at Greece’s fish farms

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Sofiko village, Greece

By Yorgos Karahalis

Fish farming was a business that a few decades ago was completely alien in Greece, where eating fish was strictly related to the local fisherman, the weather conditions and the phase of the moon.

These days, regardless of the moon and the weather, we can all buy fresh fish at extremely low prices, every day. And from my experience of the industry during the days I photographed its fish farms and hatcheries, I realized there is more to the process than I thought – it’s a production line that resembles the circle of life itself.

Oct 2, 2013

Greece’s Golden Dawn lawmakers freed before trial

ATHENS, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Three senior lawmakers from
Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn were freed on Wednesday pending
trial on criminal charges, an unexpected setback to the
government’s efforts to clamp down on a party it has labelled a
neo-Nazi criminal gang.

The decision to free the men after an 18-hour court session
raises questions about the solidity of the state’s case against
Golden Dawn after one of its sympathisers stabbed to death an
anti-fascism rapper.

Oct 2, 2013

Greece’s Golden Dawn lawmakers unexpectedly freed before trial

ATHENS (Reuters) – Three senior lawmakers from Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn were freed on Wednesday pending trial on criminal charges, an unexpected setback to the government’s efforts to clamp down on a party it has labeled a neo-Nazi criminal gang.

The decision to free the men after a marathon, 18-hour court session raises questions about how strong the state’s case against Golden Dawn is after one of its sympathizers stabbed an anti-fascism rapper to death last month.

Aug 9, 2013
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Swimming by Seatrac

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Alepochori, Greece

By Yorgos Karahalis

In Greece, with its hundreds of islands, one of the longest coastlines in the world and a great climate, people are lucky enough to enjoy the beach for nearly half the year. Swimming in the sea is a way of life for many Greeks and a habit they’ve grown used to from their earliest years. With tourism being the country’s biggest industry, almost all visitors plan at least one “touch” with the sea during their holiday.

But for some, things are not so simple. Those with kinetic disabilities have always had to ask for help to enjoy the simple pleasure of swimming in the sea as wheelchairs cannot be driven on the sand or over pebbles. Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual in a country where access facilities for the disabled are in general very poor, even at the most basic level. A lack of infrastructure by the state and hostile behavior by many locals is a cocktail poisoning the daily life of those who depend on wheelchairs to get around.

Aug 9, 2013

Disabled Greeks get swim thanks to solar chair

ALEPOCHORI, Greece (Reuters) – Paralyzed from the waist down, Lefteris Theofilou has spent nearly half his life bound to a wheelchair and recalls as if it were a dream the first time a solar-powered chair enabled him to swim on his own in the Greek sea.

“It was unreal,” Theofilou, 52, a burly mechanic with graying hair, said as he lifted himself off his wheelchair one warm summer evening, sat on the chair and with the push of a button rode, unassisted, 20 m (yards) to the shore and into the water.

Jun 27, 2013
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The search for a mosque in Athens

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Athens, Greece

By Yorgos Karahalis

Some say that to come in contact with “God” is a spiritual matter that has nothing to do with the particular spot or place where such contact takes place. Well, if it were that simple then there would be no need to build churches or mosques.

In the Greek capital Athens, where almost half the country’s 11 million people live, there is a 500,000-strong Muslim community, mostly immigrants from Asia, Africa and eastern Europe. Many of those are faithful and want to express their faith by praying in an appropriate place. Well, there is no such place – there isn’t a single “official” mosque in the wider area of the Greek capital.

Apr 1, 2013
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Cyprus, it’s all Greek to me

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Nicosia, Cyprus

By Yorgos Karahalis

I’ve been working in the media industry since 1986 and I can’t recall the last time Cyprus, the small divided Mediterranean island, attracted so much attention since the 1974 invasion by Turkey, which stills keep the island and its residents separated.

A decision by the European Union for a “haircut” on deposits in all Cypriot banks made the country one of the top stories in the region and across the world. Various scenarios for Cyprus’s financial meltdown appeared everywhere.

Oct 18, 2012
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The key to Greece’s economic crisis

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By Yiorgos Karahalis

Mata Nikolarou, a jewellery shop owner in Athens, says she is not surprised that thousands of businesses in the capital have had to shut down.

“It was about time to happen. The market needed a clear off. Everyone in Greece had become a merchant, either by taking over their father’s shop or by taking out a cheap loan from the bank,” she said, explaining that most merchants had appeared out of the blue.