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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 6 May 2017
GREECE 26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 MAY 2017 1.5 million Greeks live in extreme poverty A survey conducted by an Athens-based think tank has delivered shocking results about poverty in Greece. The survey found that people living in extreme poverty amount to 13.6 per cent of the population, down from 15 per cent in 2015, 15.7 per cent in 2014 and 17.1 per cent in 2013 (it should be noted that in 2009, before the country entered the bailout program, only two per cent of the population was living in extreme poverty). Despite the falling trend, the survey showed that one and a half million people in Greece live in conditions of extreme poverty. The majority of these people are the chronically unemployed and the young. As is common all the years since Greece entered the crisis, most of the 'new' extreme poverty phenomenon is due to the rise in unemployment. The survey found that over a million Greek citizens were unemployed in 2016, of which only 127,000 were receiving regular unemployment One of Athens' most iconic signs is about to flicker back to life, after years of being turned off. Situated on the corner of Vouliagmeni and Alimou Avenues, in the southern suburb of Argyroupoli, the neon sign of Olympic Airways has been one of the city's landmarks for decades. It was installed in 1964, at the height of the 'Onassis' era, when Olympic Airways was not only the flag carrier of Greece, but a symbol of the country's growth. The sign also alerted drivers they were close to the (now abandoned) airport of Elliniko, and for decades was a meeting point for youth who set off for one of the many popular clubs in the area, making up the southern suburbs' rich nightlife. The sign was turned off in 2009, when Olympic Airways was sold to Aegean (it now operates as a subsidiary, trading as 'Olympic Air' and operating domestic flights) and it has since been abandoned to rust. Its restoration was part of the new Elliniko-Argiroupoly City Council's election promise. Now operating as part of the city's assets, the sign was DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Iconic Olympic sign to light up Athens again cleaned and repainted and is now ready to be lit up again on Wednesday 10 May. A homeless man holds a sign that reads “I am hungry” in the northern port town of Thessaloniki. PHOTO: REUTERS/ALEXANDROS AVRAMIDIS benefits. This accounts for 11.2 per cent of unemployed being on the dole, falling down from 35.1 per cent in 2011. Conducted by non-profit research and policy institute diaNEOsis the survey was an update of previous research published in June 2016. This time, researchers were able to record poverty in different geographic regions of Greece, finding that extreme poverty is lower in rural areas than urban places, which are densely populated. The regions least affected are Crete, Ipirus, Peloponese, and the Aegean Islands, while Central Macedonia, Thessaly, and western Greece are those mostly plagued by poverty. Club bouncer murdered in front of school A shocking crime took place in broad daylight in an Athens suburb on Wednesday morning when a club bouncer was murdered taking his 11-yearold son to school. Vasilis Grivas, 46, a former bodybuilder, had just dropped his son in front of the 2nd Elementary school in Glika Nera (an outer eastern suburb of Athens) and was about to drive off when a man approached him from his car’s driver's side and shot at him eight times through the window. One of the bullets ricocheted and injured a woman, 37, who had also just dropped her child at school. She was transferred to hospital where she underwent surgery and is now out of danger. Dozens of other parents and students were around, as it was school assembly time. According to witnesses, the victim's child, who had just gotten out of the car and was heading for class, ran to his teacher crying and asked for help. The killer is said to have three accomplices. Another man was waiting for him in a car, which was foundburnt out 600m from the scene. According to reports, two other men were waiting there and they all fled the scene of the crime on motorcycles. Authorities believe that the murder was an execution ordered by the 'Greek mafia'. The victim was believed to be associated with organised crime - he was part of an investigation on an extortion ring a few years ago and police believe that his death is related to a recent attempted murder of a convict in prison, or the murder of another former bodybuilder and bar owner the previous week. Kiosk in Chios sold marijuana to migrants A kiosk owner in Chios was arrested on Saturday for using her business, located in the central square of the island's main town, as a front for the sale of cannabis to refugees and migrants. Local authorities had long suspected the 32-year-old woman, so on Saturday they employed several migrants to present themselves as prospective buyers. During the police raid that ensued, apart from the premarked bills the migrants paid with, a number of marijuana cigarettes were found and confiscated. A few hours later, the police arrested two more people: the kiosk's supplier, as well as a 'wholesale' supplier of the wider region, who was found to possess a large quantity of cannabis. Greek venture capital firm raises €20m to invest in startups As Greece enters its eighth year of recession, many believe that there has never been a better time to invest in the country. This is at least true in one area of investment: startups. To confirm this idea, a Greek-based venture capital fund managed to raise €20 million (A$29m) to invest in Greek software and high-tech start- ups at the seed age. At the helm of VentureFriends are Apostolos Apostolakis and George Dimopoulos (whose claim to fame include eshop.gr, e-food, Delivery Hero and the international success of TaxiBeat), with Stefanos Katsimpas acting as senior associate. The fund is looking to invest amounts between €250-500,000 and can follow on up to a total of €1 million. So far, 20 investments have already been made, with a lot more to follow, as there are many startups looking for investors in Greece at the moment. For their part, Venture Friends are looking for "innovating hustlers solving big and important need-to-solve problems". Greece expected to welcome extra million tourists in 2017 With a significant percentage of bookings made on discounted rates, it is uncertain whether the increase will be reflected in tourism revenue Greek tourism is projected to reach an all-time high this year with an extra million people expected to visit. In a meeting on Wednesday, president of the Hellenic Hotel Federation and the next chief of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) Yiannis Retsos said that in addition to a higher occupancy rate, the number of nights spent by tourists at hotels will also reach new highs. While this is a positive development, Retsos didn't speculate about whether the high- er numbers would also be reflected in the revenue, as some 50 per cent of bookings made were on discounted rates. In fact, if last year is anything to go by, increased foot traffic saw a drop in takings, reports Kathimerini. At this stage revenue of €14.5 billion is seen to be a feasible figure for 2017, though the tourism industry is expected to wait until July before making any forecasts. A panoramic view of Lindos bay, Rhodes island, Greece.
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